Today’s post has local flavor. July 1, marks the beginning of the Pro/Am Basketball League sponsored by Jerry Stackhouse. The league should be action packed as always and word on the street is that Austin Rivers is on a roster and we get to witness the top talent in the country put his arsenal on display.
This year there is a new twist as the games will still be played at North Carolina Central University, but because they are now a fully accredited division one university, no high school males will be allowed to participate. The major twist this year is that a women’s league has been added as well.
My first look at a couple of the rosters has me excited to see if many of these athletes are going to show up and participate. With the impending NBA lockout and lack of a summer league, this sanctioned league may be the only avenue for a lot of stars to keep their games in good shape. I saw a roster that had John Wall and Javale McGee on it. Other big names on rosters included Kevin Durant, Raymond Felton, Danny Green, Kyle Singler, Chris Duhon, C.J. Leslie, Harrison Barnes, Kendall Marshall, and Reggie Bullock.
There were a few names on some rosters that caught me by surprise. Rumor has it that there will be some NFL players participating as well in an attempt to stay in shape. Word is that there may be a Julius Peppers sighting as well as guys like Greg Little and Jesse Holley.
Needless to say the college talent that is still in the area will get noticed as well. College stars like C.J. Wilkerson, Landon Clement, Seth Curry, Andre Dawkins, Miles and Mason Plumlee, Kyle Singler, Dexter Strickland and John Henson to name a few.
The good thing about this Pro/Am league is that it gives you a glimpse of the future. You can tell right away who has what it takes to be a star and who doesn’t. Just last year we witnessed Kyrie Irving give it to NBA players like John Wall. He had his way on just about everyone who tried to guard him. We also saw the man dubbed "The White Kite" Matt Sossamon a 6'7" guard/forward that put on show after show during the league. Hopefully this year that hype will be for Barnes and incoming freshman Austin Rivers.
Local talents will be on display as well as guys like Andre McCullom, Larry “Gene” Johnson, James “Bug” Tucker, and Charles “Sticks” Futrell get a chance to put their game on display against some of these future hoops legends.
The fans are the real winners when it comes to the Pro/Am league. It costs absolutely nothing and you get to see the best basketball that the state of North Carolina and the country has to offer. So if you are in the Bull City and you have a few hours to kill, check out the Pro/Am league on the campus of North Carolina Central University. Games usually run from 6PM to 10PM but if you plan on coming you better get there early because seating is always limited.