Stephenson has entry in Philly AND1 Streetball Tournament
Lance Stephenson is in Philadelphia this weekend for the AND1 Summer Remix Streetball Tournament. Since Stephenson has an endorsement deal with the AND1 brand, he is one of the faces of this tournament. And while he won’t be playing, Stephenson does have representation.
“We came together with the Indy Pro Am as well as his brand,” said Carlos Knox, the founder and director of the Knox Indy Pro Am. “We provided a team that’s going to come out here and compete under his name, Born Ready.”
Knox is thrilled to showcase his Pro Am, which he first started five years ago, and its players on the national stage. In fact, it’s the first time that his teams have left the state.
12 teams from around the United States will be on the campus of Temple University for games this weekend. Teams are slated to play four games each — from Aug. 29 to Sept. 1 — although team Born Ready has a bye on Thursday.
Some of the other notable coaches include former Pacers guard T.J. Ford, Penny Hardaway, Shawn Kemp, Michael Bivins, and Jermaine Dupri. Stephenson likes his team’s chances of winning the whole thing.
“I looked at the rosters and I know a couple players on the other teams,” he said in a phone interview. “I think our players matchup well with the other teams. I think we have a big shot to win.”
Although it’s the offseason for Stephenson, basketball has remained his No.1 focus. He’s spent time nearly everyday in the gym and/or a weight room. He’s worked out with teammates at Bankers Life Fieldhouse and in Los Angeles, played games back home in New York, and he competed at the Knox Indy Pro Am for a couple weeks this summer.
It’s not surprising that the 22-year-old has taken his game to new heights in the last year. His attitude changed and he’s become a gym rat. In doing so, the his brand’s stock has risen.
“Oh yeah, definitely performing on the court has giving me more opportunities with AND1 to do stuff like this,” he said. “I just want to have as much fun as possible representing Indiana before the season comes.
For Stephenson, he’s helping to provide professional players from the Indy Pro Am with national exposure while giving Indianapolis an entry. The best eight players that played in the Pro Am are in Philly, seeking to take first place and win the grand prize of $100K. Any proceeds Knox receives will benefit the Pro Am’s non-profit, and each player would net $10K.
“It’s all fun and games,” said Stephenson, who’ll serve as an assistant coach. “We are playing for money but it’s fun with my guys at the same time.”