[Nick Viland | WOUB]

Ohio Alumni Team Up to Take on the Basketball Tournament

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ATHENS, Ohio (WOUB) – Bobcat alumni are assembling to take on The Basketball Tournament (TBT) at the end of the month. 

Players from Ohio University’s historic 2011-2012 team that upset the Sweet 16 runs for The University of Michigan and The University of South Florida will be returning to play for Ohio 1804, as well as players from other years.

The tournament will give fans another chance to root for fan-favorite players like Reggie Keely, Stevie Taylor and Nick Kellogg. These players bring back memories to Ohio basketball fans that were able to witness the run in 2012.

General Manager, Kenny Brown, said that giving the fans another chance to relive the infamous tournament run was why he wanted to build the team.

“I wanted to do this because I know and all of Bobcat nation knows there is an immense love for the school,” he said. “I knew I could get the body to rally behind it.”

The TBT is a 64-team single elimination tournament that allows former teams to band back together to compete for a winner-take-all $1 million prize.

For the first time a team dedicated to OU alumni will take the court and they are playing for fans who bleed green and white.

“We’re just trying to go out there and represent our university the best that we can,” Head Coach Jaaron Simmons said. “We want to go out and compete as a team and make Bobcat nation proud. That’s all we want to do.”

The love for the school is felt by fans and players alike. The former athletes look forward to representing their alma mater again.

“I owe a lot to OU. It’s just an honor to play with them in the TBT,” Reggie Keely said.

Ohio 1804 goes into the tournament as the No. 14 seed, which is a familiar spot for them. Brown said it gives the players another chance to make history.

“We love it. A lot of these guys have been here before at that exact number seed and they understand what it takes,” he said.

The road to $1million will be a long one, but if they reach the top an early homecoming may be in order. 

“I’m sure a party bus to Athens the night after the championship in Dayton, I can almost guarantee that’s going to happen and we’ll end up in Athens that night,” Brown said.

Ohio 1804 will take on Zip Em Up on July 24 at 8 p.m. The game will be broadcasted live on ESPN3 and follow @BobcatShowcase for live game coverage on Twitter.