INDIANAPOLIS - The lineup of players began to read like a "Who's Who" of basketball.
Their was a match-up with a well established pro-am league that earned some national attention. The basketball was lauded as being among the best offered in a locked-out NBA world.
You could say the Indy Pro-Am introduced itself to the basketball world in 2011-and according to founder Carlos Knox you would be right.
"Last year was a big year," said Knox. "Now we want to make sure that we continue the momentum and good quality basketball play."
Its a quest that officially begins on Tuesday, when the fourth annual Pro-Am gets started at The Jungle on the campus of IUPUI. It's a camp that has been approved and sanctioned by the NBA and the NCAA, which will allow a collection of talent to participate during games over a month of competition.
While the caliber of play is important to Knox the former Jaguars player believes that atmosphere is key-and was what would truly help keep the momentum of 2011 going a year later.
"One thing we want to do is always keep a nice, positive atmosphere," said Knox of the goal of camp. "With the community supporting it so good, the NBA players supporting it so good, it think it's just a good opportunity for everyone to come in and play some good quality basketball."
Those NBA players currently slated to do so on one of the eight teams includes Pacers players George Hill and Lance Stephenson, Hornets guard Eric Gordon, Celtics forward JaJuan Johnson along with guard E'Twaun Moore and Heat guard Mario Chalmers among a number of others.
College players will include those from Butler, Ball State, Indiana State and IUPUI-and where Knox believes the biggest development will occur.
"We want to build the league on a solid college core, from a college core standpoint so we won't have any issues because NBA guys have so many things going on with their schedule," said Knox.
Games will be played on Tuesdays and Thursday's through July 26th, with each team playing one game on each day. The top four teams will advance to the Semi-Finals on July 31st with the championship game August 2nd.
For players like Skip Mills, who has played overseas after a successful career at Ball State, the games give him a chance to develop against some of the best as he readies for his own regular season.
"Coming off an injury, I was playing in Holland, it was really good for me to get some game momentum before I went overseas," said Mills. "There was a bunch of guys like Christian Eyenga, Eric Gordon, Zach Randolph, there was an unlimited number of guys in the NBA that played.
"That made the league even better."