Men's Basketball Invited to Play in Bahamas in New Battle 4 Atlantis Tournament

The Crimson will join a field of seven teams at the new Battle 4 Atlantis Tournament (Eric Bronson).

Battle 4 Atlantis Website

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – After enjoying the most successful season in program history in 2010-11, the Harvard men’s basketball team has been invited to compete in the new Battle 4 Atlantis Tournament over Thanksgiving weekend next season.

The Crimson will be joined in the new early-season holiday tournament by Connecticut, the defending national champion, Florida State, Utah, Massachusetts, Central Florida, College of Charleston and UNC Asheville. The tournament will be held Nov. 23-27 inside a lavish ballroom at the Atlantis hotel. Each team will play three games in the tournament, with a full schedule and ticket information to be released later in the year.

"Our team is very excited to participate in what is sure to be a tremendous event,” said Harvard head coach Tommy Amaker. “We are honored to be included among this outstanding field and look forward to some great basketball in November!"

Under Amaker, the Crimson posted a 23-7 overall record and went 12-2 in Ivy League play last season en route to earning a berth in the National Invitation Tournament (NIT) for the first time in program history. Harvard won a share of its first Ivy League title and set new team records for wins in a season (23), conference victories (12) and home wins (14), as the Crimson posted a perfect 14-0 mark at Lavietes Pavilion.

Harvard, which returns all of its players from its 2010-11 roster, will be led on the court by Oliver McNally ’12 and Keith Wright ’12, who will once again serve as team co-captains, becoming the first players to serve as captains in consecutive seasons since Jason Norman ’05 in 2004-05. Wright, who was tabbed Ivy Player of the Year and garnered unanimous All-Ivy first-team accolades, in addition to receiving AP All-America honors, was joined on the all-conference team by Brandyn Curry ’13 and Kyle Casey ’13 on the second team, while Christian Webster ’13 earned honorable mention.

"We are thrilled to host some of the leading teams in college basketball including the 2011 national champions," said George Markantonis, president and managing director of Kerzner International Bahamas, which spearheaded the tournament. "This event is something our guests and college basketball fans around the nation will love. There simply isn't a better way to celebrate a Thanksgiving holiday."

The Bahamas had a trial run of sorts with a doubleheader in December that featured Virginia Tech, Richmond, Georgia Tech and Mississippi State.

The tournament will limit participation to one team per conference each year and require teams to wait four years before returning. Games will be played on a temporary court inside an ornate ballroom that can hold up to 5,000 spectators and was the site of the 2009 Miss Universe Pageant.

Participating schools will receive $2 million split evenly among the eight institutions annually, which organizers say makes it the richest preseason tournament in college basketball.