Derek Willis, the former Kentucky forward currently playing in Europe, announced Monday he will return to Lexington this summer to take part in the $2 million The Basketball Tournament along with other ex-Cats.
“Looking forward to being back in front of BBN,” a mustachioed Willis said in a short video posted on Twitter on Monday.
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Willis was the first announced player for the Bluegrass Boys, the UK “alumni” entrant and host of the opening rounds of the 64-team The Basketball Tournament to be played at Frederick Douglass High School July 19-26. Winners of regional rounds like the one in Lexington go on to a championship weekend in Chicago the following month.
Willis has been averaging 12 points per game this season for BG Göttingen in Germany after a two-year stint in the G League.
While the Bluegrass Boys have not announced any other members, they have been tweeting about other former UK players, and it is possible some of them could participate. Those players have included Terrence Jones, Eloy Vargas, Isaac Humphries, Archie Goodwin and Mychal Mulder.
A Bluegrass Boys team of Ramel Bradley, Joe Crawford, Perry Stevenson, Kevin Galloway, Shagari Alleyne and Erik Daniels last played in the event in 2016.