1
Battle of the West: The Drew League vs Seattle Pro Am
2
Matt Barnes & Snoop Dogg host 3rd Annual Athletes vs Cancer game
3
Elite 24 All-Star Game – Day 03
4
Elite 24 Skills Challenge – Day 02
5
New York’s legendary Dyckman league hosts playoffs
6
Elite 24 Practice – Day 01
7
Thru The Lens: Zach LaVine workout with Drew Hanlen
8
NBA Star Brandon Jennings rents entire movie theater for “Straight Outta Compton”
9
JaVale McGee hosts 2nd Annual JugLife Celebrity Game
10
Harrison Barnes greets fans in Northridge

Battle of the West: The Drew League vs Seattle Pro Am

EElectrifying. Two of the most prominent NBA summer leagues face off against each other in a heated battle for bragging rights of the West. This was the first time two pro-ams got together since the NBA lockout in 2011. On August 28th, the Drew League cast of all stars featuring Baron Davis, Stanley Johnson, Trevor Ariza, Bobby Brown, Dorell Wright, Pooh Jeter, Malcolm Thomas, Dijon Thompson and Kwame Alexander made the trip to Seattle Pacific University to face off against the Seattle Pro Am, with guys like Isaiah Thomas, Jamal Crawford, Zach LaVine and Nate Robinson. Hours before tip off, the line was wrapped around the block and down the street.

The warm ups started off big, watching guys like Zach LaVine, Kwame Alexander and Stanley Johnson throwing down big dunks. However, once the game started, Jamal Crawford’s handles were on full display; while Bobby Brown’s hesitation moves seemed un guard-able. Players pulled all types of tricks out of their bag, like Nate Robinson going baseline through a defenders leg for an awkward backwards layup, or when  5’9″ Isaiah Thomas rejected 6’8 Trevor Ariza’s dunk attempt. The Drew League wasn’t short of their action shots – with Stanley Johnson and Malcolm Thomas doing monster dunks over players, or Baron Davis deciding to step down from coaching and join the game! There were some close calls and some questionable plays, but ultimately Seattle walked away with the win 135-124.

Next summer the Seattle team will be coming to Los Angeles to play the Drew League! Looking forward to it. Check out the photo gallery below!

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Matt Barnes & Snoop Dogg host 3rd Annual Athletes vs Cancer game

BBack to back to back! As the 3rd annual Athletes vs Cancer game ended, Team Snoop was victorious for the third year in the row over Team Matt. After the event has continued to grow each year, UCLA’s Drake Stadium proved to be a perfect venue to host the game. The celebrities and athletes fueled by the city put on a show for the ages. Both teams were packed with stars, Kevin Durant, DeAndre Jordan, Eric Bledsoe, Swaggy P were front runners for Team Barnes. While Chuck Liddell, John Wall, Baron Davis and Kenneth Faried held it down for team Snoop. It sure didn’t look like the NBA stars had a hard time transitioning their talents, as their athleticism was on full display. Faried looked more like an NFL receiver than a NBA forward! John Wall backed up his claim as the fastest player in the NBA with ease. With other stars such as Wiz Khalifa, Ray J and Lakers #2 draft pick D’Angelo Russell in attendance, it was truly a star studded event – but never lost focus of its core meaning. All the people were there to support Barnes’ non-profit foundation Athletes vs Cancer. Barnes started the foundation in 2008 after losing his mother to cancer. For the last 3 years he has hosted this game, as well as other events, to raise money and awareness. The proceeds from the game will go towards supporting those that continue to fight the battle vs cancer on a daily basis! Be sure to check out pictures below!

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Elite 24 All-Star Game – Day 03

TToday marks the 10 year anniversary of the Elite 24 games. The first game took place at Rucker Park in New York as a grass roots program sponsored by Boost Mobile. Over the years it picked up sponsorship by Under Armour and made its way to Venice Beach, CA. In 2013 the games moved to the Brooklyn Bridge Park. This years all star game was a good one and almost went into overtime! At halftime the people who created and built the Elite 24 from the ground up were honored with awards. Brandon Jennings was also included, as he won MVP the first year of the Elite 24, and was also the first basketball player signed to Under Armour. Some of the guests in the crowd included Elite 24 alumni Will Barton (Nuggets), Brandon Jennings (Pistons), Emmanuel Mudiay (Nuggets) and Chris McCullough (Nets). The MVP’s wereJoshua Jackson (2016), Billy Preston (2017), Bam Adebayo (2016),  and Frank Jackson (2016). Check out the photo gallery below!

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Elite 24 Skills Challenge – Day 02

PPier 2 at the Brooklyn Bridge Park was the amazing location for this year’s Elite 24 games. Friday night hosted the 3 point and dunk contests. It was really exciting to watch – the dunk contest was especially electrifying! If you missed the action, be sure to watch the video recaps over at BallIsLife.com

The 3-point winner was Terrance Ferguson (Who is also a beast at dunking), while the Dunk Contest winner was #1 player in the class of 2016, Josh Jackson. Check out the photos below!

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New York’s legendary Dyckman league hosts playoffs

BBeing apart of the LA Basketball scene for years has opened up the doors to amazing opportunities and experiences. Everything from the Drew League, Real Run, JBL, Ball Up and the list goes on. One thing I haven’t been able to experience while being in New York was their local basketball scene. New York is known as the Mecca of basketball and has some iconic courts around the city. Everything from Dyckman to Rucker to Pro City, you can catch some great games with some amazing talent. I was in town filming the newest member of the Brooklyn Nets, Chris McCullough, for Thru The Lens. After talking with him more about Pro-Am basketball, he suggested I come check out the Dyckman league with him. After I finished working some of the Elite 24 events, I hopped on a train and headed north to the legendary Dyckaman court. I had a great time and everyone showed me so much love. I also ran into a former Long Beach State player that I had shot years ago *Small world*. Stars like French Montana and Juelz Santana were coaching their teams in the league as well! I had a great time and will definitely be back for more!

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Elite 24 Practice – Day 01

IIt’s that time of year again – The Elite 24! Every year it has grown bigger and bigger, this also being the 10 year anniversary! Day 01 started off with a practice at a local gym in New York. The talent this year is amazing, it was a lot of fun seeing the rising stars come out and show off their moves. Elite 24 alumni and recently drafted lottery pick, Emmanuel Mudiay, was also in attendance. Emmanuel recently signed an endorsement deal with Under Armour as well. Be sure to stay tuned for all this action this weekend!

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Thru The Lens: Zach LaVine workout with Drew Hanlen

WWe stopped through to catch an exclusive workout with NBA Trainer, Drew Hanlen, as he trains Minnesota Timberwolves, Zach LaVine!! More videos coming soon! Check out some of the photos below. Video filmed by Cassy Athena, Edited by Jordan Richard.

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NBA Star Brandon Jennings rents entire movie theater for “Straight Outta Compton”

LLast night NBA Star and Compton Native, Brandon Jennings, rented an entire movie theater in Los Angeles for his friends and family. With the recent release of the biopic “Straight Outta Compton”, he wanted to make sure people got a chance to see the city and learn about an important part of history that impacted the world. Brandon is a great guy and always loves to highlight the positive and give back to the community. Thanks again for everything, Brandon! Check out some of the pics below

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JaVale McGee hosts 2nd Annual JugLife Celebrity Game

JJaVale McGee has been busy in the offseason with signing to a new team but he still finds time to raise money and awareness for the less fortunate. JaVale started a movement called #JugLife to bring awareness to drink more water and live a healthier lifestyle. Last year, he threw his first annual celebrity softball game, which raised money towards building water wells in Uganda. This year he hosted his 2nd game at UCLA and it included stars like Klay Thompson, Nick Young, Matt Barnes, Kenneth Faried, Jordan Clarkson, Chanel Iman, Andre Roberson, Hannah Stocking, Laura Govan, Stevie J and more.

Klay Thompson’s younger brother Trayce is a professional baseball player with the White Sox. Just this past week he scored his first homerun. Klay came out and showed that he’s not the only Thompson with baseball skills – he scored multiple homeruns during the game! It was super hot outside but everyone was in good spirits and it was a lot of fun! Check out the gallery below

 

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Harrison Barnes greets fans in Northridge

IIt’s always fun when fans get an opportunity to meet and greet their favorite athletes – today Los Angeles had the pleasure of having NBA Champion Harrison Barnes come through to sign autographs! Adidas set up an area at the Northridge Mall to try out their new sneakers and meet HB. If you’ve never met Harrison, he’s one of the most humble and personable guys around! I had a fun time hanging out and capturing all the interactions! Check out the pics below!

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