NEGAUNEE - Class A action in the 50th Annual Charter Communications Negaunee Invitational Basketball Tournament is set to begin Friday with a total of 16 teams competing for the $8,000 first-place prize at Lakeview Memorial Gymnasium. Admission is $3.
The first match-up features Chris Boykins Outlawz of Lansing vs. Threads of Milwaukee at 2 p.m. The Outlawz will look to many D-League and Grand Rapids Cyclones players, as well as international pros such as the 2013 NIT leader in most total points scored, Thad McFadden (162).
At 3:15 p.m., Dynasty of Chicago takes on John 3:16 of Milwaukee. John 3:16's roster sports Robert Jackson of Marquette University, Troy Cotton, Jr. of University of Wisconsin-Green Bay and Chris McHenry of Miami University.
Fan-favorite Lewis/Skil of Traverse City will challenge M.A.B. of Southwest Michigan at 4:30 p.m. For Lewis/Skil, Robbie Harmen (Central Michigan), brothers Brandon and Mike McClary (Olivet), and Evan Bruinsma (Detroit Mercy) will lead the field. M.A.B. is led by Courtney Blackmore and Terrence Shaw of Ferris State.
The WSBL All Stars of Duluth (Minnesota) face Stonehouse Window and Door of Ishpeming at 5:45 p.m. The WSBL All Stars are a new team to the tournament, featuring players from University of Minnesota-Duluth, Lake Superior College and Mesabi Range College.
Stonehouse will rely on former players from Michigan Tech, including Alex Culy, Austin Armaga, Matt Cameron, Josh Buettner and Tim Strom, as well as former Northern Michigan University players Bill Hill and Jared Benson.
At 7 p.m., Lids Team Sports/The Bar of Green Bay will take on the Kenosha Ballers. Defending champion Lids Team Sports/The Bar will count on Kon Knueppel - the 2013 NIT Most Valuable Player - as well as 2013 NIT All-Tournament team selection Jeff Nordgaard.
I-Ball of Gary, Ind. faces Yooper Shirts at 8:15 p.m. I-Ball features tournament veterans Terrance and Torrence Hayes.
At 9:30 p.m., Detroit takes on Racine Team Select of Racine, Wis. Detroit's roster features Jesse Bunkley (Eastern Michigan), Voshawn Leonard (Miami Heat) and Reggie Butler (Xavier).
In the final game of the night, the Milwaukee All Stars will meet Main Event of Detroit at 10:45 p.m. Former NIT All-Tournament team selection Quemont Greer (DePaul) and veteran guard James Stewart (UW-Whitewater) play for the All Stars. Main Event will be led by Rodney Hamilton (Iowa State), Vincent Moses (CMU) and Courtney Williams (UNC-Charlotte).
The Slam Dunk and 3-Point competitions, as well as a brief 50th anniversary program including All-Time All-Tournament team selections, will be held at 8:15 p.m. on Saturday.
The Class A championship begins at 8 p.m. on Sunday.
For details, visit the NIT Facebook page at www.facebook.com/negauneeinvit.