George Beamon of Roslyn, N.Y., missed Ones Basketball League’s Brooklyn event when scheduling conflicts kept him from participating in the New York Regional leg of the competition.
But he did not want to miss his chance to play and win the $10,000 prize, so he flew across the country to compete in the Los Angles event on the campus of UCLA in June.
That roll of the dice parlayed into him beating Marcus Hall, 10-4, in the finals and capture the 10 grand prize. He drilled a two-pointer to secure the victory in which his five straight points after trailing 1-0 put the New Yorker ahead to stay.
Now, Beamon will travel to in Henderson, Nev., (about 16 miles southeast of Las Vegas) to face 21 other players in the head-to-head, single-elimination Ones Basketball League (OBL) Finals from July 15-16 at The Dollar Loan Center, with the grand prize of a quarter-of-a-million dollars up for grabs.
A little hesitant at first, Beamon, a former Manhattan College player, needed a little push from his brother to go play in L.A.
“I have to give a shoutout to my brother for getting me to do it,” said Beamon, who went 5-2 the first day in L.A., but undefeated the next. “I am lucky to have been able to play and win.”
While he won the competition, Beamon said that he needed a gut check of his conditioning level, as it became a little bit of a factor at first for him, as there were seven games in the first day. But he persevered.
“One-on-One basketball is always different,” he explained, saying there is no one else to rely on. “The first few up and downs got to me.”
But Beamon was able to lean on his extensive high school, college and professional playing career that he said had physical and mentally readied him for the rigors of the L.A. event, with an emphasis on developing top-notch defense.
“My defense and intensity got me over.” the 31-year-old Royslin High School alum said. “You can never rest on defense. There were a lot of talented scores, but they couldn’t compare to me defensively. I just had to walk in my blessing.”
Furthermore, “they (Royslin HS and Manhattan College) helped me develop into who I am today,” he added.
Beamon relished in the fact that former NBA star Paul Pierce, who was in attendance, sang his praises as well as Tracy McGrady, Basketball Hall of Famer and 15-year NBA veteran who created the OBL.
“I watched him do his thing, and now he’s showing me love,” he recalled. “Same thing from T-Mac.”
With the L.A. victory behind him and $10,000 in his bank account, Beamon believes he is prepared to compete for the $250, 000 ultimate grand prize.
“Like I said, there’s no better feeling than walking away with the 10,000 grand,” Beamon beamed. “Now, we can all go compete for the $250,000.”
OBL events took place in Houston, Atlanta, Chicago, New York, DMV/Washington and Los Angeles.
A total of 22 players will compete for the $250,000 winner-take-all first prize in the season finale of the inaugural one-on-one league.
Additionally, the champ in the OBL Finals winner will be crowned “Ruler of the Court.”
— Jerry Del Priore
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