The NCAA basketball championship tournament may have ended when Michigan beat Seton Hall last week, but the real basketball battle of the year--at least in the world of Southland commercial brokerage firms--will be fought Thursday at the Los Angeles Sports Arena.
That's when 55 teams from 30 local brokerage companies will clash in the second annual Trammell Crow Co. Basketball Tournament. Developer Trammell Crow underwrites all the costs of the tournament, so all the entry fees each team pays can be donated to the Leukemia Society.
Names of the 250 players aren't just known inside the real estate business. Among the contestants will be Jimmy Spillane, a Beitler Commercial Realty Services broker who played on UCLA's championship basketball teams in the 1970s; Hans Mumper, a Grubb & Ellis Commercial Real Estate Services broker who played college ball at Occidental and semipro ball in Italy, and Ken Lombard, another Grubb & Ellis broker who played for Washington State in the '70s.
Only 33 teams played in last year's inaugural event, but they still raised nearly $10,000 to fight leukemia, said Rick Putnam, a Trammell Crow leasing agent who is directing the tournament. Nearly twice as many teams are participating this year.
USC cheerleaders and some members of the Los Angeles Clippers basketball team will also be on hand for the tournament, which starts at 2 p.m. and is expected to culminate with the championship game at about 5 p.m. Admission is free and the public is invited.