MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Nearly half of the teams in The Basketball Tournament represent collegiate programs. The players on those rosters represent different eras of their Alma Mater but that doesn’t mean everyone on the team has to be alumni.

Best Virginia has three players, Jamel Morris, Tanner McGrew and Kaleb Wesson, on its TBT roster that didn’t play for West Virginia University but do have ties to the state in one way or another.

Morris played at Glenville State and Fairmont State and joined Best Virginia in last year’s TBT. McGrew also played in the Mountain East Conference at West Virginia Wesleyan. He grew up a WVU fan and has spent the past few summers working out with Kevin Jones and other WVU alum in Morgantown.

In Wesson’s case, his connection to WVU isn’t as well known as the other two as he played his collegiate career at Ohio State.

“Kaleb actually plays in Puerto Rico with Jaysean (Paige), on his team, which I didn’t know,” said Jones, Best Virginia player and co-founder. “He was supposed to play for the Marquette team and then something happened and he couldn’t. He needed a team to play for and we just so happened to need a big man. So it all just worked out. It was perfect timing.”

Mountaineer fans might also remember Wesson from the clash with Ohio State during the 2019-20 season. He led the Buckeyes in scoring with 17 points and was their second-leading rebounder with 9. Wesson earned most of his points in that game from the charity stripe. He went 10-of-15 from the foul line while making just 3-of-11 from the floor.

As a freshman in Columbus, he averaged 10.2 points and 4.9 rebounds and was named to the Big 10 All-Freshman Team. The following year, the numbers increased to 14.6 points and 6.9 rebounds per game. He did declare for the 2019 NBA Draft but ultimately made the decision to return to Ohio State for one more season.

In his final year as Buckeye, Wesson averaged 14.0 points and 9.3 rebounds per game. He shot 42.5% from beyond the arc as a junior. After that season, he entered the 2020 NBA Draft.

After going undrafted that year, he signed with the Golden State Warriors and ended up playing for the organization’s G League squad, the Santa Cruz Warriors, in 2021.

Wesson is currently playing for Indios de Mayaguez which competes in the Baloncesto Superior Nacional, Puerto Rico’s top-tier league. He averages 18.3 points, 7.4 boards and 2.6 assists per game and has notched a double-double in two of his last five outings. His most recent performance saw 20 points on June 21. He dropped 26 last week. The team wraps up its season on June 28.

“We are excited to have him,” Jones said. “This is his first time in TBT and I think he is going to do well for us.”

Best Virginia, the No. 1 seed in the West Virginia Regional, will start TBT action against No. 8 Virginia Dream on July 24 at 7 p.m.