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 second Regional Champion at CORE4 in Chamblee, Georgia, on Saturday and Sunday. A total of 32 top area and national-level basketball players squared off in spirited action, and it was Glen Rice Jr. (Marietta, Ga.), Antonio Hester (Miami) and Tiras Wade (Tampa) who took the top three places in a weekend filled with exciting and high-quality play across the board.
Rice, the OBL (@oblhoops) Atlanta Regional Champion and recipient of the $10,000 prize, seeded fifth after a 6-1 record on Saturday despite an injured lower leg, won the Championship match, 9-7, over Hester, who had qualified as the #2 seed after going a perfect 7-0 in pool play. Wade, the #1 seed who was also unbeaten at 7-0 on Saturday, bested Atlanta’s Phil Taylor in the third-place game. At 40, Wade was the oldest competitor in the field. All three now advance to the OBL Finals in Las Vegas this summer (dates and location TBA).
“This league is giving players an opportunity to show what they can do, and these three guys took advantage with great play all weekend,” said McGrady. “We are proud that they will be representing the Atlanta region in Las Vegas.”
“It was fun competing with this group of guys, playing a game that we love and seeing who was the best at it,” said Rice, 31, who starred collegiately at Georgia Tech. “I don’t know where everybody came from, but the competition level was great both days. It was better than I expected.”
“It was love, man. I enjoyed this weekend and it was such a blessing to be here,” added the powerful Hester, 31, who played at Miami Dade and the University of Mobile and has competed professionally overseas for more than a decade. “Getting to compete with all these pros, it was definitely another level.”
In last week’s inaugural event in Houston, John Jordan, 29, of Houston was the champion. Jordan and H-Town Regional runner-up Matt Kiatipis were both on hand in Atlanta to take in the action. OBL’s next regional event is May 21-22 at Chicago Hope Academy Athletic Center.
Following Chicago, the remainder of the regional schedule is as follows:
• 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.”
OBL media partners include SLAM Media, Playmaker, and Heart and Hustle Productions. Follow Ones Basketball League at https://www.oblhoops.com/.