Josh Verlin (@jmverlin)
Though it’s not quite college basketball season just yet, there will be plenty of hardcourt action this weekend at Temple University’s Liacouras Center when the AND1 Summer Remix comes to town. All that’s at stake are bragging rights–oh, and a cool $100,000 to the winner.
The event is part of AND1’s 20th anniversary celebration, and it’s only fitting that the company picked Philadelphia as the site for its main event. The company was founded by a group of Penn graduate students, including current Westtown (Pa.) head coach Seth Berger, back in 1993.
“The brand originated in Philly, we wanted to bring it back and show some love, so we decided it would be a great place to make it happen,” said Linda Hill, AND1 Live Tour Director. “From what I know from the AND1 Mixtape Tour, Philly was one of the most competitive cities–just the basketball culture alone is so advanced, they take it very seriously.”
Aside from the grand prize going to the winners, the dunk contest’s victor will take home $10,000 and the tournament MVP will pick up $5,000.
A 12-team, single-elimination tournament, the Summer Remix begins on Thursday with four games of opening-round play and continues through Sunday’s championship game. Each team is allowed eight players on its roster; games will be a mix of NBA and collegiate rules, with four 10-minute quarters, a 24-second shot clock, five personal fouls, tie-ups decided by a jump ball and an NCAA 3-point line.
Though some of the rosters were yet to be finalized, there were already plenty of big names both on the court as well as on the benches. Lance Stephenson of the NBA’s Indiana Pacers is coaching the “Born Ready” squad, Shawn Kemp will run his All-Star team and producer/rapper Jermaine Dupri heads up Global 14.
“It’s a combination of a celebrity event–NBA players coming in, having their own teams–but it’s very competitive,” Hill said. “Streetball is fun, the tricks and the ‘oohs’ and ‘ahhs,’ but this is a $100,00 tournament, so it’s going to be on a very, very competitive level.”
There are two Philadelphia-based squads, “Philly’s Finest” and “Philly All City,” both of which have several familiar names. Former Temple Owl Wayne Marshall, La Salle/Niagara’s Devon White, and St. Joseph’s/Binghamton’s Derrick Rivera highlight Philly’s Finest, but expect the crowd at Temple’s home court to be especially loud for Philly All City. Former Owls Mark Tyndale, Ramone Moore, Mardy Collins, Micheal Eric, Dionte Christmas and Dustin Salisbery are all on the roster, as is Shaw’s Flip Murray and Syracuse’s Hakim Warrick.
As well as provide what should be some rather entertaining basketball, the AND1 Summer Remix is benefitting a good cause, as well. The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) is the official charity of the event, and will receive a $25,000 check at halftime of the championship game on Sep. 1. In addition, Stephenson and a group of AND1 employees will visit CHOP on Thursday, the first day of the tournament.
Tickets for the AND1 Summer Remix can be found here; the first two days will be General Admission seating with lower level spots going for $25 for an all-day pass while it will cost $15 to sit in the upper level.