Summer Basketball at the Drew League

Photo by Dennis J. Freeman
Photo by Dennis J. Freeman
Photo by Dennis J. Freeman

LOS ANGELES-It’s that time of year again. Summer heat. Basketball. And the Drew League. The Drew League is vibin’ again. This is where many NBA players sponsored by shoe and apparel giant Nike come down to get their basketball groove on to stay in shape with a lot of top notch basketball talent. Over the years, the supply of NBA players playing in the Drew League has been endless.

The Drew League is  basically a “Who’s Who” of the basketball world. You know the names. Millions of people catch them on sports highlight reels. But at the Drew League, you can catch them for free, up close and personal. Catch them if you can. Kobe Bryant. LeBron James. Kevin Durant. James Harden. Nick Young. DeMar DeRozan. Brandon Jennings. Baron Davis. They’ve all made their way down to the Drew League.

The allure of the Drew League is where the pretentious is swept away, and the basketball junkie can never get enough of good hoops play. It’s just good basketball. It is where the realness of the street meet up with the brand of professional hoopers. It is a good clash of wills.

Every Saturday and Sunday, the slate of games is full. From mid-morning to late in the evening, if you swing by the King Drew High School gymnasium over on 120th Street in the Watts/Willowbrook area of South Los Angeles, you’ll be able to catch a game or two of ballers going at each other with the intensity of an NBA playoff game. Playing in the Drew League is not for the faint of heart.

It’s fun. It’s exciting. There is also a lot of pride. No one backs down at the Drew League. It is all in-your-face basketball. This is the best place for summer basketball in the Southern California. It maybe the best place for basketball period during the summer lull between the end of the NBA Finals and right before football began making its entrance into our consciousness.

drewfinalWhat is it about the Drew League that makes it the premiere summer pro am basketball league? Well, the Drew League is a great spot to earn your street cred stripes. Some guys come down to play in the Drew League to hone their skills. Some want to improve their notoriety.

Others are just looking for a chance to revive their basketball careers. You have high school and college kids making runs on the court with professional players. It is this kind of perfect mix that makes the Drew League special. Basically, the Drew League is pickup basketball in a more polished atmosphere. The games are almost always entertaining, if not spectacular.

On the closeout day of the Week 9 schedule, Hank Panthers put a beat down on the Reapers, closing them out with a 75-50 contest. Legacy whooped up on Hank’s New Image by the score of 89-71. These kind of games goes against the norm down at the Drew League, where the contests are typically hard-fought, and typically go down to the wire.

LA Loop and BB4L showcased that. Baron Davis, the former Golden State Warriors and Los Angeles Clippers star, did his thing on the court. Davis who pumped in 40 points in Basketball 4 Life’s (BB4L) 103-76 win against LAUNFD in Week 8, couldn’t lead his team to victory this time around. LA Loop defeated Davis and his Basketball 4 Life teammates, 87-82.

That sums up the Drew League. Your star power is only as good as your last game.

Dennis J. Freeman
About Dennis J. Freeman 1137 Articles
Dennis covers the NFL (Chargers), NBA (Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers), Major League Baseball (Los Angeles Dodgers) and NCAA sports (USC, UCLA, Long Beach State). Dennis has also covered and written on topics such as civil rights, politics and social justice. Dennis is a proud alum of Howard University.