A chance to watch former Indiana basketball players suit up together is on its way this summer. Beginning on July 16, The Basketball Tournament (TBT) is a single-elimination tournament featuring 64 teams playing for a $1 million prize.
The full roster for Assembly Ball – an Indiana basketball alumni-based team – has not been released but Devonte Green and Josh Newkirk are the first two players that have announced they will join the team.
Green played for the Hoosiers from 2016 to 2020 and appeared in 121 games over four seasons. He averaged a career-high 10.8 points as a senior and shot 38 percent from 3 in his career at Indiana.
Indiana fans called him "Green Light" while playing for the Hoosiers, a nickname he earned because whenever Green was open for just a second, the shot was going up. He's remembered for his crafty ball-handling skills and a number of late-game 3-pointers.
After his career at Indiana, Green went on to play for Charilaos Trikoupis Messolonghi B.C., a professional basketball team in Greece. Green is still playing in Greece, but he's is now a member of Larisa B.C., a member of Greek Basket League, the top-tier level of Greek basketball.
Newkirk played alongside Green in Indiana's backcourt during 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 seasons. He transferred to Indiana after two seasons at Pittsburgh, where he started four games and averaged 5.2 points.
Newkirk found a larger role in Bloomington, starting 56 of 65 career games and averaging 8.1 points in his time as a Hoosier. Newkirk played for Indiana during Tom Crean's final season and Archie Miller's first season.
When his playing career at Indiana ended, Newkirk played in the NBA G-League for during the 2018-2019 season as a member of the Texas Legends and Long Islands Nets. Newkirk then moved overseas to the Czech Republic to play for NH Ostrava, where he led the team with 19.4 points and 4.3 assists per game. He's now playing for Dzukija Alytus in the Lithuania, again leading his team with 12.2 points and 3.4 assists per game.
Green and Newkirk will reunite for Assembly Ball in The Basketball Tournament, which was founded in 2014 by Jonathan Mugar. The first season featured 32 teams playing for a $500,000 prize. The tournament has since expanded to as many as 97 teams in 2015, and from 2016 to 2019, the teams competed for a $2 million prize.
Led by Tyrone Nash, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish Alumni team won the first TBT in 2014. A team called Overseas Elite, featuring players from a variety of colleges, won the next four tournaments. Carmen's Crew, a team consisting mainly of former Ohio State players, won the 2019 TBT. In 2020, the Golden Eagles, a Marquette-based team, took home the prize money. And most recently in 2021, a Syracuse team called Boeheim's Army won the tournament.
TBT has slightly different rules from college basketball and the NBA. Games are played in nine-minute quarters, and players foul out after six fouls. The biggest difference between TBT and any other basketball league is the Elam Ending. The Elam Ending was first used by TBT in 2017 and was popularized when it was integrated in the 2020 NBA All-Star game.
With the Elam Ending, the fourth quarter has no time limit. After the first three quarters, which are nine minutes each, teams play to a target score of 24 points greater than the winning team. For example, if the score is 75-70 at the end of the third quarter, the first team to 99 points wins. The Elam Ending has become increasingly popular because it ensures that every game ends with a game-winning shot. Teams can't waste time and dribble the clock out – there is no clock after the third quarter – and the final minutes aren't filled with intentional fouls and free throws as an unlikely way to mount a comeback.
The remaining Indiana alumni joining Assembly Ball for the TBT will likely be announced over the next month with the tournament beginning on July 16. Indiana fans can watch the former Hoosiers play at a variety of locations. So far, Omaha, Neb., Cincinnati, Ohio, Albuquerque, N.M., Wichita, Kan., Syracuse, N.Y., Charleston, West Va. and Dayton, Oh. have been announced as regional locations for TBT.