Building The Ultimate Badger Alumni Team For The TBT Tournament


Every year ESPN televises a basketball tournament called “The Basketball Tournament” teams from all over the country can sign up to compete against other teams around the country for the top prize of 2 million dollars. 64 teams compete in 8 cities in a March Madness-like tournament. Teams can be made up of whoever the players want, and a few of the teams are made up of former college basketball players who are not in the NBA. In the 2014 season, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish Alumni won the inaugural tournament, but since then Overseas Elite has won 4 in a row.

The Wisconsin Badgers have had a great basketball program for the last 20 years. The right Wisconsin Badgers Alumni team could make a run and possibly win the tournament. teams in the TBT tourney can have up 12 players, so we will pick 12 former Badgers. Each team also has a GM and boosters, and those roles will be cast also.

Putting Together The Team

The teams are not allowed to include any current NBA players or anyone over 40, so no Sam Dekker, Frank Kaminsky, Devin Harris or Jon Leuer. Here is a dream Badger alumni team that could compete to beat the overseas Elite and the rest of the field.

Head Coach: Bo Ryan

Bo Ryan was the head coach of the Badgers for 14 years. He has had a hand in crafting many of the players on this list into the athletes and people they are. He would be the perfect person to coach them in a tournament like this.

Bp Ryan Cutting Down The Net

Assistants: Jon Leuer, Devin Harris

Both of these players have had long careers in the NBA and can provide valuable insight for the team.

Boosters: Sam Dekker, Frank Kaminsky

A booster’s job is to help promote the team and create a dedicated fan base. Two beloved former Badgers and current NBA players are a perfect fit for the role. Both of these players have a solid social media following and they could use that to gain support for the team and spread the word.

Wisconsin Badgers Alumni Guards

Bronson Koenig-SG

Height: 6ft 3in

Badger Career: 2013-2017

Current Team: Mornan Bar-Montenegro

Bronson Koenig was lethal from three for the Badgers during their tournament runs in the mid-2010s. His 3-point ability will stretch the floor and allow other players to create opportunities for themselves.

Wisconsin Badgers Players standing next to eachother

Traevon Jackson-PG

Height: 6ft 3in

Badger Career: 2011-2015

Current Team: Iowa Wolves

Traevon Jackson was as clutch as you can be during his time with the Badgers. He was instrumental in their Final Four and Championship Game appearances.

Jordan Taylor-PG

Height: 6 ft 1in

Badger career: 2008-2012

Current team: Limoges CSP-France

When you think Badger point guards, you think Jordan Taylor. He was a finalist for the Bob Cousy Award and was named to the Second Team All-American and All-Big Ten Team during his time at Wisconsin.

Josh Gasser-SG

Height: 6 ft 4in

Badger career: 2010-2015

Current team: Löwen Braunschweig-Germany

Wisconsin Gatorade Player Of The Year, and 3x Big Ten All-Defense Team. We all know Gasser could BALL. His lockdown D would be essential to the team. Not to mention he had the first triple-double in Badger history.

Kirk Penney-SG

Height: 6ft 5in

Badgers career: 1999-2003

Current team: New Zealand Breakers

Kirk Penney helped the Badgers reach the Final Four and the Sweet Sixteen with back to back Big 10 Championships. He is currently in the Badgers Hall Of Fame.

 Zak Showalter-G

Height: 6ft 3in

Badger Career: 2012-2017

Current Team: First Business Financial Services-Credit Analysis

Zak Showalter hit an amazing game-tying 3 against Florida to send the game to OT and sent a Discount Double Check to Aaron Rodgers during the NCAA tourney. That is a legendary moment in Badger history.

Zak Showalter makes a shot against florida

Wisconsin Badgers Alumni Forwards/Centers

Alando Tucker-SF

Height: 6ft 6in

Badger Career: 2002-2007

Current Team: Retired

Alando Tucker is one of the all-time Badger greats. Tucker holds the Badger all-time scoring record with 2,147 and was a First Team All-American and the Big Ten Player of the Year. There is no Badger alumni team without him.

Nigel Hayes-PF

Height: 6ft 8in

Badger career: 2013-2017

Current team: Galatasaray S.K-Turkey

One of the Badgers’ most beloved players ever. He appeared in 150 games, the most in Badger history and won the Sixth Man of the Year award. He also has the 4th most points in Badger history. Not to mention his vicious shot blocks.

Nigel Hayes blocks a shot

Mike Wilkinson-PF

Height: 6ft 9in

Badger career: 2001-2005

Current team: Retired

Mike Wilkinson was a great big man in his time at Wisconsin. He was First Team All-Big Ten and was only the second player in Wisconsin History to end his career with 1,500 points and 800 rebounds. Boards, boards, boards!

Greg Stiemsma-C

Height: 6ft 11in

Badger career: 2004-2008

Current team: Free agent

Greg Stiemsma was a defensive master at Wisconsin. Standing 6 foot 11 inches, he was a shot blocking machine. Defense wins championships, so he is essential to the team.

Brian Butch-C

Height: 6ft 11in

Badger career: 2004-2008

Current team: Wisconsin Herd-Assistant Coach

Brian Butch’s career was nothing but consistent. He played strong defense and was a great big man on offense. He is currently an assistant coach for the Wisconsin Herd.

Jared Berggren-C

Height: 6ft 10in

Badger Career: 2009-2013

Current team: Union Neuchâtel Basket-Switzerland

Another great defensive big man. He was named to the Second Team All-Big Ten thanks to his solid defense.


Jordan Taylor Clapping His Hands

 Jordan Taylor-PG

Bronson Koenig-SG

Alando Tucker-SF

Nigel Hayes-PF

Greg Stiemsma-C

Bench Rotation

Josh Gasser-SG

Traevon Jackson-PG

Kirk Penney-SG

Mike Wilkinson-PF

Jared Berggren- C

*The rest of the players would be reserves, and most likely would not see significant time. However, they would still be a part of the team.

All these players had long and fun careers with the Badgers and it would be great to see them all suit up together. Hopefully, someday we will see a Badger alumni team in the TBT Tournament and some of the players can show off their skills.

Bucky the Badger celebrating


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