In 1973 a man named Alvin Wills created a league that consisted of 6 teams. They kept score on a chalk board and used an air horn to signal for subs. The league started as a summer program to keep students out of the streets and in the gym. It hoped to forge meaningful relationships that the kids would be able to take out of the gym and influence the streets for the better. Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday night the gym would fill up but could only seat about 200 people. Fast forward to present day, the league is known as The Drew and it now keeps a high school gym that seats 900 packed and for those who don’t have a seat stand around the sideline. Each weekend people form a line that wraps around the corner in hopes of getting in to witness some of the best basketball going on during the summer. What makes this league so exciting? Why do people flock to watch this league? When you hear the names of those who participate in the league those questions are put to rest.
Last year LA Unified led by James Harden defeated the Most Hated Player’s to become Drew League champions. It’s a no brainer that a team with James Harden would win a summer league championship game; or is it? MHP also had their fair share of talent with two guys named Nick Young and Demar Derozan. The game was a tight one as Young and Harden stood toe to toe down the stretch exchanging haymakers.
But that is child’s play; for the easily impressed. How about a few years ago when Kevin Durant decided to make another appearance at The Drew. Durant boasted an incredible stat line with 35 points filled with a barrage of dunks and threes. The craziest part about it is that it was not his most impressive performance at The Drew. His best performance came from his initial appearance where he played along side Michael Beasley due in large to the recruiting skills of rapper The Game.
Game is no stranger to The Drew as he has been competing for many years. In past seasons he has also recruited a plethora of a talent and gave crowds a performance of a life time. His Money Gang team consisted of: Chris Brown, JR Smith, Ron Artest, Paul George, Demar Derozan, and John Wall. The team was stacked with star power and NBA talent but went on to lose in the championship game against LA Unified. Many of you may wonder how a team full of so much talent not win the championship. “No excuses, just produce” is The Drew’s slogan which lends its hand to the players that may not be in the NBA but have NBA talent. The truth of the matter is that the league is filled with talent that produces in leagues all over the world. Those who have been overlooked by the NBA have their chance to prove that they deserve to play amongst the elite.
Speaking of elite; how about this?
From humble beginnings, The Drew has risen to the top of the basketball world. It is apparent that The Drew has cemented itself as the new mecca of basketball during the offseason. No league other than the NBA has consistently placed so much talent on the floor at one time. Tune in to Showtime on April 29th to watch the documentary and immerse yourself in The Drew.