DUBOIS, Pa. – The DuBois Dream is trying to get into The Basketball Tournament (TBT) for a fourth straight year, and its asking local people to help them out.
“The Basketball Tournament is a $2 million winner-take-all basketball tournament that is aired on ESPN each year,” Albert Varacallo, founder of the DuBois Dream told D9Sports.com. “That is where the DuBois Dream all started back in 2016. We needed to get enough votes to get in, our community banded behind us, got behind us, got us to the top of the list, and we made it onto The Basketball Tournament Scene. We played on the ESPN network. We played pretty well.”
In past years, a voting system was the full way to get a team into the TBT, but this year it is only part of the process with the other part being the resume of the team trying to get in.
“This year, they have changed it up a little bit,” Varacallo said. “This year, it is more of a resume builder. Votes are only a part of the process.”
While votes only make up a part of the process, Varacallo is still hoping the community shows TBT organizers that they want the Dream in the tournament.
Varacallo believes that the combination of votes and how the Dream has performed at in TBT in the past will be enough to push the team into the tournament again this year.
“We have played in it the past three years, competed each time,” Varacallo said. “We have come real close to getting that first win.”
It’s not only the resume of what the Dream has done on the court, but also what the Dream is playing for in terms of its mission that will be looked at by the organizers.
“They also tie in what kind of causes you are playing for,” Varacallo said. “Do you really have a story people can get behind. I really feel like DuBois and our story and everything we are playing for this year is a great thing TBT wants to have us in there for a fourth straight summer.”
The Dream will be playing for the Dr. Albert Varacallo Foundation, a foundation formed to honor Varacallo’s late father, who was also named Albert. The mission of the foundation is to provide scholarships to students who are interested in furthering their education in the health-care field, lend assistance to those in need and spread awareness to safety issues while using different modes of transportation on the highways.
“Each year, I like to play for the Dr. Albert Varacallo Foundation,” Varacallo said. “That is kind of where the Dream got started. I wanted to play for something bigger than just basketball and money.”
The foundation isn’t the only thing the Dream will be playing for in 2019 if they get into TBT.
“We are also playing for a new sports complex and special needs sensory gym,” Varacallo said. “I really feel like that is needed in this area. This City is awesome. I think we could really use something that is indoors that we can really play inside, have the special needs individuals and everyone else that is part of the community really enjoy. That is year round.”
A third cause the Dream is playing for is Square One.
“They are a new non-profit in this area as well as they have an office out in Las Vegas,” Varacallo said. “They help people go from surviving to thriving. They are big dreamers as well. We are happy to partner with them as well.”
The deadline for voting for the TBT is June 1.
“The TBT starts in July,” Varacallo said. “We are hoping we can be accepted and take it from there.”