The Basketball Alumni Legends League (The-BALL) to Launch Washington DC Team with 6-Game Showcase Series at GWU's Smith Center
Professional team will feature star players from Georgetown, GWU, GMU, and American University, including Austin Freeman, Pops Mensah-Bonsu, Jai Lewis, and more
WASHINGTON, June 5, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- It's madness after March in the nation's capital. The Basketball Alumni Legends League (The-BALL) returns to Washington, DC for a summer showcase July 25 thru August 8 at the Charles E. Smith Center on the George Washington University campus. The showcase will introduce the star-studded Washington DC team, which will host six games against opponents representing North Carolina, Maryland, Virginia and Philadelphia.
After testing the league last summer with two exhibition games in Philadelphia and Washington DC, The-BALL will return to the District with a summer showcase that features top former collegiate players from college hoops hotbed markets along the East Coast. The mission of The-BALL is to fill a void for passionate basketball fans during the dog days of summer, while also providing families and young professionals high-quality entertainment and a fun way to beat the heat. The new league also capitalizes on the availability of outstanding professional basketball players who compete in the NBA D-League or international leagues during the winter and spring.
The Washington team will be led by head coach Johnny Newman, 16-year NBA veteran and all-time leading scorer for the University of Richmond Spiders. Participating players will include Austin Freeman (Georgetown University), John Gilchrist, James Gist, and DJ Strawberry (University of Maryland), Pops Mensah-Bonsu, Chris Monroe, Tony Taylor, and JR Pinnock (George Washington University), and Jai Lewis (George Mason University), plus many more.
"With the expansion of The-BALL this summer and the launch of our Washington DC team, we are committed to bringing college hoops entertainment to local fans during what was once the off-season and creating an enhanced fan experience by offering an intimate venue, affordable ticket packages, exciting new game rules, and some of the best young talent in the country," explained Michael Wranovics, The-BALL, founder & CEO.
The-BALL's innovative game rules, such as "all-or-nothing" free throws and two time outs per team are designed to keep the game moving and increase the action. The league aims to eliminate late-game intentional fouling and the universally disliked "Hack-a-Shaq" strategy by not requiring the fouled team to go to the free throw line. Another rule that tested well last summer was the 4-point shot from 25 feet. At the 2012 showcase, Georgetown's Austin Freeman swished The-BALL's first-ever 4-point basket just three minutes into the first game.
"The-BALL is a great concept and gives players like me a chance to compete in high-level games and gain some valuable exposure during the off-season. We're all very excited to be playing together for the DC team and representing this great basketball hotbed," said Austin Freeman, Georgetown University, Class of 2011. "We're also looking forward to putting on a good show for the local fans, and I assure you that we'll be playing to win."
Four of the six games will be televised live by The-BALL's official media partner Comcast SportsNet. This summer's showcase in Washington, DC is the precursor for The-BALL's official league launch next summer with six teams and a 20-game season scheduled for early June thru mid-August, 2014.
"We are thrilled to be hosting this world-class city's newest professional sports team at our Charles E. Smith Center," said Patrick Nero, Director of Athletics & Recreation at The George Washington University. "It creates a unique opportunity for local residents, visitors, and the other universities in the area to welcome home and celebrate these tremendous basketball players - including several of our own."
2013 Summer Showcase Dates:
- July 25 (vs. North Carolina)
- July 27 (vs. Maryland)
- August 1 (vs. Virginia)
- August 3 (vs. North Carolina)
- August 5 (vs. Philadelphia)
- August 8 (vs. Maryland)
Venue: Charles E. Smith Center at George Washington University (Foggy Bottom)
Single game tickets range from $8 to $20. Additionally, VIP floor seat and group packages are available. For more information on The-BALL or to purchase tickets, visit http://the-ball.com.
The Basketball Alumni Legends League (The-BALL) is a new professional league that features former college stars from hotbed basketball markets along the East Coast. The-BALL will provide local residents and visitors with high-quality entertainment during the summertime. The inaugural season for The-BALL will launch in 2014 with a 20-game season running from early June thru mid-August. The-BALL will include teams from Washington DC, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, Philadelphia, and New York. For more information, visit http://the-ball.com.
Ashley Forrester, Events DC
SOURCE The Basketball Alumni Legends League
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