LANSING, Mich. — It was the first round of the Moneyball Pro-Am playoffs Tuesday night at Holt High School.
Michigan State guards Tyson Walker and A.J. Hoggard put on a show as their teams advance to this year's final on Thursday.
For 17 years, fans have filled the stands to watch some of the best college players and a few pros compete. The atmosphere in the gym is different than a normal game. After the game, fans are able to chat with the players, take pictures and get autographs.
Long-time Michigan State season ticket holder Lanita Brown comes out each Tuesday and Thursday to watch.
"It just keeps me going. My kids kind of make fun of me because I live for football and basketball. That's my whole livelihood," Brown said.
Forest Bouyer has been watching the Moneyball Pro-Am for the last 15 years. He remembers some of the greats like Kalin Lucas, Durrell Summers, Draymond Green and Cassius Winston all playing in the league.
"I was talking to a friend, who doesn't live in Lansing. I said Tuesday and Thursday you've got to come out to Holt High School... He asked me how much it cost, and I said, 'Well the cool thing about this is, it's free,'" Bouyer said.
Due to NCAA regulations, Moneyball is not allowed to charge fans to watch games.
The goal when Desmond Ferguson started the league 20 years ago was to give fans an opportunity to connect with players and fans.
"It's an intimate atmosphere. You go to a Michigan State game, you're not going to get as close to the players and get to take pictures and get autographs and that's the unique thing about it," Ferguson said.
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