PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD/WYZZ) — For a fourth time in TBT history, the Bradley alumni team is preparing for its shot at the one-million dollar first place prize.
With a mix of veterans from the 2006 Bradley team that went to the NCAA Sweet 16, recent Bradley alums hungry for more success and a few central Illinois standouts, Always A Brave believes it’s team chemistry and bonds will give them an advantage on the court.
“Just being able to catch up with some of my older teammates and some of the older Bradley players that played here before me, so it’s special to just be able to connect with those guys and share some stories and stuff like that,” Always A Brave guard Darrell Brown said. “It’s always fun.”
“The money is great and if we win, that’s amazing. But I think the most important thing is still holding on to these relationships with these guys,” Always A Brave forward Donte Thomas said. “Even the older guys from the 2006 team, it feels like those guys are my brothers now.”
“Just having different eras come together and be able to find a place, find a role within the team and wanting to win as one is huge,” Always A Brave coach Daniel Ruffin said.
Also joining the team this year is Peoria Notre Dame product and former Michigan and Indiana forward Max Bielfeldt, who has been a lifelong fan of Bradley basketball.
“Excited to be joining the team, I’ve always rooted for Bradley and now to get a chance to not quite play for the actual team, but this is something pretty special,” Bielfeldt said. “We got a good group of guys here.”
You don’t have to wait long to see Always a Brave in action at the Peoria Regional for the TBT. Games begin Saturday, July 24 at Carver Arena.