By Bobby Ciafardini
Who said streetball couldn’t survive in a mainstream market?
“Summerball,” a hit television show that airs Thursdays at 5 PM (re-runs 7 and 10:30 PM), is currently the highest rated program on the MSG Network in New York. Hard 2 Guard productions, led by a trio of producers in Edgar Burgos, Lanse Chase and Mike Dempsey, created the show that chronicles Dyckman Park, Hoops in the Sun, Rucker and a host of other tournaments from around the city and the tri-state area.
“A lot of people said we couldn’t do it,” Burgos said, “but we have, and we’ve done it well.”
The show, which is hosted by the multi-talented Bobbito Garcia and legendary Rucker
Parkannouncer Boobie Smooth, has two more shows left this summer. It’s a must see for any basketball fan. Speaking of streetball, I myself have spent my summer on the asphalt playground, announcing the Hoops in the Sun Roundball Classic at Orchard Beach in the Bronx. The tournament was rated No. 1 by Mountain Dew in its mini-streetball magazine preview, and hasn’t disappointed. The tournament has also been featured on Summerball and in the NY Post and NY Daily News, among others.
The best regular has been Kenny “Serious Satellite” Satterfield, who’s the reigning MVP of the league. He averaged 40 points this summer en route to breaking the league record for points in a season, which he set last summer. He very well might win back-to-back MVP crowns. Stop by Hoops in the Sun. The playoffs jump off on Aug. 18. The chip is on tap for Aug. 19 at Sun Stadium. Don’t forget your sun block.
The best young player I’ve seen on the playground this summer might be Mike “Optimus Prime” Glover, the younger brother of former St. John’s star Anthony Glover. Mike is heading to Seton Hall in the fall and looks like a serious NBA prospect. He did damage at the Jordan Classic earlier this year, winning co-MVP of the Regional Game at The Garden.
Honorable mention for young streetballers on the rise include Division I prospect Dwight Hardy, St. John’s bound forward Justin Burrell and Lincoln High School star Lance Stephenson.
In other streetball news, insiders say Corey “Homicide” Williams of Team K1X, who played in the NBA Summer League with Golden State, might be the central character in his own reality series about a streetballer trying to make the league. Stay tuned.
I was out at Nike Pro last week for the chip. Nike “E” One topped United Brooklyn for their third straight title. Forward Darren “Primal Fear” Philip earned MVP honors. It’s his second title of the summer season. He also won the chip at the BRC in Brooklyn. Philip, 29, was a standout at Fairfield
University. He is one of the best players in the city that’s not playing in the NBA. Philip turned down an invitation to Philadelphia 76ers camp in 2000, turning instead to a guaranteed contract overseas. He has been a mega-star in Spain ever since.
The black top beat has been a trip again this summer. I’ll check in with a final summer goodbye and wrap-up soon. I’m looking forward to the start of NBA training camp. That’s when the writing season really begins for me. Thanks for reading. I’ll see you at the beach!