Zoo Crew has officially signed two new players ahead of its upcoming tournament in July.
On Tuesday, the team announced that former Pitt players Talib Zanna and Josh Newkirk have signed with the team and will compete in The Basketball Tournament.
The @Pitt_MBB team is LOADED, young and also filled with veteran leadership/experience!
— TBT (@thetournament) June 27, 2023
Zanna is a 6-foot-9 forward who played for the Panthers for five seasons (2009-14), including Pitt’s first year in the ACC. Zanna started 94 games in his Pitt career, including all 35 in his last season. That year, he scored 13 points per game and grabbed 8.6 rebounds per game. He spent two seasons with the G League’s Oklahoma City Blue out of college, followed by stints in France, Israel, Spain, and Turkey. He has now been back in the G League for his past four seasons, most recently competing for the Blue once again in 2021-22.
Newkirk is a 6-foot-2 guard who played two seasons for Pitt (2013-15). He started four games in his Panther career and averaged 5.2 points and 2.2 assists per game as a sophomore. He then transferred to Indiana in 2015-16, sitting out that season. In 2016-17, he scored a career-best nine points per game, starting 32 games for the Hoosiers. Since wrapping up his college career in Bloomington, Newkirk spent two years in the NBA G League, followed by one year in Czech Republic and the past two years in Lithuania.
Nelly Cummings, Greg Elliott, Nike Sibande, Mo Gueye, Gary McGhee, Jamel Artis, Ryan Luther, and Michael Young are also included on the team’s roster.
Former Pitt star and current Director of Player & Alumni Development Gilbert Brown will serve as the team’s general manager and head coach.
The Basketball Tournament, or “TBT,” is a 64-team tournament that runs each summer with a one-million-dollar prize for the winning team. Zoo Crew will play in the West Virginia Regional in Wheeling, West Virginia beginning July 25. Zoo Crew is the No. 5 seed in the regional and will take on No. 4 Herd That (Marshall alumni).