Streetball team to face locals Saturday night at Show Me Center

Friday, October 1, 2010

An inner-city phenomenon popularized by ESPN is coming to the Show Me Center Saturday evening.

The AND1 Streetball Live Tour, showcasing the talents of athletes featured on the ESPN series "Streetball," pits the Streetball Legends team against a team of local basketball stars in a game that tips off at 7:30 p.m.

Promoter Carlos Nelson said 100 percent of the profits of the event will go to the Family Life Center building fund of the Christ Sanctuary Church in Bell City, Mo.

Nelson, who promotes not only Streetball events but also concerts, called the Streetball Legends team "the Globetrotters of the new millennium."

"These are the guys from the AND1 Mixtape Tour," said Nelson, who recently relocated to the Cape Girardeau area from Atlanta. "These guys travel all over the country."

Streetball is a form of basketball that features more one-on-one matchups that often result in slam dunks. The game tends to be more loosely officiated to encourage more spectacular plays and increase the entertainment value of the game.

Streetball players frequently go by colorful nicknames. One of the stars of the Streetball Legends team is called "The Professor" because he teaches the guys how to handle the ball, Nelson said. Another player there Saturday will be "The Air Up There," who Nelson said was the first player ever to execute a 720 slam dunk, meaning he can turn two 360-degree turns in the air and dunk the ball.

Reggie Williamson of Fruitland assembled the Fro Shapers, the local challengers to the Legends, about a year ago, and the team had a 14-0 record in the Cape Girardeau Parks and Recreation League. Members include Mike Colon, former Central and Southeast Missouri State University star, and Derek Tipler of New Madrid County Central and Arkansas State University.

"We're going to show those boys what Bootheel basketball is all about," Williamson said.

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