North Texas alumnus and donor David Anderson played in the annual Don January golf tournament back in May of 2022. Former UNT player DJ Draper was on his team. The two exchanged business cards and promised to stay in touch.
Former UNT player JJ Murray came up with the idea of fielding a North Texas team in the The Basketball Tournament 2022 (TBT) several years ago and got together with DJ Draper after this season to discuss in more detail. The two then came together and started the application process and reached out to find a general manager and financial support.
TBT is an open-application, single-elimination tournament played each summer in the United States. The 2022 edition features 64 teams with a $1 million winner-take-all prize, broadcast by ESPN. TBT was founded in 2014 by Jonathan Mugar.
It is difficult to get a team in the tourney as any team that wins one game in the prior year gets an auto bid so there are limited spots available. >300 Teams are applying for basically about 30 slots. UNT was one of the last ones to get in.
DJ started working on how the team could get funded for travel and expenses and remembered David and called to set up lunch. During lunch David immediately agrees to help support the team and starts making calls to donors etc.
Bleed Green were big underdogs in both of their first games against Eberlin and K-State. At this point, if UNT as the underdog again (-7.5) wins tonight against the Wichita State team, ESPN will pick up the tab on future travel and operational expenses.
Absolutely NO ONE is preparing to the level that this UNT squad is in terms of game film and practices etc. They are all working so hard and putting in super long hours in terms of practice and preparation. It has truly been a team effort and many of the team, coaches and support staff and is a really neat story on how this group came together in such a short period of time to be so successful.
A good and loyal group of boosters have again come to support North Texas in this situation. This includes but is not limited to, Ernie Kuehne, Don Loveless, The McNatt brothers, Mike and David Riley, David Vanderlaan, C. Dan Smith and of course David and Julie Anderson.
Coach McCasland is flying in for the game tonight. Go Mean Green!
- Read more...
- 1 comment
- 3,409 views