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Updated: May 10, 2021

By Kevin McCaskill Jr.

THE BITCOIN CLASSIC-CT was a historical event! Four teams - Team Impact, REP 413, Edge of Keene and The 38 Special - played in the inaugural TBC-CT.

Most tournaments award a trophy or medals as the prize. If there is a monetary award, its usually exchanged through US currency 💵, 📱 or less often a check.

TBC-CT was the first 🏀 tournament to award the champion’s prize in a cryptocurrency, Bitcoin.

The idea was executed by TBC creator and City of Guards founder, Yusuf Abdul-Ali.

At “The Final”, Abdul-Ali told me he is “all-in” on Bitcoin and cryptocurrency in general.

I didn’t know until the 4th quarter of the 1st game but TBC uses “an Elam ending”-type of strategy to determine the victor at the end of each game.

The first matchup of the day was Edge of Keene vs. Team Impact. EoK was led by Ty Nichols, former star at Putnam Academy (Springfield, MA; MIAA) and Keene State.

(Ty Nichols)

Team Impact was led by former D1 and G-League players Kuran Iverson and Mike Anderson. Both are from Hartford, CT.

(Kuran Iverson)

(Mike Anderson)

Team Impact had a significant height advantage in both games they played on Sunday. Iverson and Scott Sill are both above 6’9”. Anderson is about 6’5”.

Nichols and EoK played Team Impact competitively in the first quarter. Nichols scored 10 points in the first. He got some easy layups from defensive breakdowns and some good moves that he made to the basket. Team Impact got an overall team effort in the first.

EoK was up after one 20-19.

Team Impact’s athletic advantage pushed them pass EoK in the 2nd quarter. Iverson scored 12 points in the 2nd. EoK couldn’t stop Team Impact in the paint. Team Impact ran a pick-and-roll at the top of the key all game.

(Devin Brooks)

Team Impact was up at halftime 41-36.

Mike Anderson came on in 3rd for Team Impact. He hit three 3s in the quarter and they never looked back.

In Game 1 of TBC, Team Impact beat Edge of Keene 78-71.

The second matchup of the day was The 38 Special vs. REP 413.

REP 413 was led by Jake Ross and Norris Cuevas.

Jake Ross played at Northampton HS and Springfield College.

(Jake Ross)

The 1st quarter was competitive but REP 413 controlled the game from the second quarter until the end. REP 413 had 4 of their 7 players score in double-figures. They were led by Cuevas in scoring. He scored 26 points against T38S.

(Robby Jones)

(Jon Garcia)

In Game 2 of the TBC, REP 413 beat The 38 Special 79-60.

The last matchup of the day was REP 413 vs. Team Impact. The game started about 30 minutes after REP 413 won Game 2.

(Kealen Ives)

As expected, the championship game was tightly contested. REP 413 competed for the first half with Team Impact.

Team Impact led at halftime 28-24.

In the third, Team Impact opened up their lead. REP 413 was missing make-able shots to keep them in the game. Team Impact hit a few 3s and REP 413’s comeback was averted.

Team Impact extended their lead in the 4th and won THE BITCOIN CLASSIC-CT 54-42!

(Coach Steven Thompson w/ trophy flanked by the founders of IMPACT Training)

There was a trophy 🏆 presentation and a light celebration by the champions.

FP SPORTS can confirm that the wire has been sent and Team Impact has received “The Bitcoin Bag” 💰.

After the game I spoke to Team Impact HC Steven Thompson, Guard Mike Anderson and Guard Kuran Iverson. I also spoke with REP 413 guard Jon Garcia and TBC founder Yusuf Abdul-Ali.

⚫️Team Impact HC Steven Thompson & Team Impact Guard Mike Anderson 🔴

Coach, what made you enter THE BITCOIN CLASSIC?

“We had one of our players shot and killed over the summer, Jaqhawn Walters. He was playing overseas in Argentina, because of COVID he was out here. Ended up in his hometown getting shot and killed. We are in these leagues to help his family”.

Could you tell me about #35?

“Yeah, that’s Mike Anderson. He played for the University of Washington, played in the G-League...Hey Mike, [motions for Mike to come over to us]...Mike, come here, man...he played in the G-League. Kuran Iverson...was the big dude...”

[To Mike Anderson] How are you doin, man?

Anderson: Y’all know I’m not good with interviews.

[Coach Thompson talking to Anderson]

Coach Thompson: (about Anderson)...real leader, real shooter...he’s a bucket.

Mike, what was it like playing in the first ever BITCOIN CLASSIC?

“It was cool. It was real organized. I wasn’t expecting that at first. For it to be the 1st tournament of the summer, it was real good”.

Can you tell us about yourself?

“I’m originally from Hartford, CT. I went to the University of Washington. Did 2 years there, I’ma JUCO [Junior College] kid. I got drafted to the Toronto Raptors G-League team in the first round. Played a couple of years overseas, went back to the G-League, for the Charlotte Hornets. I recently played in Australia”.

What are your plans for the near future?

“I’ll probably go back to Australia”.

What’s the 🏀 like in Australia?

“It’s good. They play real organized. Is the same like, Euro-style. They have high 🏀 IQ too”.

Coach, now that you are the winners of THE BITCOIN CLASSIC, are you gonna come back next year?

“Without a doubt, we gotta represent. We are gonna re-tool and come back”.

⚫️Team Impact Guard Kuran Iverson🔴

I’m not familiar with you at all, man [😢]. Could you tell us about yourself, please?

“I’m from Hartford, CT. Im 27 years old. I play overseas 🏀. Going back and forth from G-League to overseas, tryin to make a check”.

Did you play in college?

“Yeah, I played at Memphis for 2 years and Rhode Island for 2 years”.

What did it feel like playing in the first BITCOIN CLASSIC?

“It felt great. I felt a lil’ shaky in the beginning, legs felt like jello but my team managed to pull out the 1st win. Along with the 2nd. We was a little fatigued at the end but we pulled it out. I don’t know how but we fought for it”.

What was it like getting some words from the (413) fans in the crowd?

“Some of the Mass. fans know my name, they know me so obviously they gonna talk they junk but at the end of the day its all love. We all come out here to compete; I love when they come out here and compete with us”.

🟠REP 413 guard Jon Garcia🔵

What did you think of the first BITCOIN CLASSIC?

“I thought it was a great event. Shout out Yusuf and everybody else that put this event together. Great guys, great teams”.

What was the toughest thing about going against Team Impact?

“To be honest, I feel we missed a lot of shots. You gotta credit them they are a good team. It’s kinda hard when you got Kuran Iverson at 6’9” running the PG so we could have done a better job limiting his touches and crowding his space. They were the better team today”.

🧙🏽‍♂️TBC founder Yusuf Abdul-Ali

(Alex Antuna does play-by-play for the YouTube stream; Yusuf Abdul-Ali produces THE BITCOIN CLASSIC)

How does it feel coming off your 1st BITCOIN CLASSIC?

“It feels real good, man. We pulled it off. All games were competitive. I’m excited; I can’t wait to go to Miami June 5th and 6th”.

What did you think of the gameplay?

“The gameplay was solid. Every team competed. Every team played hard. That’s all you can ask for as an organizer. Some highlights, people on the stream loved it so I’m excited; I’m happy”.


Thanks to the Town of Bloomfield, TBC and TBC sponsors. This was a great event and I’m honored that I was a part of history.



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