Villanova love runs deep at Tom Gola

By Javon Edmonds


Team CTC’s blood runs blue, mainly occupied by Villanova alum. Saturday, CTC sent Dhamir Cosby-Roundtree and James Bell onto the floor with Villanova brethren and NBA signees Jermaine Samuels and Eric Paschall.


Samuels was a 1,000-point scorer All-Big East Honorable Mention, and national champion for the Wildcats before signing an Exhibit 10 contract with the Indiana Pacers of the NBA. Paschall, also on that national championship squad, was a 2019 First-Team All-Big East selection and drafted 41st overall by the defending NBA Champion Golden State Warriors that June. 


Coaching CTC this year is Reggie Redding, a Villanova alum and two-time All-Bundesliga Basketball League selection in Germany, taking the reins from Kyle Sample. Team CTC was sponsored by Jake Kind and his Prestige Scientific team. The two were connected through Cristo Rey.


“Once a Wildcat, always a Wildcat” is a motto that Redding lives by. In 2017, Redding played for Supernova in The Basketball Tournament, a team composed of Villanova alumni. Redding is bringing that same Wildcat pride to the Danny Rumph Classic this summer. 


“The Rumph is like a family reunion,” Redding said. “We have to remember that this is for Danny, so we come out here and honor his memory while competing.”


The Danny Rumph Classic provides the city of Philadelphia with the opportunity to reconnect with those they’ve known for a long time while also giving them a chance to see players whose playing days may have moved them away from The City of Brotherly Love. It also serves as a five-day-long safe haven for a city going through violent times. 


“It’s good to be able to get the city together like this,” Redding said. “You know, it’s peaceful and about having fun.” 


Redding is no stranger to playing in the Rumph. Named the Danny Rumph Classic’s most valuable player in 2014, his name hangs with the rest of the all-time Rumph MVPs on the banners at Tom Gola Arena.


Redding would love for CTC to continue to be Villanova-driven for years to come, saying he believes a team of former Wildcats would be capable of winning the Rumph and other summer pro-am leagues. If TBT weren’t the long commitment that it is, a return of Supernova could still be in question. 


“Just look at the guys we have in the NBA,” Redding said, noting guys like Jalen Brunson, who scored 28 points for 8EYE in an overtime loss Thursday, Saadiq Bey, Mikal Bridges, and Donte DiVincenzo. “Jay Wright built us into a program of winners.” 


For now, players like Samuels and Paschall returning to Philadelphia for the weekend, despite their NBA contracts and its proximity to training camps, is enough.


“They’re hoopers,” Redding said. “One thing about hoopers is they wanna hoop. Those guys (Samuels and Paschall) want to hoop.”