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For the better part of four decades The Drew League has been dominated by the play of local stars such as Casper Ware and ‘Big’ John Williams who led their teams to multiple championships. Ware starred at Fremont where he was a three-time All City performer and Williams was arguably the best player in the history of Crenshaw High School before going onto LSU and the NBA. As The Drew gears up for its annual playoffs this weekend at Martin Luther King Jr. Magnet High School in Watts, the flavor of local stars will become the backdrop for big name NBA stars such as Kevin Durant, James Harden, DeMar Derozan, Nick Young, Brandon Jennings, Taj Gipson and former NBA standout Baron Davis among others.
However, the team which has captured the past three Drew League championships for L.A. Unified, is made of primarily of former local preps stars such as Westchester’s Bobby Brown who captured MVP last year, former Crenshaw star Marcus Williams who won MVP in 2011, Westchester’s Scott Cutley, Brandon Bowman and former Dominguez star Jordan Hamilton of the Denver Nuggets. Head coach Kelly Williams will have Durant to add to his arsenal when L.A. Unified aims for its fourth title in a row beginning this weekend, but The Game’s The Money Gang stand firm in its path. The Game, a noted rapper from Compton also has a little game when it comes to hoops, but it is those players he has assembled which led the team to a 9-1 league finish that has left opponents gasping for air.
Shannon Brown of the Phoenix Suns, former Laker and current Knick Meta World Peace, former Spur Stephan Jackson and The Game are prime time favorites to capture the prestigious 40th Drew League title. The playoffs begin with games on Friday and resume through the weekend with prime time match-ups on Saturday and Sunday. First tip is at 10a.m. and the final tip is at 6p.m. One potential match-up looming on Saturday is Durant facing off against Nick Young’s team.
The new Laker who starred at Cleveland High and USC has been lighting up the Drew with games of 35 and 38 points respectively. Wally Moore, an assistant with L.A. Unified, has been on the bench with Williams during the three consecutive titles and has an ongoing feud with The Game on the court, but both are friends off the court. The Game is furious that his team has not at least won the past two championships, but barring something unforeseen his team will not be denied this year.
Of course we are talking about the Drew here, where any and everything is possible with guys who feel they should be in the NBA out to prove it against current NBA stars, and those whose days have long since passed ready to prove they still have it. It is a league where legends never die and your NBA resume just may not be enough here.