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Sears Invited To Portsmouth Invitational

Justin Sears (photo by Alexandra Schmeling '16)
Justin Sears (photo by Alexandra Schmeling '16)

Will Showcase His Skills In Front Of NBA Scouts

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Justin Sears will have the opportunity to showcase his skills for NBA scouts when he participates in the prestigious Portsmouth Invitational in April.

Sears, a two-time Ivy League Player of the Year selection, will be one of the top seniors from across the nation to participate in a four-day, 12-game tournament in front of representatives from every NBA team. The Invitational runs from April 13-16 in Portsmouth, Va.

Sears will graduate as one of the top players in Yale's long history. He is the first two-time Ivy Player of the Year in school history and the first back-to-back winner in the league since Penn's Ibrahim Jaaber in 2006 and 2007.

In addition, he was named first team All-Ivy for the third straight season, Yale's first three-time selection since Chris Dudley (1985-87).

Sears is third all-time in scoring at Yale with 1,670 career points, fourth with 803 career rebounds and second with 198 blocked shots. He is the first player in school history to score 1,600 career points and grab 800 rebounds.

This season he has been among the national leaders in offensive rebounds throughout the year and is in the top-10 in the Ivy League in a number of categories, including scoring (t-5th, 15.8 ppg.), rebounding (5th, 7.5 rpg.), field goal percentage (6th, .519), assists (9th, 2.8 per game), blocked shots (1.8 per game) and offensive rebounds (1st, 3.7 per game).

In Yale's 79-58 win at Penn, he matched his career high with 31 points, and against defending national champion Duke, he had 19 points, six rebounds, three blocks and two steals.

Said legendary Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski after the game, "Sears is a really good player. He would be an outstanding player in our league [the ACC]."

Each year for 63 years the P.I.T has invited 64 of the best college basketball players (seniors) from across the nation to participate. Scouts from numerous international leagues have joined in on the annual April pilgrimage to Portsmouth. 

Over the years the P.I.T. has been a showcase for five of the 50 greatest players in NBA History (Rick Barry, Earl 'The Pearl" Monroe, Dave Cowens, John Stockton, Scottie Pippen) and for many others who have gone on to NBA stardom including 2015 NBA All-Star Jimmy Butler.   

Before he turns his attention to the P.I.T., Sears is focused on helping the Bulldogs advance in the NCAA Tournament. Yale, seeded 12th, plays No. 5 Baylor on Thursday in the first round in Providence.

Sears is the third Bulldog to participate in the Portsmouth Invitational. Greg Mangano, who is still playing professionally in Europe, attended the 2012 event, and Paul Maley took part in 1988.

Report filed by Tim Bennett (timothy.bennett@yale.edu), Yale Sports Publicity