The newest face of AND1, Pacers guard Lance Stephenson, helped coach Team Born Ready to a thrilling 74-71 victory over Summer Pro League at Sunday's 20th annual Remix Tournament at Temple University.
The 12-team tournament featured NBA veterans like Hakim Warrick and Ronald "Flip" Murray, as well as former Owls Dionte Christmas and Mark Tyndale. Team Born Ready took home $100,000 in prize money, thanks to the stellar play of guard Osiris Eldridge, a former standout at Illinois State. [embedgallery id=212265]
Eldridge was named tournament MVP — earning him an extra $5,000 and a Rockwell watch.
"Osiris (Eldridge) had to play full-court defense for us every game, which was big," said Stephenson. "That's why he won MVP. It's not always about scoring, it's about defense — and he pressured every point guard in this tournament, for the whole game."
Stephenson explained that this was his first time coaching, but was happy to expand AND1's brand and coach his team to victory.
"This was my first time coaching ever," said Stephenson. "I think I did a pretty good job and a lot of people helped me out. I'm glad we were able to win the game. It was a new experience for me, especially drawing up plays and such, and I think I handled it great."
Born Ready was Stephenson's nickname on the blacktop courts growing up in New York. Born in Brooklyn, Stephenson played for Lincoln High School in Coney Island, where he remains as New York's all-time leading scorer in high school basketball with 2,946 career points.
"(Stephon) Marbury made this brand what it was and I want to bring its popularity back," said Stephenson. "I want to bring the excitement back to AND1 in the NBA and keep playing my hardest to make it expand even more."
Stephenson averaged 8.8 points, 3.9 rebounds and 2.9 assists last season for the Pacers. He's regarded as a rising star in the NBA.