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Ain’t No Half-Steppin’

Scoonie Penn and other former Bucks take the court once more at TBT You might think that this TBT Tournament is something like an extended all star game where former college greats go on to play out the string. You’d be wrong. The Basketball Tournament is in its fifth year, and is billed as the [...]



Scoonie Penn and other former Bucks take the court once more at TBT

You might think that this TBT Tournament is something like an extended all star game where former college greats go on to play out the string. You’d be wrong. The Basketball Tournament is in its fifth year, and is billed as the most intense basketball competition in the world. Two million dollars in prize money waits at the end, and the winner takes it all.

It took a while for things to come together here in Columbus, but last year, Team Scarlet and Gray was able to round out a proper team.

This year’s roster  features the likes of backcourt heroes David Lighty, Jon Diebler, William Buford, and Aaron Craft.  Dallas Lauderdale, Jared Sullinger, and Byron Mullens bring some beef to the frontcourt.  van Turner will bring his expertise to the bench as a coach along with Scoonie Penn who also serves as the GM.

Last year, the team fell short, but Scoonie anticipates a stronger showing in 2018.

“This is a very unselfish team,” he said. “There’s a lot of mutual respect here, everybody contributes.  We win and lose as a team.”

The obvious question is one most guys in Scoonie’s position would dance around for fear of offending somebody, but Scoonie’s not afraid to take his shot on or off the court. Of this Buckeye Dream Team before him, who would he like to take back to 1999?

“Jared Sullinger,” he says without hesitation. “He’s got that nice wide body, and knows how to set a screen. I’d have gotten so many open shots with him on the court.”

Perhaps that candor is why he commands so much respect. Players from every generation like him. The older guys like Clark Kellogg and Ronnie Stokes embrace him as one of the all time Buckeyes, and the younger guys see him as a mentor—someone who gets it. It means a lot to him to be held in such high esteem by the people in Columbus. The undersized guard won the heart of Buckeye Nation with his tenacity on the court, and his humility off of it.

“I love Columbus and central Ohio,” he said. “They embraced me the minute I arrived on campus and I embraced them right back. I got involved in the community, and that relationship just grew, but that’s how I am. I’ve always been a people person.”

Scoonie played pro ball in Europe for 11 years, and last year he was hired as the Director of Player Development by new head coach Chris Holtmann. It was heralded by everybody who covers the program as a smart hire, but still surprising as Holtmann and Penn had no prior relationship.

It was a decision based purely on respect—a respect that goes both ways.

Holtmann, you see, wants players who are like Scoonie. He wants them to embrace the community, and be good citizens. Scoonie believes Holtmann was the right hire at the right time for the Buckeyes. Like the coaches before him, he demands excellence on the court, but wants his players to excel off of it as well.

“One day that basketball stops bouncing—and all you have are those relationships you’ve built.”

These days, Scoonie’s a suburban dad with a wife and four kids. His son is a top basketball prospect and is considering his options for the future. Coincidentally, so is Scoonie. As much as he loves Columbus, and his role with the basketball program at Ohio State, his journey has only just begun. “I want to coach,” he said.

This Tournament, he hopes, will serve as a catapult to that next level. That’s why it’s so important for people to understand what TBT is all about.

“This is no rinky-dink, roll the ball out and have some fun kind of deal,” Scoonie said. “TBT is very serious. These guys feel like they have something to prove, and they are playing at a high level of intensity.”

After all these years, it’s still hard not to love Scoonie Penn. He has a passion for the game, and for life itself that is infectious. He’s an open book who speaks from the heart, and that’s something players and assistant coaches will respond to when he gets his shot.

The Roster: Scarlet & Gray (and a Few Others)

GM: Scoonie Penn

Head Coach: Evan Turner

William Buford (2008-2012)

David Lighty (2006-2011)

Leon Rodgers (Northern Illinois 1998-2002

Dallas Lauderdale (2007-2011)

Jon Diebler (2007-2011)

Aaron Craft (2010-2014)

Byron Mullens (2008)

Evan Ravenel (2011-2013)

Jared Sullinger (2010-2012

Taylor Battle (Penn State, 2007-2011)

The TBT Midwest Regionals Will be held at Capital University’s Capital Center July 20-22. For more, visit


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The clock is ticking on your chance to win big with ColumBest!

Mike Thomas



March is slowly but surely winding down, which means the clock is ticking on your chance to vote in our our yearly “best of” Columbus readers poll.

Not only does voting in ColumBest 2019 give you the opportunity to show your favorite local brands and businesses some love, it also offers a chance to win big. This year, one lucky ColumBest voter will win a $1,999 Easton shopping spree, a $2,000 home makeover from Value City Furniture, and a $250 Moo Moo’s car wash gift card.

You read that right – that’s all ONE prize! To make the reality of this amazing offer a little more tangible, let’s break down what could be in store for the lucky winner.

  • The “low fat” wash at Moo Moo is more than enough to knock a winter’s worth of salt off your ride in time for spring. At $8 a go, a $250 gift card will net a whopping 31 trips through the suds.
  • Among many great restaurants and retailers, Easton is home to a Cinnabon Bakery location. While we’re not suggesting you spend the entire $1,999 shopping spree on their delicious, gooey, cinnamon-frosted treats, the almost $2,000 prize would be good for around 531 of Cinnabon’s classic rolls. Please dine responsibly.
  • You know the old futon in your living room leftover from college that faces the TV stacked on top of milk crates? It’s time to upgrade. Thanks to the deals at Value City Furniture, the $2,000 prize will go a long way toward improving any room in your house.

Once you’re done voting for your faves, make sure to save your spot at our ColumBest Party at Express LIVE! on May 13th. You won’t want to miss this celebration of the best of the best in Columbus!

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(614) Magazine

March 2019




At (614) we like to think we’re always giving you new ideas about where to go, what to try, or what’s coming up next. But this month, perhaps we can do a bit more for you. Maybe we can offer some inspiration to find ‘the better you’.

  • The Calendar to end all calendars
  • Tips and resources to find the ‘better you’
  • Experience Otherworld
  • Makers Space: botanical skin care
  • Columbus author: Hanif Abdurraqib
  • German Village: two restaurants, one roof
  • Columbus igloo adventures
  • Cheesesteak Empire with Charley Shin
  • Old-timey ‘shrub’ bevs making a comeback
  • Aloha! Inside the Huli Huli Tiki Lounge
  • Megan Kilgore: the Columbus Crew-sader
  • Offroad bike adventures
  • Family: squats for tots

The reading experience is optimized for tablet devices. Turn your phone or tablet horizontally for the 2-page spread view or vertically for the single-page view.

Looking for a physical copy? Check out our snazzy map

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The Six Happy Hour: The District Pourhouse




 #6  The District Pourhouse (Formerly World of Beer)

Beer, Bavarian pretzels, and barbacoa street tacos. Need I say more? The first thing that comes to mind with District Pourhouse is their vast selection of beers. Now imagine pairing a nice cold glass of your favorite draught with your favorite comfort food, like pizza, hot dogs, or fries. Sounds good, right?

Did I mention that District Pourhouse also hosts trivia nights whilst your favorite sport team plays on the many screens around the venue?

HH: M-F open-7pm; $5 draughts, $5 spirits, $5 shareables

The District Pourhouse

1568 N High St, Columbus

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