SALT LAKE CITY — Brace yourselves, Utah sports fans.
The Jimmer is coming back for some basketball in the Beehive State — and the former BYU star is bringing a team with some very familiar faces on the bench with him.
Team Fredette, which will be coached by former BYU head coach Dave Rose, will host the Salt Lake City regional of The Basketball Tournament. The first three rounds of the annual $2 million winner-takes-all hoops extravaganza will take place from July 25-27 at the Maverik Center.
Winners of the eight regionals will convene in Chicago for Championship Weekend, with the quarterfinals, semifinals and championship taking place from Aug. 1-6 at DePaul University.
Local basketball fans will have plenty of familiar participants to root for along with Fredette. The SLC regional includes players from BYU, Utah, Utah State, Utah Valley and Weber State.
The eight teams to square off in Utah, in order of seeding, include Eberlein Drive, Team Challenge ALS, Team Fredette, Sons of Westwood, L.A. Cheaters, CitiTeam Blazers, Utah Stallions and Team Utah.
Fredette is listed as his team's assistant coach, but it's not clear whether he'll play after averaging 32 points and leading his squad to the semifinals last year. Team Fredette also features BYU's all-time leading scorer, Tyler Haws, former New Mexico standout Darington Hobson, ex-Bowling Green star Jordon Crawford; former University of Houston stars Rob Gray and Devonta Pollard; and 2011 Atlantic-10 Player of the Year Tu Holloway.
Team Utah includes a roster full of guys who used to play here, including former UVU/Jazz point guard Ronnie Price; Shaun Green, Tim Drisdom, Justin Hawkins and Dakarai Tucker from Utah; Nick Covington (Weber State); and Akolda Manyang (UVU).
First-round matchups (Thursday, July 25):
No. 1 Eberlein Drive vs. No. 8 Team Utah (3 p.m., ESPN3)
No. 4 Sons of Westwood vs. No. 5 L.A. Cheaters (4:50 p.m., ESPN3)
No. 2 Team Challenge ALS vs. No. 7 Utah Stallions (6:40 p.m., ESPN3)
No. 3 Team Fredette vs. No. 6 CitiTeam Blazers (8:30 p.m., ESPN3)
TBT includes 64 teams this summer, with eight-squad regionals being hosted in Salt Lake City; Columbus, Ohio; Lexington, Kentucky; Greensboro, North Carolina; Memphis, Tennessee; Wichita, Kansas; Syracuse, New York; and Richmond, Virginia.
Here's some more information about the SLC regional from the TBT press release:
Other teams playing in Salt Lake include:27 comments on this story
- The No. 1 seed of the Salt Lake Regional is Eberlein Drive, runner-up in TBT 2018 and a five-time participant. Eberlein Drive lost in the first round the first three years of TBT before breaking through to the second round in 2017 and advancing to the final in 2018. The team is led by University of California all-time leading scorer Jerome Randle, five-year NBA vet Donald Sloan, and former UNC star and NBA champion James Michael McAdoo.
- No. 2 - Team Challenge ALS****: One of the best stories in TBT, the team was started by former Boston College Eagle Sean Marshall as a way to honor his college roommate, Pete Frates, a BC baseball standout who is fighting ALS. (Frates is the one who made the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge famous.) Indiana Pacers point guard Darren Collison serves as coach. The team made an unforgettable run to the championship game in 2017, losing to Overseas Elite in the final moments. This year’s team includes six-year NBA vet Austin Daye, former Mississippi State star Dee Bost (2012 first-team All-SEC) and decorated overseas pro D.J. Strawberry (son of eight-time MLB All-Star Darryl Strawberry). Instead of their own names, each player’s jersey features the name of someone fighting ALS.
- No. 4 - Sons of Westwood****: After making a run to the Super 16 last summer, this UCLA alumni team is poised for something special this summer. Returnees include 2014 first-round NBA draft pick Jordan Adams, McDonald’s All-Americans Issac Hamilton and Malcolm Lee and former women’s practice squad member turned walk-on Jerrold Smith. The additions of Travis and Drew Wear as well as Larry Drew II makes this squad an instant contender.
- No. 5 - LA Cheaters: The Cheaters are an original Drew League squad and coach Casper Ware Sr. is a Los Angeles basketball legend. His son, Casper Ware Jr., is one of the best guards in TBT history. Casper Jr. had a stint with the Sixers in 2014 and has since become a mainstay in the National Basketball League (Australia and New Zealand). He’ll be joined in the backcourt by former Nets and Memphis Grizzlies guard Marcus Williams, who brings 215 games of NBA experience
- No. 6 - CitiTeam Blazers: One of the most prominent teams on the Drew League circuit, the Blazers are hoping some of their success will translate to TBT. Their roster features four players with NBA experience; 2011 former first-round pick Jordan Hamilton (Texas), Malcolm Thomas (San Diego State), Jerome Dyson (UConn) and Jeff Adrien (UConn).
- No. 7 - Utah Stallions: Predominantly a Utah State alumni team that will make its first appearance in TBT since 2016. The team was started by Sean Harris, who started his collegiate career at Yuba College (JC) and overcame two serious knee injuries before playing two seasons at Utah State. Spencer Butterfield, who hit a FIBA Europe Cup record 11 3-point field goals in a single game in 2017, will make his presence known from beyond the arc, and Preston Medlin, who was a 1,000-point scorer for the Aggies.
- No. 8 - Team Utah: A lot of different colleges and cities in Utah are represented on Team Utah. The squad was started by former Ute Shaun Green. Fellow Utes include Mr. Do-It-All Tim Drisdom, Justin Hawkins and former sixth man Dakarai Tucker. The squad made a major addition this year in Ronnie Price, a Utah Valley alum who spent 12 years in the NBA.