By: TBT Staff | @thetournament
Overseas Elite Has Never Been Defeated
You can talk about all-time great teams. You can talk about teams for the ages. You can even talk about dynasties. But, how many teams can claim that they've never lost?
Overseas Elite is a squad that did not exist before TBT 2015. Pulled together by Drew Morrison, a former Bucknell basketball player and currently an agent, Overseas Elite's 13 game winning streak was almost over before it began. Shorthanded going into 2015's opening round game against the Underdawgs, the team only managed to field a roster of 5 after Morrison rushed Travis Bader from Hartsfield International Airport to TBT 2015's South Regional in Atlanta. From there, Overseas Elite went on an unprecedented run. 13 opponents. 13 wins. $3,000,000 in winnings. Back to back TBT Champs. They've won games in which they've trailed. They've won games in which they've led. Overseas Elite just wins, wins, wins.
As TBT 2017 approaches, every one of the hundreds of teams that will apply needs to ask one question: Can we beat Overseas Elite?
The first phase of TBT 2017's competition--getting in--begins on April 1. Until then, here's a look at what the guys from Overseas Elite are up to all around the world.
DJ Kennedy (G/F)
After spending training camp with the Denver Nuggets, the versatile Kennedy took his talents to Guangzhou of the Chinese Basketball Association, where he's currently averaging 22.7 ppg, 9.9 rpg, and 5.1 apg. A Swiss Army Knife of a player, Kennedy is among the most versatile and hard-nosed basketball players anywhere in the world.
Errick McCollum (G)
A world traveler if ever there was one, McCollum scores everywhere he goes. He's currently averaging 35.5 ppg for North Control Beijing, also in China. He scored a season high 59, which is pretty good--although not that great compared to the 82 he dropped in the Chinese league back in 2015.
Kyle Fogg (G)
Kyle Fogg's professional career has been made through hard work, grit, and determination. He's improved his game every year, moving up in levels, and esteem. A two time TBT Champion, Fogg was the MVP of 2016's tournament, carrying Overseas Elite with 42 points in a semifinal win over City of Gods (Overseas Elite's second semifinal victory over the Baltimore-based squad in 2 years). Currently playing in Spain's top league with Unicaja, Fogg is averaging 12+ ppg, including a 31 point spree against Buducnost in the Eurocup on November 23.
Paris Horne (G)
A St. John's product, Horne is currently playing for Kouvot Kouvola in Finland's top league, where the defensive whiz averages nearly 2 steals per game. Horne's contributions to Overseas Elite's defense can't be over-stated. A do-anything-that-needs-to-be-done player, Horne has played professionally in Germany, Greece, Turkey, Japan, Romania, and Finland.
Travis Bader (G/F)
The NCAA's all-time leading three point shooter, Bader is now in his third full professional season, plying his trade for Ambalt Recanati in Italy, where, unsurprisingly, he's shooting 42.1% from three. For Overseas Elite, he's instant offense off the bench.
Todd O'Brien (F/C)
A phyiscally imposing center, O'Brien was literally and figuratively huge in Overseas Elite's semifinal victory over City of Gods in TBT 2016. Facing a big, strong, athletic City of Gods frontline that featured former NBA forward Pops Mensah-Bonsu and Euroleague legend James Gist, O'Brien stepped up big, providing vital defense and rebounding as Overseas Elite moved one step closer to going back to back. O'Brien has split his 2016-17 club season between Uratu Yerevan (Russia) and Sagesse (Lebanon).
Ryan Richards (F/C)
A former second round pick of the San Antonio Spurs, Richards spent the 2016 training camp with Gregg Popovich and crew before settling in to Iran's Superleague with Naft Abadan. This is Richards' second stint in Iran, having played there in 2015, when he scored 19.6ppg and grabbed 9.0 rpg. A stretch 4, Richards is a native of England and adds a real international component to Overseas Elite's front-court attack.
Jhondre Jefferson (F/C)
A shot-blocker who runs the court with the best of the bigs, Jefferson's contributions to Overseas Elite are most apparent when teams try to beat the back to back champs up and down the court. Jefferson started the season with Dolomiti Energia Trento in Italy's Serie A, where he was playing very well. Updates on his next stop will be forthcoming.
Myck Kabongo (G)
The Toronto native might be the fastest man you'll ever see on a basketball court (or anyone else). Blink, and he's by you. He plays as a true point guard for Overseas Elite, distributing the ball, running the break, and playing lock down defense. Kabongo started his club season in Romania.
Deandre Kane (G/F)
An Iowa State product who played with DJ Kennedy in high school and Kyle Fogg in Belgium, Kane provided a huge boost to Overseas Elite's 2016 run. A versatile guard-forward, Kane was recently named the Eurocup MVP of the Week for BC Nizhny Novgorod (Russia), after scoring 31 in a win over Zenit St. Petersburg.
Anthony Raffa (G)
A total team and fan favorite. Raffa was the guy who advanced Overseas Elite's tag on the bracket after each of their 6 victories in TBT 2016. And he can play, too! He's currently averaging 17.1 ppg and 3.7 apg for Virtus Roma, one of the most historic clubs in Italy.
Some say Overseas Elite is the best team in the world. Until someone beats them, who's to say they're not?