Sunday evening sparked one of the greatest games of basketball ever played in the Greater NC Pro-Am Basketball League. Forty minutes of outstanding performances from both Team PJ Tucker and Team Navy created this extremely fast-paced contest. Neither team took any time to warm up at the start of the game where both forcefully went after the competition. Mike Bell, along with Derrick Wiley, Raymond Felton, PJ Tucker, and Hayward Fain all held their own as they slammed every dunk, ran after every loose ball, and gave their best effort to score every basket. Each contributed greatly both offensively and defensively, however in the second half, it was all Raymond Felton who matched up against the amazing John Wall of Team Navy, and took control on the offensive end that allowed Team PJ Tucker to dominate for most of the game. After Team PJ Tucker began to extend their lead (reaching to 20 in the third quarter), John Wall single-handedly brought Team Navy back into the ball game. He finished with a total of 39 points that included amazing three’s from the outside perimeter, countless perfect dunks, and many drives through the lane to the basket. With help from Jawad Williams and Charles Ward, Team Navy was able to make a fierce comeback, however, the chemistry and consistency of Team PJ Tucker was too much to handle. In the end, #4 Team PJ Tucker won the CHAMPIONSHIP game with a final score of 126-111. This team, although beginning the summer really shaky by losing their first four games, was able to storm through the final weeks, winning their last 9! Team PJ Tucker definitely had amazing talent and teamwork that helped them sail through to the very end and finish as champions! Mike Bell of Team PJ Tucker was named the Tournament MVP, Andre McCollum of Team Navy the Regular Season MVP, and Hayward Fain of Team Duhon received the Sportsmanship Award!
On behalf of the S.J.G. Great NC Pro-Am Summer Basketball League, I thank you for all of your support! With the dedication from the staff and sponsors, we hope to continue to bring incredible talent to Durham again next summer! Get ready; it’ll be even bigger and better! See you there!
Sunday, August 9, 2009
Game 2 of the semifinals saw #Lucky 7 meet #3 Team Navy. This was arguably one of the best games of the entire NC Pro-Am Summer Basketball league where there was incredible athleticism on display! There was an amazing showcase of talent between Team Navy’s John Wall, Jerry Stackhouse, and Andre McCollum and Lucky 7’s Courtney Fells, JamesOn Curry, and Josh Powell. Courtney Fells (36 points) showed off his astounding shooting skills as he shot and made three’s from downtown. Meanwhile, Josh Powell (29 points) took over the lane as he drove through defenders straight to the basket. JamesOn Curry controlled the tempo of the game for his team as he ran down the court, shook up defenders, and either passed the ball for a perfect assist, or shot and made his 16 points. Lucky 7 had a pretty distant lead early in the game, but Team Navy definitely had a furious comeback. John Wall (32 points), undeniably the fastest player on the court, was flawless down under the basket, as well as outside on the perimeter. And with Andre McCollum’s 24 points from his amazing shooting, Team Navy was able to take the lead for the first time with 6 minutes left. They stayed ahead for the remainder of the game, and after a nice shot off the glass from Charles Ward and a reverse breakaway slam from Jerry Stackhouse, Team Navy pulled away with the victory, 116-108. They advance to the championship to face Team PJ Tucker!
As the semifinals heated up, #1 Team Duhon took on #4 Team PJ Tucker, and what an exciting game it turned out to be! Both teams hit the court with extreme energy and hustle as each player drove and dived for each lose ball and each rebound. Mason Plumlee (26 points) had a beautiful one hand scoop down the lane, combined with an up and under spin move that really got the crowd into the game. A couple of plays later, Hayward Fain (28 points) drove down the lane, passed the ball behind him to Anthony Greenup (29 points) who went in for the forceful dunk. Team Duhon was beginning to pull away late in the first half and were up by 12 at half time; however it wasn’t long until Team PJ Tucker stormed back. Derrick Wiley (27 points) had a great one-hand slam through the ring, while PJ Tucker (24 points) showed off his great ball-handling skills, and Mike Bell (25 points) controlled the paint. Team PJ Tucker closed the gap on Team Duhon, and even gained their own lead, by as much as 8 in the fourth quarter. Team Duhon seemed to lose their control, and many shots were forced, however everyone could tell that both teams really wanted this victory in order to advance to the championship. However, in the end, after a big steal from Mike Bell and some made free throws, Team PJ Tucker sealed the deal with a final score of 110-104. Team PJ Tucker beat the #1 team and advance to the championship to face Team Navy!
Saturday, August 8, 2009
In the last game of the quarterfinals, #1 Team Duhon took on #8 Dreamworks. It began with a slow first quarter where both teams took their time getting into a rhythm. However, Mason Plumlee Team Duhon, was dominant in the post with forceful dunks and strong rebounds. He also showed his shooting skills as he stepped back for a beautiful three pointer. South Carolina’s new freshman all star, Lakeem Jackson, showed off his moves as he drove through the lane to make perfect layups and dunks. On the other side, Brian Zoubek was great in the inside lane, while Reggie Bullock and Andrew Partridge handled the outside perimeter. Kinston High’s Darnell Matthews also had very nice three-pointers at perfect times that really kept Dreamworks in at moments when Team Duhon seemed to be controlling the game. Nonetheless, Team Duhon was able to pull away slowly, and with a couple of late baskets, they gained the win with a final score of 69-60. Team Duhon goes on to play the #4 seed, Team PJ Tucker, on Saturday at 3pm!
What started as a blow-out remained so throughout the entire third game. Team E-Net was lacking everything but presence beneath thanks to Jawad Williams, in his second game of the night, and Jabyron Wilson. It was Miles Plumlee who was the stand-out player for team E-net, establishing his presence in the building. But with Lucky 7’s all-star cast, the victory was easily attained. JamesOn Curry was an all-around player offensively reigning deep threes and following-up under the basket. Josh Powell covered down low with frequent rejections and slams, while Courtney Fells captivated the outside perimeter with help from Jose Frias’ ball-handling skills, allowing for a clean sweep. Final score, 73-57. Lucky 7 goes on to play #3 seed, Team Navy, in the semifinals on Saturday at 4:30 pm!
Game 2 of the tournament quarter-finals proved to be a fierce competition. The game remained fairly close throughout with WR Starkey displaying excellent team work. Reggie Bullock was a key offensive contributor, controlling the ball both inside and outside of the paint. Offensive help from Victor Holloway with Jerry Stackhouse, Ryan Kelly, and Olek Czyz as a triple threat under the basket allowed for a solid team. But by the end of the second half, team Navy managed to pull away. Power moves from Charles Ward, Jawad Williams, and Rashawn Page down low generated great crowd response and Bo Ingram did an excellent job handling the ball and taking it down the court. But it was undoubtedly John Wall that was the star of this show. He served as a multi-purpose player running the ball, following up under the basket and executing a jaw-dropping flying one-hand slam and backhand crossover. Despite the fact that it became a one-point ball game within the last minute, with this combination of unbeatable sportsmanship, Team Navy was able to steal the win, 71-67. They go on to play the #2 seed, Lucky 7 on Saturday at 4:30 pm.
In the first game of the tournament, #4 Team PJ Tucker took on #5 Hendricks of Durham. NC State’s CJ Williams of Team PJ Tucker was on fire once again as he dropped 22 points, and combined with PJ Tucker’s 23 points of top-notch professional moves, Team PJ Tucker had a five point lead going into the second half. However, it wasn’t long before Hendricks got a nice rhythm and they started to pull ahead in the third quarter, thanks to Derrick Wiley, Cedric Williams, and James Crowder’s amazing offensive contributions. They had 25, 19, and 14 points respectively. Team PJ Tucker and Hendricks were all tied up going into the fourth quarter, however Team PJ Tucker got their original chemistry back and the ball began to fall into the basket. They quickly gained control and spread the lead to 13 in the fourth quarter. In the end, Team PJ Tucker obtained the victory with a score of 86-72. They go on to play the #1 seed, Team Duhon, on Saturday at 3 pm!
Friday, August 7, 2009
In the final game of the regular season, GBMS found some new additions to their team: high school star John Wall and Duke’s Olek Czyz came to help out Raymond Felton and the Eagle’s from N.C Central. John Wall was incredible has he took over the offensive end with a whopping 35 points! He had a couple of dominating drives through the lane and he added a few outside three’s to his resume. Raymond Felton’s role as the main assister really allowed GBMS to thrive offensively. E-Net’s Miles Plumlee showed off his skills as he had an open court slam and soared through the air to complete the play and then had a nice pull up on the next. E-Net’s Jawad Williams had easy jump shots after nice veteran pump fakes. In the end, after a close game, E-Net pulled away in the final minutes to win the game with a score of 80-73. Unfortunately, God Bless My Success, ended their regular season with a record of 0-10. However, they played great basketball and really worked hard this summer. E-Net will continue on the tournament as the seventh seed, playing #2 Lucky 7.
Opposite the last game, game 3 was a fairly close one. This star-studded event proved to be a crowd pleaser. During the first half of the game, team Hendricks captivated the lead, thanks to Derrick Wiley’s hard drives to the basket and Casey Peters’ points from downtown. Miles Plumlee announced his presence with authority with repeated dunks and rejections and James Crowder’s key pull-up jumper allowed team Hendricks to stay in the game. However, during the second half, team Lucky 7 took the lead and ran with it. Courtney Fells displayed his long range with frequent deep 3’s, assisted by JamesOn Curry’s excellent skill taking the ball down the court. Josh Powell was in control inside the perimeter, with help from Simon Harris under the basket, showing off his professional dunking talent. With such great team work, Lucky 7 slowly but surely pulled away the victory, 76-69.
What began as a blow-out remained so throughout the entire second game. Team PJ Tucker’s CJ Williams found his rhythm from beginning to end, leading in assists, and serving as the go-to man under the basket. Jarrett Johnson and Dupree Hall also displayed their skill down low, both sealing the deal with grand slams. Team Navy’s Jawad Williams of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Charles Ward both carried their team in the paint and outside the perimeter in hopes of redeeming themselves from such a large trailing margin, but their attempts proved not good enough to control Team PJ Tucker. At the half, Team PJ Tucker was up by almost 20 points and the margin narrowed by only a little by the end of the game. Tucker’s Tyree Graham showed excellent ball-handling skills, ultimately helping to lead his team to a win, 84-72.
In the final night of the regular season, Team Duhon once again played with amazing chemistry that allowed the team to sail through. Dreamworks had a considerable amount of talent on their team including, UNC’s Justin Watts, Duke’s Olek Czyz and Brian Zoubek, and high school sensation Reggie Bullock. However, they didn’t play as well together as Team Duhon where a lot of offensive rebounds went unnoticed and passes were incomplete. Nonetheless, Dreamworks played some great basketball and had some really amazing offensive plays. Justin Watts had a great elevation demonstration on both ends of the court where he had a powerful two-hand slam and then turned around and had a forceful rejection! Team Duhon’s Victor Holloway and Rasheed Wright contributed greatly to the scoreboard, however each of Team Duhon’s 12 players present put points on the board, showing their amazing teamwork and ability to play…and WIN, together. Team Duhon won the game 73-54 and are the first seed going into the tournament on Friday August 7th. You’ll see Dreamworks there too as the eight seed.
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
In the final game of the night, Lucky 7 was star-studded with LA Laker’s Josh Powell, NC State’s Courtney Fells, and Oklahoma State’s alum JamesOn Curry. Fells had 28 points and was dominant on the outside perimeter, in the paint, and on defense. Powell definitely helped his team out tremendously with 23 points of his own, including a couple of effortless spin moves complete with the fade-away jumper. Curry proved helpful as he was able to power through Dreamworks’ tough defense as he drove to the basket for 14 points of his own. However despite all of this star power, Dreamworks‘ freshly made team definitely held their own as they kept it a close game throughout its entirety with strong plays from Ricardo Marsh, James Crowder, and Chris Hill. Marsh served as the big man who was able to spin and shuffle around Lucky 7’s defenders to make his 16 points. Crowder shot and made countless three pointers as he constantly hustled around defenders to the open position. Meanwhile, in one play, Hill showed off his acrobatic skills as he was in the act of falling, but still managed to get the ball up and into the basket. With Dreamworks’ down by three in the final seconds, Will Bunton had a chance to tie the game, and although it looked as if he was fouled, no whistle was blown, and in the end, Lucky 7 walked away with the 78-75 victory.
With a constant lead throughout game 3, Team Hendricks was able to display the talents of many of its players. GBMS made a valiant effort to pull away with the win, but the offensive contributions from CJ Wilkerson and Nick Chasten, paired with David Bests’ defensive action down low were not enough to earn a victory. Casey Peters was the lead offensive contributor for Team Hendricks displaying his elevation and ball-handling, Cedric Williams had a huge play with a big 3 from up top, and James Crowder was the team’s go-to man under the basket. But it was Matt Sossamon who surprised to crowd leading as the follow-up man for the team with frequent dunks and points in the paint. With such a multifaceted team, Hendricks was able to steal the win, score 66-45.
The second game was a blowout from start to finish. With immediate domination by WR Starkey, Team KG barely scored in the first quarter. Excellent ball handling by Tyree Graham along with help down low from Ryan Kelly, made it impossible for WR Starkey to be stopped, the score at half-time, 47-13. Despite attempts from KG’s Cameron Stanley (25 points) and big 3’s by James Zimmerman (21 points), the team was ultimately never able to recover. With big slams from Chris Hill, and CJ Leslie displaying his undeniable star power through big drives to the basket and elevation, WR Starkey was able to breeze through this game with a final score, 73-53.
This game saw Team Navy struggling in the first quarter where Team Duhon was able to have a considerable lead starting off the game. However, it wasn’t long before Team Navy got into their rhythm and was able to catch up, making the first game of the night and extremely exciting one to watch. Team Duhon’s Hayward Fain was the king of assists has he constantly met Mason Plumlee and Anthony Greenup under the basket. Greenup, once again showed off his Harlem Globetrotters skills as he dropped 24 points of layups and dunks in the paint. Team Navy’s Andre McCollum was the star of the night has he contributed a total of 27 points and really surged ahead in the third quarter, where Team Navy was able to bring the score within three points. The combination of Rashawn Page, Charles Ward, and McCollum allowed Team Navy to slightly stay ahead of Team Duhon in the final two minutes and in the end, Team Navy was able to capture the victory with a score of 68-64. This was the first loss in the regular season for Team Duhon, however with a record of 8-1, they are still number one, while Team Navy is still tied for second with Lucky 7.