Brooklyn born players tip off March Madness tournament dreams at Barclays center

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BROOKLYN— There's nothing like rooting on your college alma mater— except maybe getting to play for your college team in front of your friends and family.

Two Brooklyn born players will get to tip off their tournament dreams Friday at Barclays Center.

With the first two rounds of March Madness at Barclays Center for the first time, people from all over the country are coming to Brooklyn.

"Brooklyn's just considered New York for us, because New York is New York," said Bill Maxwell, Strength and Conditioning Coach for the Iowa Hawkeyes.  "Its just considered one mass city for us," said Bill Maxwell the strength coach for the Iowa Hawkeyes.

For Long Island Native James Richardson, who attended Thursday's shoot around, it's a chance to watch his alma mater West Virginia in his own back yard.

"It's good.  Real good," said Richardson.  "Close now, it's an hour.  Instead of traveling six, seven hours, it's an hour."

But For West Virginia guard Tarik Phillip, playing at Barclays is a chance to play at home.

"It's going to be exciting man. Get to play here in front of family and friends. It should be exciting," said Phillip.

His teammate Teyvon Myers literally has New York tattooed all over himself and says he learned to ball in Brooklyn parks.

"I played in every park.  I used to get up 8 in the morning and go to every park and say what park am I going to go to today?," said Myers.

Myers guard also grew up in Flatbush and played for Boys and Girls High School.

"Brooklyn gave me the mentality that I have," said Myers. "And that mentality is learning how to strive when everything is down.  Learning how to overcome adversity."

Myers remembers when Barclays Center was just being built and says the area has come a long way since.

"The area is beautiful.  They trying to build all these new buildings making it seem like downtown Brooklyn is manhattan, which is lovely."

Now he's hoping to replicate some of those playground glory days, under the bright lights at Barclays Center.

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