Brooklyn, NY – NBA Hall of Famer and 7x All-Star, Tracy McGrady has his vision set on the young basketball generation. And that’s not teaching the youth on how to get to the rim or coaching players on becoming more efficient. T-Mac has his heart, and passion set on his new creation called the OBL (Ones Basketball League). In one-on-one games with the winner decided by first to 9 points, the OBL contains everything basketball fans demand out of a star player. With no coach or teammates alongside, who has the skills to get the bucket? Who will be deemed Ruler of the Court?
In officiated games that include 3-pointers counting for two points, the OBL is an exciting blend of street ball charisma and action to the highest level. Visiting major cities across the country, the OBL is growing their audience in daily weekend competitions and has the potential to be the next popular sports league.
“OBL is going to be the biggest and best, one-on-one platform in the world.” – Founder of the OBL, Tracy McGrady
Players feel the urge to take part in the OBL for notoriety and not to mention, the cash prize of $10,000. Players put their blood, sweat, and tears into OBL games as seen from the crowd silencing moves in the 1v1 action. The top three of each competition earn invitations to the Finals held this coming July in Las Vegas. The Finals will be epic with players battling it out for a chance to win $250,000.
Creating a brand new authentic league is no easy task. McGrady is now providing others with opportunities to display their talent on the court. T-Mac stated, “This is the land of opportunity. This was my vision, to give these guys a platform to showcase skills like this and change lives.”
In the inaugural season of exciting hoops action, the OBL has held successful events in Houston, Texas (April 30th-May 1st); Atlanta, Georgia (May 7th-May 8th), and Chicago, Illinois (May 21st – May 22nd). What appeared next on the OBL list was Brooklyn for Memorial Day weekend.
28 players based out of the New York/New Jersey/Pennsylvania region put their hoops talent on the line to compete this past Saturday, May 28th at Major R. Owens Community Center located in Brooklyn, New York. The level of competitive action created a thrilling crowd atmosphere. “New York came to play this weekend for sure,” T-Mac said in response to the packed crowd in attendance. Entering Sunday, May 29th, as nine players remained, the “NYC Top 9” battled for three invites to the Vegas Finals
NYC TOP 9 – Three Invites to Las Vegas Finals on the Line
Eugene Lawrence – Age: 35, Brooklyn, NY
Isaiah Brown – Age: 25, Queens, NY
Jamal Williams – Age: 31, Brooklyn, NY
Sundiata Gaines – Age: 36, Queens, NY
Darien Davis – Age: 29, Coram, NY
Joe Nickerson – Age: 29, Newark, NJ
Marquel Wansley – Age: 26, Pennsylvania
Zach Radz – Age: 25, Troy, NY
Josh Treadwell – Age: 27, Newark, NJ
In the third place match-up with a trip to Vegas on the line, Darien Davis overcame Joe Nickerson by a final score of 9-5. The two were jawing and talking throughout the competitive action. The crowd took exception by gravitating towards the moment. Davis, who played collegiate ball at Dowling College in Long Island, NY earned his spot in the Vegas Finals.
Isaiah Brown defeated Zach Radz by a final of 9-5 in a great back-and-forth that contained multiple two-point stepback swooshes from both. To end the championship round with the crowd erupting the court in excitement, Brown hit a spectacular step-back two-point shot to seal his cash prize of $10,000. During his collegiate career, Brown played at SUNY Potsdam. Onto Vegas for the Finals out of the New York region: Isaiah Brown, Zach Radz and Darien Davis.
Brown stated after his game-winner: “I just want to put my family in a position to not worry. I come from worry, honestly. I come from poverty, so I don’t want my family to worry, that’s all.”
Brooklyn native, Lance Stephenson was in attendance to spectate the OBL action. During his teenage years, Stephenson attended Lincoln High School in Brooklyn as well as played in local basketball pickup games. In the 2010 NBA Draft, Stephenson was selected by the Indiana Pacers in the second round, 40th overall, at the age of 20 years old.
Playing in front of elite talents such as the NBA Two-Time Scoring Champion, Tracy McGrady, and 2008-2009 McDonald’s All-American, Lance Stephenson must be a life-changing moment for any young athlete out there.
The OBL NYC Winner, Isaiah Brown stated “I played with Lance Stephenson during the summers. We played on the same teams sometimes, at Gersh Park (Brooklyn, NY) and West Fourth Street Courts (Manhattan, NY). Tracy McGrady is my favorite player of all-time. It’s a blessing, honestly, to meet him and actually win it in front of him. It was part of my motivation.”
In recognition and appreciation to the players and crowd for the spectacular weekend, at midcourt McGrady stated: “We had our biggest and loudest crowd so far in Brooklyn, and the level of play continues to be high as we get closer to the OBL Finals in Las Vegas.”
Next up on the OBL list is the Washington D.C. region. The OBL is heading to the St. James Wellness and Entertainment Complex located in Springfield, Virginia, for this upcoming weekend, Saturday June 4th and Sunday June 5th. The regular season competitions end in Los Angeles, Location and Dates are TBD. Catch all the OBL action on their social media as well as their website: https://oblhoops.com
Robert Rizzo writes for Latino Sports and NY Sports Day
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