The AND 1 Select team defeated the L.A. Loop 92-86 in the championship game of the L.A. Summer Pro League on Monday night.
Before conspiracy theories run wild on how the AND 1 team won a tournament sponsored by the company with the same name, realize that the championship game was tightly contested and spilled into double overtime before the victor emerged.
Here is how the action, and there was a lot of it, played out in the words of VP of Operations, Walt Thompson.
The Championship game between undefeated teams, AND1 Select and LA Loop started out like two boxers sizing each other up. However, both teams began to heat up midway through the 1st quarter. AND 1 Select’s 6’8″ forward, Tremayne Johnson (23 points and 13 rebounds) got his team going with back-to-back jumpers from the wing. Johnson was coupled by his teammate and “Diamonds in the Rough” player, Franklin Session (27 points) who dazzled the crowd with instinctive ball handling skills running his team’s offense while helping his team to an early lead.
AND1 Select jumped out to a 32 to 18 lead and it looked like they were about to run LA Loop off the floor. But LA Loops’ savvy point guard, Vince Camper, who led his team with 27 points and 12 assists and forward, Mark Dawson (18 points and 21 rebounds) kept their team within striking distance. LA Loop closed the lead 38 to 28 going into half-time.
In the second half emotions became heated on both sides by a few controversial calls that could have gone either way. LA Loop took its first lead of the game at the beginning of the fourth quarter, 63 to 62. From that point the game seesawed back and forth with both teams trading baskets.
At end of the fourth quarter, with LA Loop leading 76 to 74, AND1 Select put the ball in the hands of their floor general, Franklin Session. Session drove to the hoop with 12 seconds left on the clock to draw a foul. He calmly sank two free-throws sending the game into its first overtime. The first overtime saw the defenses of both teams stiffen with 7’3, Keith Closs patrolling the middle either altering or blocking shots. Jushay Rockett of LA Loop did not have his typical scoring night, but he made the hustle plays that don’t show up in the box score and they proved to be huge in a game like this. The first overtime ended with the teams locked at 82 all.
In the second overtime AND1 Select built a five point lead after consecutive baskets by Session and Van Girard, II. Girard, an all around player, scored 17 points and played solid defense through out the evening. Two plays sealed the victory for AND 1 Select. One of Campers only mistakes was a costly and ill-advised cross court pass in the closing seconds and a controversial charge committed by D’Andre Bell (18 points) of L.A. Loop ended their valiant effort at taking home the title.
The L.A. Summer Pro League concluded its 39th year in grand style. Many of these players made impressions on the scouts in attendance and will continue their basketball journeys with deals overseas. Some may even get invites to NBA training camps. No matter where they end up they can thank AND 1, Skullcandy, and the event organizers of this great basketball event for the exposure many others don’t get a chance at.
Look for the L.A. Summer Pro League to be even bigger and better next summer which will mark a historic 40th year of basketball greatness.
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