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The Basketball Tournament: NBL Preview

The Basketball Tournament (TBT) returns this Sunday (July 5) on ESPN in Australia, and there is no shortage of talent with NBL ties hitting the court to play off for the $1 million winner takes all prize.

24 teams will play under quarantine at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio from July 5-15. All teams will undergo multiple levels of testing for COVID-19 before being allowed to play in this year’s TBT, which is in its seventh year.

All games will feature the Elam Ending, the end-of-game format made famous during the 2020 NBA All-Star Game that eliminates the game clock after a certain point and features teams playing to a Target Score.

Check out the bracket below and our preview of the players with NBL ties that will be in action.

Tbt Website Hero 2020 Bracket 1045x455 070320

Scott Machado and John Roberson - Armored Athlete

Scott Machado took NBL20 by storm, leading the League in assists and in TBT he’ll be suiting up for an Armoured Athlete team that includes South East Melbourne Phoenix shooter John Roberson.

After squaring off in the season just gone, these two will team up to play off for the $1 million prize.

 

DJ Newbill and Ramone Moore - Brotherly Love

Team Brotherly Love is representing Philadelphia so it is no surprise to see DJ Newbill and Ramone Moore as part of this lineup. 

Coming off a Defensive Player of the Year award winning season in NBL20, Newbill should play a big role with Ramone Moore providing his usual scoring punch on the wing.

 

Casper Ware and Marvelle Harris - Team Challenge ALS

Team Challenge ALS was established to raise awareness and contribute funds to those impacted by Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

This year, Sydney Kings and former Melbourne United star Casper Ware links up with former Hawks swingman Marvelle Harris.

Following his lone season with the Hawks in 2016-17, Harris has been plying his trade most recently in Lebanon.

 

Eric Griffin and Marcus Thornton - Team Hines

Following his NBL20 season with the Adelaide 36ers where he averaged 14.0 points and 6.3 rebounds per game, Eric Griffin joins Team Hines, a squad led by EuroLeague star Kyle Hines.

He'll have former Sydney Kings guard Marcus Thornton on his squad. In his lone NBL season after being drafted by the Boston Celtics in 2015, Thornton averaged 12.8 points per game going on to play in the G-League, China, Italy, Turkey and France.

Also on Team Hines is Jerelle Benimon who signed with the New Zealand Breakers prior to NB19 however he never ended up taking the court for NZ with the Breakers instead signing Shawn Long.

 

Jacob Wiley, Tremmell Darden and Devin Williams - The Money Team (TMT)

The Money Team (TMT) is squad supported by none other than boxing star Floyd Mayweather. The lineup is stacked, with former Adelaide 36ers forward Jacob Wiley teaming up with another former NBL star in Tremmell Darden who you’ll remember from the South Dragons championship season.

Add to that former Melbourne United big Devin Williams and Tony Wroten who has suited up for the Philadelphia 76ers and Memphis Grizzlies in the NBA and this is quite the squad.

 

DJ Kennedy - Overseas Elite

When DJ Kennedy joined Melbourne United in NBL19 all we heard about was how many times he had won TBT with Overseas Elite. Kennedy and Overseas Elite took out the title in 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 before finally having their run cut short in the semi-finals of 2019.

Since his season in Melbourne, Kennedy has been playing un Turkey with Pinar Karisyaka. 

The Overseas Elite team boasts names including former NBA All-Star Joe Johnson, Bobby Brown and Jordan Crawford.

 

Demetri McCamey - Carmen’s Crew

One-time Cairns Taipans guard Demetri McCamey is playing with Carmen’s Crew, a team made up primarily of Ohio State alumni who claimed the 2019 TBT championship.

McCamey played one season in FNQ with the Snakes in 2013/14 averaging 11.6 points, 3.3 rebounds and 2.9 assists. He has since played in Japan, Italy and the NBA G-League.

 

Eric Devendorf - Boeheim’s Army

A proud Syracuse alumni, Eric Devendorf starred in the NBL for the Melbourne Tigers back in the 2010-11 season. In addition to his time in the NBL, he also spent considerable time in the NZNBL winning two championships.

Now retired, Devendorf is an assistant coach at the University of Detroit Mercy. 

Boeheim’s Army boasts considerable NBA experience with Donte Green, Malachi Richardson, Chris McCullough, Brandon Triche and Tyler Lydon all of whom are University of Syracuse alumni.

 

Nnanna Egwu - House of ‘Paign

Former Cairns Taipans and Brisbane Bullets big man Nnanna Egwu will join House of ‘Paign, a team made up of University of Illinois alumni.

Egwu most recently played in Japan with the Earthfriends Tokyo.

 

Jaron Johnson - Eberlein Drive

One-time Perth Wildcats swingman Jaron Johnson joins an Eberlein Drive team that would usually feature Jerome Randle however the former NBL MVP will be out of action after tearing his ACL in Spain after his season in Adelaide. 

Randle had his jersey retired by the Eberlein Drive earlier this year, a nod to his efforts for the squad in TBT.

For Johnson, after his 14 games in Perth he went on to play in the G-League, Israel and most recently France with Chalon.

 

Jae’Sean Tate - Big X 

Sydney Kings star Jae’Season Tate was expected to play for the Big X team in TBT however this is in doubt, with reports sighting multiple positive tests for the COVID-19 virus. He is expected to miss the first round of games and beyond that his participation is uncertain.

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