After seven months, the Red Bull Midnight Run has reached its conclusion, and the team outta Indianapolis upset a number of heavy favorites to claim the ultimate bragging rights as the “best basketball city in the country.” (Take a look at all the top plays and top dunks during the Final Round last week at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.)
When all was said in done, in the early morning hours of Saturday, after most of the Brooklyn crowd had departed, the group of Indianapolis’ finest playground players shocked hometown favorites, New York, and emerged as the Red Bull Midnight Run champions.
It was a long, enervating experience, though, starting off on Thursday night where five of the nine cities were eliminated. By Friday night, only New York, Philadelphia, Indianapolis and the defending champion team from Chicago remained, while Houston, Washington, D.C., New Orleans, Atlanta and <a href="Los Angeles were sent packing.
From the Red Bull press release:
There was no Coach Dale or Jimmy Chitwood and this was far from Hickory, Indiana, but like the legendary basketball film, the Hoosiers are taking home the title. This past Friday night in the modern day Mecca of basketball – Brooklyn, New York – the grand finale of the nationwide grassroots basketball competition Red Bull Midnight Run tipped off at the stroke of midnight under the bright lights of Barclays Center. Nine cities were representing – Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, New Orleans, New York, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C. – but only one could take home the ultimate bragging rights as THE MOST TALENTED BASKETBALL CITY.
The final show down took center court immediately after the Nets-Heat thrilling double-overtime game so the energy in the building was high.
The semi-finals were both close matchups, but NYC and Indy rebounded, shot, and hustled their way to the championship game. In a feisty and edgy final game that saw nearly a dozen lead changes, a slew of hard fouls, plenty of high-flying dunks, and a missed last second three-pointer, Indianapolis, aka “The Nap,” came out victorious with a 43-41 win.
“There was a sense that the stakes were higher in the final game. You could feel the focus and fight in everyone’s game,” said Indianapolis guard Devin Williams. “We had a lot of people try out for this squad and these eight guys came together, played hard and we’re taking this title back to Indy.”
Despite the late hour, the winning team, comprised of Antonio Cannon, John Hart, Brandon Gene Evans, DeMarcus Catchings, Devin Williams, Jermaine Dearman, Tyrone Anderson, and Kenny Page, took home the trophies. Despite their exhaustive odyssey to Brooklyn, they were already preparing for next year, telling Dime they were excited to defend their title as the best basketball city in the country.
The Hoosier team taking the title over the heavy finals favorites in Philly, New York and Chicago was the feather in the cap of their remarkable run after a series of grudge matches pitting the best amateur basketball players from the major metropolis’ around the country.
We can’t wait to see who takes the throne next year.
What do you think?
Follow Spencer on Twitter at @countcenci.
Follow Dime on Twitter at @DimeMag.
Become a fan of Dime Magazine on Facebook HERE.