New tournament format introduced for 2019 MGM Resorts NBA G League Winter Showcase in Las Vegas

NEW YORK – The 2019 MGM Resorts NBA G League Winter Showcase will be played in Las Vegas for the second consecutive year from Dec. 19-22 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center.  The NBA G League’s premier in-season scouting event, which spans four days and features 28 regular season games spread across two courts, will introduce a tournament format and a $100,000 prize for players on the winning team.

Under the new tournament format, teams will be ranked 1-28 based on their records through the first 12 regular season games of the season.  The top four ranked teams will be placed into the Championship Bracket while the remaining 24 teams will be placed into six four-team brackets.  All games at the Winter Showcase will continue to count toward regular season records.

“We are thrilled to once again partner with MGM Resorts to bring the NBA G League Winter Showcase back to Mandalay Bay and Las Vegas,” said NBA G League President Shareef Abdur-Rahim.  “The Winter Showcase has long been a marquee event on the NBA G League calendar and we’re excited to introduce the new tournament format this season.”

Lance Evans, Senior Vice President of Sports & Sponsorships for MGM Resorts International, said, “We look forward to the return of the NBA G League Winter Showcase to Mandalay Bay this December.  Las Vegas has become the ultimate sports destination and the resort is home to one of the nation’s best basketball venues.  This is a great opportunity to host some of the world’s best athletes as they showcase their abilities in a new tournament-style format.”

For the second consecutive year, the NBA G League Winter Showcase will host more than 20 players from NBA Academies, the league’s network of elite basketball training centers for top prospects from outside the U.S.  The prospects will scrimmage against each other, participate in the 2019 Tarkanian Classic and receive life-skills programming focusing on education, leadership, health and wellness, and character development.  Since October 2016, NBA Academies have been launched in Canberra, Australia; Jinan, Urumqi and Zhuji, China; Delhi National Capital Region (NCR), India; Mexico City, Mexico; and Saly, Senegal.

The MGM Resorts NBA G League Winter Showcase has become a springboard to the NBA, with more than 60 players earning GATORADE Call-Ups during or immediately following the last 15 Showcases.

Following last year’s Winter Showcase, Brandon Sampson of the Rio Grande Valley Vipers signed a Two-Way contract with the Chicago Bulls and Donte Grantham of the Oklahoma City Blue signed a Two-Way contract with the Oklahoma City Thunder.