(Orlando, FL) – The Florida Flight of the Florida Basketball Association (FBA) was crowned Team USA after winning the Jump 10 FBA Team USA Selection Qualifying tournament this past Sunday.
The FBA, securing the host rights from Jump 10 and TBGT, Inc., opened the tournament up to any team willing to pay the modest $800 team fee to compete. Teams from as far as South Florida competed in the event.
The Flight came out victorious, going undefeated throughout the tournament. winning a free trip to Shanghai, China. They will represent the USA in the Jump 10 World Hoops Challenge and play for a grand prize of $100,000 USD.
“We really wanted to start this year off right and make a statement,” said Flight Owner and Head Coach Mark King. “This is our tenth anniversary season, and our entire staff, players and even fans are all working very hard to make this year something special. This is a great start for us!”
The tournament used a slightly modified version of the Jump 10 World Hoops Challenge rules, including the two 12-minute game set competition format, a tie breaker game if needed, and a man-to-man defense requirement during competition. While an adjustment to regular FBA rules, the pace and format of the game gave fans an exciting, intense experience that some want to see more of.
“This was a very exciting format, and I’d like to see more games like this,” said Faye Winfrey. “Each minute was so critical. Each game is important. It really leaves you on the edge of your seat as a fan. It was very exciting.”
The final game featured the Flight against Team Win, a team comprised mostly of players with overseas experience local to the Central Florida region. It was the second meeting between the two in the tournament. The Flight defeated Team Win in round two, causing Team Win to battle through the Loser’s Bracket to get to the finals.
After splitting the first two games in the final round, the teams entered a 2 minute overtime set. Remaining tied after overtime, the two headed to the unique, Jump 10 rule of a sudden death, next basket wins scenario.
Per the double elimination format, a Flight loss would’ve required Team Win to defeat the Flight in a final 12 minute game to secure the championship win. That turned out to be unnecessary. Flight guard Elliott Glegg made the winning basket for the Flight, knocking down a free throw after Team Win was called for an illegal defense violation for trying to use zone defense coverage.
“It felt good getting the winning basket for my team, but it was for sure a collective effort,” said Glegg. “We felt like this was an opportunity for us to make a name for ourselves before heading to China in May for our international tour, so we really wanted to get this Jump 10 championship win.”
The win gives the Flight a free trip to Shanghai, China for the Jump 10 World Hoops Challenge, which will features 16 teams from 12 different countries. This will be the second visit to China for the Flight, as they are also scheduled for a 20 day exposure tour in May.
The FBA is a Florida-based professional basketball league providing a development, branding and exposure platform for athletes, referees and other individuals seeking to further their professional basketball career.