TOPEKA, Kan. – Brady Skeens, former Ichabod All-American and current member of the Sudbury 5 in the National Basketball League of Canada, will take part in The Basketball Tournament (TBT), a $2 million winner-take-all event.
“Our TBT team D2 is comprised of former elite Division II players that all finished their careers in college at NCAA Division II institutions,” said GM/Head Coach Grant Leonard. “The majority of the players are all having successful pro careers ranging from the G-League and Overseas. We aren’t here for fun and games, we are hunting the big prize.”
The TBT is a 64-team, single-elimination tournament now in its seventh campaign that is open to the world’s top standouts and competitive teams. Eight teams are selected to compete per region. Games will take place in July and August and air on ESPN. Eight regional winners will advance to the Championship Week set for Aug. 6-11 in Dayton, Ohio.
The winning team takes home $2 million and the winning team’s fanbase will take 10% of the cut. GMs negotiate with each team member over his/her share of the final prize. Teams are selected to compete from an application poll, which runs until June 15. All dates and events are subject to change due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Last year, in 2019, a total of 59 players with NBA experience participated. In addition, 34 players have gone on from the TBT to sign deals with NBA teams. Teams are seeded based on each team’s talent, chemistry and reliability. Games also utilize the Elam Ending, which eliminates the game clock at the end of play and sets a Target Score.
The associate head coach at Queens University, Leonard put together a team for the first time in the event last year and the D2 squad shocked the field by dominating the Bluegrass Boys, a squad of former Kentucky alumni by a 77-62 score. The team is expected to be even stronger this year and Leonard has molded the roster to fit the tournament style.
In 22 games with the Subury 5, Skeens started 20 games averaging 9.9 ppg shooting 71 percent from the field (91 of 127) which led the NBLC adding 9.4 rebounds a game which was third in the league. His 44 total blocks also led the league. The team is coached by Logan Stutz, who is the general manager and also a former Washburn All-American basketball standout.
Skeens, who was named the MIAA’s Ken Jones Student Athlete of the Year, was a four-year member of the Ichabods playing in 103 games with 94 starts averaging 11.9 points and 9.6 rebounds per game for his career. This past season he became only the eighth Ichabod to average a double double for the season, something he accomplished three times. He finished his career 13th on the all-time scoring chart with 1,229 points and third all-time in rebounds with 990. He also leaves Washburn as the all-time leader in blocked shots with 242 and career field goal percentage of 68.8. As a senior, he led the Ichabods and NCAA Division II with a 72.2 percent field goal percentage.
Skeens is the first Ichabod basketball player to have been named both a CoSIDA Academic All-America® and to receive All-American honors as an athlete earning third team and honorable mention All-America honors and Third Team Academic All-American® honors from CoSIDA.
Skeens graduated from Washburn with a double major in Bachelor of Business Administration (Management and Finance) as well as three minors in computer science information, economics and leadership studies and graduated with his second degree with his Master’s of Business Administration from Washburn in 2019.
Courtesy: Washburn Athletics