There’s no band, no cheerleaders or fancy uniforms here.
Just a scoreboard, a ball and two baskets.
This is the Grind Time Summer League.
An idea started from scratch by Jessie Brown and several area coaches.
“That’s how we started, man,” Brown said. “We just got together, put some names on some papers and started reaching out to some of these guys that wanted to play basketball. Started reaching out to their coaches about them playing basketball while they’re home for the break or whatever.”
These aren’t just any pick up games.
The league’s made up of some of the city’s best high school and college players.
There’s a $25 fee for a shirt and to keep the college guys eligible after that it’s all buckets.
As Brown says, there are no prizes.
“People’s been coming they say they love it,” Brown said. “They love the atmosphere of how we’re starting to do things, and I thought bringing it here to Woodson, which is kind of a historical gym around this area, bringing it here and kind of getting that nitty gritty basketball on, and getting these guys back into that mode of real good basketball would be good for them.”
It may be a half empty gym and there may be minimal coaching going on during the Grind Time Summer League, but for the six teams and sixty teams participating the level of competition at this time of the year really can’t be beat.
Almost all the kids involved are striving to play college ball, or already at that level so this is only going to help their future’s going forward.
“It’s not any just mess around pickup,” said Tre Evans, recent Edmond North grad and future Kilgore College guard. “You play hard. We have refs and everything so you everyone gets in a little better shape, and you get a better feel for the game. Where as not playing in something like this you could just be working out every day, and not play a game in months when you head off to college. It really prepares you and gets you in a lot better shape.”
Chris Potts and Nick Robinson are rising seniors at Putnam City West High School.
That excel on the football field and the basketball court, and know just how beneficial the league can be.
“It shows you what you’re about, and what you need to work on,” Potts said. “And how hard you have to play to be the best.”
“The competitive level is so high right now, it’s just, it’s actually amazing,” Brown said. “I didn’t think it would got this far so fast. We’re continuously growing, and are going to take steps to make it better and better each year."