There are a few ways to make $1 million in basketball.
You can be an NBA star, which pretty much means planning before birth to have 7-foot parents.
You can win your NCAA bracket, which pretty much means having as much luck as having 7-foot parents.
Or you can win The Tournament. That’s the path a pair of Westporters
hope plan to take.
The Tournament is a 5-on-5, winner-take-all event. There is no entry free. 18 teams, in each of 4 US regions, are selected by fan votes. Another 6 in each region get at-large bids.
The winning team earns $950,000. The other 5% goes to its fans — including $5,000 to the fan who recruits the most other fans.
Jordan Schur was in the Tournament stands last year, in Philadelphia. The 2001 Staples graduate — a former Wrecker basketball (and soccer) star, who went on to an impressive hoops career at Union College — was impressed by the level of play, and the professional uniforms, refereeing and organization.
For the past year, he’s plotted how to get in. He knew he could put together a team of guys he plays with, in his regular 5:30-7 a.m. game.
But he graduated from college 10 years ago. The more he thought about it, the more Schur realized that, as general manager, he could form a much better squad.
That is not an idle idea. Schur became a FIBA-certified international basketball agent in 2011. It was a hobby — in real life he’s a lawyer — but he enjoyed placing American players with overseas teams.
One of the players he knew of was John DiBartolomeo. In 2009, Schur tried to recruit the Staples standout for Union. DiBartolomeo ended up at the University of Rochester — where he earned 1st team All-America honors, and was named Division III National Player of the Year.
After graduating, he signed a professional contract in Spain — and in his 1st season was named MVP of the 3rd Division league. This year’s he’s in the 2nd Division.
In February, Schur sent out feelers to a few players. DiBartolomeo leaped at the idea. He sent Schur a list of top players from overseas. Schur has signed up 7 so far, including guys from Japan, Israel and Egypt.
He’ll find 3 more players. It’s unlikely any others will have a Staples connection.
But “06880” readers can still be involved. The more fans Schur’s team has, the more chance they’ll have of being able to compete for that $1 million.
And remember: fans share in the prize money. There’s up to $5,000 in it for you.
Just click this link: https://www.thetournament.com/teams/team-krossover
It’s a far easier way to make money than playing in the NBA. Or even filling out a bracket.