Who's ready to ‘Ball Up'?
Behind-the-back passes? Check. High-flying dunks? Check. Ridiculous cross-over moves? Double check.
This weekend, the Professional Streetball League (ProSBL) kicks off the inaugural season of Ball Up, a ten game series featuring some of the best streetball players in the world.
Ball Up will feature players like The Professor, Air up There, AO and Sik Wit It (you may remember some of these guys from those awesome And 1 Mixtapes), as part of the Ball Up All-Stars, who will be coached by former NBA player Tracy Murray.
Each week the All-Stars will take on a team of up-and-comers who will be coached by current and former players (a new team/coach each week), including former Los Angeles Laker Rick Rox and current Laker Matt Barnes.
Former Utah Jazz player Bryon Russell and Blind Date host Roger Lodge will be anchoring the play-by-play coverage. Streetball legend Duke Tango will provide play-by-play for the fans in attendance. I had a chance to talk with Murray about Ball Up, and I could tell right away how excited he was about it.
“It’s not like the Globetrotters, it’s not scripted,” said Murray. “These guys are entertaining and doing the moves against guys who are really trying to steal the basketball.” Murray’s brother Cameron, who played at Louisville with Troy “Escalade” Jackson, is heavily involved as well.
“There’s never a dull moment, you never know when Air Up There is gonna do a 360, put the ball through his legs and then windmill it,” he said. Murray was adamant that one of the main goals of Ball Up is to entertain the viewers, one that CEO of ProSBL Demetrius Spencer shares.
“A lot of people wait to see the top ten plays of the week,” said Spencer. “You come to our games, you see about an hour, to an hour-and-a-half full of highlights.”
Ball Up premieres Sunday, April 3 at 5 p.m. on Fox Sports Net.
I jokingly asked Spencer that, since there is no FSN New York (just 50 other sports networks), if they were really not going to broadcast Ball Up in the number one market, to which he assured me they are. It can be found on MSG+.