Ohio State product Mike Conley Jr. to participate in ’HORSE’ competition on ESPN

Adam Jardy
Florida's Joakim Noah and Al Horford block a shot by Ohio State guard Mike Conley Jr. during the second half of the Final Four basketball championship on April 2, 2007. [Morry Gash/Associated Press photo]

Ohio State fans will have a chance to see one of the program’s greats actually play basketball again soon.

Well, sort of.

On Sunday, ESPN will begin televising a “HORSE” basketball competition featuring eight players from the NBA and WNBA. The list includes Mike Conley Jr., the former Buckeyes guard who now plays for the Utah Jazz.

Bringing the classic playground game to national television, each participant will play from their own, isolated gym, where they will have to match the shot of the player who went before them. The other participants are Chauncey Billups, Zach Levine, Chris Paul, Paul Pierce and Trae Young from the NBA and Allie Quigley and Tamika Catchings from the WNBA.

According to a release, the rules will be as follows: “Players must describe each shot attempt, specifying the type of score they intend to make before taking a shot, such as a bank shot or swish. Dunking is prohibited. The first player in each game to accumulate the letters “H-O-R-S-E” after failing to match five shots is eliminated.”

Players will be divided into two groups of four. The winners of each of the first two games in each group will meet in the quarterfinals, which will be aired Thursday, April 16. The finals will then follow that same night.

Conley will face Catchings, a newly elected member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, for the right to face the winner of Young and Billups.

In his lone season with the Buckeyes, Conley helped them reach the national championship game before being selected by Memphis with the No. 4 overall pick after averaging 11.3 points and 6.1 assists per game.

The event will air at 7 p.m. on ESPN and the WatchESPN app.


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