Tonight on ESPN, two basketball teams will take the court with $2 million dollars on the line. There is no prize for second place.
The game is the conclusion of The Basketball Tournament, an event now in its fourth year that invites former pros, college standouts, local legends, and even the everyman to compete in a single-elimination bracket of 64 teams. In this year’s final, two-time reigning champions Overseas Elite are taking on upstart Team Challenge ALS for the prize.
— TBT (@thetournament) August3, 2017
Overseas Elite have never been beaten in the history of The Basketball Tournament, sporting an all-time record of 18-0 and taking home $3 million in prize money over the past two years. Anchoring the team are a few former college and EuroLeague standouts including Errick McCollum (brother of Trail Blazers guard C.J. McCollum), former Arizona Wildcat Kyle Fogg, and St. John’s alum D.J. Kennedy.
With the professional caliber among them, Overseas Elite sports some deadly shooting and can attack from all positions.
It will be up to Team Challenge ALS to hand Overseas Elite their first ever defeat, but they’ve already rattled off four straight wins over higher seeded opponents, so rest assured they’ll have confidence going into the matchup. The team was put together by Boston College alum Sean Marshall, whose roommate in college was Peter Frates, one of the originators of the Ice Bucket Challenge that raised money and awareness for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis in 2014.
Frates, a former baseball player at Boston College, was diagnosed with the disease five years ago and has been a part of the cause to raise funds and awareness for ALS ever since. On Tuesday, his father attended Team Challenge ALS’s semifinal game and delivered a pregame speech to the team, helping them along to a win in double-overtime. If the team can pull off one more victory tonight against the odds, $250,000 of the prize money will go to help with Frates’ medical costs and the ALS Association.
If you’re looking for a compelling piece of sports to watch to break of the monotony of midsummer baseball, The Basketball Tournament is a great option for you. The game tips off Thursday night at 7 p.m. on ESPN.