By Eurohoops team / email@example.com
The Golden Eagles are the 2020 TBT (The Basketball Tournament) champions after beating Sideline Cancer 78 – 73 in the tournament’s Final thanks to a 3-pointer by Vanoli Cremona guard Travis Diener.
European basketball veteran Darius Johnson-Odom was named TBT MVP while also making the All-Tournament Team. The Eagles featured a couple of more players who hoop in Europe such as Unics Kazan’s Jamil Wilson, Elgin Cook (spent the previous season with the Russian team), s. Oliver Wurzburg center Luke Fisher and Lille Metropole guard Maurice Acker.
Golden Eagles, the Marquette alumni team, defeated Sideline Cancer 78-73 in the $1 million TBT championship game Tuesday night. Former Orlando Magic and Indiana Pacers guard Travis Diener hit the game-winning three-pointer in the Elam Ending to capture the Golden Eagles first ever TBT title.
Diener, the 38-year-old guard who was on the golf course when he found out that his Golden Eagle teammates had signed him up to play in this summer’s tournament, reflected on how close his team had come in the past to winning TBT’s ultimate prize.
“We’ve come so close to capturing the title,” said Diener, whose game-winner was his only made field goal of the night. “We were fortunate to make enough big plays to win.”
The Golden Eagles had advanced to the TBT semi-finals in 2018 before falling in the title game to Carmen’s Crew last summer.
Darius Johnson-Odom was named to TBT’s All-Tournament Team and given TBT MVP for his efforts in the victory, tallying 15 points and three assists. Jamil Wilson, who joins Johnson-Odom on the All-Tournament Team, finished with 16 points and five rebounds. Other All-Tournament Team members include seven-time NBA All-Star Joe Johnson (Overseas Elite), Marcus Keene (Sideline Cancer) and Trey Landers (Red Scare).
Tuesday’s championship game concluded the 24-team event that began July 4, making TBT the first nationally-televised basketball tournament to be completed in the United States since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. TBT administered more than 2,000 COVID-19 tests since the middle of June and received just 43 positive results, for a positivity rate of just 2 percent.
TBT developed an effective health safety plan in coordination with Dr. Tara Sell of Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security and Dr. Tom Hospel, medical advisor for the PGA Tour, which included a strict quarantine, repeated COVID-19 testing and disqualification of any team that had a player test positive for COVID-19 once it began full contact practice.
Photo: Ben Solomon 2020