Portsmouth, VA – When hundreds of media, fans, agents and players attend the NBA draft in June, it will be the culmination of years of hard work for many players, and the next step in their potential future towards possible long term professional basketball careers.
Although those players whose names are called in Barclay’s Center have been seeking a shot at the pro ranks since they were young kids, for many, the last month leading up to the draft can be the most pivotal. Professional combines, pre-draft workouts, press junkets and tireless networking kicks into high gear at least two months prior to the draft, especially for players who have a chance at landing on a professional roster. Despite some players having storied careers in Division I college basketball and in many cases, national exposure in the NCAA tournament, the gauntlet and showcasing for the NBA draft begins in earnest in April – at the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament in Virginia.
An invitation-only tournament that has been held for the last 65 years, the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament (or “PIT” to many NBA and international scouts) boasts a long and storied history of college seniors who were considered only to have an outside chance at playing in the NBA, and yet many of those who participated went on to not only make the league, but achieve legendary status. Some of the players who made names for themselves include John Stockton, Jimmy Butler, Rick Barry, Earl “The Pearl” Monroe, Scottie Pippen, Tim Hardaway and Dennis Rodman.
While all 30 teams NBA teams are represented at the PIT, the international impact is still very strong: The PIT has a large following among international teams who are seeking those players who are competing against other high level collegiate prospects under one roof. While there are players who do improve their NBA draft status every year at the PIT, many of them will also see their international marketability rise.
This year the Portsmouth Invitational will partner with NetCast Sports Network to live stream all of the game live globally, and for the first time, NCSN will be live streaming the event’s combine, which is conducted by athletic testing company BAM Testing, which also is the official tester for the NBA combine just a few weeks later. For many players, this will be the first time they will be officially tested and recorded leading into their pro careers.
“We are extremely excited to be partnering with the Portsmouth Invitational this year to a global audience,” said Marcus Shockley, the Executive Director for NetCast Sports Network, “The PIT, to me, is the ‘kick-off’ to the NBA draft process, and to be associated with such a storied and time-honored event is really a dream come true. We’re fortunate to have broadcast some of the players in this year’s event at various times during their careers, from AAU, to high school and even college, so getting to showcase them and the City of Portsmouth to the world is something that is a personal takeaway for me as well.”
NetCast Sports currently broadcasts a significant amount of minor league, AAU, showcase and collegiate basketball among the network’s existing sports programming, and partnered with the NBL Canada during the current season to help showcase the teams from leagues outside the United States. In January, NCSN broadcast several high profile high school games to an international audience, adding multiple language telecasts in French, Portuguese and Spanish.
“The Portsmouth Invitational Tournament is very excited to partner with NetCast Sports on the live streaming of the 66th Annual PIT.” Mahlon Parker, Chairman, Portsmouth Invitational Tournament.
Portsmouth Invitational coverage begins on NCSN on April 11, 2018. For more information on the tournament, visit PortsmouthInvitational.com, and for the full schedule of broadcasts and additional information about viewing the live streams, visit NetCastSports.com.
For the latest updates on PIT broadcasts, follow NCSN on Twitter: @NetCastSports