Dunk City to take flight again?


There are more and more alumni-based teams entering The Basketball Tournament, but one team seemed to generate a little more buzz than the others.

Dunk City TBT is a collection of Florida Gulf Coast alumni, who captivated the nation for a week’s span in 2013, becoming the first No. 15 seed to reach the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament after upsetting Georgetown and San Diego State.

The Eagles did it with a high-flying attack which branded them as "Dunk City".

Brett Comer and Bernard Thompson capped their college careers this past spring. The backcourt duo served as the last two members of the original Dunk City group. Despite its nationwide attention in 2013, Florida Gulf Coast hasn't returned to the Big Dance, losing to Mercer in the Atlantic Sun Tournament title game in 2014, and being bounced in the conference semifinals this past March.

The Basketball Tournament offers Dunk City the chance to take flight once again.

Liam Jones, an 18-year-old high school senior living outside of Chicago, is the GM of the team. Following the 2013 run, Jones launched the site FGCUEaglesNest.com, which has since been picked up by Scout.

“I have a lot of family in the Fort Myers area, so I’ve always kept my eye on them," he said. "After their tournament run, I started my site because I thought there would be a bigger market for it, and it just took off from there.

Applying for the South Region (Atlanta), Jones has already locked up athletic forward Chase Fieler, Sherwood Brown, the star of the 2013 team, and Thompson, FGCU's all-time leading scorer. Brown, who finished his second season with the Maine Red Claws of the NBA Development League, showed in his verification video that the team can do more than just jump.

Dunk City has been able to acquire talent, but is still waiting for the votes to roll in, currently sitting at 55 at the end of April. A profile by Jeremy Woo in Sports Illustrated helped their cause, but Jones believes his team can get support from outside of the FGCU community.

"They captured America’s hearts in those two weeks," he added. "It doesn’t just appeal to FGCU fans, but to general college basketball fans who remember that story."

They should remember that you catch more votes with honey than with vinegar:

Who knows if Dunk City will follow up on what the Notre Dame Fighting Alumni did last summer, but one thing is for sure: if they qualify, plenty of eyes will be focused on them in Atlanta (July 10-12). 

"They’re all capable of getting up and throwing down," Jones said. "I think it’ll be an exciting brand of basketball."