The Basketball Tournament is making its way to Lexington this summer for the first time in the six-year history of the event.
The Bluegrass Boys, composed of former Kentucky Wildcats, will host seven other teams at Frederick Douglass High School from July 19-21. They will be the No. 2 seed in the Lexington Regional.
The team is organized by general manager Mark Krebs and coached by two-time NCAA champion Wayne Turner.
”Playing in front of the Big Blue Nation is one of the greatest feelings a player can experience,” said Turner in a press release. “The Lexington Regional has a strong field, but with this team and these fans, I like our chances.”
The team will be led by Derek Willis, Dominique Hawkins, Josh Harrellson, Marcus Lee, Ramon Harris, Kevin Galloway and AJ Stewart.
The top-seeded team in Lexington will be Team Loyalty is Love, which will also have several Wildcats, including general manager DeMarcus Cousins.
“I’m looking forward to getting back to Lexington this summer to support my TBT squad, Team Loyalty is Love, as we look to bring home the championship,” Cousins said. “Kentucky fans have been so great to my family and I, and it’s always special coming back. TBT is the premier basketball event in the summertime, and I’m excited to be a part of it for the first time this year.”
Cousins’ team team features former Wildcat Daniel Orton, as well as former Baylor players Pierre Jackson, Quincy Miller and Isaiah Austin. Darius Johnson-Odom (Marquette), Markel Brown (Oklahoma State) and Willie Reed (Saint Louis).
The region’s final team with ties to the Commonwealth of Kentucky is the Kentucky Basketball Commission, coached by Lexington native and Charlotte Hornets point guard Shelvin Mack. The No. 4 seed KBC includes 2004 Kentucky Mr. Basketball honoree and former Tennessee All-American Chris Lofton, as well as Eastern Kentucky all-time leading scorer Nick Mayo.
TBT divides a 64-team field into eight regions for Rounds 1-3, with each region seeded 1-8. The winner of each regional competition will advance to Championship Week in Chicago on August 1-6 in hopes of winning $2 million.
In addition, the champion of each regional will receive a cash prize equal to 25% of the ticket sales of that particular region.
Here is the schedule of Rounds 1-3:
Game 1, Round 1: No. 4 KBC vs. No. 5 Peoria All-Stars (Friday, July 19 at 3 p.m.)
Game 2, Round 1: No. 1 Team Loyalty is Love vs. No. 8 Hoopville Warriors (Friday, July 19 at 5 p.m.)
Game 3, Round 1: No. 3 Fort Wayne Champs vs. No. 6 Showtime (Friday, July 19 at 7 p.m.)
Game 4, Round 1: No. 2 Bluegrass Boys vs. No. 7 D2 (Friday, July 19 at 9 p.m.)
Game 5, Round 2: Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner (Saturday, July 20 at 4 p.m.)
Game 6, Round 2: Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 winner (Saturday, July 20 at 6 p.m.)
Game 7, Round 3: Game 5 winner vs. Game 6 winner (Sunday, July 21 at 2 p.m.)