The Battle for Ohio Celebrity Game tips off at noon ET in Columbus tomorrow, and Tristan Thompson will be headlining the event for Team Cleveland. Pretty cool of the Canada native to adapt his new area code as his own and make that trek down I-71 to participate I think.
Evan Turner, who averaged 11 and 8 during 13 playoff games for the Sixers this past season, will be headlining the game for Team Columbus. Also on the marquee for the Cleveland side is his former Ohio State teammate David Lighty, who spent this past season playing professionally in Italy.
I caught up with both Turner and Lighty earlier this week for a SLAMonline article that posted this afternoon. Here’s an excerpt of that from my conversation with Turner:
“I’m excited to be a part of it,” Turner said about participating in the event. “It’s going to be great for the city of Columbus, and I think it’s something cool. As a former Ohio State player, I think it’s a great opportunity to celebrate the tradition of Ohio State, as well as the tradition of a basketball-rich Ohio. I have a house in Columbus, so I go back at least once a month, for about a week or so at a time. I love being in Columbus, and if I’m not in my hometown of Chicago, or in Philly, I’m down in Columbus.”
I also talked with Lighty about the interest he’s receiving from around the NBA, including the Cavaliers, and here’s a portion of that:
“I’ve been working out for five teams,” Lighty said. “Coming up with Summer League Vegas, I’m going to be with Phoenix. I was going to play with Atlanta, but after their recent trade they brought in three wing players, or three guards. So my agent and I decided to play with Phoenix. I had a couple Cavs workouts, Pacers, Spurs, Hawks, and then Phoenix as well. Those teams are interested in me, and I’m just going to keep working, proving myself everyday, and hopefully get signed.”
Team Cleveland also includes also includes Dallas Lauderdale, Tony Stockman, Damon Stringer, Sam Clancy, Julius Juby Johnson, Marcus Johnson, Dru Joyce, Chet Mason, and Keith McLeod. Besides Lighty, Team Columbus will feature Brian Brown, Terence Dials, Jon Diebler, Ivan Harris, George Reese, JJ Sullinger, Scoonie Penn, Antonio Daniels and Samaki Walker.
The Stepien Rules team will be on location for the game in Columbus tomorrow too, so stay tuned. Hit me up on Twitter if you have any questions you want me to ask those guys. Be back here then.