Many of the Lowcountry’s best basketball players, both past and present, will square off this Saturday in the inaugural TMP Legends event.
The eight-hour showcase, beginning at 9 a.m. at James Island Charter High School, will feature scrimmages with each of the heralded AAU program’s three current boys teams, as well as a star-studded lineup of graduates in two alumni games.
“We’ve had some outstanding teams over the years but we never get to play locally,” TMP founder Antoine Sanders said. “We wanted to put something together to give the local community a chance to see how special these teams really are.”
TMP’s 17U team includes Josiah James, the top-ranked five-star point guard in the nation who last month won a gold medal with Team USA in the FIBA Americas Championship, as well as South Carolina Gamecocks commit Trae Hannibal and several other high-major college prospects. An all-star cast of the area’s top underclassmen leads the 16U and 15U teams.
TMP garnered more than 110 Division I scholarship offers last season alone. The program has grown into one of the most respected names in the region with an alumni roster that includes NBA star Khris Middleton and NFL players Bruce Ellington and Edmond Robinson. All three will take the court in Saturday’s alumni games along with former college standouts R.J. Slawson, Terrell Everett, Travis Smith, Tre McLean, D’Montre Edwards and several others who’ve established strong international reputations playing professionally overseas.
Several influential figures of the local basketball community will be honored as well. National sports broadcaster Debbie Antonelli, College of Charleston radio broadcaster Everett German, North Charleston Parks and Recreation director Ed Barfield, Roundball Classic organizer Danny Kassis and three-time USA Olympian Katrina McClain Johnson are among those to be recognized.
“We want to show our appreciation for those who’ve helped Charleston basketball,” Sanders said. “A lot of people have done a lot of different things to help grow the game in this area but they rarely receive the credit they deserve. This is our way of giving thanks to them and the community.”
The event tips off with two local sixth-grade teams, Team Havoc and the Carolina Cavs, at 9 a.m. Two local eight-grade teams, the Orangeburg Express and the Carolina Cavs, will follow at 10 a.m. The TMP 15U team will play at 11 a.m., the 16U at 12:15 p.m. and the 17U at 1:30 p.m. The first alumni game will begin at 2:45 p.m. and the second at 4 p.m.