While the NBA is set to return at the end of July, fans of the sport will have something to hold them over.
The Basketball Tournament announced Thursday it will take place July 4-14 at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio, according to Myron Medcalf of ESPN.
The 24-team event is a single-elimination, winner-take-all tournament with the top squad taking home $1 million. It will air on the ESPN networks, which had previously signed a three-year deal to carry TBT.
TBT founder and CEO Jon Mugar discussed the plans in a statement:
"Being the first basketball event to play in the U.S. since March is a monumental task that is only possible with great partners. We can’t thank the State of Ohio, Columbus Sports Commission, The Ohio State University and Nationwide Arena enough for their support, not to mention our longstanding partners ESPN, Puma and Zelle. Everyone is unified in wanting to see basketball on TV again, and our players can’t wait to compete."
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine also approved of the event, calling it a "step forward in our state's efforts to responsibly restart Ohio."
Though most sporting events were on hiatus or canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic, The Basketball Tournament continued to plan for the summer while making adjustments for safety. Per Medcalf, the organizers have planned for multiple rounds of testing of the competitors before staying in a quarantined campus.
This tournament has grown in popularity in recent years, featuring former college stars and overseas players. Carmen's Crew won last year's title and $2 million with an Ohio State-heavy roster featuring former Buckeyes Aaron Craft and William Buford.