PARADISE ISLAND, Bahamas – The man who runs the resort that stages the Battle 4 Atlantis is ready to make his tournament the best of the preseason college events.
"This is the richest preseason tournament. Period," said George Markantonis, President and Managing Director of the Atlantis megaresort. "Most tournaments don't pay the schools anything. Nothing. Nada. All they do is give them a hotel room and their 22 seats of airfare. We knew there was no way we would be able to convince teams that it's just better in the Bahamas, even if we got that NCAA exemption. There was no way we could just convert a ballroom into a basketball court and say: Trust us. So what you really need is a bit more firepower."
Markantonis went all out.
He said the resort dishes out almost $2 million in prize money. All eight teams get $150,000 just for taking the court.