Overseas Elite Accepted Into TBT 2017

 

By: Josh Brown | @josh_brown31


Three-peat? Overseas Elite looking for third crown in TBT 2017

Unbeatable (adjective): incapable of being beaten; impossible to defeat.

What do you think of when you read that definition? Is it the gold medal winning 1992 United States men's Olymic basketball team? Or is it the Don Shula-led 1972 Miami Dolphins who pulled off a perfect 17-0 season?

Here at TBT, Overseas Elite is what comes to mind.

When the blue and white confetti poured down on the Rose Hill Gymnasium floor on the night of August 2, 2016, it signaled more than just the end of another tournament. It was the birth of basketball's newest dynasty. And to the chagrin of the 160+ teams seeking entry into TBT 2017, they're not going anywhere. With nine players on the roster and over 100 hundred fan votes, Overseas Elite has officially joined Team 23, Team Colorado and Always A Brave as the fourth team accepted into the TBT 2017 field.

Overseas Elite has passed every test thrown its way over the past two years. A 34-point explosion from Team 23's Davin White. Overseas Elite overcame it. Down 33-13 with eight minutes remaining in the first half against Team Colorado. No problem. In fact, on 13 different occasions an opponent has tried to dethrone the king. None have succeeded. And in the process, the team has collected a cool $3 million.

The 2017 edition of Overseas Elite looks quite similar to that of years past. The three-headed backcourt monster of Kyle Fogg, Paris Horne and Errick McCollum return for their third shot at glory. Fogg was one of two Overseas Elite stars (D.J. Kennedy) to land on the All-Tournament Team last summer. While his 22.8 points per game made him a dominating presence in the lineup, the University of Arizona graduate will be best remembered for his 42-point outburst against City of Gods in the semifinals. Horne, on the other hand, was quite possibly the best defensive player in all of TBT last summer. Need to guard a speedy, undersized point guard? Horne will take him. What about a 6-foot-5 swingman who can shoot from downtown but also work the ball inside? No worries, Horne can guard him. And where do we even get started with McCollum? Not only is he the heart and soul of this Overseas Elite squad, but he has a knack for distributing the ball to each of his teammates, no matter who is on the floor.

 

In the frontcourt, Kennedy, Johndre Jefferson and Todd O'Brien will once again serve as the muscle for this Overseas Elite squad. Kennedy, who parlayed his TBT 2016 performance into an opportunity with the Denver Nuggets, averaged a double-double (19.6 ppg, 10.4 rpg) in the team's run to Fordham. He was also involved in what many are calling the most influential play in TBT history. With the $2 million check hanging in the balance late in the second half of the TBT 2016 title game, Kennedy chased down Team Colorado's Marcus Hall and blocked him from behind to keep the momentum on Overseas Elite's side. The rest is history. Down in the low post, the team has two more rim protectors in Jefferson and O'Brien. When Jefferson is not busy swatting shots away, the University of South Carolina product is frequently seen on the receiving end of a Horne or McCollum alley-oop attempt. And if the pass is not there, the team can dish it off to O'Brien, who has a smooth finish around the rim.

With that being said, another championship equals an even bigger target on their backs this summer. And with the talent pool shaping up to be the best in tournament history, Overseas Elite is rolling in a couple of reinforcements to try and ensure they stay a top the mountain.

Justin Burrell played in the only TBT championship game that has not featured Overseas Elite thus far. While his Team Barstool fell just short to the Notre Dame Fighting Alumni, the 6-foot-9 forward out of St. John's learned a valuable lesson about what it takes to win it all when every night is a game seven. He has since gained even more TBT experience the past two years with Team Slam Magazine and Few Good Men (Gonzaga Alumni). This year, Burrell takes his talents to Overseas Elite. Joining him in the paint will be University of Pittsburgh product DeJuan Blair. The 6-foot-8 forward has seven years of NBA experience between the San Antonio Spurs, Dallas Mavericks and Washington Wizards. Not only was Blair named the Big East co-Player of the Year in 2009, but the following season he was a member of the NBA All-Rookie Second Team. He spent this season in the D-League with the Texas Legends and Los Angeles D-Fenders. Finally, if you didn't think Overseas Elite could get any more stacked at the guard position, then think again. University of Houson grad Oliver Lafayette will be joining the team, fresh off a EuroCup title with Unicaja in southern Spain. Lafayette has also won championships in Lithuania, Greece and Italy. 

Only time will tell if Overseas Elite can make it 19-0 and $5 million in the bank. But no matter what happens, be sure to enjoy the ride. What we're witnessing is a rarity in the sports world in this day and age. Not only are great individual talents playing together, but they're doing so with a team-first mentality. That's why Overseas Elite is the champion. And until somebody beats them, champions they will remain.