All right my basketball-loving blog readers and friends, listen up.
I received word from Ian McCarthy, the general manager of the National Basketball League of Canada’s Saint John (New Brunswick) Mill Rats. He and several Mill Rats, along with some players from other professional hoops teams, are combining to participate in a million-dollar independent basketball tournament. And he needs everyone’s help to do so.
No, this isn’t a beg-a-thon or Kickstarter for money.
But if you participate, you could win some green.
The team that will be known as “Team Mill Rats” is participating in The Basketball Tournament, a nationwide tournament featuring independent and professional hoops squads. Ninety-six teams will qualify, and they will play in single-elimination “knockout” rounds until the last four teams remain. Those four teams will play at Madison Square Garden in New York City, with the finals being broadcast by ESPN.
Yeah, that’s big.
Unlike other pro-am tournaments, where teams have to pony up money to enter, the teams in this tournament only get in if they have enough registered fans for their squad. The more fans that are registered to the team’s page, the closer that team is to being locked into the tournament. Voting continues until June 1; after which time the teams are selected and the brackets arranged.
So here’s the deal. If you want to help the Mill Rats enter this million-dollar tournament, go to this link and sign up. All you do is fill in your name and address, and then click on a link that will be sent to your personal e-mail account. Simple as that.
Now is there an incentive for you to sign up?
Sure there is.
When the Mill Rats win the tournament (what, you think I’m going to pull an “If they win” stunt?), the team’s registered fans can win a share of the million dollar prize, from $5,000 to championship T-shirts.
Not a bad trade-off for spending “nothing,” right? 🙂
And now you’re going to say to me, “Geez, Chuck, is there anybody on those teams I might know?”
Well, if you’re a fan of the Premier Basketball League, you’ll know of 5’11” point guard Anthony Anderson from UMass (all-time NBL Canada scoring champion, career) and power forward Kenny Jones from Kentucky State (two-time Saint John scoring champion). There will also be some players from the championship-winning Rochester Razorsharks of the Premier Basketball League, including 6’0″ forward Jerice Crouch (Tennessee-Chattanooga, dude has five championship rings from the Sharks), and Corey Allmond (6’2″ shooting guard from Sam Houston State, just picked up a ring with the Sharks last week). There will also be some Albany Patroon influence on the team, as former Patroon and NBL Canada scoring champion Gabe Freeman will participate in this competition.
Now you want to go to this link and sign up, right? Of course you do.
And if Team Mill Rats does make it to the tournament, my plan is to grab the Nikon Df and some high-speed action lenses, and road-trip to Philadelphia or Chicago or – you know they’ll make it to – New York City for the finals.
But they’re not going to be able to achieve this goal without a rooting section.
You can be that rooting section.
So what are you waiting for? Go to this link and sign up already.
All we have to do is get the Mill Rats into the tournament.
After we do that … all they have to do is win it.
And we can cheer when they do so.