Friday, November 21, 2014

IBALLmag Launches Winter Pro-Am League

IBall Magazine, 
the Premiere 
Pro-Am League 
on the Atlantic 
seaboard launches 
their 2014-2015 
winter season with scheduled games 
from Buffalo, NY 
to Washington,
DC.   



IBall Minor League Basketball is a six to eight week 
competition and is the brainchild of the Watkins
Brothers, who have hosted and competed in adult
basketball tournaments up and down Interstate-95
for more than twenty years.  





This tournament ends with a Five- Thousand Dollar 
Cash Prize [$5,000.00] for the winners, and media 
exposure on the IBall Webcast Network.  Strong 
teams from DC, Southern New Jersey, Philadelphia, 
Buffalo, and Elmira, NY are on-board for a blazing 
regular season and a spectacular end of season 
playoff for the $5K payday.  

The six competing teams are as follows:

The Elmira NY Heismans [New York]
The Capitol City Express [Wash, DC]
The South Jersey Bulldogs [New Jersey]
The Philly Ballerz [Pennsylvania]
The Buffalo Blue Hawks [New York]
The Western NY Thunder [New York]

Opening Night the Buffalo Blue Hawks 
defeated the Western NY Thunder 138-114.


For Additional Press and League information...
See Iball Minor League on Facebook.com

Friday, November 14, 2014

CHARLES BARKLEY GOES BOTH WAYS!

That's right, Charles Barkley goes 
both ways.  I said it, I'll say it right in his face.  
He's a switch hitter...He's AC/DC.  He's 
happy as he wants to be...Merry and Gay.


                          

 













Barkley channeling his inner Wonder 
Woman in an ad campaign for Weight Watchers.

What I'm saying is that his popularity has 
soared, his stock is up, and he has positioned 
himself to reap the financial benefits of playing 
the LGBTQQ Card. What the heck is that?
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/style-blog/wp/2014/05/23/civilities-what-does-the-acronym-lgbtq-stand-for/

So since Sir Charles has been playing this
year in year out "Halloween Dress-Up Play-
date" for a number of years, I decided to
reflect on some of his opinionated flaws 
and some of mixed up or mix gendered
behavior.  In all faireness, we've had alot 
of fun with Charles.   He is one of the 
most quoted athletes of our time...been
quoted as much as Mohammed Ali.  
 http://charlesbarkleyquotes.blogspot.com/

Historically, he has a great sense of humor and on 
the court Charles is top 50...An original Dream 
Teamer. However, Charles' voyage into
public commentary on issues of race, politics,
and the Black American community, has 
raised his profile and motivated me to reflect
on Sir Charles.

First things first, his history of dressing up in
panty hose [at least in public] goes back 
to the 1990's with an appearance on the
deceased comedy show on NBC TV
called Saturday Night Live.  


       









A quick change into a TNT sports analyst suit and tie.


Myself and former New York Knick Fred 
Crawford happened to be present in the 
Live studio audience.  When Chuck 
came out in those high heels and tight 
fish-net panty hose the crowd 
went wild with laughter.  I personally
know two men who were present and 
who were not laughing...That was me and 
Mr. Crawford.  We looked at each other
and shook our heads thinking, "Damn
Chuck...Your taking a big L on live TV
Playboy!"



Photos from Barkley's Saturday Night Live career.


 What is America's fascination with Black men,
strong Black men, in dresses?  Who started this
bazaar and strange phenomenon? What is the
history of cross dressing and why do these
successful sports and entertainment personalities
go for the O-KEE-DOKE?  What kind of "Role
Model" is Mr. Barkley and others for our 
children? Strange world we live in.

We've come to know Charles Barkley over the
years as the harmless "Down Home Country" athlete, 
who personally overachieved on the court.  He could 
also create a certain degree of shock and awe with his 
off the cuff remarks, like a shock jock. Do you 
remember Charles' popular Nike shoe campaign "I 
am not a role model!"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nMzdAZ3TjCA 

He stared directly into the camera, strong, defiant,
articulate and if nothing else....Masculine. What
happened? How did they get to you Chucky?  We
were proud of you Charles. We really were.

I can see you mixing it up with Oakley. I can
remember you not backing down from the Big
Bad Boy Wolf Bill Lambeer, who should have
been in the WWF not the NBA.
 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f-5ablJYVcg


We know his history. He came out of nowhere. 
The Round Mound of Rebound, personally 
carrying Auburn's basketball program on his 
strong, wide, back. He's always been a 
double threat, with an offensive and defensive
intensity...Duality.  A man of contradictions...
[1] Fiercely Serious and Intense with a Sense of Humor.
[2] Professional Athlete who looked Fat & Overweight
[3] Innocent Country Folk Wit & Radio Shock Jock Sound 
Bites...a little Rush Limbaugh and a little Will Rogers.
http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Will_Rogers

Whatever he did on the basketball court, I have no
issues with.  It's his new gig that gets to me.  No
not the slap stick comedy that he does with
Shaq, Kenny and Ernie on TNT, that's 
relatively entertaining as long as you already
know the score and situation of the game their
supposed to be talking about.  That I can stomach
because I have my handy remote control in my
hand at all times when those dudes are on.  Some-
times I believe they're auditioning for Def Comedy
Jam.  

So we come to the issue I introduced in my
opening...The issue of Charles Barkley being
a Switch Hitter...Charles going Both Ways...
AC/DC... This is how he goes both ways...
[1] He is a Black man, who dresses as a 
White woman. [2] He is a Black man who
critiques issues in America and is critical
of the Black community, cool. However,
where is the analysis of the rest of the 
country? 

The Charles Barkley that needs to retire from
the public scene is the Barkley who gives solicited
comments to the press on a number of sensitive 
national issues dealing with Race, Culture and 
Politics.  Here are two examples of Charles' Switch
Hitting...He plays to certain audience and sees 
himself as a voice of the Black community speaking
to White America.




[1] CHARLES BARKLEY: Well, I agreed with the verdict. 
I feel sorry that young kid got killed. But they didn’t 
have enough evidence to charge him. Something clearly 
went wrong that night. Clearly something went wrong. 
I feel bad for anybody who loses a kid, but if you looked 
at the case and you don’t make it — there was some 
racial profiling, no question about it. But something 
happened that changed the dynamic of that night, and 
I know — that’s probably not a popular opinion 
among most people but just looking at the evidence I 
agreed with the verdict.


[2] While appearing on “Afternoons with Anthony 
Gargano" a Philadelphia Radio Talk Show

Barkley went on a long monologue on 
the subject: ”Unfortunately, as I tell my 
white friends, we as black people, we’re 
never going to be successful, not because 
of you white people, but because of other 
black people. When you’re black, you 
have to deal with so much crap in your 
life from other black people. It’s a dirty, 
dark secret; I’m glad it’s coming out.


Why does he continue to put his foot in
his own mouth? I know why.  It's the same 
reason he puts on red lipstick, women's bras, 
and lace panties.
He does it for the money.  

















   






PERSONALITIES IN THE HALL OF SHAME

 


                                                                                                                                                                                                              






 Ricky Williams [NFL]


                                                                   Larry Johnson [NBA]

 
                                               
                              Dennis Rodman [NBA]

                             
                               Tyler Perry [Hollywood]
        



      





Cam Newton  [NFL]  

Thursday, November 6, 2014

BALLA-HOLICS WIN 1ST ANNUAL DADDY WOODS CLASSIC

           Balla-holics [Blue] defeat U Can't Guard Me [Gold]

It was supposed to be a blow-out.  It was supposed to be
a light-light workout where the young athletes would
get schooled on the finer aspects of the grown man's 
game.  It was supposed to be a clinic, where young legs
and hearts would be slightly bruised by the mature,
old school, weekend warriors in gold. It became a classic 
match-up of "Youth vs Experience"..."Speed vs Power"
"New Legs vs Old Legs"  Just closely look at the above 
post game photo for a moment.  Observe the body 
language.  Take a look at the juxtaposition of the 
teammates in relation to one another.  Look at which
group is smiling and which is not. It was not supposed
to go down like that.  The Balla-holics defeat U Can't
Guard Me by the score of 61-54 in the 1st Annual
Daddy Woods Classic in front of a capacity crowd
at the Jamaica YMCA aka Jamaica Square Garden.

Fresh out the gate...What is a Balla-holic? Let us 
break it down for you.







           2014 Balla-holics Basketball Team

Balla-
                    1. some one who is very, very, good at basketball
              One who has skills...  
              It requires much skill to achieve "balla" status 

  1.Im a balla fo real
  2.LeBron James is a Balla 

 

holic-
            1. Suffix commonly applied to words to indicate 
                obsession, or dedication.

The family friendly game was part of the weekends 
celebration of the Life and Times of Clarence E.
Woods Sr. who was a firm believer in education,
recreational athletics, and positive community 
events.  The weekends massive celebration 
included a 2K Fun Run at Baisley Pond Park in 
Jamaica which was won by twelve year old Lucas 
Chaliz from Harlem, NY.  The Second Place 
runner was Lahh Woods, who has filed a written 
protest with the 2014 race committee over the 
lack of proper demarcations at the 2K finish line.  
Mr Woods demands a re-run and firmly believes 
he was denied his proper place on the victory stand.
One unidentified witness stated,"He's not a sore
loser or anything like that. He just wants what's 
rightfully his...He wants justice."

 C. WADE and UNIQUE CHARLES LEAD
BALLA-HOLICS TO VICTORY
                


                  



COREY WADE                               UNIQUE CHARLES

From the start of the game Coach Tim Barret 
instructed his young stars to push the ball, pass 
with a purpose and keep the defensive pressure 
on..."I knew that they were more experienced 
than us, but I also knew that we would never 
get tired...Not in that small gym."


            2014 U CAN'T GUARD ME BASKETBALL TEAM

And keeping the pressure on is exactly what 
they did, steals, deflections, block shots and 
transitional baskets were the order of the day.  
The ball-handling and leadership of Corey 
Wade held many of the loose pieces together 
as Unique Charles did the heavy lifting 
grabbing numerous rebounds and playing 
solid "D."

The game remained relatively close as U Can't 
Guard Me got several baskets from Tramaine 
"Buckets" Oxley and Thomas "C-Train" Coleman 
carried the offensive load for the veterans. Kelvin 
"Ghost" Wharton protected the rim, to the best of 
his ability, for the vets in gold with numerous 
blocked shots in the paint. "He should have got 
MVP. He was everywhere. He blocked my shot 
about ten times," stated Ellis "The Jet" Green. 



       2014 DADDY WOODS CLASSIC WEEKEND

The post game assessment from U Can't Guard Me team
Captain, Larry "Hook-Shot" Shoy was not pleasant, "We
got a couple of ball-hogs on this team.  All I can say is
that there was selfish play. The ball was stuck. They
[Balla-holics] passed the ball, and we didn't!"

The speed and perimeter shooting of Steph "Down-
town "Graham, Justin "JJ" Joseph, and Ellis 'The Jet" 
Green was just a little too much for the opponents.
Every time the team in gold made a run to tie the 
game the young men in blue just hit the gas pedal 
and took their foot off the brakes.  It was a track 
meet, where the young legs got the job done with 
a seven point victory. The games outstanding
players [MVPs] were Thomas Coleman for 
U Can't Guard Me, and Justin Joseph for the 
Balla-holics.

                  
                 Daddy Woods was a proud veteran of WWII
http://www.triplenickle.com/ 

Next year's Daddy Woods Classic will be a great one, 
hopefully you will be there to see the "Old Timers" get 
their first "W."    Peace and Blessings.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

SANTO DOMINGO WINS HARLEM'S LEGENDS TOURNAMENT

 
 









 On a cool autumn evening the Santo Domingo 
Legends defeat the Dominican Sports Legends of New 
York City in a contest witnessed by the basketball fans 
of Harlem and Washington Heights, NYC at Riverbank 
State Park. It was a great end of summer event.

              The Santo Domingo Legends win 2nd Title in a row


     Deportistas Dominicanos Inc claim 2nd Place in 2014 Event

This is the second year of the Tournament of Legends 
[Age 40 & Over] and the second time that the travelers 
from the capitol of the Dominican Republic have come 
away with the Legends Trophy. This is a very good 
Masters team, with of course, many years of experience.  
They play a basic, classic, style of basketball...Pass, pass, 
pass, pass,..Shoot.  They hit the boards, pitch out and 
they share the ball with great appreciation for one another
...I didn't sense that they had any "prema donnas" 
or head cases on their club.  They support each other 
and play defense with pride and intensity.
 
                          2014 Tournament of Legends Cup

     Santo Domingo established an early lead with their
excellent passing and stellar perimeter shooting.  To
compliment that aspect of their attack their bigs
defended and rebounded well. They had numerous
buckets served off of the cool offensive glass.

Earlier that evening, it was the Puerto Rican Pro
Legends, coached by the legendary Santos Negron, who
defeated Team ALKEBULAN [Motherland] representing
the Greater Harlem Community and NYDLBALL.com
in a closely contested Consolation Game that went to the
wire. The margin of victory? What else?  Free-Throws.


ALKEBULAN was coached by Johnny Pugh, also
known in some circles as the "Dancing Bear."  He did a
great job on short notice to tie together various players
from diverse, and ever expanding, backgrounds.

So let's face it.  This is Masters Basketball.  Age 40
and older...Nobody Dunking...No one zooming baseline
to baseline draining 3's like 1st Round Draft Choices..
No one being scouted to go to "the league."  Some may
question and doubt, "What the heck are these old guys
doing out there?"  "Somebody's gonna get hurt!!"  
"Yall need to sit down somewhere and retire!'  I've 
heard it all, many, many times before.  

We play for many reasons. Some for the work
-out.  Some for the competition.  Some still strive 
for a level of personal athletic achievement that 
they may have never experienced before. While
some still ego trip and run to the scorers table
to check box scores after each game...Even
in a losing effort.  Some still chase referees
and coaches around the gym, while ranting and 
raving about a missed call or the lack of burn.
Whatever motivates these young men to 
continue to compete there will always be 
supporters and others who will swiftly motion 
for you to hang up your sneakers. The
following is a poem written by my Brother,
Cedric Dew, about the trials of an aging athlete. 
 



The Crippling Truth



I rode the wave of sports till it crippled me

The crowds, the rush, and cheese


Made dealinwith pain a routine thang

I jumped, double pumped

And then got bumped

Until one day I came down wrong

But I didnt sweat it twenty three - I was young

And maybe I felt a little unsung

So I played on.

I developed a fancy handle

Learned nothings personal in the battle

No matter what you do dont get rattled

I was like a celebrity made local

Had honeys hanginlike a trophy mantel


When the summer season ceased

And we went to indoors rec leagues

The pain gradually but surely increased

From an ache to a hereditary bone disease



But what would I do to replace this high?

The highlight reel I supply

Snatching rebounds out the sky


Dont tell me anything about age

This poetry in motion controls my rage

The lines place me on a stage

You tryna tell me that gonna change?

Imma ignore it and keep on playin

And then my coach started acting strange

Told me he had a lineup to rearrange


Id come off the bench for old time sake

Teach the rookies what mistakes not to make


Have an occasional flashback

Feel better at times and make a comeback

Even have an occasional slam at the rack

But again, I came down awkward

And this time I needed an ambulance


A specialist told me my career was done

To be thankful I could walk

Let along be able to run and gun

For about the next year true believers

Talked and hyped my return

But that day was not to come

My next trip to the park was to be acknowledged

As one of the great ones
Theres this new baller out there doin

Stuff no ones ever seen done

The memory of my era had aged in seconds

Some rookie prospect in his first year

Broke all my records

I showed up at games because it was

The only place I could go and be respected



See

I had never had to make a friend

Never had a problem getting women

I didnt need a job, everybody else was payin

Nobody tells you what its like when this game

This dream, this life comes to an end.



Thanks Cedric..You've given us plenty
to think about...On our way to work-out today.

This year the Legends Tournament acknowledged 
two Dominican Legends of the Basketball World, 
Felepe Lopez [St Johns/NBA] and Hugo Cabrera 
aka El Inmenso [Dominican Superior Balocesto]. 
These are two  great examples of athletic 
professionalism and positive community spirit.



The New York Knicks organization was on hand
with many give aways for the children and adults
in attendance...Mini-basketballs, Knicks T-shirts
and instant photo shopped pictures of the lucky 
fan and one of the virtual New York Knicks.  
There was also an offer for discounted NY Knicks 
tickets for a pre-season contest at The Garden
on Latino Heritage Night.

The event was produced by Deportistas Dominicanos 
Inc, and their tournament is growing in excitement 
and support. The tournament is designed to unify the 
community, developing partnerships and bridges for 
community health, education, and business enterprises.  

There has been plenty of talk over the years of  so
called established divisions along nationalist lines, 
based in the struggle for political  and economic resources 
in New York City  between Puerto Ricans, Blacks, and
Dominicans. Interesting to note the obvious absence of 
dialogue and analysis of how the white European 
Americans benefit from any of these Afro/Latino 
conflicts.

The following two articles touch on this urgent, conflict,
issue that many believe is true, and others believe to
be a divisive ploy to keep the people in the community 
at odds with one another.  I am not a fan of the New 
York Post.  I believe it is a dirty rag...Article #2 clearly
shows that...Many that read these articles will be 
influenced way or the other.

 Article #1 Latino vs Black
http://axisphilly.org/article/latino-vs-black/ 

 Article #2 The New Harlem Politics
http://nypost.com/2014/06/25/despite-ethical-questions-rangel-wins-re-election/ 

Three Basic Suggestions...Perhaps a community events 
like the Tournament of Legends can become a positive
stepping stone above some of the negative concepts and competitive situations in our community. And if the event 
is to be a truly democratic cultural exchange then [1] we 
need to share some of the air and mic time on the house 
sound system that pumped that non-stop Reggaeton for
the two days of the tournament. Why not put on some
James Brown, Curtis Mayfield, Motown, and Nina 
Simone for the folks in the house?  Why not play 
some Tito Puente and some Hector Lavoe at
hafl-time? [2] Perhaps during the timeouts our in-
between games the true cultural community of 
Harlem, NY should be represented with the Folk 
Dancing, Singing and Drumming from Puerto 
Rico, Africa and The Dominican Republic. [3] It
would have also have been great to have attended
the Latino Heritage Day at Madison Square Garden.
It is our understanding that several Legends 
Tournament participants had attended, whether
comped or not.  Sometimes when resources or 
opportunities aren't fully shared or not researched
thoroughly by all parties, communication break 
down and misunderstandings begin to erode a 
positive vibe and relationship. Next year, we as
a community, will get it right.
Peace and Blessings. LW
 



                     

Monday, October 6, 2014

NY $ugar Daddie$ are Going Back to Indiana!!



When I hear the name Indiana, a few things immediately
come to mind.  Corn Fields...The Big 500 Auto Race...
The Jackson Five...And of course...Larry Bird...The
Movie"Hoosiers" and that clown in red, Bobby Knight,
throwing a folding chair across the court or grabbing up
some 6'8" freshman's jersey in his fist.  I had never been
there...I did not know what to expect.  What we got in
Indiana was a hell of a lot more than corn fields and
Gene Hackman.  Let me start at the beginning.  The
New York $ugar Daddie$ participated in the 2014
Showdown in Naptown, that was held in Indianapolis,
Indiana.  This is Masters Basketball.  This is the Final
Chapter...the Last Dance...This is where middle-aged
and elderly Ballers work-out, compete and get their
"Last Hurrah"...their "Last Applause"...their 'Last
Victory Lap!!
They do it BIG out here...Great Competition...
Great Facilities...Great People. In the immortal words
of Michael Jackson... "We're Going Back To Indiana!!"





















                                       The Jackson 5- Five Famous Native Sons of Indiana

Thursday Night [NYC], almost 10 PM...
The uptown #1 Train/Broadway Local roars out of the
tunnel headed towards Dyckman.  There are two men
across from us, soundly sleep on the subway.  No doubt
hard working men...Sound asleep...on the subway. Not
the move...Sleeping on the subway...On pay day.  

 

 







I'm not quite sure where we are going but we've got a small
window of time to go to a Press Conference for the
Dominican Sports USA age 45 & Over Tournament
[October 10 & 11th] that will be held in NYC
with teams representing The Dominican Republic,
Team DR-USA, The Puerto Rican Pro Legends and
one of our basketball clubs TEAM ALKEBULAN
Harlem, USA. 

I receive at text from Gene Ali Jennings [A $ugar Daddy]
...He's arrived at the Port Authority Bus Terminal on 42
Street from Syracuse, NY...I buzz him and ask him to
sit tight and then meet us at 125 Street near the Apollo
Theater in a hour.  He's not sure if he should take the
D Train, the A Train or the C Train...I told him to
"Take the A train...It's the quickest way to get to
Harlem."
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cb2w2m1JmCY

That is where we could link up with him and head
over to the east side, on the edge of "El Barrio" [The
land of Corky Ortiz] to catch our 13 hour ride with the
$ugar Daddie$ to a far away land called Indianapolis,
Indiana.  My brother Eddie and I walk a number of
blocks...[Should have caught a cab] through the edge
of Washington Heights [Little DR].  We got off at the
wrong train stop, so now we hoof it back towards
where I believe the restaurant is.  We pass the dimly
lit housing projects on our left, and cross the busy
street and see the bright flashing lights of the 809
Lounge on Dykman Ave. 

We walk into a quiet, sophisticated restaurant, dim
lights...elegant setting.  More than a few heads turned
towards us as we enter the large quiet room.  I sense
that we have missed the event, or we are in the wrong
place.  In my best Spanglish I say, "Come Estas Hermano
...Donde es la Press Conference?"  Silence. And then the
gentleman smiles and points us towards two large gold
doors.  We step confidently through the room and push
through the door, and there is a room full of people...
Press, lovely hostesses, ballplayers, basketball fans,
etc...They begin to applaud us...

   Team managers, coaches & players hold the Legends Tournament Trophy.

We step further into the room, the bright lights swing our
way and hit my eyes and I hear the announcer [en Espanol], "Ladies and Gentlemen this is Lahh Woods!...
NYDLBALL.com! Team Alkebulan! Lahh Woods! 
Come on up here with one of your players and have a word
with us!"

I turn to my brother with that "Can You Believe This?"
look on my face...He's laughing that,"Yes we can do this"
laugh, and I just shake my head and walk up towards the
press table.  Welcome to my world my Brother...Welcome
to my world.  The Tournament of Legends is in it's second
year and with it's international teams, blaring hot Latin
music, a comedic and caustic play by play announcer with
standing room only attendance...It is becoming one of the
hottest basketball tickets in Harlem, NYC.


 Larry Legend Bird-Always let his game speak for himself

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CMgg1CZw0hc

Friday Morning 1:15 AM 125 St & Lexington Ave
The Mercedes Van pulls up slowly at the curb.  The curious
stop and stare while others step lively on this busy Harlem 
street corner.  Watch your bags...Watch your back.





"How hot is this block tonight?" I wonder. Right about now
it's luke warm.  The age 55 and Over warriors board the
team van after loading their luggage in the back door. Some
folks have so many bags it looks like they're running away
from home. Running away to Indiana, a long way from the
dark corners and crowded sidewalks of East Harlem.  This
is not a common happening. "Are you some kind of pro
team?" "Are you musicians?"  "Where y'all going?...Yo I
still play ball!  How can I get down with this?"
The attention and inquiries were quite flattering, even
for middle aged men, who have seen it all before in
another lifetime...But we still had to venture west and
effectively compete after many hours of sitting in the
vehicle.  We said our prayers, thanked God, and begun
our journey.







The  journey west has finally begun and for next 13
hours I have a captive audience.  I get to VJ....I put into
the DVD player videos of Alkebulan and Sugar Daddy
games from throughout the summer of 2014...
Something to pass the time away before we compete
against the basketball legends from Chicago, and Indiana.



We were in the able driving hands of one of our
big men, Warren "Snakes on the Plane" Storey aka
Captain Turnpike or Old Iron Kidneys himself...He
breezed through New Jersey...He flows through
Pennsylvania.  He's a driving machine.  He and his
Chief Navigator Tony "$ugar Daddy" Greene were
relentless time keepers




and they were determined to get us to INDY on
schedule.  We begged them to stop so we could use
the bathroom...They ignored us...and laughed...
Thank God we eventually needed to get some gas. 
           The Indianapolis 500: The Greatest Race on Earth

When we got to INDY we were joined by my personal team
MVP, Carl 'The Mailman" Colbert who also happen to be
"The Hardest Working Man in Masters." He had flown in
from Florida for the weekend's athletic festivities.  He met
us at the Marriott and we packed for the game and headed
to the gym.  We rush to the gym.  Great facility. We watch
some of the Indy All-Stars vs The Naptown Players...These
are two competing teams that are crosstown rivals and have
a competitive history that goes back for many, many years.

Naptown Players; Strong Club & Great Tournament

Also we must mention that the INDY All-Stars host their
own Master's Tournament that takes place in July in the
city of Indianapolis. It was a close game when we left to
warm-up on the other side of the gym.  When we saw the
final score we were surprised...It wasn't close.  The Indy
All-Stars, a very, very good team put away Naptown by
about twenty points.  Must have been some second half.  
http://www.showdowninnaptown.com/showdown/home.aspx

                      2014 NEW YORK $UGAR DADDIE$ AGE 55+ TEAM IN INDIANA

We are very excited that it is now our time to compete. 
Our time to play.  We've been planning for this moment for
a few months.  As we stretch and lay the ball up I notice
that there is no team on the other court.  Are we in the right location? Do we have the correct game time?  We were soon
to find out that the Chicago team, Double Nickel, last year's Champs in the Age 55 & Over Division was still in Chicago.


Chicago's Double Nickels 2013 Showdown In Naptown Champs


We have played them before...They had a come from
behind win over us last year at the Detroit Masters.
[Madd Madd Shout to Mr. Cal Dilworth and the Detroit
Masters Committee 2014/2015 and Zenobia's Stepping
and Dance School, Inc.] They've got a couple of mobile
BIGS, and they have great perimeter shooting from
their back-court. They like to bump and grind...They
prefer a physical contest.  We would like to see them
again...It would not happen on this today. 

We got the forfeit win and I started to get a headache. 
After a thirteen hour ride...The last thing in the world
I wanted was a win by forfeit.  We scrimmage
amongst ourselves....We try to stay loose and hope
not to injure anyone playing at half speed.  Several of
our players find their way onto other rosters and get
games in on courts 3 and 4.  Crazy.  We just rode
13 plus hours. Right?  And we climbed out the Benz
and played a scrimmage game with ourselves. Right?
We barely escape hurting one another playing at 3/4
speed. Right? So after Coach Pugh ends the scrimmage
we then go across the floor and find other teams to
play with. Right...What's the problem? That's
CRAZY.  That's the problem.

I shake my head at the basketball madness...Stretch
a little on the side and then I make the mistake of
challenging my teammate Jake "The Snake"
McConnell #11 to a game of H.O.R.S.E., jump-
shots only. I know he's a pretty good shooter. 
Maybe we should shoot for $5 a game to make it
interesting.  "OK Jake we'll just shoot for fun...I'll
go easy on you."  Needless to say...I get
DESTROYED.  Yeah, I got bit by the Snake, who
happens to be one of the best Masters perimeter
shooters in the free world...So by the end of day
one in INDY I was .500, I had one win and one 
loss...INDY .500.




Saturday Morning 10:00 AM
Day Two ... 
We sleep in a little late...Indianapolis, at least on this side
of town, is a very quiet community.  No fire trucks blaring.
No police cars racing back and forth.  No booming systems
from passing cars setting off car alarms.  No elevated 
trains shaking the sidewalks every seventeen minutes. No
noisy neighbors.  So here at the Marriott, we sleep very well.

My Producer. My Director, My Engineer All-Star. My 
Brother Eddie does a few video interviews with my wide 
eyed teammates.  Most interviews are modest, candid,  
statements about being glad to be here on the trip...how 
good it is to travel and still be a ballplayer after the 
BIG 50+. Some of my teammates are real characters
and funny as hell.  You might hear almost anything
coming out of their mouths...Classic R & B songs, 
Richard Pryor jokes, West Indian accents, impersonations, 
wisdom of the elders, and adult profanity in Spanish 
and English.
                                    Cameraman/Producer/Chief of Security: Eddie Woods

We head to the gym, some of us without breakfast,
and suit up for our contest with the INDY All-Stars. 
This INDY team is favored to win the tournament. 
They are a veteran ball-club where everyone knows
their roll. They play within their system, and rarely
are they out of character or off of their game plan. 
They are basically led by "three gears" of basketball
operation.  Nut, CJ, and [You Fill in the Blank]  
[Gear 1]-James "Nut" Adams is a rebounding,
defender who can score.  He's a vocal player/coach
who is a solid foundation to their three point attack.
He brings the intensity...He's in your face when you
don't do your job...He's leading the attack on defense
and on offense.  [Gear 2] Carl Jordan is scoring
ball-handler with a famous last name.  CJ can get
behind your defense with relative ease, and does a
few of those intangibles that puts a club consistently
in the victory column. If you need a steal...He gets
you a steal.  If you need a three to end the half...He
gives you a three...He can hit the open 3-ball and
he can facilitate and feed open players.  However,
he is most dangerous in the open court during
transition. Keep your eye on him [Gear 3] The
INDY All-Stars' third gear is any one of an
assortment of support players who can rebound,
play 'D" or hit the open shot...From the low post
to the 3 point line, their players have to be
accounted for at all times.  Fundamentally sound,
athletic and knowledgeable of the game...They've
got a low post presence and they've got more
than a few snipers who can hit that 3-ball with
confidence and consistency.  I believe that they
are a consistent Top 3 National Team in the
Age 55 and Over Division.  A great Club and
they are great Individuals.  Their sportsmanship
and professionalism is second to none. 
It wasn't always that way with us.  Let's just say
we had to get to know one another over a period
of time.

        INDY ALL-STARS; The Cream of the 55 & Over Crop
 
We look to the near future where we can compete
against one another again. I'm still trying to crack
the code and find a competitive way to get that
INDY All-Stars "W" 

The Indy All-Stars defeat the Sugar
Daddies in the mornings time slot.  Indy was a little
hesitant out the gate and eventually got their
momentum and game lead by way of a balanced
floor attack, strong defense and perimeter shooting.
Both teams have become quite familiar with one
another and there was no surprises. Once the Indy
All-Stars commanded a double digit lead there was
no looking back.  The All-Stars have several weapons
and they were cooking on all cylinders. 

Our next and most critical game is against the
Naptown Players, the house team.  They have
a strong and dedicated team of players who can
shoot, play "D" and they know the game. We
have only competed against them in the
Buffalo Masters in the 50 & Over Division, about
two years ago.  I'm not sure, but I believe they beat
us by a few points.  They are the host team, however
I did not get a sense that they were at full strength.
They didn't appear to have more than eight players
or so.  

The game was a good one, with both teams
jockeying back and forth with the lead.  The Sugar
Daddies played scrappy "D" and had some offensive
challenges playing the majority of the game without
Corky Ortiz.  The Naptown Players countered with
a physical presence on offense and defense that sent
several players on both teams to the hardwood floor.
Several front line Naptown Players worked the
boards and secured the Naptown victory by 2 points.
This loss basically ended the athletic aspect of the
Sugar Daddy weekend.  Being 1-2 meant that it was
Miller Time...No not Reggie Miller...Just plain old
Miller Time.  Not a good feeling, but hey these teams
out here came to play.

After the game we watched the Showdown in
Naptown 3-Point Contest.Many of the players here
have great 3-Point range, however several of the
players appear to have some difficulty with the
shooting format of the contest.  There were
rebounders and feeders on the court...a sound
system and announcer that keep the gym
bouncing and the energy high...That was cool. 
I still believe that ball racks are the best format
for a contest.  But hey, as long as everyone has
to deal with the same contest format...The best
shooters will always shine. 

INDY ALL-STARS GIFT NY SUGAR DADDIES A
MASTERS CHIP!!


Indianapolis, Indiana
                It is commonly known as the Showdown In
Naptown, a Masters Basketball competition where the
average age of the competitive players is some where
around retirement age.  It is held every September by
an organized Naptown tournament committee that gets
many of the small details right when it comes to
basketball and great times.  The tournament Director
is Neal "The Ram" Thomas...I personally gave Neil
that nickname after running into one of his creative
moving picks on the hardwood.  His tournament
committee includes Derrick Johnson, Indy Red 
Bluitt, Jerry Dingle, Chris "Rev" Hull and Jeff
Green...All great workers and great men of Indiana.

 
















The sports bulletin of the weekend was the generosity, 
and thoughtfulness of the Indianapolis All-Stars, one 
of the dominant 55 and Over teams in the nation,
when they opted out of the championship game and
gifted that opportunity to the New York $ugar Daddie$. 
The Indy All-Stars took into account that the NY team
had traveled an excess of 13 hours, by luxury van, to
compete in Indy and had the misfortune of not qualifying
for the "Chip" by losing to the Indy All-Stars and losing
to the Naptown Players finishing the qualifying round
with a record of 1-2...The solo victory for the road weary
NY Team was a forfeit win over the Chicago Double
Nickels [the 2013 Champs] who for some unknown
reason were a no show.


                    2014 NAPTOWN PLAYERS IN THE HOUSE!

I've been around this game and have played this
game for over forty years and I have never, ever,
heard of such sportsmanship, and generosity coming
form a competitive team.  Some say the move makes
great business sense when it is commonly known that
there are several Masters Invitational tournaments in
the Indianapolis area competing for teams and
participants, including a July tournament hosted by
the Indianapolis All-Stars.


                        2014 NEW YORK SUGAR DADDIES

However you want to color this rare gesture, we 
accepted the offer and  were allowed to compete on 
day three of the Showdown In Naptown vs the 
Naptown Players who had defeated the $ugar Daddie$
the afternoon before by the score of 61-63.


Sunday Morning
Day 3

After breakfast and check-out we pinch ourselves to make
sure we're not dreaming.  We are going back to Warren
High School to play in the 2014 Showdown in Naptown 
Championship Game in the 55 & Over Division.  Feels
like some kind of consolation game, similar to the one
we had at the Buffalo National Masters earlier this 
year, however you want to color it...We'll take it.
The mood in the van was festive, the usual comedians
and Rah-Rah pep-talks.  We believe we can beat
Naptown.  We know it won't be a cake walk, they got
weapons and they know how to play so we have got
to be patient and execute a complete game.  My brother
Johnny Pugh is doing a remarkable job of coaching us.
55 & over reminds me of our Pee-Wee Ball days. 
We have various talent abilities.  No one can do what
they used to do.  We can't run, jump or execute the
way we used to.  Our mind says one thing on the court
and our bodies say and do another.  Sometimes, we
oldtimers, run around like chickens with our heads
cut off.  If we don't have a coach without a unified
vision, one voice, one concept we will have chaos. 
Coach Pugh lays it out for us, plain and simple...We 
don't want to go basket for basket with them. We 
don't want to be in a rush, but we do run when we can.
We want to be patient on offense, ball control and 
feed the shooters where they want it.  "We want to 
rebound, secure the ball, and run on them. We 
will play sound defense to create slow and steady 
separation from them."  Great plan. Great coaching.
Coach Pugh, is truly a man of patience and wisdom.  
I don't think I could have dealt with so many live 
personalities.  Too many voices...too many egos...
too many different ideas.  Glad my brother could 
be there to restore and establish an order of 
command.

Game time...The Naptown Players establish an 
early lead as both teams have problems hitting any 
consistent baskets early in the game.  Naptown's 
guards bury a couple of 3's before the Sugar Daddies 
can get it into first gear.  The first set of substitutions
for the Sugar Daddies fixed that problem by hitting 
several 3-Balls with what seemed like relative ease,
and confidence.  Where was all of this fire power 
on days one and two of the tournament? 
Towards the end of the first half Naptown's front
line gets a number of put-backs and close the Sugar
Daddy lead and makes this contest into a new ballgame.
   
Halftime score...Naptown Players 18 Sugar Daddies 22

The second half of all basketball games is where 
training, and conditioning comes into play.  In 
Masters basketball the conditioning factor is now
most critical.  What do you do when you've ran out 
of gas?  You either call AAA, or some other kind 
of road service or you search your trunk for that 
little gas can.  In 55 and Over, you dig in deep
until the well runs dry or better yet...you rotate
your bench and substitute at a great pace where
you get the max out of every teammates.  Hats
off again to Coach Pugh.  We were all tired and
we were all spotted...We were happy to be playing
in Indy and the Sugar Daddies secured the 55 and 
Over Title.  As far as I'm concerned, this trophy is 
not only ours it also belongs to the Indy All-Stars.

Final Score 
Naptown Players 38 Sugar Daddies 53


   A Madd Madd Sugar Daddy Shout-Out to the Indy All-Stars!!

Let's just say that the long ride home was just
made a little shorter.  So for that celebratory ride 
home, we had to blast that Mix CD with James 
Brown, Otis Redding, Sugar Hill Gang, Santana,
Gang Star, Marvin Gaye, KRS1, Bob Marley, 
Teddy Pendergrass, Nina Simone and The 
Stylistics...Can't forget Michael Jackson 
and the Jackson 5... Great Music. Great Weekend.  
Great Town.  Great Party. Great Competition.  
Great gesture by the Indiana All-Stars to allow 
the Sugar Daddies to play in that championship 
game.  So next year I am sure that the Sugar 
Daddies are "GOING BACK TO INDIANA...
INDIANA HERE WE COME!"
Peace and Blessing.  LW