Rapper The Game has long led one of the Drew’s most high-profile teams in La Familia, and he fielded another unfairly star-studded group on Sunday. Los Angeles native and former USC guard DeMar DeRozan took the floor and brought a couple of friends, with Toronto Raptors stars Kyle Lowry and Terrence Ross suiting up, also alongside the always-captivating Metta World Peace. Somehow, La Famila found themselves down a point at halftime, but 19 points and 8 rebounds from the man formerly known as Ron Artest helped the NBA studs avoid what might have been an embarrassing loss.
— Drew League (@DrewLeague) July 14, 2014
Brandon Jennings dropped an impressive 57 at the Drew last week. On Sunday, he almost did it again. It was a second-straight ridiculous showing from the Pistons guard, who put up a 56 this time around, brought The Clozers back from down nine at the half for a 93-92 win. Surely, he’ll have a new mixtape to show for it in the next few days.
Fresh out of NBA summer league play with the Sixers, Long Beach State product Casper Ware dropped 27 points, 8 rebounds and 8 assists in a win for Hank’s Cheaters 2. Also of note, former Kansas star Julian Wright, last seen playing pro ball in Russia, posted 20 points and 7 rebounds for C.O.A. in a win.
Oh, and the weekend was highlighted by these two dunks from former Florida Atlantic guard Jeff Remmington, playing for the Stingrays.
Full scores from the weekend available here.
Fans filled the gym at the Nike Chi-League to capacity once again this week, and for the second consecutive Sunday they got a high-profile overtime matchup featuring some NBA talent. Last week, it was Iman Shumpert and Jordan Hamilton. This time, Detroit Pistons center Andre Drummond joined teammate Will Bynum on The Unit, who faced off with Team Tiger in the most exciting game of the day.
Led by Drummond in the paint and a backcourt of Bynum and Cal’s all-time leading scorer, Jerome Randle, on paper, The Unit held a massive edge over its anonymous opponents. But great execution down the stretch and a clutch, buzzer-beating three from guard Ryan Jackson of D-II Lewis University sent the game to overtime.
The teams went back and forth in front of a capacity crowd at Chicago’s Whitney Young High School, and The Unit held a 97-95 lead with 15.6 seconds remaining after Bynum drained a three off an assist from Randle with a defender running at him in the corner. Then came the shocker. Out of a timeout, Team Tiger’s Damond Williams — who had scored just two points all day — caught the ball at the top of the arc and let loose. Game over, 98-97, roof raised.
Team Tiger’s Ty Kent shone with 37 points (on 15-for-26 shooting) and 15 rebounds, ridiculous numbers for the winning side. Randle led The Unit with 31 points (12-of-24 from the field), supplemented by Bynum’s 23. Drummond wasn’t bad, with 14 points and 15 rebounds and added some wow factor with his slams. But though it can be hard for big men to get established in the guard-driven pace of pro-am leagues, there’s no logical reason the game should have been that close.
So, for the second straight week, an NBA star-led squad was upset, a real testament to the quality of Chicago basketball. For all the narrative about the grit that defines players hailing from the city’s streets, time and again you see local stars competing hard no matter the situation, from the NBA to college to high school, to the gaps in-between. The Chi-League has made its case as the deepest, toughest pro-am in the country.
The Dominican Power squad, featuring several incoming college players, advanced to 3-0 in the standings this week. Gio McLean (headed to Oklahoma out of Westchester Community College) and Adonis De La Rosa (St. John’s) contributed heavily to the efforts. Former Iona standout Kashif Pratt drained a pair of 35-footers in the game’s final minutes to bury Team Bonafied with emphasis, 79-65.
Notable former D-I guys to suit up at Dyckman during the week included J.R. Smith’s younger brother Chris (Louisville) Truck Bryant (West Virginia), Jeremy Hazell and Jordan Theodore (Seton Hall).
Proceeds from the Seattle Pro-Am go to the Jamal Crawford Foundation — and it was Crawford himself playing the big draw this week out in the Pacific Northwest. The Los Angeles Clippers star, widely regarded as the best ball-handler in the NBA, put down 51 points, his second 50-plus point game in two weeks. Ballislife gave us this handy mini-mixtape, where Crawford slices defenses and gets buckets with ease against a team led by Tony Wroten of the Sixers.
Hey, maybe Crawford should make a trip back to L.A. to take on Brandon Jennings this summer.