LaMelo Ball takes contested floater during a close 2nd round matchup (Jonathan Bassey/L.A. Sentinel)

Fans arrived in droves, packing the Los Angeles Southwest College gym to witness elite talent compete in the 46th season of Drew League playoff basketball Saturday and Sunday.

The Drew League was the hottest show in town this weekend. Quavo, member of rap group Migos, Flea, guitarist of the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, and sports agent Rich Paul who represents NBA talents such as LeBron James and Anthony Davis were all in attendance.

The first round of play kicked off with an incredible display of hoops that included NBA talents Montrezl Harrell and Jordan Bell, former NBA point guards and shooting guards Brandon Jennings and Nick Young, UCLA redshirt freshman Shareef O’neal, 17-year-old LaMelo Ball, who just inked a 2-year contract with the Illawarra Hawks of the Australian NBL and the gifted five-star talent from Mayfair High School, Josh Christopher.
Founded in 1973 by Alvin Willis, the Drew League has brought local kids, streetball legends, and professional stars to battle every summer for the Drew League Championship Title. For over 40 years the level of skill has continued to increase as word of mouth and top tier talent have propelled the Drew League into the best show of summertime hoops.
Camera phones were out and recording everywhere in the near max capacity gym of Los Angeles Southwest College. Josh Christopher made sure he put on a show in the first round with a 40-point and 10 rebounds double-double that gave his team, “Most Hated Players,” the 20-point victory cruising to the second round.

Rapper Quavo showed up to witness the Drew League in person (Jonathan Bassey/L.A. Sentinel)

17-year-old Christopher had a sensational dunk soaring through the paint for the and-one finish leaving spectators with their jaws dropped and immediately looking at their phones to replay the ridiculous footage.

LaMelo Ball, brother of NBA point guard Lonzo Ball, had the crowd on their feet while Ball was warming up with emphatic dunks and step back threes in pregame drills. The Illawarra Hawks pro had 24 points on an efficient 6-for-9 from behind the three-point arch. Leading his team, “No Shnacks”, to a 10-point win and second round birth.

Chief Financial Officer at the Drew League, Michael McCaa emphasized the development of young talent this Drew League season. “One thing that stood out to me is the elite emergence and young players such as LaMelo Ball, and Josh Christopher from Mayfair High School who are competing at such a high level,” said McCaa.

Michael McCaa has been CFO for 10 years and his love for the Drew League increases each year. “What I love most is the level of development of play in the Drew League,” said McCaa. “The long-standing tenure of many of our coaches have been in the league for many years and these coaches make sure they cultivate that culture and it stays alive.”

Shaq pulls his son Shareef aside during halftime to give him a few pointers on his first half gameplay (Jonathan Bassey/L.A. Sentinel)

The cameras were back out on day two, and the focus was back on the young phenom LaMelo Ball with his family’s Facebook show “Ball in The Family” filming from every courtside angle.

LaMelo got into early foul trouble in the first quarter causing Team No Shnacks to trail by 18 points before LaMelo became a walking bucket draining 24 points in the second half alone to go with 8 assists and force the game to go to overtime. No Shnacks went on to lose in overtime, but the crowd enjoyed the electric display of basketball performed.

CitiTeam Blazers, Public Enemy, Most Hated Players, and Problems will battle it out in a highly anticipated semifinal round. On Saturday Aug 17th at 1 PM, M.H.P takes on Public Enemy and the Citi Team Blazers will go head to head with Problems at 2:30 PM. The semifinals will take place at Los Angeles Southwest College on Aug. 19 with no admission charge just competitive hoops.