W&M’s Thornton impresses, and looking back at past PIT’s

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — The Portsmouth Invitational Tournament continues at Churchland High School, and Wednesday night, a couple of players with Virginia connections put on a show.

VCU’s Treveon Graham had 18 points and 7 rebounds in his teams victory, while Marcus Thornton, William & Mary’s all-time leading scorer, had 14 points and 4 assists in his teams win.

Thornton says he is honored to be a part of the PIT.

“It’s a very prestigious tournament, only 64 players can come,” said Thornton.”My realistic goal is to prepare as much as I can, be as ready as I can, and to just play my best basketball in all the workouts leading up to the NBA draft, and whatever happens that day happens.”

Thornton and Graham will go head-to-head on Friday night.

This is the 63rd PIT and many great players have passed through. Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman, John Stockton, Spud Webb, Muggsy Bogues are among the old crop. More recently, players like Kent Bazemore, Jeremy Lin, Mike Scott and Kyle O’Quinn have used the PIT to gain the attention of scouts.

Mahlon Parker runs the event, and he does it with the help of a slew of volunteers.

“When you see it everyday of the tournament year after year, people staying up until 2:00 a.m. to get a player from the airport and then on 4 hours sleep to hand out meal tickets for the players,” said NBA scout Chris Ekstrand, who has been coming to the PIT for two decades. “They go the extra mile every time and it makes a big difference.”

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