Team Defeat Diabetes Competing in TBT 2022

The Basketball Tournament, known by fans these days as TBT, stands as one of the more popular forms of summer basketball to enjoy. This year, the tournament hosts 64 teams playing in a single-elimination bracket for a winner-take-all $1 million. The teams are made up largely of professional and former college stars, some representing their former schools while others play on sponsored teams, like team Defeat Diabetes.

TBT 2022 will be ninth installment of the tournament, with games being played in July and August, aired on ESPN and ESPN2. South Florida basketball fans might recognize the Category 5 team, made up of University of Miami alumni, including the recently graduated Chris Lykes and former Canes stars like Durand Scott. Miami Heat fans might recognize former Heat players Jamario Moon and James Ennis, playing on teams, amongst others.

This event provides players an opportunity to showcase their skills in the States, in an effort for some to make or return to the NBA. This includes former first-round NBA Draft picks and, for the first time, frontline NBA Draft prospects. The Overtime Elite squad features twins Amen and Ausar Thompson, both of whom are projected top-10 picks in the 2023 draft.

But beyond that, many of these teams find themselves playing to support of important causes, like Type-1 diabetes. There are squads representing a variety of foundations, including those for ALS, autism, cancer, mental wellness, and muscular dystrophy.

Team Defeat Diabetes to Debut in TBT 2022

In its first year at TBT, the Defeat Diabetes team hopes to benefit those individuals living with Type-1 diabetes. The squad is sponsored by the JDRF, formerly known as the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. They will donate a portion of their winnings to the foundation.

Former University of North Florida star Jalen Nesbitt co-founded team Defeat Diabetes with his fiancé, Cristina Desemone. Nesbitt, a Spartanburg, SC, native, sports seven years of professional basketball experience in Europe.

Desemone, who has been living with Type-1 diabetes since 2006, is a registered dietitian specializing in performance nutrition. She works with athletes to help them reach their performance goals and prepare them for an elite level of play. The couple felt TBT provided a solid platform from which to advocate for those with diabetes.

The team will play out of the Xavier Region at the Cintas Center, in Cincinnati, Ohio. They have a growing presence on social media, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, as well as YouTube. They continue their funding efforts on GoFundMe.

Defeat Diabetes TBT Team Roster

The Defeat Diabetes roster sports 10 players, headlined by former NBA forward Gary Forbes. The 37-year-old Forbes spent two seasons in the NBA, playing with the Denver Nuggets (as a teammate of former Heat fan-favorite Chris ‘Birdman’ Andersen) and Toronto Raptors. Interestingly, he was part of the trade package that sent current Miami Heat guard Kyle Lowry from Houston to the Raptors in 2012.

Forbes played in previous TBT events for the Talladega Knights (2017) and Gael Nation (2018). He played collegiately at both Virginia (2003-05) and UMass (2006-08). Forbes earned Atlantic-10 Player of the Year honors in 2008.

Gary Forbes is one of three players with Type-1 diabetes to play in the NBA. Following his stellar college career, Forbes joined Chris Dudley and Adam Morrison as the only other players in NBA history with Type-1 diabetes. Only one player, Lauren Cox, has played in the WNBA with Type-1 diabetes.

In committing to team Defeat Diabetes for TBT, Forbes said he wants to “represent those living with Type-1 diabetes.”

The team’s co-founder, Jalen Nesbitt, recently played for Almansa in the Spain-LEB Gold league during the 2021-22 season. Nesbitt starred at the University of North Florida, in Jacksonville, from 2013-15. As a senior, Nesbitt started in all 35 games for UNF while averaging 10.9 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 3.4 assists per game. He helped UNF capture the program’s first Atlantic Sun Conference title and advance to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in school history.

Nesbitt says he’s “excited to bring awareness to Type-1 diabetes”. The 28-year-old shooting guard stands “ready to compete and win this million dollars.”

Rest of the Roster

Joining Forbes and Nesbitt on team Defeat Diabetes for TBT are veterans of both NCAA and international professional basketball.

Donovan Donaldson played collegiately at Tusculum University in Tennessee. The 25-year-old guard has played in Germany, North Macedonia, and most recently Hungary with PVSK-Veolia.

Arthur Edwards played at Alabama in the 2015-16 season, starting all 33 games and averaging 9.5 points-per-game. The 29-year-old guard has played in the NBA G League, Bulgaria, and most recently Switzerland.

Demonte Flannigan excelled at Cleveland State. He played under head coach Gary Waters, who also coached former Miami Heat guard Norris Cole. After college, Flannigan has played in the top leagues in the UK, Denmark, and Georgia.

Cameron Forte comes to team Defeat Diabetes as a TBT veteran, including a 39-point/23-rebound performance the 2018 event. At Portland State during the 2015-16 season, he averaged 19.2 points-per-game, earning All-Big Sky Second Team honors. Forte has played professionally in Canada, the Philippines, Mexico, and Iceland.

JJ Frazier averaged 18.8 points-per-game during his senior season at Georgia and earned All-SEC First Team honors. He has played professionally in Italy and Turkey. Frazier’s also played for the Memphis Hustle of the NBA G League.

Brevin Priztl led the Big Ten in 3-point field goal percentage during conference play (53.5) as a junior at Wisconsin in the 2018-19 season. He has played professionally in Serbia and Denmark since then.

Zac Seljaas played four years at BYU before playing professionally in Georgia for BC Vera. The 24-year-old averaged 22.1 points-per-game and 12.0 rebounds-per-game during the 2021-22 season.

Emmanuel Wembi finished his college career Lenoir-Rhyne before playing overseas in Croatia and most recently Estonia. This past season he averaged 12.2 points-per-game and 8.2 rebounds-per-game for Tartu Ülikool Maks & Moorits in Estonia.

Support Team Defeat Diabetes at TBT 2022

To support team Defeat Diabetes at TBT 2022 you can donate on their GoFundMe page. Follow them on their social platforms, including their YouTube channel, their Twitter page, as well as both their Facebook page and on Instagram.

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