The Venice Basketball League Tipped Off Today

The eighth year of the Venice Basketball League returned to Venice Beach today with opening games tipping off at noon. With three brand new teams, including the Jamal Crawford-sponsored Brand Black squad, the league in it’s eighth year just keeps getting a bigger following.

Former Duke star, current TV analyst and Dime pal Jay Williams is making his VBL debut this year after intermittently visiting the historic courts. Plus, DeShawn “Evolution” Stephens will return to send the throngs of spectators into hysterics after playing professionally in Japan.

There’s more excitement in store, per the VBL press release:

As usual a full day of music and festivities are planned starting at 9am with a Kids of Venice Basketball League (KVBL) camp presented by new 501(c)3 partners, the Hoop Foundation (Inglewood, CA). New KVBL staff includes camp director, Sean Green (NBA Veteran) and Yoga Instructor, Bobbi Hamilton (Chi Universe). The camp will also feature curated art and a workshop by Quintin Williams, our guest featured artist from Beautify Earth. To register or to find more information on KVBL please visit

Live musical acts and performers take the court each moment that the ball isn’t in play so there is never a dull moment. New prize giveaways are in store every week at the VBL which takes place this and every Sunday through August. The weather forecast for this Sunday is 72 degrees and sunny so bring out the family, come early, stay late and enjoy our #HoopersParadise!

On a personal note, I traveled to Venice Beach back in January for a little R&R before all-star weekend and the end of the NBA season. I got to hoop a few times with the smell of OG Kush hovering in the air, street merchants selling kaleidoscopic wares nearby and skateboarders at the adjacent park intermittently going airborne to contrast nicely with the blue of the Pacific.

A 73-year-old who had been balling at the courts before I was even a glimmer in my mother’s eye, matched up against me in one pick-up game I played with some locals. While I sank the game-winner, he got a nice block on one play, reminding me you’re only as old as you feel. When geriatrics are holding their own against guys more than 40 years their junior, you gotta give the locale some DAP.

If you’re in the LA area, I highly suggest you stop by some Sunday this summer. Even if you tire of the dunks and hilarious chatter of the players, fans and emcee, it’s good times, good vibes, and the best ball in the area.

We didn’t see Woody or Wesley though…

What do you think?

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