DETROIT – The Basketball Tournament, also known as "TBT," is a 72-team basketball tournament with a winner-take-all prize of $2 million.
This year, a team with Metro Detroit ties has made it to the championship game. Introducing Eberlein Drive.
The team, started by Metro Detroit native Jacob Hirschmann, has competed in past tournaments, but this is the best result so far.
"This is, without a doubt, the best team we’ve ever had. We’ve got 5 former NBA Players in Lou Amundson, Willie Reed, Jeremy Evans, James Michael McAdoo, and Donald Sloan. Yet, despite all those big names, our best player has been Jerome Randle. The All-Time leading scorer in Cal history has almost single-handedly carried our scoring load," said co-GM Hirschmann.
Just five years ago, Hirschmann was attempting to play the tournament himself, with help from college friends. It didn't go so well, despite landing a bid to play in the tournament through fan voting. The team was called "the lost cause" of the tournament. Now, years later, success is sweet.
"Personally, it’s been an unreal experience. I’ve felt we’ve had a team good enough to make a run every year, but this is the first year everything came together," said Hirschmann.
The tournament is being broadcast on ESPN. Hirschmann has actually been interviewed during sideline reports during the tournament.
"Before this year, we had only won one game ever, so each win is monumental. I tried my best to hide it on TV, but I was tearing up after the game last night. I’ve put so much work into this the last 5 years, it’s surreal we’re so close to finally winning it," said Hirschmann.
The team named, Eberlein Drive, is actually a tribute to the street Hirschmann grew up on in Macomb County. It's actually the site of where the infamous Fraser sinkhole happened.
"I’m not sure everyone on our street is even aware of the team, but I hope they hear about it this week. Our whole street was nearly destroyed from the sinkhole last year, and it’s nice to be able to put a good spotlight on the place I grew up and obviously love so much," said Hirschmann.
The No. 7 seed Eberlein Drive will play for the championship on Friday night against the No. 1 seed Overseas Elite at 9 p.m. on ESPN.