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Former News-Gazette All-Area Player of the Year Michael Finke will play for Illinois BC in this summer's The Basketball Tournament on ESPN.

A standout at Centennial High School before playing collegiately at Illinois and Grand Canyon, the 6-foot-10 Finke is pursuing a professional basketball career.

First, though, he'll play in the TBT, a 64-team, single-elimination, winner-take-all event for $2 million that has grown in popularity during its six-year run.

A year ago, Illinois BC — made up primarily of former college standouts from the state — won its opening game before being eliminated.

"It's a great way for me to represent my state," Finke said on Instagram. "I'm always looking for the chance to play at the highest level."

Vice President of News

Jim Rossow is vice president of news at The News-Gazette. His email is