Carmen's Crew announces return for TBT 2021


By: Savannah Deuer

The Ohio State alumni are back for year five

After Buckeye legend Aaron Craft retired from professional basketball last year, many questions surrounded Carmen’s Crew, the Ohio State alumni team.

Is Craft also retiring from TBT? If so, would they come back without their starting point guard?

We got the answer to at least one of those questions on Tuesday. Jared Sullinger has confirmed that they will indeed return for TBT 2021.


Everything seemed perfect heading into last summer: Carmen’s Crew was playing at home in Columbus, they had another a star-studded lineup, and a chance to defend their title.

Then reality struck. With a lacking performance against Illinois alumni House of ‘Paign, the #1 seed and local fan-favorite lost in a shocking upset. Now, they're back for revenge. 


This will be the fifth straight summer that the Ohio State alumni team has participated in TBT. They notably won the championship in 2019, defeating the Golden Eagles in an instant classic.

Carmen’s Crew has stuck with the same core since the beginning - Buckeye legends Jon Diebler, David Lighty, Aaron Craft and William Buford. These players have broken multiple Ohio State and Big 10 records, and have provided some of the most entertaining and fast-paced basketball in Buckeye history.

After making it to the semifinals in 2017, the team was again successful in 2018 by reaching the quarterfinals. 

In 2019, Carmen’s Crew was able to seal its legacy as a TBT powerhouse when they team defeated previously undefeated Overseas Elite in the semifinals, and then the Golden Eagles in the championship, marking the team’s first TBT title. 


Buckeye great Jared Sullinger made the transition from player to coach that year, and has hinted at a return to the NBA before signing with Anyang KGC in South Korea. With Sullinger returning to professional basketball, might it be possible that he could return as a player instead of the Carmen’s Crew head coach?

Craft, another Buckeye legend and fan-favorite, has teased the idea of returning for TBT after retiring from basketball in 2020 to attend med school. This will be the last summer Craft will not have to be in classes, and has left some questions around if he will return to his alma mater’s team. 


As always, Carmen's Crew will be one of the most talked about teams heading into TBT 2021. Until then, it's really just a game of wait and see.