The Basketball Tournament (TBT) – a $2 million, winner-take-all summer basketball event broadcast live on ESPN – announced today regional sites for its sixth annual tournament, bringing the summer’s premier basketball event to Wichita, Kansas for the first time. As a part of the tournament, The AfterShocks – a team comprised of former Wichita State University basketball players – will return to play in Wichita.
“From the moment we first started talking to TBT, we knew what a great event this would be for the city,” said Brian Hargrove, executive director of sports development for Visit Wichita. “The love of basketball and Wichita State promises to make this another very successful event for Wichita. Our partnership with Wichita State and the AfterShocks has been tremendous and we are so excited to show off our city to the other teams and fans. Also, being able to showcase Wichita on national television will once again show people what a great sports city we live in.”
The ESPN family of networks will telecast select TBT games live. Games in Wichita, with Wichita State University serving as the host venue, will be played July 25-28, 2019 at Charles Koch Arena. The first-round games will take place on Thursday and Friday with two games each of those evenings. The remaining four teams will compete in the Regional Semifinal on Saturday and the Regional Championship will be played on Sunday.
“We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to bring this exciting tournament to Wichita, and we’re especially happy to welcome back many legendary players,” said WSU Associate Athletic Director and tournament manager Brad Pittman. “We’re grateful for Visit Wichita and the Aftershocks pulling together to make this happen and look forward to another opportunity to showcase our university and community.”
Current Shocker coach Gregg Marshall is looking forward to the action too, saying, “The Basketball Tournament keeps getting bigger and better every year. To be selected as regional host speaks to Wichita’s reputation as a basketball hotbed. This will be a treat for all of us. I’m especially looking forward to watching our all-star team of former Shockers in action. I hope Shocker Nation will join me in supporting them and the TBT this July at Charles Koch Arena.”
AfterShocks General Manager Tien Huynh added, “I’m a Wichitan, I’m a Shocker and I’m a huge basketball fan; this is a trifecta for me. We are blessed to be part of this event and I’m looking forward to extending the great Shocker basketball tradition into the summer for all of Shocker Nation.”
Wichita will serve as a tournament host for the first time, edging out several cities vying to bring the popular and growing event to their communities.
“The Basketball Tournament has grown into a summer staple in an incredibly short amount of time, given the typical developmental runway for a sports property,” said Jon Mugar, Founder and CEO of TBT. “This year’s decision, as in past years, was difficult to make as we received interest from so many great cities that wanted to bring TBT to their communities. We’re excited by this year’s lineup of host venues, and confident the arenas will be filled with passionate fans to supply the incredible atmosphere that’s become synonymous with TBT over the years.”
TBT features a 64-team bracket of top-notch professional basketball – featuring college alumni teams, international basketball stars, ex-NBA players, future NBA players, and more competing in a single-elimination 5-on-5 tournament for a winner-take-all $2 million prize. Games will air on ESPN networks beginning Friday, July 19, 2019.
TBT’s quarterfinals, semifinals and the $2 million championship game will be played at DePaul University in Chicago from Aug. 1-6. Regionals will be held in:
- Columbus, hosted by Ohio State alumni – July 19-21
- Lexington, hosted by Bluegrass Boys (Kentucky alumni) – July 19-21
- Greensboro, hosted by Team CP3 (Chris Paul’s team) – July 19-21
- Memphis, hosted by Memphis State – July 19-21
- Salt Lake City, hosted by Team Fredette (Jimmer Fredette’s team) – July 25-27
- Wichita, hosted by AfterShocks (Wichita State alumni) – July 25-28
- Syracuse, hosted by Boeheim’s Army (Syracuse alumni) – July 26-28
- Richmond, hosted by Ram Nation (VCU alumni) – July 26-28
The highly-competitive tournament has attracted some of the best basketball in the world. Last year, more than 60 players with NBA experience played in TBT, including multiple former lottery picks, NBA Champions and All-Stars. Sixteen TBT 2017 players signed deals with NBA teams in 2017-18. Overseas Elite, a dynasty team of American stars playing in top leagues around the world, won for the fourth consecutive year in 2018, running their record to 25-0 and taking home an astounding $7 million in the process. They will be back to defend their title, although they have yet to determine in which region they will play. Puma will once again serve as an Official Partner in 2019.
The Aftershocks will first play Thursday evening in Wichita. For all session tickets, please visit www.goshockers.com or call the WSU Ticket Office at 316-978-FANS (3267).
“I can’t put into words how excited I am to be a part of such a great event such as TBT, but most of all, it’s an honor to be able to coach a great group of Shocker Alumni,” said AfterShocks head coach/co-owner Karon Bradley. “On behalf of our coaching staff and the players, we can’t wait to see all the fans at Koch Arena this summer and to represent Shocker Nation.”
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About The Basketball Tournament
Entering its sixth year, The Basketball Tournament has grown from a unique idea among friends into one of the most exciting and engaging events on the summer sports calendar, with national TV exposure on ESPN, social media buzz and regional championships across the country – culminating in a winner-take-all $2 million game. Every year, it attracts some of the best basketball players in the world. For more information, visit www.thetournament.com.
About Wichita State University
The mission of Wichita State University is to be an essential educational, cultural and economic driver for Kansas and the greater public good. Wichita State is a doctoral research university enrolling about 15,000 students and offering 59 undergraduate degree programs in more than 150 areas of study in seven undergraduate colleges. The Graduate School offers 45 master's and 12 doctoral degrees that offer study in more than 100 areas.
About Visit WichitaVisit Wichita markets the greater Wichita area as a major convention and tourism destination, thereby enhancing the economic development of the city, county, region and state. Visit Wichita is led by president and CEO Susie Santo, and in 2017 travel and tourism contributed more than $1.1 billion in economic impact to the greater Wichita area.
AfterShocks is the brain child of former Shocker Men’s Basketball player Karon Bradley. It was Coach Bradley’s vision to put together a team of former Shockers to compete in the annual TBT tournament. With assistance from local entrepreneur Tien Huynh, Visit Wichita and Wichita State University; not only were the AfterShocks created, but the team was also able to secure a regional bid for the 2019 TBT Tournament.