Ty Sabin, fourth from left, stands with his coaches and teammates after a training session in Boston.
Ty Sabin, fourth from left, stands with his coaches and teammates after a training session in Boston.

   Throughout his Ripon College career, Ty Sabin may have made a lot of enemies within NCAA Division 3 (D3) with his dominating play and knack for clutch, game-winning shots.

   But now, he will carry the pride of D3 on his back as he and other top players from the division’s past team up to take part in The Basketball Tournament (TBT).

   TBT is a $2-million, 72-team, winner-takes-all tournament that will be broadcast on ESPN. It began in late June and will culminate Friday, Aug. 3 with the championship game at Morgan State University in Baltimore, Md.

   Sabin’s team, We Are D3, will begin its competition Saturday night, when it takes on the Sons of Westwood — a team primarily comprised of former UCLA players — at 8:20 p.m. in Los Angeles.

   We Are D3 is a No. 13 seed in the tournament, while Sons of Westwood is a No. 4 seed.   

   “It’s definitely a unique opportunity and it’s an honor to be able to represent D3 hoops on a big-event stage. I think a lot of people ... don’t realize how good of basketball is [played in D3],” Sabin said. “So I feel like ... this is our chance to prove to everyone that we belong. People definitely can get behind that and become fans of that.”

   Sabin, who graduated from Ripon College in 2017 as the school’s all-time leading scorer and the second-highest scorer in Midwest Conference history, was contacted about playing in the tournament this past winter via Twitter.

   “The head coach, coach [Michael] Rejniak, [direct messaged] me on Twitter telling me what they’re trying to do and what they’re trying to accomplish and asked if I would be interested. [He] then just asked for basic information like highlight video and stats … throughout my career,” Sabin said. “And then they said they would like for me to play for them.”

   Sabin, who was playing overseas at the time for the Horsholm 79ers, didn’t hesitate, noting he was excited for the invitation.

Read the full story, which includes information on how the team earned a spot and what its goals are, in the July 12, 2018 edition of the Ripon Commonwealth Press.