Red Scare players and coaching staff cheer on teammates from the bench. Photo by Keegan Gupta.
Zoë Hill | Print Editor-in-Chief
The Flyer’s alumni team returned to UD Arena in late July for the Dayton regional round of The Basketball Tournament.
The annual tournament brought together former Flyers to take a run at the one million dollar prize for the past four years. TBT returned to Blackburn Court for the second year in a row. Ryan Mikesell ’19 and Trey Landers ’20 returned to the court for this TBT, both of whom played during the 2019-20 season, one of the Flyer’s most successful seasons in program history.
Former teammates Obi Toppin, who was drafted to the New York Knicks in 2020, Jalen Crutcher, a guard for the Greensboro Swarm, and Ibi Watson, a guard for the College Park Skyhawks, joined the crowd of a few thousand fans cheering on Mikesell, Landers and the whole team. Current Flyers Mustapha Amzil, Koby Brea, Mike Sharavjamts, Brady Uhl and DaRon Holmes II found their way behind the bench later on in the week. Potential future Flyer Jazz Garder spent some time behind the bench as well. UD offered Garder a scholarship in April and has been working to recruit him when he graduates in 2023.
The Red Scare beat the CitiTeam 75-70 in the first round of the Dayton regional tournament.
They advanced to the second round to take on Marquette’s alumni team, the Golden Eagles. Red Scare knocked the Golden Eagles out of the tournament with a 62-56 victory.
Moving on to the third round, the Flyer alumni went up against No. 1 seed The Money Team, an older team with more NBA experience than the Red Scare. In an incredibly close finish, the Red Scare took down The Money Team 83-81, advancing them to their first ever TBT championship week and claiming the title of Dayton regional TBT champions.
Headed into the quarterfinals, the Red Scare had the lowest combined margin of victory of the remaining teams with only 13 total points deciding the fate of the three wins. This small margin likely contributed to the electricity in the air at UD Arena. Close games brought the Flyer Faithful to their feet throughout the tournament. As a No. 3 seed, they were also the lowest-seeded team remaining.
The Red Scare played against former Flyer Juwan Staten in the quarterfinals against Best Virginia, West Virginia’s alumni team. Mikesell sank a free throw to earn the game’s Sling Shot— the winning bucket— during the Elam Ending to win it 67-60. All TBT games were played to a point total decided in the fourth quarter rather than playtime.
With two wins to go for the Red scare to become champions and millionaires, they faced off a strong defensive team from Buffalo. The Blue Collar U team beat the Red Scare ending their record TBT run 74-69 in the semifinals. Blue Collar U went on to win the tournament three days later.
After five games in seven days, the team and the coaching staff expressed gratitude and a sense of purpose after falling to Blue Collar U.
“We think that we just kind of showed everyone what the Dayton Flyers program really stands for,” said Jeremiah Bonsu, Red Scare’s assistant coach at a post-game press conference. “A lot of people say family at the end of everything. We’ve been saying family, true team— whatever it is— for a while now… It’s about understanding the history of the program.”