TBT Talk: Atkins, Hansbrough join Notre Dame alumni team

IRISH STEW

Tom Noie
South Bend Tribune

When Eric Atkins and Ben Hansbrough shared the basketball court for the only time in their collegiate careers, they helped drive Notre Dame to a 27-7 record and top five national ranking.

The two former Irish guards will team up this summer to chase the $1 million winner-take-all prize in the second installment of The Basketball Tournament.

Atkins, who played professionally in Greece last season and Hansbrough, who split time between the NBA Development League and Spain, have been officially added to the roster of defending TBT champion Notre Dame Fighting Alumni.

Hansbrough was a senior and Atkins a freshman during their only season together in 2010-11. Hansbrough eventually earned Big East player of the year after averaging 18.4 points, 3.9 rebounds and 4.3 assists in 35.4 minutes. Atkins averaged 5.8 points and 3.3 assists in 25.4 minutes as a key reserve.

Former Irish guard Colin Falls also has been added to the alumni squad. Notre Dame receives a first-round tournament bye and will open play July 23 in Chicago at McGrath-Phillips Arena on the campus of DePaul University. Tip-off is 8 p.m. The game will be televised by ESPNU.

Also scheduled to compete for the Irish alumni squad are forwards Tim Abromaitis, Rob Kurz and Carleton Scott and guards Ryan Ayers and Kieran Piller, who served last season as coach/general manager. Former Irish guard Tory Jackson has told the Tribune he also plans to participate after helping Notre Dame win the 32-team, single-elimination tournament last summer.

The tournament has expanded to 96 teams split into four geographic regions – Midwest (Chicago), Northeast (Philadelphia), South (Atlanta) and West (Los Angeles). The tournament’s Final Four will be held the weekend of Aug. 1 at Rose Hill Gym on the campus of Fordham University in the Bronx, N.Y. The championship game will be Aug. 2 at televised at 3 p.m.

The Notre Dame Fighting Alumni was the only squad to participate in TBT last summer comprised entirely of nearly all former players. This summer, the tournament also features alumni teams from Colorado, Oklahoma, St. Louis, Syracuse, Virginia and Wisconsin.

For more information, go to www.thetournament.com

Former Irish guard Ben Hansbrough has joined the Notre Dame Fighting Alumni squad for this summer's The Basketball Tournament.SBT File Photo