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JMU basketball alumni ready to compete in TBT

Published: Jul. 16, 2021 at 5:38 PM EDT
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - Former James Madison basketball players are teaming up this weekend to compete in The Basketball Tournament.

Former Dukes have joined forces on the squad Founding Fathers. The team earned a spot in TBT this summer as the No. 16 seed in the West Virginia Region.

“Our team is unbelievable,” said Founding Fathers head coach Kevin Alright, who served as a graduate assistant and video coordinator at JMU. “We have so many personalities and good talents and it’s just really been a pleasure to work with them and get on Zoom calls, it’s been good fun for everybody.”

Notable former Dukes who have joined Founding Fathers include: Ron Curry, Devon Moore, Andre Nation, Stuckey Mosley, Dimitrije Cabarkapa, Scooter Renkin, and Kamiah Smalls. Former JMU women’s basketball player Nikki Newman will serve as an assistant coach as will former Duke A.J. Davis. Davis was expected to play until he suffered serious injuries in a traffic accident. To see the full Founding Fathers roster, click here.

“We are hoping that the underdog-ness of our team and unknown-ness of our team will play to our advantage and allow us to shock a lot of people,” said Founding Fathers general manager Joe Kuykendall.

Smalls added: ““It’s all about the underdog mentality. Every single player on this team has risen to the occasion at some point in there lives being that mid-major player.”

Founding Fathers is scheduled to take on No. 1 seed Sideline Cancer in a first-round TBT game Sunday evening at Charleston Coliseum in Charleston, West Virginia. Tip-off is set for 5 p.m. and the game will be broadcast on ESPN3. To see the full TBT bracket, click here.

About The Basketball Tournament (TBT): TBT was started in 2014, and is an “open application, 5­-on-­5, single elimination, winner­-take-­all basketball tournament”. In 2020, the winning team (Golden Eagles Alumni - Marquette Alumni team) took home a $1 million prize and the prize remains the same for the 2021 tournament. Teams can be composed of a general manager, coaches, boosters and up to ten free players. Most teams have former professional players from domestic and international leagues. There are four regions (Locations TBA) with 16 teams in each region. Following region play, teams will advance to the finals (Location TBA). Unlike in previous iterations of The Tournament, teams no longer get votes to play; team selection is at the sole discretion of the tournament organizers. TBT has a contract with ESPN to broadcast all games on its family of networks.

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