There’s a lot of Philly flavor in The Basketball Tournament. In fact, a team called “Team Brotherly Love” has advanced to the quarterfinals of the TBT and is competing for a $2 million prize. Brotherly Love will face Team Hines on Friday, August 2 in Chicago on ESPN2 at 9:30 p.m.
“The team is Brotherly Love from the city of Philadelphia,” said Tony Paris, the team’s head coach. “I have Danny Holdsman who is the assistant coach.
“We have Novar Gadson [former Paul Robeson and Rider University star] who is one of the leading scorers on the team. We have Franz Massenat who played at Drexel [University]. He’s the leading scorer on the team. We have Makal Stibbins who is from North Philly and played at Millersville [University]. We have Samme and Shannon Givens [Drexel and West Chester University] on our team.
“We got Wayne Marshall [Temple University and Martin Luther King], Ramone Moore [Temple and Southern], Mike Ringgold [Roman Catholic and Rider], Maurice Watson Jr. [Creighton University and Boys’ Latin] and Rodney Green [La Salle and Prep Charter]. It’s an all Philly team. Everything Philly and nothing but Philly.”
Team Brotherly Love defeated Boeheim’s Army, 84-72, to win the Syracuse regional on Sunday, July 28. The Syracuse team is comprised of Syracuse Univeristy alumni, who have some Philadelphia products as well.
“We played against Hakim Warrick [Syracuse and Friends’ Central] and B.J. Johnson [La Salle] in the championship,” Paris said. “We had a lot of Philly guys on that floor. That day all the Philly guys played great.”
The tournament, which started with 64 teams, is down to eight. The Basketball Tournament (TBT) Championship Week, will take place Aug. 1-6 from Wintrust Arena in Chicago. The semifinals are on Sunday, Aug 4 at 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. on ESPN. The $2 million winner-take-all championship game will take place on Tuesday, Aug. 6 at 9 p.m. on ESPN.
Team Brotherly Love is hoping to win the championship and get the money. They will have to get past Team Hines, a team they defeated in the tournament last year.
“Team Hines ha a really good team,” Paris said. “They have a bunch of overseas players. The three games they won, they won convincingly. They’re tough. We played them last year in Brooklyn when they were a No. 3 seed and we were a 15 seed and beat them by 30.
“But this year they have a different team. So, we don’t know how it’s going to go. It’s going to be tough. Now, we have to prepare a little differently. It’s going to be a good game.”
If Team Brotherly Love can win this tournament, it would not only a great accomplishment from a financial standpoint, but also for the Philadelphia basketball community.
“We’re very fortunate to have these guys,” Paris said. “We got Drexel alumni, La Salle and Rider. We’re representing Philly. Guys have either went to school in Philly or lived in Philly and went to school somewhere else or lived in Philly and went to school in Philly. Everybody has a connection to Philly.”