Last week, something called The-BALL announced plans for a “soft launch” in 2013 of a future pro basketball summer league. Centered in college basketball hotbeds along the East Coast, The-Ball promised teams made up of former local college stars, playing in their collegiate markets. The idea is that by stocking rosters with such local talent, teams will have “instant star power and a built-in fan base.”
And whether that league works or not, they have a point. Because on Tuesday, the league announced a 2012 home-and-home showcase series between D.C. and Philly teams, and I immediately got interested.
The D.C. half of this series is scheduled to be played at George Washington’s Smith Center on August 4, with a roster filled with plenty of household names: Jason Clark, Austin Freeman, Henry Sims and Chris Wright from Georgetown; John Gilchrist (!) and James Gist from Maryland; and Folarin Campbell, Jai Lewis and Will Thomas from George Mason. The team will be coached by former Wizards assistant Phil Hubbard.
The Philly team, according to the release, “will be made up of former stars from Villanova, Saint Joseph’s, Temple, La Salle, Penn and Drexel.” (A few of the names mentioned included Allan Ray, Curtis Sumpter, Mark Tyndale and Zack Rosen.) The game is scheduled to tip-off at 4 with tickets ranging in price from $15 to $25, and the release said it would be broadcast live on Comcast SportsNet.
The teams will then play again the following night at Hagan Arena in Philly, another game that will be broadcast on Comcast SportsNet, according to the release.
The release also cautions that some of these players will be in the process of seeking NBA jobs, and scheduling conflicts for individual players could yet arise.