The Basketball Tournament will play one of its eight regionals at historic Rucker Park in New York City, the first time the annual event will hold games outdoors.
The winner of the games will move on to the quarterfinals at the University of Dayton on July 29 and 30.
Jon Mugar, the founder and CEO of the TBR, said that the park has always been a dream of theirs. The people are from the YMCA. To me, the epitome of a melting pot for basketball is Rucker Park. You have never heard of Kevin Durant, Kobe Bryant, Allen Iverson, or any of the other guys playing there. That openness epitomizes the spirit of the book.
The idea came about when the organizers were looking for unique places to host games. When the idea of putting a court in the middle of Ohio Stadium was heavily discussed, it seemed like the perfect location to pursue.
"Rucker Park has always been a dream of ours. TBT is an open tournament format, and we want it to be a celebration of all things basketball. People assemble from the pros, from college, from the YMCA. And Rucker Park, to me, has always been the pinnacle of a melting pot for basketball. Kevin Durant, Kobe Bryant, Allen Iverson playing there against guys you've never heard of before. That openness epitomizes TBT." TBT founder and CEO Jon Mugar
The National Basketball Players Association was contacted by organizers to gauge their interest in the Greg Marius Court renovation.
The Basketball Tournament will be held at the newly renovated Greg Marius Court at Holcombe Rucker Park.
The office of New York City Mayor Eric Adams bought into the project after the NBPA agreed to it.
The opportunity wouldn't have come about without eight years, so it's a great development for us. It was a lot of work to get to this point. The partnership with the NBPA, the mayor's office, and the parks department had a huge hand in it. We wouldn't have gotten to this point without history.
It was Mugar's dream that Jay Z and Fat Joe would play for the same team in the regional. The New York rappers put together star- studded teams for a game at the park before the game was canceled.
If those two join a team, we will match them up in the first round.
The first championship was won by Notre Dame Fighting Alumni. Carmen's Crew, a team of Ohio State alumni, won the next four titles before Overseas Elite's streak ended in 2019. The Golden Eagles Alumni won the title in 2020 and Boeheim's Army took the title last season.
Charleston, the University of Dayton, the University of New Mexico, Omaha, Syracuse, and Wichita State University will host regionals this summer.
The winner of the title game gets $1 million. The championship game will be played on August 2.
When asked if the Rucker Park venture opened up further outdoor options in the future, Mugar was coy.
He said that everything is an option.