Columbus has been chosen as one of four regional sites for this summer’s The Basketball Tournament.
On Tuesday, TBT announced details for its fifth summer event, which pays $2 million to the champion of its winner-take-all tournament. Capital University will host games at the Capital Center Performance Area from July 20-22. Columbus joins Los Angeles, Brooklyn, New York, and Richmond, Virginia, as the four regional sites.
“The Basketball Tournament has grown into a summer staple in an incredibly short amount of time, given the typical developmental runway for a sports property,” Jon Mugar, founder and CEO of TBT, said in a statement. “This year was our toughest decision yet, as we received interest from so many great cities that wanted to bring TBT to their communities. We’re excited by this year’s lineup of host venues and are confident the arenas will be filled with passionate fans to supply the incredible atmosphere that’s become synonymous with TBT over the years.”
The tournament features 72 teams all playing a single-elimination tournament in five-on-five games aired on ESPN. Last summer, nearly 70 former NBA players took part in the tournament and more than two-thirds were currently professional players.
That included an Ohio State-themed team, “Scarlet and Gray,” which featured former players including Jon Diebler, Jared Sullinger, William Buford, Dallas Lauderdale and David Lighty. Scoonie Penn, now Ohio State’s director of player development, again will coach this year's team.
“We are proud to partner with Capital University to bring another signature basketball event to our sports community,” Greater Columbus Sports Commission executive director Linda Logan said in a statement. “The Ohio State ‘Scarlet and Gray’ team had such a great run to the semifinals in TBT last year and that was the impetus for Columbus to bid on this event so Buckeye fans could experience these games firsthand.”
Teams that advance from the regionals will play at Georgia State University in Atlanta and then the semifinals and finals will be held at Morgan State University in Baltimore on Aug. 2 and 3.