War Ready, McCormick Ready for TBT

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By Wil Crews
sportscrews@opelikaobserver.com

War Ready is making its final preparations for The Basketball Tournament (TBT), beginning on July 16 in Wichita, Kansas.

The mostly-Auburn alumni team was thought to have finalized its  roster in mid-June, but announced on June 29 the addition of a familiar face to the team: J’von McCormick.

“What’s going on everybody,” McCormick said via a video on War Ready’s Twitter page. “This year, I will be playing with War Ready in TBT.”

Because McCormick was added to the squad so late, War Ready had to pay $1,000 — which was quickly raised by Auburn fans — to add him to the roster.

“Welcome J’Von McCormick to our roster,” GM Matt Moschella said  on Twitter. “Excited to add another Final Four member to our squad.”

The 6-foot 185-pound McCormick last played for the Tigers during the 2019-20 season.  Unfortunately, March Madness was canceled due to COVID-19 that season, and Auburn fans were left with “what could have been,” when it comes to McCormick and the teams’ chances in postseason play.

However, most Auburn fans more-fondly remember McCormick as a key piece on the Tigers’ 2018-19 Final Four run. McCormick was backup for then-starter Jared Harper that year. McCormick proved more than capable of running a college offense as a starter the following year, averaging 11.6 points, 4.5 assists and four rebounds per game. Since then, McCormick has gone on to play professionally overseas with BC Odessa of the Ukranian SuperLeague.

The addition of McCormick means there are now four members of the Tigers’ Final Four team playing for War Ready this summer. He joins Bryce Brown, Malik Dunbar and Danjel Purifoy.

The No. 5 seeded War Ready is scheduled to begin its tournament journey on July 18 at 11 a.m., against the No. 13 seed ETSU alumni team, the Bucketneers.

Before that, however, the team has announced plans to host a scrimmage, giving fans a preview of what to expect in TBT. The game is being played at 5101 Browns Mill Road, in Lithonia, Georgia (30038), at 7 p.m. The cost is $10.

War Ready’s roster now consists of 11 former Tigers: McCormick (2018-20) Brown (2015-19), Dunbar (2017-19), Purifoy (2015-20), Deshean Murray (2017-18), Cinmeon Bowers (2014-16), Kareem Canty (2015-16), TJ Dunans (2015-17), TJ Lang (2014-17), Laron Smith (2016-17) and Josh Dollard (2005-07). Non-Auburn alum, Isaiah Williams (Georgia State, 2015-18), rounds out the team; He has played with Moschella’s TBT teams since 2018. All-time great Tiger, Frankie Sullivan (2008-13), is serving as head coach.

About TBT:

TBT is a winner-take-all, single-elimination basketball tournament with a $1 million grand prize. The tournament features 64 teams across five different locations. TBT began in 2014 and gained publicity in part because of the Elam Ending — which shuts off the game clock at the end of the game and instead sets a target score to determine the winner.

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