DJ Kennedy: Former St. John’s star, TBT superstar explains why he plays for Boeheim’s Army


Syracuse, NY – The way DJ Kennedy saw it, trying to assemble an overseas elite team to compete in the basketball tournament this summer seemed like an end-of-the-line proposition.

The team, which had won four consecutive TBTs and raised $ 7 million in prize money during that period, had grown older. Some boys had families, another wanted to get married. Putting together a basketball list at the last minute just to put together a team seemed disrespectful to the Overseas Elite brand.

“I don’t think people really understand the process. It starts months in advance and I think we didn’t want to put any team together, ”he said. “We thought it would be best to leave it there and if the guys wanted to play we’d look elsewhere. That’s pretty much what happened in that situation. “

“This situation” brought Kennedy, the leading scorer in TBT history, and his loyal pal Deandre Kane to Boeheim’s army after the overseas elite decided to disband. Kennedy, the former St. John’s star, said he was approached by Boeheim’s Army Guard Eric Devendorf to gauge his interest in playing for the Syracuse-based team.

Kennedy was a popular free agent. He said “it was crazy” how many TBT teams contacted him when Overseas elite announced they would not play in 2021.

Kennedy had requests for teams courting him. He preferred to bring at least one teammate from the overseas elite. He mentioned Kane, his childhood friend from Pittsburgh, as an option, and Devendorf, he said, was “open” to adding both men to the Boeheims army list.

So a deal was struck and Kennedy and Kane were suddenly part of the Boeheim army team.

“I just liked the way they approached the whole organization and put a team together. The structure. I liked the way they presented themselves and I thought it would be a great opportunity, ”said Kennedy. “I could tell that you mean business very seriously. They wanted to win this year. Just hearing from Devendorf and everyone involved seemed to really be trying to put something together and get the players to give them their best chance of winning. “

Kennedy, at 6-foot-6, does scoring, rebounding, and pretty much everything else. The secret to Overseas Elite’s success over the years has been the team’s willingness to share the ball, play loosely, and enjoy the camaraderie of competition.

The team, he said, never held a training day. They knew each other through a number of connected relationships. Kennedy and Kane. Kennedy and Kyle Fogg, who played together in the (then) D League. Fogg and Errick McCullum who were friends.

“Honestly, I think we just put together a great group of guys who can play basketball and who were selfless,” he said. “You can’t put too much pressure on yourself. Just stay relaxed and secure every possession. Every possession counts and you have to be willing to do anything, it really is.

“We never felt any pressure during the entire run. We played basketball, had fun, relaxed and let the results come out. I didn’t see anyone on the team panic. Nobody ever had the feeling that we were going to lose. “

Boeheim’s army will hold a training camp in Syracuse from July 18-23. Kennedy’s arrival will be delayed by a wedding he’s attending, but he plans to be in town this week.

His inclusion on the Boeheim’s Army list – a team made up mostly of ex-Syracuse University players – prompted some St. John’s supporters to post a small online comment about the eligibility / loyalty of a former Red Storm player who is now Syracuse Orange carries, make.

Kennedy heard the complaints.

“I’m St. John’s forever,” he said. “But St. John’s doesn’t have a team so I think they’ll let me go with that. And there is no overseas elite. I’m sure some people will have trouble rooting, but hopefully they will root for me. But yeah, it was definitely a big question mark with St. John’s fans and all that. I think people will get it. It’s a cash tournament and the guys want to do their best to win. “

Kennedy, who played for Pınar Karşıyaka in the Turkish League last season, said he still has no goal for professional balls 2021-22.


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