PORTSMOUTH, VA - For the fourth straight year, an Iona College men's basketball student-athlete will represent the Gaels at the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament with senior David Laury's invitation to the 63rd annual event from Apr. 8-11 at Churchland High School Sports Complex.
Laury joins former teammates Sean Armand (2014) and Lamont Jones (2013) and former Gael standout Mike Glover (2012) as participants in the prestigious P.I.T. Among all NCAA Division I programs, only Temple and Iona have had players compete in the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament in each of the last four seasons. The Gaels, Owls, Georgetown, Long Beach State, Ole Miss and Villanova are the only six programs to send at least four participants to the tournament since 2012.
Each year for 62 years the Portsmouth Invitational has invited 64 of the best college basketball players (seniors) from across the nation to participate in a four-day, twelve-game tournament in front of representatives from every NBA team. The tournament drew the attention of NBA Scouts and General Managers in the mid-70’s when players like Dave Cowens, John Lucas, Walt Szczerbiak and Bobby Cremins came to Portsmouth to play. Soon the word spread and approximately 200 Scouts, General Managers and Representatives of all 30 NBA teams began to come to see players like John Stockton, Dennis Rodman, Tim Hardaway, Scottie Pippen and others. Today scouts from numerous international leagues have joined in on the annual April pilgrimage to Portsmouth. Over the years the P.I.T. has been a showcase for five of the 50 greatest players in NBA History (Rick Barry, Earl "The Pearl" Monroe, Dave Cowens, John Stockton, Scottie Pippen) and for many others who have gone on to NBA stardom.
Like his former teammate Armand a year ago, Laury will play for coaches Ben Moore and Dennis Koutoufas and Cherry Bekaert. Laury competes alongside Ohio State 6-11 center Amir Williams, Colorado State 6-7 forward J.J. Avila, VCU 6-6 forward Treveon Graham, North Carolina State 6-5 guard Ralston Turner, Harvard 6-5 guard Wesley Saunders, Penn State 6-4 guard D.J. Newbill and Georgia Southern guard Jelani Hewitt. The NBA assistant coach for the team is Anthony Carter, currently an assistant with the D-League's Austin Spurs.
Play begins Wednesday (Apr. 8) when Cherry Bekaert takes on Portsmouth Sports Club featuring Quinnipiac's Ousmane Drame at 7:00 pm. The loser plays Thursday (Apr. 9) at 3:15 pm against the loser of Mike Duman Auto Sales and Norfolk Sports Club. Two winners of the contest play in the semifinal round Friday (Apr. 10) at 7:00 pm. The final game takes place Saturday (Apr. 11) depending on how the results of the tournament play out. All games take place at Churchland High School Sports Complex in Portsmouth, VA.