Powerhouse programs Tennessee and Gonzaga, both of which project as preseason top-10 programs heading into the 2022-23 season, will play in the inaugural Legends of Basketball Classic, a charity exhibition game on Friday, Oct. 28, at the Comerica Center in Frisco, TX. The game is set for 9 pm ET, and iNDEMAND – the largest distributor of PPV and on demand programming in North America – will serve as the exclusive streaming and TV distributor of the event. Proceeds from the event will benefit the McLendon Foundation.
iNDEMAND will carry the game in the US and Canada on its streaming service PPV.COM, and through cable, satellite and telco PPV providers. Fans can stream the game live online at PPV.COM, the first PPV streaming service to offer interactive fan engagement during live-action sports events. PPV.COM’s ground-breaking digital video technology allows fans to engage in live chat with other fans and experts, as well as post fan-react videos and other activities. Customers can also order the Legends of Basketball Classic on TV through their cable, satellite or telco providers, including Xfinity, Spectrum, Contour, Dish, Verizon Fios, Altice and other leading providers. The suggested retail price will be $9.99 on all PPV platforms.
The McLendon Foundation was established in 1999 by NACDA to honor the legacy of Hall of Fame coach John McLendon who was a pioneer in the field of athletics, the game of basketball, and the civil rights arena. The McLendon Foundation’s mission is to empower and develop minorities who aspire to be principled leaders in athletics administration by providing educational resources and access to a life-long community of mentors. All organizational planning for the Foundation directly aligns with the values of Coach McLendon: Integrity, Education, Leadership and Mentorship.
Intersport, a sports marketing and events agency that will also manage the Brew City Battle, Shamrock Classic, Fort Myers Tip-Off, Women’s Fort Myers Tip-Off, CBS Sports Classic and Legends of Basketball Showcase during the non-conference college basketball season, will handle all ticketing, game operations and event production for the exhibition. The National Basketball Retired Players Association (NBRPA) will serve as the title partner for the charity exhibition. Founded in 1992, the NBRPA serves to train professional basketball players in their transition into life after basketball.
“This is going to be great,” Intersport Founder and CEO Charlie Besser said. “In partnering with the nationally renowned Gonzaga and Tennessee basketball programs, along with pay-per-view content industry leader iNDEMAND, we are going to bring a March-like atmosphere to college basketball’s preseason. We love building innovative events in the college basketball space – we’ve been doing it for decades. In this case it’s especially meaningful because it benefits the important work of the McLendon Foundation.”
Mark Boccardi, SVP, Programming & Marketing for iNDEMAND & PPV.COM, said, “This will be the first opportunity for Gonzaga and Tennessee fans to see their teams in action this season. We’re proud to be a part of this benefit for the McLendon Foundation, and looking forward to delivering a viewing experience that’s easy to order and great quality.”
Gonzaga returns All-American and Player of the Year candidate Drew Timme along with a bevy of contributors, including starters Rasir Bolton and Julian Strawther, from last season’s team that went 28-4 and spent nine weeks at No. 1 in the Associated Press poll . In addition, the Bulldogs welcome one of the country’s top transfers – SoCon Player of the Year Malachi Smith – to Spokane this season, along with 7-foot LSU transfer Efton Reid III. Head coach Mark Few is the nation’s winningest active coach by percentage at .836, carrying a 657-129 record in his 23 seasons with the program.
Tennessee returns four of its top-five scorers from last season’s team that finished 27-8 overall, won the SEC Tournament and made a fourth consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance. The Vols return first-team All-SEC guard Santiago Vescoviupperclassmen starters Josiah Jordan James, Olivier Nkamhoua and Uros Plavsicand also bring in a highly touted recruiting class highlighted by McDonald’s All-American Julian Phillips. head coach Rick Barnesentering his 36th season as a head coach and eighth with the Vols, is one of six active coaches with more than 750 career wins.
Tickets for the Classic will go on sale Friday and can be purchased by visiting www.ticketmaster.com or by visiting the Comerica Center box office. Fans interested in attending the game can register to receive direct email alerts regarding ticket news and other event updates by visiting www.legendsofbasketball.com/classic. Those who register for these ticket alerts will be eligible for access to an exclusive one-day presale beginning on Thursday. The Comerica Center opened in 2003 and is the home of the NBA G-League’s Texas Legends and the Lone Star Conference men’s and women’s basketball tournaments.
HOW TO WATCH THE LEGENDS OF BASKETBALL CLASSIC ON PPV
Suggested retail price: $9.99
Online/Streaming: PPV.COM (no subscription needed)
TV: Available to order through major cable and satellite systems, including Xfinity, Spectrum, Contour, DISH (Channel 461), Verizon Fios, Altice and others
- In Knoxville: Xfinity channel 1201, Spectrum channel 2100
- In Nashville: Xfinity channel 1201, Spectrum channel 2100
- In Chattanooga: Xfinity channel 1201, Spectrum channel 2100
- In Memphis: Xfinity channel 1201, Spectrum channel 2100
- In Spokane: Xfinity channel 1201
- In Seattle: Xfinity channel 1201
Since 1985, Intersport has been an award-winning innovator and leader in the creation of sports, lifestyle, culinary and entertainment-based marketing platforms. With expertise in Sponsorship Consulting, Experiential Marketing, Hospitality, Retail Engagement, Content Marketing, Productions and Property Creation, this Chicago-based Marketing & Media Solutions Company helps its clients engage consumers with compelling ideas, content and experiences. To learn more about Intersport, visit www.intersport.global, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and Instagram.
About iNDEMAND and PPV.COM
iNDEMAND is an innovative partnership between three of the leading cable companies in the US—Charter Communications, Comcast Cable, and Cox Communications. iNDEMAND is a company of trusted content aggregators and licensing experts, with unparalleled technical expertise and long-standing relationships with MVPDs, major sports leagues, Hollywood studios, and other entertainment and sports companies across North America. iNDEMAND delivers great content to more than 80 million cable homes and has distribution deals with more than 150 companies. In December 2021, iNDEMAND launched PPV.COM, an innovative streaming PPV service and the first of its kind to offer interactive fan engagement during live-action sports. With the addition of PPV.COM to its existing cable PPV infrastructure, iNDEMAND has consolidated all forms of PPV distribution under one roof, making the company the only provider of turn-key PPV solutions for both industry partners and consumers. For more information, go to indemand.com and PPV.COM
About the National Basketball Retired Players Association
The National Basketball Retired Players Association (NBRPA) is comprised of former professional basketball players from the NBA, ABA and WNBA. It is a 501(c) 3 organization with a mission to develop, implement and advocate a wide array of programs to benefit its members, supporters and the community. The NBRPA was founded in 1992 by basketball legends Dave DeBusschere, Dave Bing, Archie Clark, Dave Cowens and Oscar Robertson. The NBRPA works in direct partnerships with the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association. Legends Care is the charitable initiative of the NBRPA that positively impacts youth and communities through basketball. Scott Rochelle is President and CEO, and the NBRPA Board of Directors includes Chairman of the Board Johnny Davis, Vice Chairman Dave Cowens, Treasurer Sam Perkins, Secretary Grant Hill, Thurl Bailey, Caron Butler, Jerome Williams, Shawn Marion, Charles “Choo” Smith, Sheryl Swoopes and Robert Horry. Learn more at legendsofbasketball.com.
About the McLendon Foundation
The McLendon Foundation, established in 1999, is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization founded and administered by NACDA. Through the scholarship program and leadership initiative, the McLendon Foundation provides minorities educational resources, practical experiences and serves as a vehicle for networking, career advancement and advocacy on behalf of the profession. More information regarding the McLendon Foundation can be found at minorityleaders.org.