Wednesday, December 07, 2022

Magic Hall-of-Famer Tracy McGrady looks to make waves with one-on-one league

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For Orlando Magic Hall of Famer Tracy McGrady, there were two motivations to start Ones Basketball League,

The first was creating potentially life-changing opportunities for basketball players that they might not find anywhere else.

McGrady, who played for the Magic from 2000–04 as part of a Naismith Basketball Hall-of-Fame career that spanned 16 years, was one of the better players when playing at Auburndale High School in Central Florida, but he Not recognized nationally. ,

According to McGrady, he had a chance to showcase his skills at the Adidas camp before transferring to Mount Zion Christian Academy in Durham, NC, and was named USA TODAY’s High School Player of the Year and McDonald’s All. -American.

“That opportunity changed my life,” McGrady told the Orlando Sentinel. “I became the No. 1 player in the country my senior year, went ahead, got drafted and had a successful NBA career. There are a lot of people outside my field who didn’t get that opportunity.

“I want to give back to that untapped talent that was probably overlooked, maybe there were some legal situations when they were young teens, maybe a guy didn’t get a chance to go to college or play pro. I want to make stars.”

The second motivation was to give the younger generation basketball content that is easier to consume than professional or collegiate games that last more than two hours.

“The short-form content, which is one-on-one basketball, is right up this Gen Z alley,” McGrady said. “I’m giving them something.

“My [sons] Watch youtube. They see a lot of these and send me highlights of someone crossing a friend. And then they send me to these guys who are traveling from park to park. I see these guys and they start four-four, then two people join in and it turns into a one-on-one fight. And the energy of these parks is crazy. There is something. I need to create a platform for these friends.”

OBL will hold seven regional events in the US this summer:

  • Houston, Apr 30-May 1;
  • Atlanta, May 7-8;
  • Chicago, May 21-22;
  • New York City, May 28-29;
  • Springfield, VA, June 4-5;
  • Walnut Creek, Calif. June 11-12;
  • Los Angeles, TBD.

The winner of each regional tournament will be awarded a $10,000 prize with an invitation to the OBL Finals. The top three players from each regional tournament (21 players in total) will compete for the grand prize of $250,000 and will be crowned the “Ruler of the Court”.

Each regional competition will be a 32-player, round-robin knockout tournament. Each player must be at least 18 years old to compete and may not have signed an NBA contract or played more than 164 NBA games.

Participants are being selected via video submissions as well as word of mouth on OBL’s website and social media pages, with McGrady playing a key role in who has been selected.

“One-on-one is the pure essence of basketball — that’s it,” McGrady said. “This league is an untapped league. We have the UFC, one-on-one. We have tennis, one-on-one. Basketball, you have three-on-three, you have five-on-five, one-on-three. Why not one-on-one? Why can’t we as basketball fans recognize who the greatest one-on-one basketball player is?

“On top of that, we can take this thing global. We can find out who is the biggest face to face in USA, who is the biggest face to face player in Nigeria, China… the opportunities are endless where we can take it.

McGrady not only wants to help tell the stories of players who may have been overlooked, he wants to help their careers – and that of the OBL.

“I want people to make a name for themselves in the OBL, and if they’re good enough to get to a G League team or an NBA team, I want them to have a chance to fulfill that dream,” McGrady said. “It’s only going to help my league, isn’t it?”

This article first appeared on, email at cost [email protected] or follow him on twitter @khobi_price,


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