Former Hoyas Chris Wright and Austin Freeman will reunite this weekend in The Basketball Tournament, a winner take all 5-on-5 tournament in Philadelphia in which the winning team will take down a $500,000 cash prize. Wright and Freeman will be the backcourt for 'DMV's Finest'
Chris Wright and Austin Freeman formed one of the most dangerous and dynamic backcourts in the nation during their time at Georgetown. Wright, a third team All Big-East selection, and Freeman, a first team All Big-East pick, combined for over 30ppg each of their final 2 seasons and led the Hoyas into the NCAA Tournament both years. The pair finally reunites 4 years later on DMV's Finest. In truth, the connections on this team go back to high school. PF Jerai Grant (Clemson), SG Isaiah Tate (George Mason)--who recently ruptured his Achilles and will not be playing in TBT--and Freeman are former teammates at Dematha Catholic High School, a powerhouse program located just outside Washington, DC. Meanwhile, Wright attended rival St. John's, where he was a McDonald's All-American. All four of these DC guys are friends who enjoyed stellar collegiate careers and have continued their success in the pros, with Wright playing this season in France, Freeman in the D-League, Grant in Latvia, and Tate in the UK. SF Erik Etherly, a Loyola (MD) grad who averaged 23.5 ppg in the Israeli 2nd division this year, joins this fearsome foursome, providing great shot-blocking skill and rebounding for a player his size. He'll be helped on the blocks by former George Mason center Michael Morrison, who's currently playing in Finland. Tate's absence will be filled by former Mount St. Mary's leading scorer Rashad Whack and the sharp-shooting Logan Aronhalt, a former Maryland gaurd. John Auslander, a 6'7" SF and a graduating senior from Maryland, will bring a keen mind for the game and will serve as a player-coach for the Finest.
A primary motivation for DMV's Finest comes from GM Kevin Owens and Supporter Evan Lipinski's desire to honor the memory of their late friend, Zach Lederer. Student managers along with Lederer for Maryland's basketball team, Owens and Lipinski's goal is to win TBT, and to make a substantial donation to the Zaching Against Cancer Foundation.
In addition to DMV's Finest, The Basketball Tournament has numerous other teams, including the 2010 Cornell Sweet 16 team, the 2009 Villanova Final 4 team, and teams from Indiana, Wisconsin, Siena, LSU, Maryland, UNC and Notre Dame. Only 32 teams will be allowed to compete, the teams with the largest social media following will make the cut, the goal is to prove fans can support teams via social media.
In addition to Wright and Freeman, other players of note playing in TBT are Josh Selby, Dahntay Jones, Marshall Henderson, Hakim Warrick, Edgar Sosa, Lenzelle Smith Jr., Sean Singletary, Rashad McCants, Smush Parker, Josh Boone, Quincy Douby, Luke Bonner, Ryan Wittman, and Aquille Carr.
Grantland has done a feature on the Tournament, which will not be televised. However, we expect to have Casual Spies on the ground to provide us with ample documentation from the event.
If you happen to live in Philly and want to go, here's the ticket info.