There you are, staggering through the wasteland of the deep summer offseason, desperate for something other than July baseball to quench your thirst for athletic entertainment.
And out of nowhere appears Marshall Henderson.
Rest easy, this is no mirage. Saturday marks the beginning of The Basketball Tournament—a five-on-five, Nike-sponsored competition with a payout of 2 mil—and with it a return to the court by Ole Miss’ favorite sharp-shooting troll. And Marshall’s bringing friends: Chris Warren, Terrico White, Murphy Holloway, Terrance Henry, Jarvis Summers, Dwayne Curtis, Snoop White and Aaron Jones have joined him on a Rebel all-star team.
“What’s cool about this tournament is that you can take the guys from older and younger and put them on one team and see what happens,” Marshall told me in May. “It’s cool that we can get together and play.
“We’ve got some ballers that came to this school.”
Ole Hotty Toddy, as the team has been so cleverly dubbed, takes the floor for the first time on Saturday afternoon against the NC Prodigal Sons, a group of alumni from small schools in the Carolinas. The former Rebs are definitely the favorites here, though the Prodigal Sons did show some ability last year when they went up by 20 over the tournament’s No. 3 overall seed.
You can actually watch this game, too, since the entire tournament is streaming on WatchESPN. Once they hit the sweet 16, you’ll even be able to tune in through proper TV channels via ESPN and ESPN2.
You can check out the full tourney bracket right here.
How to watch
Date: Saturday, July 8
Time: 4:45 p.m. CT
Online streaming: WatchESPN.com
Obligatory Marshall Henderson GIF: