Dionte Christmas and other former college ballers from schools in Philly & DC took part in a unique type of hoops event this past weekend. The B.A.L.L. hoops showcase featured some of Philly’s best against a squad of elite hoopers from DC. Saturday’s game was played at the Charles Smith center in the District, while Sunday’s contest was at Hagan Arena in Philly. DC won both nights, sweeping the weekend showcase. Christmas dropped 12 points in Saturday’s 113-93 defeat, and scored 14 in Sunday’s 102-94 loss.
B.A.L.L. , or the “Basketball Alumni Legends League”, was founded by Stanford grad Michael Wranovics, who’s also known for directing the popular baseball film, “Up For Grabs”. In an interview with Bleacher Report, Wranovics says his league targets star college basketball players, right now primarily from the East coast, who were not drafted into the NBA. He hopes his league will give fans a chance to watch their college favorites in the same market, while giving the players a chance to showcase their talents.
The B.A.L.L. has some very different rules. For example, when a player is fouled in the act of shooting, there is one free-throw worth 2 points. There are 4-pointers-yes, 4-point shots. The “four-point line” is approx. 25 feet from the rim, or about 1′ 3″ farther than the NBA’s 3-point line. You can check out all of the official rules here.
It’s widely known that many pro ballers that do not get drafted or signed by an NBA team travel overseas for opportunities. Dionte Christmas is one of those players. Before being signed to a non-guaranteed deal with the C’s last month, Dionte spent the last 3 years playing in Greece, Israel and the Czech Republic. He told PhilaHoops.com’s Teddy Bailey that playing overseas is “lonely” and that “it’s easy to give up“. Hopefully the B.A.L.L. will give some players a chance to stay in the states, and still get some exposure/experience. Read all of Teddy’s chat w/Christmas at PhilaHoops.