Eight teams. Four games. One day.

On August 23, 2022, the NBRPA announced the Legends of Basketball Showcase, an inaugural single-day event featuring eight elite men’s college basketball teams while also highlighting the work of the National Basketball Retired Players Association. The first iteration of this annual celebration of college basketball took place on Saturday, December 17, 2022 at the United Center in Chicago.

The Legends of Basketball Showcase brought together men’s college hoops fans from around the country and showcased four competitive matchups in the home that Michael Jordan built.

In a competitive day of basketball, Northern Iowa took on Towson, Tulane faced off against George Mason, Dayton battled it out with Wyoming, and NC State went head-to-head with Vanderbilt. From early in the afternoon to late in the evening, basketball fans from all eight schools filled the United Center with boisterous cheers and school colors.

The Dayton Flyers, accompanied by their cheerleaders, pep band, and hardcore fan base, nearly sold out the United Center on their own as they beat Wyoming in a decisive fashion, 66-49.

The Legends of Basketball Showcase provided a unique opportunity to not only highlight current men’s college basketball players trending towards promising careers in the NBA, but also shined a spotlight on alums of the participating schools including NBRPA Chairman Johnny Davis and Sedric Toney (Dayton), Theo Ratliff (Wyoming), and members of the 1982-1983 NC State team celebrating the 40th Anniversary of their National Championship. This iconic team was represented by NBRPA’s own Thurl Bailey, Cozell McQueen, Ernie Myers, Alvin Battle and Harold Thompson.

These NCAA and NBA Legends got to spend the day re-living their college basketball days, this time as mentors and leaders by encouraging their respective teams through pre-game locker room pep talks, receiving standing ovations during their mid-game on-court recognitions, and celebrating with their teams after the final buzzer.


In addition to showcasing the NBA alums from each college program, the Showcase also highlighted NBA Legends now at the helm of the participating college basketball programs, including Jerry Stackhouse (Vanderbilt head coach), Kim English (George Mason head coach), and Michael Curry (Vanderbilt assistant coach). These coaches and leaders serve as the clear proof that the NBRPA and NBA alums alike continue to passionately give back to the game and inspire the next generation of Legends.

Numerous other NBA and WNBA Legends made the trip to Chicago to show their support for this event and the college hoopers, taking the time to talk with players before and after each game, and cheering on each matchup from courtside seats and the VIP club level suites.

The night before the Showcase, the NBRPA hosted a Players Party at Untitled Supper Club in downtown Chicago and welcomed NBA & WNBA Legends and basketball fans alike to party the Windy City way before a full day of college hoops action. The party included sets from DJ Chitown Shani and DJ Kid Klay as well as food, an open bar, and a raffle for valuable collector’s items. Attendees left with priceless memorabilia like a Thurl Bailey-signed Utah Jazz basketball and a Jerry Stackhouse-signed piece of the Vanderbilt basketball court.

With the success of the inaugural Legends of Basketball Showcase –– including participating teams and new teams alike fighting for their place in the next quadruple header lineup –– the 2023 Legends of Basketball Showcase is set to be even bigger and better than the first. Expect even more competitive teams, more Legends, and another weekend of incredible college basketball action in December of 2023.