UB Basketball Alumni Emerging As Favorites In National Tournament
There is a major basketball tournament happening right now and there's a Buffalo-born team that is becoming a favorite to win it.
If you followed UB Basketball for any time, you may remember names like CJ Massinburg, Nick Perkins, or Lamonte Bearden. They were all stars on some of the first teams to make it to the NCAA Tournament in their playing days.
Now, they've put together a team to enter a tournament called simply TBT (The Basketball Tournament). It was created a few years ago with the idea that anyone could enter the tournament and there would be big money up for grabs. It's a winner-take-all setup. There is no second place. It's not just a Gus Macker type of tournament. These games are broadcast on ESPN and these players are hungry. There's a $1 million prize up for grabs for the winner.
The Buffalo team is called Blue Collar U. It's made up of mostly UB Alumni and they're becoming a fan favorite for a couple of reasons.
The first is for what they're doing on the back of their jerseys. In tournaments like this, you can often put whatever you want on the back of your jersey. You can put your own name, or a nickname, but they chose instead to honor and remember the victims of the shooting that happened in Buffalo on 5/14. Those 10 names appear on the back of their jerseys instead of the names of the players.
On top of that, this team is made up of winners. They're still alive after a week of play and they will be moving on to the quarterfinals during championship week.
They will be taking on Team Heartfire on Friday. Want to watch? The game will be live on ESPN and Sling at 7pm.
If they win the whole thing, Blue Collar U plans to donate a portion of their winnings to Coaching Love Inc., a non-profit started by GM Bryan Hodgson to help at-risk youth, particularly those in the foster care system, through sports.