The Pilot Rocky Top League is ready for its annual summertime return to standing-room-only crowds at Bearden High School.
Andre Whitehead, the commissioner of the six-team, non-profit regional basketball league, said fans can expect more of what they've seen from the league in its first two years.
Last year, more than 100 fans were turned away at the free admission event on its final night of competition as a result of a fire code limiting attendance.
"I don't think we really need to make any changes to the league,'' Whitehead said. "We'll continue to try to give the fans a show and give them access to the players.
"It will stay a fun event.''
And it will include an active NBA player for the first time, as former UT guard C.J. Watson of the Golden State Warriors will participate.
Former UT player Chris Lofton, back from Turkey, said he also expects to play.
"I'm going to try when I can,'' said Lofton, who has a workout with the Memphis Grizzlies next weekend. "I'm pretty sure the first part of the season.''
UT's team is expected to be well-represented, though forward Tyler Smith's status remains uncertain.
Smith has made himself eligible for the June 25 NBA draft and has until June 15 to remove his name from consideration.
Ironically, June 15 is the first night of league games, which will take place on Mondays and Wednesdays through July 1, with playoffs on July 2.
J.P. Prince, who is still recovering from April shoulder surgery, will also be out.
Whitehead said four players from Chattanooga - including Georgetown transfer Omar Wattad - will also be on the draft board next week.
"We'll hold the draft at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Ray's ESG,'' Whitehead said. "We'll return five of our six sponsors, with Choice Spine being the new team.
The other teams are sponsored by the Knoxville News Sentinel, First Tennessee, Ray's, the HT Group and Richardson Construction.
An HT Group team led by Smith and former East Tennessee State guard Courtney Pigram capped a perfect season with a title-game win over Ray's, which featured then-future Vols Scotty Hopson and Bobby Maze.
Renaldo Woolridge and Emmanuel Negedu of UT will make their league debuts, as will signee Kenny Hall.
Whitehead said he's not yet certain about the status of UT point guard Melvin Goins, a junior college signee.
Goins, like Woolridge and Negedu last year, might not come to UT until the second term of summer school.
The league will feature its share of high school stars as well, with Fulton's Jalen Steele, Webb's Dwight Tarwater and Lenoir City's Tyler Hood among the rising seniors.
Carter's Lester Wilson and Brandon Lopez - formerly of Austin-East, now headed for the Christ School in Arden, N.C., - are playing in the league and will be juniors this year.
C.J. Black, who finished his UT playing career 10 years ago, joins a group of "old-timer" Vols in the league that includes Damon Johnson, Jon Higgins, Ron Slay and Dane Bradshaw.