By Robin Dich, Sports Radio KJR
Jamal Crawford said, “basketball never stops”, not even in Seattle. The entire summer on the weekends, Jamal Crawford has his basketball league that he holds every summer now, continuing Doug Christie’s “All Hoop, No Hype.” Jamal played in that league when he was 16 and it has now come full circle.
There will be alum from UW, from the Seattle Area including Jason Terry and Brandon Roy, but special guests are expected such as CP3, Aldridge, Kevin Durant, the list goes on that are playing in the Pro Am League. However, it isn't about the big names that are coming through that people should be talking about. It is the fact that basketball is still alive here in Seattle. Whether fans want to hide it or not, there is a lot of talent that goes to the NBA from the 206.
“We’ve been doing it now in the past 8, 9 years but it’s really taken off the last couple of years. I think the kids and people that come support it make it what it is,” said Crawford.
Crawford has been a resident of Seattle for most of his life, going to Rainier Beach High School. He has always seen this area as a great basketball place. However it's been a rough 5 years since the Seattle Sonics left and is unfair to the kids growing up.
“That’s where I feel the kids now days especially in Seattle are kind of robbed. When I was coming out I was able to strike a relationship with Gary Payton, Shawn Kemp, go see Detlef Schrempf and Nate McMillian and Eric Snow… I think me being that age being able to see those guys, touch them and ask them questions it helped shape my dreams,” said Crawford.
Now Crawford is that guy. He is the new NBA player that kids want to get to know and learn from. Without an NBA team it is hard for young kids to really understand what professional basketball looks like, what you want to work towards or how to work towards that.
“I think myself and other guys in the community are playing a huge part in filling the void because we don’t have the team,” said Crawford.
Mitch tried to get a date out of Jamal Crawford for when Kevin Durant will be playing in Seattle, but Crawford is trying to wait the last possible minute so the loyal fans of his league will be able to be there first. He did give us a little bit on Kevin Durant.
“Kevin Durant will be here, and he reached out to me about it, he loves Seattle,” said Crawford. Mitch then said, “And we [Seattle] love him.” “And he knows it,” replied Crawford.
Among Kevin Durant, there will be some superstars that will sneak in for the weekend play a couple of games and head on out. Again, the catch is to come support basketball and with good karma fans can be there while one of the big names show up. Crawford doesn’t want people to come out just for those guys, he wants fans to come out because they love basketball.
“Kevin Durant, Blake Griffin, LaMarcus Aldridge is coming back, Brandon Jennings is coming, Paul George just confirmed. I have a really, really big name, we are going to keep that one quiet… Chris Paul reached out too,” Crawford told Mitch.
People recognize Seattle is a great basketball town, even NBA players who have never even played an NBA game in the Puget Sound. Crawford will also be holding a camp this next week in Bellevue. If you want more information on the Pro Am league, you can find the link and the schedule below. Also, you can find a link for the camp as well below.