Three of George Mason's greatest men's basketball players
will suit up together once more next weekend as part of a new summer
professional hoops league. Jai Lewis, Folarin Campbell and Will Thomas, all
members of Mason's 2006 Final Four run, will join alumni from other
Washington-area universities as part of The Basketball
Alumni Legends League (The-BALL) showcase.
The game will tip-off at 4 p.m. on
Saturday, August 4, and will be broadcast live on Comcast SportsNet regional
networks in Washington D.C., Baltimore, Philadelphia, Boston and other markets
along the East Coast.
Lower-level seats are $20, and
upper-level seats are $10. Tickets can be purchased by clicking here or visiting www.The-BALL.com.
Along with Mason's three players,
Team Washington will be represented by players from Georgetown (Jason Clark,
Austin Freeman, Henry Sims, Chris Wright), Maryland (John Gilchrist, James
Gist, D.J. Strawberry) and Tony Taylor from George Washington.
The opponent, Team Philadelphia, will be made up of former stars from
Villanova, Saint Joseph's, Temple, La Salle, Penn and Drexel. Some of the
players who have agreed to participate include Allan Ray, Curtis Sumpter and
Reggie Redding of Villanova, Pat Carroll and Ahmad Nivins of Saint Joseph's,
Ramone Moore, Dionte Christmas, Mark Tyndale, Ryan Brooks, and Dustin Salisbery
of Temple, Zack Rosen of Penn, and Frank Elegar of Drexel.
"We couldn't be happier about the players and coaches we have been able
to attract to these events," said The-BALL founder and CEO, Michael
Wranovics. "Both teams have all of the star power, collegiate ties, and
local flavor that we had always hoped for, and we're not done yet."
According to Wranovics, additional player commitments are to be announced over
the next 1-2 weeks.
Head coaches have also been selected for the two teams. The Washington team
will be led by Phil Hubbard, a 10-year NBA veteran and former assistant coach
with the Washington Wizards. Working the other sideline for the Philadelphia
squad will be Alvin Williams, former Villanova star, 11-year NBA veteran, and
current Director of Player Development with the NBA's Toronto Raptors.
On August 5, the day after the game in Foggy Bottom, there will be a rematch
in Philadelphia at Hagan Arena on the campus of Saint Joseph's University. That
Sunday night game will tip off at 8 p.m. ET and will also be aired live locally
on Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic.
Some players who have agreed to participate in The-BALL Showcase are in a unique
situation in that they need to be available for potential tryout opportunities
with NBA teams. Any scheduling conflict with the August 5th date could mean
that a player would have to opt out.
The-BALL announced plans last month to launch a full-fledged professional
league next summer in college basketball hotbed markets along the East Coast.
The new league's teams will feature former college standouts from the local
universities, designed to give the teams instant star power and a built-in fan
base. The-BALL's season will run from early June to mid-August, filling a void
for basketball fans and giving top players a high-quality professional hoops
alternative during their off-season break between seasons in the NBA D-League
The-BALL will begin play in the summer of 2013 with a four-team "soft
launch" as a sneak preview of the league to come. One of those first four
teams is expected to be in Philadelphia. The league has begun identifying
qualified local ownership candidates for that team.
In 2014, The-BALL plans to expand to eight teams, each playing a 20-game
schedule. Markets under consideration include Washington, D.C., Philadelphia,
New York, Syracuse, Charlotte, Raleigh-Durham, Richmond (Va.), and Hartford
(Conn.), among others.
To learn more about The-BALL, please visit www.The-BALL.com or follow the league on Twitter @TheBALLhoops.
||Buy the 2006 Final Four Bobblehead Set featuring Jai, Folarin and Will!