The Portsmouth Invitational Tournament (P.I.T.) is the nation's oldest amateur basketball tournament. It is recognized by NBA and European scouts as the premier showcase for future professional players. The P.I.T. is the only tournament for college seniors to participate in and be evaluated by the National Basketball Association prior to the NBA's pre-draft camp. Over 50 student-athletes who participated in the P.I.T. have gone on to either play and/or coach in the NBA, including former A-10 standouts Cuttino Mobley (Rhode Island) and Rasual Butler (La Salle).
The tournament gets underway on Wednesday, Apr. 8, and all games will be played at Churchland High School in Portsmouth, Va. Tickets can be purchased for $10 a night or $30 for all 12 contests through Ticketmaster (757-671-8100) or the Willett Hall Box Office at 757-393-5460.
The P.I.T. has always claimed to be "more than a basketball tournament." Each year the P.I.T. contributes back to the community by awarding scholarships to student athletes from Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Suffolk and Virginia Beach. In 2008 there were seven scholarships awarded, 6 for $3,000 each and 1 for $3,500 each. Another $10,000 was given to local non-profit organizations and charities to help them make a difference in the local community, creating a grand total of $31,500 given back the community. The contributions and scholarships have risen significantly over the years thanks to the support of local sponsors, advertisers, ticket sales, the City of Portsmouth and the NBA. Of course, the more than 100 volunteers involved in producing the tournament have a special place in the success of this wonderful event each year. Together they all make this "more than a basketball tournament."
For more information, log on to www.portsmouthinvitational.com.