‘The League’ summer league set to crown champion

‘The League’ summer league set to crown champion
August 12
11:15 2021

The League, presented by the Josh Howard Foundation, is winding down with yet another successful summer campaign. Every season they continue to surpass what they did the previous season. After a grueling summer session, Lee Gang Hoopers and Laabwork will battle it out this Saturday at 5:15 p.m. at CP3 Academy for the summer championship.

During this summer league, NBA pros like Harry Giles, high profile college players, and overseas professionals have all laced them up to play in The League. Fielding some of the toughest competition in the area, the summer league had 15 total teams that battled week in and week out for supremacy. 

League commissioner Steve Nivens was anticipating this season to be the best yet and the teams did not let him down. “We came in with 15 teams and 10 of them were very solid with heavy competition every week,” said Nivens. “There were a few slack games, but I think by it being the first time on this scale, it’s set to take off. I think we are on the runway and we are just ready for the pilot to get in and take off and put it on autopilot.”

The League was initially held at the W.R. Anderson Recreation Center, along with the Sprague Street Center, while the court at W.R. Anderson was under construction. For the summer league, Nivens brought it over to the courts at CP3 Academy and the crowds and play of the league has been elevated.

“It was a plus to have guys like Harry (Giles) come out and play, because it speaks to the caliber of where I want the league,” Nivens continued. “By those guys just wanting to compete is great. We have some top college guys like Rob Colon, Caleb Burgess and John Newman III.  

“We have also had some tough guys coming from overseas; it definitely puts us on a higher level of competition, which is what I am trying to get, especially when I am competing with the Raleigh and Charlotte pro-ams. I need these names to come in.”

Nivens says this is more than likely the best collection of talent he has had since beginning the league several years ago. “We had guys from all over,” he said. “We had guys travel from Greensboro, from Raleigh, from Charlotte. I think this was the one that put us on the map and as long as we continue doing what we are doing, it’s going to take off.”

With so many good teams, it was tough for Nivens to discern early on which teams would separate from the pack. The play throughout the summer league was so good, no team was able to show that they are head and shoulders above everyone else.  

Out of the 15 total teams, eight made it to the playoffs. Nivens says he was very pleased with the play of all the squads during the playoffs. He thinks the championship game between Lee Gang Hoopers and Laabwork will be a good one with two quality teams.

“I think it’s going to be a tough game,” said Nivens about the championship game. “I think the matchup is going to be intense; I don’t even know who to take. I think everybody is going to go with Laabwork as being the favorite, but I think the sleepers with Lee Gang Hoopers is going to surprise everybody.

“This is actually a rematch from the first game and Lee Gang Hoopers were up 10 and H Gizzle (Giles) and Walt Bax just took over the game and it was over from there and Laabwork wound up winning by three points.”

Nivens says he wants to continue bringing quality adult men’s basketball action to the area. His goal is to continue being innovative and bringing in the best players in the area to ensure his league is the best around. He gives a lot of credit to his team of workers that make sure they get the word out about the league.

“I built a team around it where it wasn’t just me and I didn’t feel all the pressure myself,” he said. “Bringing different minds to the table kind of elevated it to where we needed to go. It wasn’t just all me, it was my guys helping me.”

About Author

Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

Related Articles


Featured Sponsor

Receive Chronicle Updates

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.



More Sponsors