Sean Finnegan Invitational Tips off in Traverse City

TRAVERSE CITY – The fourth annual Sean Finnegan Invitational tipped off Friday at Traverse City St. Francis.

Founded by Traverse City St. Francis boys basketball coach Sean Finnegan, the three-day semipro tournament that was previously held in Bellaire features 30 games and current and former professional athletes vying for a $5,000 first-place prize.

Proceeds from this year’s event benefit the youth boys and girls baseball programs at St. Francis.

“I think we have a large, local interest in basketball but this will help that grow,” Finnegan said. “I think especially with the youth, you know, being able to see something like this, it rejuvenates you and the love of the game.”

This year’s edition features 16 teams from four states including 11 from Michigan. Second-place teams receive $1,500 and third place wins $500.

For the local players, the tournament provides the opportunity to play in front of their families and a northern Michigan crowd that cheered them on during their high school and collegiate careers.

Traverse City Central graduate and former Central Michigan men’s basketball star Robbie Harman is one of those locals playing in this year’s tournament. Harman set the CMU program record for career 3-pointers and played professionally in the Netherlands before settling in as an assistant coach for Davenport University’s men’s program.

“It’s just fun to play guys from different areas, different colleges, guys that have played over in Europe, down in South America,” he said. “You know, some NBA guys even. So it’s just fun, a good challenge.”

The tournament runs Saturday from 8 a.m. to midnight and picks back up again Sunday at 8 a.m., with the finals slated for 6 p.m.

Admission is $5 per day for ages 12 and older and $2 per day for St. Francis students. Children ages 11 and younger are free.