Back in April, we covered the exciting news that former men’s basketball team managers and recent Rutgers graduates, Alex Neumann and Matt Johnston, were once again putting together a team for this summer’s The Basketball Tournament. The event continues to gets bigger and after failing to qualify last year, they’ve come back with a stellar roster this time. They have done a tremendous job assembling what has become essentially an Rutgers Alumni All-Star team. Players that were previously announced and that I covered here were former Scarlet Knights Myles Mack, Kadeem Jack, Dane Miller and CJ Gettys. Another great addition was former shooting guard Omari Grier, who also joined the roster awhile back. It was announced yesterday that another former Rutgers star that should excite fans has officially joined the mix.
Jerome Coleman was easily one of the most electric players to suit up in scarlet in program history. As a JUCO transfer, Coleman only played two seasons on the banks, but he etched his mark at Rutgers by providing some of the best individual game performances in the past three decades at the RAC. During his first year in the 2001-2002 season, Coleman led Rutgers to upset wins at home over ranked foes Georgetown, Syracuse, UConn, and Miami. They also beat Seton Hall and Notre Dame at the RAC that season. When he got hot from behind the arc, Rutgers could beat anyone and pretty much did. Coleman averaged 16-plus points per game in both of his seasons and compiled 971 points total in his two year career at Rutgers. He ended up playing professionally overseas for many years and it should be thrilling to watch him play alongside other former Rutgers greats.
We are thrilled to announce one of our last roster additions! A 2003 Rutgers graduate, Jerome Coleman! ⚫️⚔️ pic.twitter.com/PwrsSz6xIo— Team uKnighted (@TeamuKnighted) May 19, 2017
In addition to the former Rutgers players on the roster, there has been a connection formed with former Stony Brook alums as well. All are players that played for current Rutgers head coach Steve Pikiell from when he was at Stony Brook. All-time leading scorer of that program and current director of basketball operations for Rutgers, Bryan Dougher, is channeling NBA legend Bill Russell and taking on the role of player & head coach. Two of his former teammates at Stony Brook, Dallis Joyner and Muhammad El Amin, are also on the roster. Both have extensive experience playing overseas as well. For the team’s full roster page, click here.
Hot take, this team has a chance to be really good. At a minimum, they should be a lot of fun to watch and will remind many Rutgers fans of some great memories from the past.
It was also officially announced yesterday that Team uKnighted will particpate in the Northeast Region of the Jamboree in mid-June in Philadelphia.
Here is the description of the Jamboree from The Basketball Tournament’s site:
On June 17 & 18, 16 teams will gather where TBT started – Philadelphia University – and compete for the final 4 slots in the field of 64. Registration is first-come, first served. In order to get in, teams must submit a $5,000 registration fee to TBT, beginning April 1. Four teams will compete to play into the Northeast bracket, four into the South, four into the Midwest, and four into the West. The teams that sign up first decide which region they’ll to play into. The first team to buy into each region also decides its opening round Jamboree opponent. The 4 winners of the TBT Jamboree get their buy-in back: $5,000.
This is big news. There will be four teams in the Northeast region, which is a mini-tournament play-in to advance. If Team uKnighted wins both of their games at the Jamboree, they will then play on in the 64 team field in The Basketball Tournament. Lose, and they go home. The stakes are high right off the bat.
There is also an entry fee that the team has to pay to play. Here is a link to help the cause and donate a portion of their entry fee.
We need your help! Please donate here to watch your favorite Rutgers Alumni play in The Jamboree! https://t.co/WXazl7ivEO— Team uKnighted (@TeamuKnighted) May 18, 2017
The team is also selling t-shirts, which look pretty spiffy as well.
The dog days of summer are rapidly approaching. It’s hit 90-plus degrees in the New Jersey/New York City region the past couple of days. It would be a lot of fun to get through the long wait until college sports resumes by watching this all-star group that is Team uKnighted. Spread the word, show them some love, follow them on twitter and let’s hope they can play their way into The Basketball Tournament. RU rah rah!