Off Court

Six teams, Six weeks One crown!

Notice a lack of energy last Friday? Well there was, and that was due to the Nike Crown league coming to an end. The hundreds of fans that’s been planning their Friday’s according to The Nike Crown League schedule will now have to find something new to entertain them for the rest of the summer. Let’s be real, that it is not happening. Nothing’s been more enjoyable than being a part of watching the 6 teams battling out for 6 weeks to be proclaimed as a royalty. Only one team however could’ve own the throne, and everyone will tell you it was a classical finale. With the usual 6 teams taking action on Fridays, the finale only included four teams, as the Northern Kings and 1LoveTo failed to qualify in this memorable finale. The showdown of the Nike Crown League finals started off just as entertaining as it could possibly be. Team 9Now took care of business to earn the 3rd spot after destroying the CIABounce team. But the action was only getting started as the last game was easily one of the best game of the whole tournament; the fans felt apart of the game & the players fed off the energy in the building. It was clear that team ACE was LOOKING FOR REVENGE – All Summer 16, after coming up short last summer they rectified that by beating team M.A.D.E in a classic battle to be throne royalty! A group of people who took the Summer 16 Revenge motto just as hard, or maybe even a little harder than team ACE was the Nike Crown League Staff. They took pride in giving fans and players the best possible place you can watch or play basketball in Canada during the summer. The Nike Crown league staff set standards for what excitement, organization, planning & fun looks like. They solidify that there has not been anything more enjoyable than Friday nights at Ryerson’s Kerr Hall Gymnasium during summer 16 (Sorry Caribana). What made this the highlight of the summer in Toronto was that it was the most consistent fun that kids, adults, players, media members had during the summer. After all it lasted 6 weeks! Proving to everyone that nothing represented the 6 any better!

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Like always, the line-up was extremely long at Ryerson University. People might think a game for 3rd place would not be hyped or entertaining. Well the first two team to take the court that night proved it to be false. It had the crowd on their feet from the start. Team 9Now controlled the game from the very beginning – to the end. Toronto 3D’s and CIS All-Star Greg Morrow started the game on fire finishing with a game-high 30 points. Christian Kabongo took the torch later on and ran with it, as he single handily managed to make the entire gym scream every time he got the ball as he went on a tare for about 3-5 minutes of the game with his scoring &  passing, while doing it in a spectacular way. Luckily for fans since the game was not close – the last couple minutes of the game the players gave each other space to do a dunk showdown for the fans.

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Christian Kabongo’s known as CK, took honors of winning MVP of the game as he finished with 22 points & 13 assist. Leading his team to a 98-74 win over CIA Bounce.

CK took the time to talk to BasketballBuzz after the game saying “ The game went well, I just let the game come to me. My teammates showed me mad love – we just played fun basketball and it just so happens that thanks to God I happened to be the best basketball player in tonight’s game. I’m grateful for this tournament, thanks to coach NiKo & Banana (OVO Members) for giving me a chance to play – there’s no words to describe how grateful I am. As far as Crown league I think it was a beautiful experience, I think it’s a beautiful league and I still feel a lot more pros should play, it would be nice for the city. ”

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The last game was by far the most full the gym has been. There was no more seats left, but fans kept coming. The more they came, the more it fuelled both team. Despite there only being 1 winner it’s been a joyful ride for both. But certainly for team ACE who was crown as the 2016 Nike Crown League champions. They’ve had the fans on their back since the very beginning, giving fans something to remember every Friday they got on the court; it also didn’t hurt that couple local stars like Tyrone Watson, Daniel Mullins, Myck Kabongo and many others played for them. This final game represented everything the Nike crown league stands for; it was fun, competitive & every fans energy in the building – was off the roof, Jamal Murray and others ballers even came to watch that classic final game. These Local Stars received a lot of buzz after the game from Basketball fans all over Canada! And all the hype that surrounded them was all well worth it

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Vikta Paulo tweeted about the MVP of the final game Daniel Mullings who finished with 14, 10, 10

Another men who had as much Buzz as anybody who came into the gym; yes even as much as NBA players who played this year, was Myck Kabongo. He took the time to speak to BasketballBuzz after his team won the championship.

“ Today it was a hard fought win, we came together as a team. We trailed a lot of the game, but we did it as a team, every guy on the team had a part in the run we did in the second half. God only knows what is next for me – I’m just bless, I get to do what I love everyday and that’s playing the game of basketball. But I am thankful to win this tournament especially in front of families and friends. There’s a lot of talent here in Toronto as you can see in the NBA with the Tristan’s, the Corey’s the Wiggins and it’s going to keep rising just as this tournament keeps rising. And there’s going to be a lot of spotlight for players out here.”

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Who knows if every Canadians in the Olympics are inspired by the basketball scene in the county, but they should be! The basketball scene has been doing somewhat of a re-lay of their own as programs & teams keep passing the torch to one another, making in sort for basketball to not slow down. From Raptors, to Toronto 3D, to Ovo Bounce, to the women’s national basketball team, to Crown League – basketball just does not take a break in Toronto. It’s clear that with the growth that Canada has done with it’s basketball scene and the help that Raptors Global Ambassador ‘Drake’ and his ovo members has done to help, it’s been clear that despite of starting from the bottom – we are now here, with our own summer league! The crown league showed that it is just as hype as Los Angeles’s Drew League, San Francisco & Seattle Pro-AM, New York’s Nike pro-city basketball etc.

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