Insider

Knicks rookie Immanuel Quickley helped an E-Sports league take over Kentucky during the pandemic. Now he’s leading it as an NBA star.

Summary List PlacementNew York Knicks rookie Immanuel Quickley is set to play in the final round of an E-Sports tournament on Saturday.  Quickley is the defending champion of The Hoops at Home NBA 2K Tournament at his alma mater, The University of Kentucky. He will defend that title in a...

Immanuel Quickley

Summary List Placement

New York Knicks rookie Immanuel Quickley is set to play in the final round of an E-Sports tournament on Saturday. 

Quickley is the defending champion of The Hoops at Home NBA 2K Tournament at his alma mater, The University of Kentucky. He will defend that title in a match against whichever Kentucky student reaches the final this year. 

Last year, Quickley had no original plans to participate with the eSports organization, Gen.G. Instead, he was preparing to play in his last March Madness Tournament. But when the COVID-19 pandemic shut down all sports last March, and the tournament was canceled, Quickley opted to close out his college basketball career virtually with his fellow Kentucky students. 

Quickley’s involvement in the tournament sparked a wave of interest in the event by the rest of the student body but also sparked an interest in college basketball for the school’s gaming community, according to Kentucky’s associate chief information officer Heath Price. 

“When we got into the second day of the tournament, everybody wanted to play Immanuel, not because they necessarily wanted to play against a UK player, but because he had such a personality,” Price told Insider. “Immanuel’s personality and who he was as a person put him at ease, and he became a gamer. The fact that he was a future NBA star wasn’t even on his mind.”

Quickley’s involvement in the tournament has paid off in a big way for Gen.G.

Quickley has become an NBA Rookie of The Year candidate, and he’s done it in one of the NBA’s biggest markets for the Knicks. His new profile as a rising professional star will bring a greater degree of publicity to this year’s tournament, according to Gen.G’s Head of Revenue Operations, Jordan Sherman. 

“What he brings is showing how gaming can bring people together from all different walks of life,” Sherman told Insider. “The fact that he’s willing to stay part of it even though he’s gone on to the NBA kind of shows the fabric of what the university and this program is all about.”

The tournament begins on Friday. But the timing works out perfectly for Quickley’s NBA schedule, as he will only have to play the final round on Saturday, right in between the Knicks’ big games against the Memphis Grizzlies and Toronto Raptors. 

Quickley will be leaving whichever team he uses for the final as a surprise. But if Quickley uses the Knicks, it would give the opponent a chance to face off against Quickley both behind the controller and in the game. 

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: I tried to eat healthily while ordering all my meals from food delivery apps for a week — here’s what happened

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: