A Street, a Team, and a Dream

 

By: Danny Holdsman | @dholdsman


Eberlein Drive enters the semifinals as quite possibly the most intriguing team reamining in #TBT2018

Eberlein Drive’s co-GMs Matt Mitchell and Jacob Hirschmann have been a part of TBT since the beginning in 2014, but neither has experienced nearly the success that they’ve had this year.

After upsetting Team Colorado in the second round, Hirschmann and Mitchell decided they needed to add a couple pieces to complete the puzzle. The Drive was able to work out deals to bring on James Michael McAdoo -- a two-time NBA champion with the Golden State Warriors -- and 2012 NBA Dunk Contest champion Jeremy Evans.

These additions led to upset victories over Gael Force (St. Mary’s) and Team Challenge ALS and a spot in the semifinals.

“This is my fifth time going at it,” said Mitchell. “I thought I’ve had some good teams in the past that should have advanced at least further than we did. Clearly this team has a lot of talent; but more importantly we have a great group of guys that have bought into the idea of the team and playing for each other with no egos.”

Eberlein Drive is not just the name of this long-time TBT participant. It is also the name of the street on which Hirschmann was raised, a cul-de-sac in Fraser, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit.

While none of the players on the roster grew up on Eberlein Drive or in Fraser, the group is aware of Hirschmann’s dedication to his community and what this all means to him.

“We all know the importance of it,” said point guard Jerome Randle. “[Hirschmann] is a really good guy. We’re trying to win not only for ourselves but for his street and community.”

Randle is one of the primary reasons that Eberlein Drive finds itself in its current position. The 2010 PAC-10 Player of the Year has averaged 25 points per contest over Eberlein’s four games this summer. He poured in 34 points in the quarterfinal win against the TBT 2017 runner-up Team Challenge ALS.

As the Drive has begun to make a name for itself in TBT, Fraser’s support for the team has increased.

“I just saw on social media that Hirschmann received a letter in the mail from the county that Eberlein Drive is in commemorating our success so far in TBT. The community has rallied around us so far, and we’re exciting to represent them.”

Two more wins would bring even more notoriety to the street and the area as a whole. While Mitchell has yet to go to Eberlein Drive, he hopes to finish this TBT run on top and step foot on Hirschmann’s childhood street as champions.

“We would love an opportunity to celebrate and have a little parade on Eberlein Drive,” said Mitchell.

The Drive will have its full roster available when it tips off against Team Fredette on Thursday. Randle, McAdoo, and Evans will be joined by Donald Sloan, who missed the previous two games. Although not being competitive in the early years of TBT and just being a seven seed this year, Eberlein Drive has the makings of a team that could finally dethrone Overseas Elite and take a TBT crown back to Fraser.

 

 

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