Ones Basketball League (OBL) — the first-ever elite competition that celebrates the most skilled one-on-one players on the planet and created by Basketball Hall of Famer Tracy McGrady — crowned its fourth Regional Champion at Major R. Owens Community Center in Brooklyn on Saturday and Sunday. A total of 28 top area and national-level basketball players squared off in spirited action, and it was Isaiah Brown (Queens), Zach Radz (Troy, N.Y.) and Darien Davis (Coram, N.Y.) who took the top three places in a weekend filled with close contests and spirited play across the board.
The sharpshooting lefty Brown, seeded at #2 after a perfect 7-0 qualifying round on Saturday, defeated Radz, 9-5, in the final game to claim the winner-take-all prize of $10,000. Davis, from Dowling College (Long Island), took out Joe Nickerson, also by a 9-5 count, to grab third place. All three now advance to the OBL Finals in Las Vegas this summer (dates and location TBA).
“New York came to play this weekend for sure,” said McGrady. “We had our biggest and loudest crowd so far in Brooklyn, and the level of play continues to be high as we get closer to the OBL Finals in Las Vegas.”
Brown, 25, played at SUNY Potsdam. He’s a basketball content creator and a proud girl dad. He has the nickname “Leaky Roof” because one uses buckets to fix them.
“My whole family came out to see me play, I can’t describe the feeling,” said Brown. “One on one basketball, for us, this is our style of basketball. I didn’t have a specific strategy going in, but the shots were there so I took them and fortunately hit them.”
Radz, who came down from the Albany are but stayed with a friend in New York during the competition, made a strong run from the #8 seeded position, needing to defeat the #9 seed Josh Treadwell (Newark, N.J.) in the “out bracket” game before two other wins propelled him into the Finals, including a two-pointer with time running down for a 9-8 upset win over previously unbeaten #1 seed Eugene Lawrence (Brooklyn).
“The last eight people down here, I knew they were tough competitors, obviously, anybody that makes it to this point,” said Radz, 25, who played at Sacred Heart University. “It was a matter of just putting it all out there and playing with all your heart.”
After a successful debut event in Houston (April 30-May 1) and follow-ups in Atlanta (May 7-8), Chicago (May 21-22) and New York, OBL’s next regional event is Saturday and Sunday, June 4-5, in the DMV (The St. James, Springfield, VA). The regular season concludes in Los Angeles (site TBD).
The winner of each regional tournament will take home a $10,000 cash prize along with an invitation to the OBL Finals, which will see 18 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.”
OBL media partners include SHOWTIME Sports, SLAM Media, Playmaker, and Heart and Hustle Productions.
Follow Ones Basketball League at https://www.oblhoops.com/.