It was a tournament that again boasted notable NBA names, like Jason Williams and Mike Bibby, Mike James and Cuttino Mobley, Michael Sweetney and Dermarr Johnson. In the end, it is the best all-around teams, not the biggest names perhaps, that will vie for the $2 Million prize at Fordham University Tuesday night in “The Basketball Tournament.”
The favorites and defending champions, Overseas Elite, will have some local flavor again, with former St. John’s products Parris Horne and DJ Kennedy providing some of the key firepower on Saturday in the semi-finals, a 103-92 win over Baltimore’s City of Gods, the lone top seed left in the event. Former Arizona star Kyle Fogg poured in 42 points to lead all scorers, but Kennedy’s double double (21 and 11 rebounds), and Horne’s lockdown defense were key as Overseas Elite came from 15 down to post the win.
“We play as a team, we all work hard and take nothing for granted, and I think in a tournament like this where there is no margin for error, that’s key” Fogg said following the win.
As for their opponents, Team Colorado, comprised solely of alums from the Boulder school, were led by Marcus Hall, Dominique Coleman and Marcus Relphorde took out a team of Bradley University alumni, “Always A Brave,” to reach the final before a crowd of over 1,200 at Rose Hill. The matchup on Tuesday is not what many expected, but the level of play and intensity should not miss a beat.
“Those guys fought to get to the finals, and we won’t take anyone lightly,” Kennedy added as he looked around the gym following their hard fought win. “The prize money is there for us now, and our goal is to take it like we did last year.”
In just three years the event has grown prize money from $500,000 (won by an alumni team from Notre Dame to $2 million, and a prime time spot on ESPN Tuesday night. Maybe it won’t be the biggest names, but it will be the biggest payday of the summer and the atmosphere should be electric.