The $2 million summer basketball tournament that former BYU legend Jimmer Fredette was involved in last year — brazenly called The Basketball Tournament — will have a distinctly BYU flair again this year.
But Fredette himself won’t play this time around.
Instead, Fredette, who is ineligible because he’s still under contract with the Phoenix Suns, will help a familiar face coach the entry known as Team Fredette at the Maverik Center next month: former BYU coach Dave Rose.
Team Fredette will also feature BYU’s all-time leading scorer, Tyler Haws, and some other yet-to-be-named former Cougars along with TBT veteran Jordon Crawford of Bowling Green, former Houston stars Rob Gray and Devonta Pollard and Tu Holloway, the Atlantic 10 Conference player of the year when he was at Xavier in 2011.
Other TF members include former New Mexico star Darington Hobson and ex-Iona great Ra’Shad James.
Team Fredette made it to the semifinals last year with Fredette its star player, but fell 80-76 to Eberlein Drive on the campus of Morgan State University in Baltimore.
Team Fredette is serving as the host of one of eight regionals July 25-27 in West Valley City, but is just the No. 3 seed in the regional. The No. 1 seed is none other than Eberlein Drive, which lost in the finals last year after knocking off Team Fredette in the semis.
Eberlein Drive is led by former Cal star Jerome Randle, five-year NBA veteran Donald Sloan and former North Carolina star Michael McAdoo.
In its sixth year, TBT will be broadcast live on ESPN networks and features more than 60 players with NBA experience. More than 20 Division I college players who recently completed their eligibility in 2019 are competing in this year’s tournament, according to organizers.
The seventh- and eighth-seeded teams in West Valley City will be Utah-based as well.
The No. 7 Utah Stallions are predominately comprised of Utah State alumni such as Sean Harris, Spencer Butterfield and Preston Medlin.
The No. 8 Team Utah squad was started by former Ute Shaun Green and also includes ex-Utes Tim Drisdom, Justin Hawkins and Dakarai Tucker. Recently former Utah Valley star Ronnie Price, a 12-year NBA veteran — including a stint with the Utah Jazz — joined Team Utah.
Other teams in the Salt Lake regional: Second-seeded Team Challenge ALS; No. 4 seed Sons of Westwood; No. 5 seed L.A. Cheaters; and No. 6 seed CitiTeam Blazers.
Winners of the eight regionals will advance to championship week at Wintrust Arena in Chicago Aug. 1-6. The $2 million winner-take-all championship game will be played on Aug. 6 at 7 p.m. MDT.
In a new twist this year, each of the eight regional champions will earn a prize equal to 25 percent of their region’s ticket sales. Tickets for all eight regionals and championship week are on sale now at www.thetournament.com.
THE BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT — SALT LAKE REGIONAL
At the Maverik Center, West Valley City, July 25-27, 2019
Game 1: No. 1 Eberlein Drive vs. No. 8 Team Utah, 3 p.m. MDT
Game 2: No. 4 Sons of Westwood vs. No. 5 L.A. Cheaters, 4:50 p.m. MDT
Game 3: No. 2 Challenge ALS vs. No. 7 Utah Stallions, 6:40 p.m. MDT
Game 4: No. 3 Team Fredette vs. No. 6 CitiTeam Blazers, 8:30 p.m. MDT