TOLEDO, Ohio — Forwards Setric Millner Jr. and JT Shumate will be two of 64 college basketball seniors competing in the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament to be held on Wednesday-Saturday, April 12-15 in Portsmouth, Va.
Millner and Shumate will both play their first game against each other on Thursday at 7:00 p.m. for Jani-King and Roger Brown’s, respectively. The Rockets join DePaul, Iowa State, Memphis, New Mexico, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Saint Louis, Texas, UAB and UCLA as one of 11 schools having two representatives competing in the event.
“We’ve had quite a few guys who have had the honor to play in Portsmouth,” Head Coach Tod Kowalczyk said. “It’s a fantastic experience to play in front of NBA and European scouts. To have two guys from a mid-major program is remarkable, and I’m extremely proud of both Seth and JT and very grateful to the Portsmouth committee for selecting them. We owe a great deal of our success over the last three years to both of them, and our program has put them in an incredible spotlight to have the opportunity to play professionally. They have paved the way for future Rockets to make some money in the game of basketball.”
A Little Rock, Ark. native, Millner earned Second-Team All-MAC honors and was named to the MAC All-Tournament Team this past season after receiving Third-Team All-MAC accolades as a junior. He ranked ninth in the MAC and second on the team with a career-high 16.1 ppg. Millner also ranked second in the MAC in league play with a team-best 50.0 three-point FG% (35-of-70) and paced the Rockets with 5.9 rpg.
Millner will be playing with Saint Louis’ Yuri Collins, UAB’s Trey Jemison, VCU’s Brandon Johns Jr., UNC-Asheville’s Tajion Jones, Iowa State’s Gabe Kalscheur, UC-Riverside’s Zyon Pullin, and New Mexico’s Morris Udeze.
Shumate, a Newark, Ohio native, earned first-team All-MAC honors as a senior after being named second-team all-league honors as a junior. He ranked third on the team with 16.0 ppg and led the Rockets with 1.2 bpg and an 86.7 free-throw percentage. Shumate ranks first in program history in career marks with a 43.7 three-point FG% and an 84.1 FT%. He also ranks fifth all-time with a 55.4 FG% and 117 blocked shots.
Shumate is part of a team that includes Oklahoma’s Tanner Groves, Missouri’s D’Moi Hodge, Virginia Tech’s Justyn Mutts, South Alabama’s Kevin Samuel, Loyola Marymount’s Cam Shelton, UCLA’s David Singleton III, and UAB’s Jelly Walker.
Six Rockets have competed in the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament during Head Coach Tod Kowalczyk‘s tenure. Millner and Shumate join Rian Pearson (2014), Julius Brown (2015), Nathan Boothe (2016) and Steve Taylor Jr. (2017).
The Portsmouth Invitational is in its 69th year and is a four-day, 12-game tournament, in front of representatives from every NBA organization and numerous international leagues. Former participants including Rick Barry, Jimmy Butler, Dave Cowens, Tim Hardaway, John Lucas, Earl “The Pearl” Monroe, Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman and John Stockton.
For more information regarding the event, fans can visit portsmouthinvitational.com. The website contains player information, hotel information, previous records/players and more information about the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament.
Mission of the P.I.T.
The PIT is more than a basketball tournament. Each year the PIT gives back to the community by awarding seven $4,000 scholarships to student athletes from Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Suffolk and Virginia Beach. In addition, approximately $11,500 from tournament proceeds provide a big assist to local non-profit organizations and charities to help them make a difference in the local community. The tournament thanks its team of local sponsors, advertisers, ticket sales, the City of Portsmouth and the NBA for all the support they provide, along with the more than 100 volunteers without whom the tournament would not exist.
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