The Basketball Tournament is coming to Jackson

February 19, 2020

The Oman Arena is known for hosting concerts, festivals, and now they’re gearing up for a nationally ranked basketball tournament.

 

The Puma sponsored basketball tournament also known as TBT is coming to the Oman Arena.

But it all started with local basketball players making their mark on the court.

 

“When we started we had no idea it would be in jackson. Little ole’ jackson compared to where we been going", says Jackson Underdawgs player, Anthony Sampson. 

 

The Jackson Underdawgs have played in the tournament for five years, the first four they were counted out and given the lowest seed.

 

But last year they went all the way to the quarter finals in Chicago.

 

Player, Antwan Long says, "We’ve been the underdog every year. The first year we played in it we weren’t expected to win a game.”

 

Many of the players have deep roots in Jackson and they are excited to show the city what they have in store.

 

Sampson says, “The city, you know getting everybody involved. And even the surrounding counties because they are apart of the 731 area code too.”

 

But for them the tournament coming to Jackson is bigger than playing basketball.

 

“To be able to be in that position to get kids to realize hey, I’m from Jackson or I’m from west Tennessee and I can achieve great things. It’s bigger than basketball at the end of the day", says Long. 

 

7 other teams will join the underdawgs for the regional tournament at the Oman Arena on July 24th until July 26th.

 

This summer these seats will be filled with thousands of basketball fans. In Jackson, for 39 News, I’m Imani Williams.

 

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