Basketball Hall of Famer and 15-year NBA veteran Tracy McGrady finished an ultra-busy two days of appearances on Friday night with a visit to Queens, catching up with New York City Mayor Eric Adams and New York City Schools Chancellor David Banks as part of a cultural visit to historic Hollis, Queens, before Saturday’s Ones Basketball League (OBL) tipoff in Brooklyn.
McGrady ventured to RunDmc and Jam Master Jay Way and Hollis Ave. to visit the tribute mural of Jam Master Jay, famed DJ of Run DMC who was killed in 2020, and pass by the childhood homes of Russell Simmons, Run DMC and Jam Master Jay as well as spending time with local youth groups.
“It was an honor to meet with the Mayor and the Schools Chancellor to talk about what we are doing with OBL,” McGrady said in a press release. “But to also get a chance to experience another one of my passions, the history of music, right here in Queens.”
OBL is a two-day, regional, 32-player round-robin knockout tournament that will be held be Major R. Owens Community Center, and hosted by New Heights (1561 Bedford Ave, Brooklyn) on Saturday and Sunday.
The basketball players in the event range from ages 18 and up who are currently not under an NBA contract and have not been on an active NBA roster for more than 164 games (equivalent to two NBA regular seasons).
The participants will come from a combination of open-sourced video submissions and the advice of basketball insiders. The aim is to welcome both best-in-class talent and players who may still be under the radar to most basketball fans. The inaugural events this year will feature only men, and women will be welcomed as equal participants as soon as 2023. The series debuted in Houston on April 30-May 1 (Atlanta, Chicago, Washington DC and Los Angeles are the other cities).
The winner of each regional tournament will take home a $10,000 cash prize along with an invitation to the Finals, which will see 21 players (the top three from each region) compete for a chance to win a $250,000 grand prize and be crowned “Ruler of the Court.”
— Jerry Del Priore
Photo: Jerry Milani.
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