Arizona-based Team 23 to play in $1 million championship game

BY foxsports • August 1, 2015

Arizona-based Team 23 on Saturday reached the finals of $1 million The Basketball Tournament on the strength of its defense and Davin White's scoring.

White, a 2001 Phoenix North High grad, scored a game-high 24 points, and Team 23 held Ants Alumni to 32 percent shooting en route to an 87-76 victory at Rose Hill Gym in New York.

"My team believed in me," White told the tournament's web site. "They told me to be aggressive and get us going early and everything would fall in place."

Team 23 is one of the final two teams standing in the nationwide 5-on-5 tournament that started with 96 teams and began in early July. The winner takes home $1 million. The loser gets nothing.

Mike Bibby, the former Arizona star who now coaches at his alma mater Phoenix Shadow Mountain High, played for Team Grantland that did not make it out of its regional bracket.

Team 23, the West Region champions, features five players who played either their high school or college basketball in Arizona. In addition to White, Travis Gabbidon played at Phoenix Desert Vista High, Gabriel Sandoval played at Tempe Marcos de Niza High, Larry Owens is from Gilbert and played at Chandler-Gilbert Community College and Andrew Kelly played at Yavapai College in Prescott.

Team 23 scored the game's first 10 points in the semifinals, led by 18 at one point and never trailed. Team 23 will face Overseas Elite in Sunday's nationally televised championship game.

Former Arizona player Kyle Fogg plays for Overseas Elite and scored 12 points in the semifinals victory.

Gabbidon contributed 21 points for the Team 23 on Saturday.

Ants Alumni, a reunited version of the 2013-14 NBA D-League championship squad that feature former North High and Arizona State player Tommy Smith, closed Team 23's lead to three points but couldn't get any closer.

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