ABOUT THE PIT
History of the P.I.T.
Each year for 67 years the P.I.T has invited 64 of the best college basketball players (seniors) from across the nation to participate in a four-day, twelve game tournament in front of representatives from every NBA team. The tournament drew the attention of NBA Scouts and General Managers in the 1970’s when players like Rick Barry, Earl “The Pearl” Monroe, Dave Cowens, John Lucas and Bobby Cremins came to Portsmouth to play. Soon the word spread and approximately 200 Scouts, General Managers and Representatives of all 30 NBA teams began to come to see players like John Stockton, Dennis Rodman, Tim Hardaway, Scottie Pippen and others. Today scouts from numerous international leagues have joined in on the annual April pilgrimage to Portsmouth. Over the years the P.I.T. has been a showcase for five of the 50 greatest players in NBA History (Rick Barry, Earl ‘The Pearl” Monroe, Dave Cowens, John Stockton, Scottie Pippen) and for many others who have gone on to NBA stardom including 2015 NBA All-Star Jimmy Butler.
Mission of the P.I.T.
The P.I.T. has always claimed to be “more than a basketball tournament”. Each year the P.I.T. contributes back to the community by awarding seven $4,000 scholarships to student athletes from Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Suffolk and Virginia Beach. In addition to the scholarships, approximately $11,500 from the tournament proceeds is presented to local non-profit organizations and charities to help them make a difference in the local community, creating a grand total of over $31,500 given back the community each year. The contributions and scholarships have risen significantly over the years thanks to the support of local sponsors, advertisers, ticket sales, the City of Portsmouth and the NBA. Of course, the more than 100 volunteers involved in producing the tournament have a special place in the success of this wonderful event each year. Together they all make this “more than a basketball tournament”.
Impact of the P.I.T.
The impact of the P.I.T. can be displayed in many ways. The economic benefit to the City of Portsmouth has been calculated and is evidenced by the many guests (players’ families, players’ college coaches, NBA and International scouts) who stay in Portsmouth hotels and dine at Portsmouth restaurants. The P.I.T. is a media frenzy. Each year over 150 newspapers across the country run articles about the P.I.T. and the players performing here. The P.I.T. has been the topic of numerous magazine articles in such magazines as Sports Illustrated, ESPN the Magazine and many other basketball publications. The tournament consistently generates over 1,000,000 hits on its website. Television and internet streaming of P.I.T. games, highlights and human interest stories have varied over the years from ESPN to NBA-TV to SlamOnline and numerous other national, regional and local broadcasts. The P.I.T. is also a regular topic on numerous basketball related websites around the world.
Future of the P.I.T.
The future of the tournament looks very bright. The tournament is run under the auspice of the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament Foundation and has gained a highly valued reputation with college players and coaches, the NBA and many professional basketball leagues around the world. Interest in the P.I.T. is stronger than ever. The ultimate goal for the future of the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament is to maintain a prominent reputation for excellence in basketball, remain financially self-sufficient and build upon a well established heritage of philanthropy to student athletes and charitable organizations.