TBT’s Southern Smokies hoping the tournament holds up

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Plenty of ETSU basketball alums will compete in The Basketball Tournament

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) – Nearly every sporting event has been cancelled or postponed and as the summer season moves closer, more competitions might feel the impact of the Coronavirus, including The Basketball Tournament.

“They’re going to do everything in their power to make sure this thing is still on. We’re talking late July into August,” Southern Smokies general manager Dillon Reppart said.

“Hopefully everything fly’s over by then, but I see them postpone it before they cancel it, just like I said they’ve got too much. I think it’s going to be the sixth or seventh year or eighth year and it’s going to be huge this year, so I really think it’s going to take a lot for them not to be able to do this thing.”            

It would be a shame if they do cancel the tournament given the ETSU basketball program will be a functioning part of this event. All four coaches of the Southern Smokies have either player for the Buccaneers or have been on ETSU’s staff. This includes general manager Dillon Reppart, head coach Bryan Forbes and assistant coaches Jermaine Long and Chris Forbes.

Former East Tennessee guards Jalan McCloud, T.J. Cromer and Devontavius Payne, along with forward Isaac Banks are part of the squad. The team also includes Chattanooga guard Greg Pryor, Chattanooga forward Justin Tuoyo and Western Carolina forward Carlos Dotson.

The Smokies are scheduled to compete in the West Virginia regional at the Charleston Coliseum on July 24-26. If they advance out of the regional, they’ll battle for the title at the University of Dayton starting on August 6 with it finishing on August 11.

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