One hundred of the best players from the DMV area came together for the The Red Bull Midnight Run in Washington, D.C. earlier this month to compete for a chance to eventually be one of the final eight players chosen to represent their city in the national finals in Brooklyn. There were players like NBA D-Leaguer Mike Anderson, who flew in from Europe the day before to attend, Baby Shaq, the legendary streetball player, Corey Allmond, the man who once broke the Rupp Arena record for triples in one game and even John Wall, who came in to help judge the talent.
While the action was fast and aggressive – you can check out a full recap here – I had a chance once it was all over to sit down and talk to some of the standouts…
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Dime: Where are you playing at right now? Around D.C.?
BS: Yeah, I just got finished playing in the ACPBL. We just won the championship. We are chilling out right now. We gotta play in a Weekend Warriorz tournament in North Carolina. That’s June 1 so we are just chilling out until then.
Dime: Are you playing in the Goodman League this summer?
BS: Yeah, yeah, yeah. The outdoor Goodman League and the Urban Coalition, the indoor league, I’m playing in both.
Dime: Did you come down here with a group of five guys?
BS: Yeah, my teammates from the season I just played in. We went in there to get them some exposure because I already did my part with Red Bull. I just came by to show love and let my boys get on.
Dime: How did you find out about this?
Corey Allmond: They called me. I got a call from Red Bull, asking if I wanted to do it. I was for it.
Dime: Was this what you expected with the talent?
CA: I knew a lot of the guys. We played in a tournament earlier today and we won it today so I kinda knew who was coming. I didn’t know all of the out of state guys were coming. I knew they had a bus coming, but I didn’t know where they were from. But it was good, it was good. Guys that we already know… guys we didn’t know about. It was good competition.
Dime: You come with anyone you knew?
CA: I came with Boo Jackson. But I didn’t play with him. I actually played with some others guys. We did pretty well, won our first two games and then lost to [Dele] Ojo and them. They was beating everybody, the Goodman Team.
Dime: Where did you learn to shoot? John Wall is always talking up your shot…
CA: I mean I couldn’t shoot in high school man. That’s what’s crazy. I was just a driver. I would just drive and I really couldn’t shoot. Then one summer, I just kept working on it and working on it. It came together my senior year of high school, and then just got better in college. We went up to Kentucky and played John Wall and them. Coach ran a lot of plays for me coming off screens, and just getting me open.
Dime: You set a record there?
CA: Yeah. The most threes made as a visiting player coming in. I made 11-16.
Dime: What’s that like having a relationship with someone like John?
CA: It’s great. That’s the type of guy that can get your foot in the door. He’s got that type of pull here in D.C. with the Wizards. He’s going to be here for a long time. He’s gonna be a great player. That’s a guy that I lean on, like saying to him “John, I’m a guy that’s working to get in and you know what I can do. You’ve seen what I can do.” With his credibility, he can just get me in the gym and I can take it from there.
Dime: Are you from D.C.?
CA: Yep. Born and raised right here.
Dime: What are your favorite spots to play at here?
CA: Favorite spots to play at would a little rec center called Marlow Heights. I go to Run N’ Shoot to play. I just bounce around. Anywhere that guys know the game of basketball… I know guys that are out there just to play. I’ve played against guys that are trying to go somewhere, either played overseas or played in the D-League or played somewhere, that’s going to make me better.
Dime: How do you think the talent in D.C. is compared to anywhere else?
CA: Oh, unbelievable. Unbelievable. There are a lot of guys out here that people don’t even get a shot at, or are in the streets. They get in the gym and it’s all lovely. They can do it all. We got a lot of them guys that can do it but can’t get out them streets.
Dime: Coming in to this, did they tell you everything that was going to happen?
CA: I didn’t know John was going to be here. That kind of surprised me. But now that I think about, this sponsored by Reebok, why wouldn’t he? He should be the face of Reebok so why wouldn’t he be here? I came in knowing that this can give me a look, somewhere, somehow if I keep moving into the top 35 and then the top eight, I’m already came here. This can make a career.
Dime: Did you finish up recently in college?
CA: Nah, I graduated in 2010. Then I played my first season in the D-League. Then went over in the summer and played my first season in China. I came back to the D-League this year, which was one of my best years. We probably had the best team on paper with the Mad Ants, but we didn’t come together right. When the lockout ended, we lost six of our guys, our starting guys. I was coming off the bench. That moved me into the starting position. I was a returner. I was a leader. Our first game, I went for 32. I tied the record for the Mag Ants with eight threes. It’s just all about opportunity. That’s basically what it comes down to, an opportunity. I’ve been in the D-League. I’ve played in Turkey. I hyper extended my elbow. That’s why I came back home.
Dime: Do you play the one or the two?
CA: I think that’s what the problem is. I think that’s the problem with my career. Everywhere I go, they put me at the two because I can shoot and can score. But at the next level, who am I gonna guard, Kobe? C’mon. Who am I gonna guard at the two? So I gotta be at the one. I’m trying. It’s a transition, but I will get. I’m gonna get my point guard stuff down. I watch Chris Paul and all the elite point guards, see what they do and put it into my game.
Dime: That’s what you’re working on right now?
CA: That’s what I’m working on now. It ain’t the handle. It’s decision-making. You gotta know everything that’s going on on the floor. That’s basically it. I know the game. It’s just little stuff that Chris Paul and John Wall and them guys got that I gotta get as far as court vision and all that stuff.
Dime: How would you grade yourself today? Did you play up to the way you wanted to?
CA: Yeah. I thought I played pretty well. I shot the ball pretty good. It’s just about playing your game at stuff like this. When you got guys out there trying to do things they normally don’t do, then that’s when they look bad. But if you’re out here and you know the game and just play your game, then you will stand out regardless.