For the last few decades, Iowa State fans have been blessed with the opportunity to watch incredible players put on a Cyclone jersey and run up and and down the floor in Hilton Coliseum. When these players leave ISU (for one reason or another), the chance to see them represent the University in some capacity usually goes out the door with them.
This year, that’s set to change. For the first time since The Basketball Tournament began in 2014, a team full of former Iowa State players is being formed to compete. And they need your help to make it happen.
The Hilton Magic Legends, led by GM Tony Colosimo and head coach/former All-American player Marcus Fizer, are gunning to be included in the 2017 edition of The Basketball Tournament. This year, the winner-take-all format will award $2 million to the champion in the single-elimination, 64-team format.
To get into the field of 64, the Hilton Magic Legends must first qualify by being voted in by the fans, which is where YOU reading this must help out. To vote, head to the tournament’s website, create an account, and become a fan of the team!
Sounds easy, right? It is. But there’s even more incentive to vote! The top 100 fans will receive a cut of the $2 million purse if the team ends up winning the whole thing, with voting yourself counting as one point and getting someone to vote using your link counting as one point for you as well. The fan that accumulates the most points will take home $20,000, 2nd-5th most points get $10,000 each, 6th-20th each get $4,000, and 21st-100th take home a cool grand.
In addition to Fizer being the head coach, the team has also secured the commitment of Curtis Stinson, who had a stellar career at Iowa State before becoming one of the best players in the NBA D-League, where he recently had his jersey retired by the Iowa Energy.
We're excited to announce our 2nd member! He had a great career for the Cyclones & has a great professional career. Welcome Curtis Stinson! pic.twitter.com/TlyWDiTlgT— HiltonMagicLegends (@HiltonMagicTBT) April 4, 2017
I talked to GM Tony Colosimo, who’s an avid fan of Cyclone athletics, about getting the team put together. His enthusiasm and love for Iowa State shined through with every word he said.
“The Basketball Tournament is thrilled with the idea of an Iowa State alumni team because they know how loyal and attached our fan base is,” said Colosimo. “Our team could easily be one of the most followed teams in the entire tournament if we can get the word out about it and qualify for the field.”
While the Hilton Magic Legends have yet to fill out their roster, Colosimo assured me that they’re targeting all of the recent players that fans are clamoring for.
“It’s tough because every player’s situation is different and many of them are still playing overseas or could potentially play in the NBA’s Summer League, but [Marcus Fizer and Curtis Stinson] have provided a great base and are doing everything they can to recruit some of the recent fan-favorites,” said Colosimo.
More than anything, Colosimo wants fans of Iowa State basketball to know that by voting for this team, they’re voting for members of the Cyclone family.
“When players come to Iowa State, they become part of something bigger than college basketball. They become family. The most recent senior class were like sons in the eyes of many of us because they were great kids and great players. Now, some of the guys who have played [for Iowa State] recently have the chance to once again represent ISU. How cool is that? For Cyclone fans, I want them to know that by supporting this team, they’re supporting these former players to continue doing something they love. That’s what really matters.”
The Hilton Magic Legends are hoping to have their roster finalized sometime in May. If you’re interested in staying up to date on player additions and other team news, be sure to follow them on Facebook and Twitter.
Voting for The Basketball Tournament runs now through June 1, so round up all your friends and get them to vote too. Vote here, and hopefully we’ll get the pleasure of watching some Cyclone basketball this summer!
Stay tuned to WRNL for more news on the Hilton Magic Legends as we get closer to the beginning of the tournament.