For over 60 years the Portsmouth Invitational has come to the local area to provide an opportunity for 64 of the top college basketball seniors to showcase their skills in front of NBA scouts and general managers.
The event is not only a tremendous opportunity for the players participating in the tournament but it also serves as a tremendous opportunity for another group of people in attendance – autograph seekers / collectors.
The event hosts 64 of the top college basketball seniors in the country. On average about three to seven of those participating players will hear their names called during the NBA draft. As an autograph collector, getting a participating player’s autograph could mean getting the autograph of a future NBA star. The Portsmouth Invitational Tournament has hosted some of the best players in NBA history and in recent history, Jimmy Butler was named MVP of the 2011 tournament. Butler was drafted by the Chicago Bulls with the 30th pick in the 2011 NBA draft. He resigned with the Bulls to a five –year, $95 million contract during the offseason before the 2015-16 season. Butler won the Most Improved Player award during the 2014-15 season and has been named to the All-Star team each of the last two seasons.
In addition to the participating players who are in attendance, the event also hosts a number of former NBA players. Many former NBA players currently hold positions with NBA teams as scouts, assistant general managers, general managers, etc. and are in attendance at the event to scout the participating players. The PIT also hosts a celebrity luncheon during the event which normally features a former NBA player as the keynote speaker. Tim Hardaway headlined the event in 2013, while John Stockton appeared at the luncheon in 2014, followed by 12-year NBA veteran guard Rory Sparrow in 2015. This year former Portland Trailblazer guard Terry Porter will be the keynote speaker at the event. Likewise, each year a former professional player is included on each of the participating eight team’s coaching staffs.
For four days during the month of April, the city of Portsmouth becomes the epicenter for the sport of basketball at the professional level. The city welcomes players that represent both the game’s past and the game’s future. For an autograph seeker or collector, those four days present the opportunity to not only see good basketball but to also add a few former and future stars to your autograph collection.
This year’s Portsmouth Invitational Tournament will be held from April 13th-16th at Churchland High School in Portsmouth, VA. For more information, visit the PIT’s website here.