Seven-time NBA All-Star, Basketball Hall-of-Famer, and entrepreneur Tracy McGrady today unveiled the regional schedule and venues for the launch of the Ones Basketball Association, a first-ever elite competition that will celebrate the most skilled one-on-one players on the planet.
The first year of regional competition will take place in seven cities across the United States, beginning the weekend of April 30th in Houston and concluding in June. The 2022 Finals for the Ones Basketball Association will take place in July.
McGrady has also announced that media and sports industry veteran Jeffrey Pollack has signed on as a strategic advisor to help lead business planning and operations and create best-in-class events and experiences.
“Our goal this year is to test and preview how we should best spotlight and celebrate the competition, raw athletic talent, and extraordinary skills of these young rising stars,” McGrady said. “We are proud to partner with Jeffrey Pollack, who will help us develop our game plan on and off the court. His input is already invaluable to me, as we take our first steps as a startup league and set the foundation for a global basketball property that will create more opportunities for athletes and fans and tell new basketball stories.”
“In many ways this is the first-ever pop-up sports league,” said Pollack. “We are moving fast, tipping off quickly, and excited to publicly share our proof-of-concept with the basketball community and sports industry. Early feedback will be vital to our planning efforts, and we are ready to test, listen, and learn throughout this first season. Players, fans, and partners will have a rare opportunity to co-create the Ones Basketball Association with Tracy and our team, and it’s exciting to help launch a new celebration of basketball excellence.”
Elissa Grabow, McGrady’s long-time business manager, has also joined the leadership team to help turn McGrady’s vision into reality. “Working for Tracy McGrady for the past 25 years has been the ride of a lifetime and this journey is a true labor of love,” said Grabow. “Tracy is inspired and focused and it all comes from the purest place: his heart. It is an honor to be on this team and help develop the Ones Basketball Association into something special that we believe will build community, provide hope and opportunity, and create a new way to fall in love with the game of basketball.”
Beginning in April, seven cities across the United States will host a two-day, regional, 32-player round-robin knockout tournament with athletes aged 18 and up who are currently not under an NBA contract and have not been on an active NBA roster for more than 164 games (equivalent to two NBA regular seasons). The participants will come from a combination of open-sourced video submissions and the advice of basketball insiders. The aim is to welcome both best-in-class talent and players who may still be under the radar of most basketball fans. The inaugural events this year will feature only men, and women will be welcomed as equal participants as soon as 2023.
The regional tournament schedule for the first season of the Ones Basketball Association season is:
· Houston, April 30-May 1 (The Dub Sports Zone, Richmond, TX)
· Atlanta, May 7-8 (CORE4 Atlanta, Chamblee, GA)
· Chicago, May 21-22 (Chicago Hope Academy Athletic Center, Chicago, IL)
· New York City, May 28-29 (Major R. Owens Community Center hosted by New Heights, Brooklyn, NY)
· The DMV, June 4-5 (The St. James, Springfield, VA)
· The Bay Area, June 11-12 (The Ultimate Fieldhouse, Walnut Creek, CA)
· Los Angeles, TBD (TBD)
The winner of each regional tournament will take home a $10,000 cash prize along with an invitation to the Finals, which will see 21 players (the top three from each region) compete for a chance to win a $250,000 grand prize and be crowned “Ruler of the Court.”
Venues this first year will have very limited public seating, in order to keep the current focus on the athletes, their stories, and the competitive format.
Jeffrey Pollack is a sports business executive and Emmy-Award winner with more than 25 years of leadership experience driving catalytic change, growth, and innovation for family-owned, private-equity-backed, and corporate-based ventures. He was most recently President and CEO of the XFL.
Pollack has been lauded for helping businesses and brands rethink, recalibrate, and evolve, and he has held both executive and advisory roles with the NBA, NASCAR, World Series of Poker, Professional Bull Riders, and Los Angeles Chargers. Pollack is founder of The Sports Business Daily, the original daily trade publication for the sports industry.
The field for each regional tournament, along with content and media partners, elite player ambassadors, and details about the 2022 Finals, will be announced in the coming weeks.
Follow Ones Basketball Association at https://www.obahoops.com/.