Former Notre Dame forward Paul Atkinson Jr. has found his next basketball venture. Atkinson will play for The Nerd Team in The Basketball Tournament, a 64-team single elimination event held every summer that awards the winner $1 million, the team announced Tuesday.
The Nerd Team is made up of former college players who suited up for some of Division I’s most reputable academic institutions. Atkinson certainly qualifies. He played this season at Notre Dame as a grad transfer after four years at Yale. He graduated from Notre Dame with a master’s degree in management.
Atkinson averaged 12.5 points per game in 2021-22 and was Notre Dame’s third-leading scorer. He pulled down a team-best 6.9 rebounds per game and led the ACC in field goal percentage (58.8). His putback layup with 1.4 seconds left gave the Irish an 89-87 double overtime win over Rutgers in the NCAA tournament First Four. He participated in the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament, an annual pre-NBA draft showcase for college seniors held in mid-April.
Atkinson should have plenty of professional options available to him for next season, even with the NBA and G League unlikely to be among them. Before embarking on one, though, he will try to help some fellow brainy basketball players win $1 million.
The Basketball Tournament begins July 16.
Notre Dame tweets of the Day
Add another five-star official visitor to the Irish’s list of expected June guests: Lehigh Acres (Fla.) High running back Richard Young, the No. 25 prospect in the 2023 On3 Consensus and the top-ranked player at his position. Read more on Young here.
Notre Dame. Ohio State. Prime time. Kickoff time is set.
The opener might have a celebrity guest in attendance: Ohio native and Buckeyes fan LeBron James.
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Quote of the Day
“We’re going to evaluate the best players in the country regardless of what school they’re at. I don’t care where they’re at. Coast to coast. Germany. Across the world. It doesn’t matter.”
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