“No borders, no boundaries, all ball!” is the catchy and befitting slogan of the legendary AND 1 basketball brand. The confident truth of that phrase is perfectly represented at the L.A. Summer Pro League where AND 1 as the presenting sponsor for the 2012 event.
What most basketball fans don’t know is that long before Orlando and Las Vegas garnered the NBA’s official support for sanctioned summer league play, the L.A. Summer Pro League was once the only league taking place during the dog days of Summer.
The league boasts 39 years of rich history with an alumni list of players that reads like a Hall of Fame roster of guys who can be referred to by one name: Penny, Drexler, Duncan, Dirk, Pierce, Isiah, Kobe, and Magic are just a few of the names to grace the courts of the league over the years.
This year’s event has 15 teams that will compete over the two week schedule running from July 15- July 30 at the Roybal Center in Los Angeles, CA. This is the first year that AND 1 has held title sponsorship rights but they are not alone in supporting the exuberance of summertime basketball. Skullcandy,the US Coast Guard, the NAVY, Powerade, 180Guard, Wilson and Dr. Babak Kosari are all sponsors of the league as well.
With that type of backing and support the event organizers aim to take the league to the next level so to speak. League Vice President of Operations, Walt Thompson, communicated the following to me.
“Our goals are to become the SPL (Summer Pro League) conduit to all professional basketball leagues all over the globe — where scouts and agents come to discover under exposed, 2nd chance players, or players seeking new opportunities. It will also be a league where top talented players from leagues like the NBA can come and hone in on their skills in a professional setting as they prepare for their upcoming season.
Players do not need an agent to participate and the league is truly about great basketball and getting its players noticed. This year players like Ronnie Aguilar, Hassan Stephens, Thomas Granado, Tremayne Johnson, Jerry Dupree and even Keith Closs are playing looking for opportunities and greater exposure by participating in the SPL. Agents and scouts have also been furnished with a “Diamonds in the Rough” media guide that features a profile of the athletes with a little more meat on their playing resumes.
I also spoke to AND 1 Brand President, Rob Purvy, who told me that a few current NBA players may be stopping by to take part in the action now that the NBA Summer leagues are complete in Orlando and Las Vegas. This will give agents and scouts the opportunity to see the lesser known guys against NBA level talent. And if the scouts and agents can’t be there live, all games will be streamed by The Basketball Channel according to the SPL’s official press release.
The event organizers and sponsors have done their due diligence in putting together an event that focuses on the exposure of basketball and talented players. Whether your a talent evaluator, agent, or just a basketball junkie the L.A. Summer Pro League has something for your hoops desires.
The play is ongoing and if your looking for an opportunity to take in some of the action or get more information you can call (310) 392-2812.
About the Author
Written by Warren Shaw
I am an avid Basketball fan who has worked for the New York Knicks, Alonzo Mourning Charities and various other sports organizations. Having covered many NBA and various professional sporting events has given me the opportunity to provide insight with an unbiased but flavor driven view. I look forward to providing NBA content and interacting with knowledgeable fans and readers. Follow me on Twitter @shawsports or Email your questions to me at Warrenshaw@prosportsblogging.com