Saturday, June 28, 2014

U Can't Guard Me. Interboro Challenge Hits the BX and Manhattan


This morning the balls and sneakers where 
bouncing at an accelerated rate in Flynn Park, Bronx, NY.  The second week of the U Can't Guard 
Me Tournament was in full effect. Last week was rocking with the athletes in Brooklyn, and Staten Island. 
Today was an "Uptown Thing" with high powered stops on 
3rd ave near 158 St and Madison Ave 121 St in Harlem.  
Many of the ballers, young and old, gave their very best and 
left it all on the court. Bronx style basketball is creative, and powerful, which is usual finished with dribble penetration 
and a bucket.

Bronx ballers appear to be confident and sure of themselves, 
even at a young age.  Played with great heart and enthusiasm.
The 12 and Under competitors like Nelkai "The Jet" Brown, 
and Jayson "JI" Isles went toe to toe, bucket for bucket
 with the likes of Bertho "Bounce" Edourd, Makhi "Real" 
McCoy and Charles "The Prince" Johnson.

Kasani Hamilton and Nelkai Brown were the Bronx Free-
Throw Contest winners closely followed by Jose Medina, 
Enmanuel Ruel and Timothy "Hutch" Hutchinson.

The 14 and Under Ballers on hand 
were Angel 'A Game' Aponte, 
Hezakia "Zeke" Jones aka "Baby 
Shaq", Julio "Lo" Lopez, Harry 
Marin, and the talented Argenis 
Batista.  After some basic instruction many of these young student athletes 
were off and running.  Doing quite 
well in the training drills and in the various team and individual competitions.  So much to share with so many people.  Even 
with that hot summer sun, there was great competition and sportsmanship.

The 18 and Under talent on this day was very strong.  
Ballers played with pride, and heart...Two things you cannot 
teach over night.  These are all great defenders in open court 
and in isolated low post situations.  Remember these names...
Amini Dawkins aka "Call the Police", Jeron Randolph, 
Nahiell "NoNo" Namour.

The Unlimited [18 and Over] was well represented
Nelson "No Look" Nomour, Alberia Correau, D 
Elie, Charlie Chase aka Charles in Charge, Steph 
"Downtown" Graham [Who never saw a shot he 
didn't like] Graham, Lahh Woods and Jake "The 
Snake"McConnell aka The Shooter.

Madd, Madd Shout to Armondo "Hook-Shot" Vega, 
and Charles "In Charge" for all their hard word and 
dedication to youth.  We need more positive adults 
to guide and share their world with our young men 
and women.

Madd, Madd Shout to Nate Banks of the Bronx 
Basketball Association 
for all the support and all of the introductions 
at Flynn Park.

Madd, Madd Shout to the parents and adults at 
Flynn Park that gave encouraging words to the 
children and staff.  

Madd, Madd Shout to the Staff 


"When we pulled up in the van...
Drop it like it's Hot, Drop it like it's Hot, Drop it like it's Hot-
There was Music and the Fam...
Drop It like it's Hot, Drop it like it's Hot, Drop it like it's Hot-
Marcus Garvey Park was jumping,
There was so much going on-
Barbeques and full park benches,
They had it Going On!

Harlem has a strong and rich tradition of producing
incredible ballplayers, primarily known for three
basic elements; showmanship, perimeter shooting 
and dancing to the basket.

When we walked into the park the full courts were blazing.
Intense, strong, full courts with everything that comes with
New York City Basketball...Deep 3's, Banging around the
basket, Shake n Bake moves to the hoop and of course...
a fair share of on the court debating.  After we kicked it 
with the local brothers on the crowded sidelines for a few
...We got the ultimate all-access go and compliment...We 
got the Corky Ortiz Pass.  Corky Ortiz for those who do 
not know is "El Rey" of Marcus Garvey Park and a 
teammate of mines on the New York City $ugar Daddies 
an age 55 and over traveling team.   

We had a musical backdrop provided by the many families 
in the park who came with blankets, tents, food, and their
own DJs.  In the background we can also hear the distant
whistles and cheering from the popular Marcus Garvey pool.  
To the far left side of the courts you can hear the famous
Marcus Garvey Drummers at the foot of the rock wall.
So with this symphony of sound, the rhythm of basketballs
bouncing, children laughing and the crowd on court one
"Oohing and Ahhhing" this has to be one of the Bright
Moments of our tournament.

Even on this hot summer day, the girls got into the 
act.  They did their thing, right along with the fellas, 
in the free-throw shoot, 3 Point contest and were 
finalist in the One on One Challenge.

We had a great time in Harlem and in the Bronx
as we continue our journey, producing these events
where we feel they are most needed.  The individual
and team competitions are great, however, the 
Mini-Camp instructional part our day is what I 
believe is the most important aspect of what we
are sharing. Fundamentals. Sportsmanship. Teamwork.

Our Mini-Camps have been shared
with the positive and talented youth in our 
community and dedicated to Mr. John Isaacs,
Mr. Billy Clarke, and Mr. John Watusi Branch.
These three men are pillars of community 
education, athletics and social activism.
All three have transitioned after living full and 
vibrant lives in this city, while sharing so much 
with the world.  

 John Isaacs

 Billy Clarke

 John Watusi Branch
God Bless them because they gave so much, to so many 
people, for such a long time.  And now it's time to get 
some shut-eye...because first thing in the morning we 
are off to a far away, distant galaxy called Queens and 
Long Island to continue our Inter-Boro Classic.

No comments:

Post a Comment