AMHERST, Mass. – Former Amherst College men's basketball star Johnny McCarthy '18 has been selected to play on the "We Are D3" team in this year's The Basketball Tournament (TBT), a winner-take-all event that is a who's who of current professionals (non-NBA) competing for $2 million on ESPN2.
The "We Are D3" team is in its second year of competing in TBT, which was created in 2014. The group is comprised solely of former Division 3 basketball greats from around the country and from various walks of life. McCarthy, a native of Medfield, Mass., follows his former assistant coach Aaron Toomey, who played on the inaugural "We Are D3" squad a year ago.
McCarthy is 12th all-time on the Amherst scoring list with 1,396 career points. A career 44.6% shooter from the floor, McCarthy was the 2015 NESCAC Rookie of the Year and a 2x NESCAC All-Conference selection.
"I am incredibly excited for Johnny to have this chance to play with We Are D3 in this year's TBT," said Toomey. "It is an incredible opportunity for him to play with some of Division 3's best players from the past several years and compete against some of the best players in the world outside of the NBA. Johnny is playing some of the best basketball of his life now and I can't wait to see him compete in the tournament."
"We Are D3" has been placed in the Syracuse, N.Y. bracket and will face Boeheim's Army, a team made of Syracuse alumni, in the opening round of the 64-team tournament. The game will be on July 26th, 2019 at 7:00 PM and will be shown live on ESPN 2.
Last year, We Are D3 led at halftime in their opening round game against Sons of Westwood (UCLA alumni) before falling 90-65 in the West Regional in Los Angeles.
"Just because we weren't playing on scholarship at a bigger school doesn't mean that we can't hoop too!" says the We Are D3 page on the TBT website. "We want to bring pride and awareness to how great D3 basketball is. The TBT is the perfect platform for us to showcase our talents and give voice to the underdog."
The team will once again be coached by Michael Rejniak, who spent four years as an assistant coach under David Hixon at Amherst. Rejniak helped lead Amherst to 3 NCAA appearances, including a 2008 national championship appearance.
In true "D3" fashion, the team runs on a bare bones budget that is all self-funded. Money raised takes care of the player's living arrangements, training camp and meals, with the goal to have the players pay no money to participate in TBT. If the team advances past the first weekend, TBT picks up the tab for all travel.