The NBA may be winding up its 75th season soon, but basketball never stops. Summer hoops are an annual tradition, with the AAU season and summer pro-am leagues and tournaments kicking off even now (come on down to LA’s Drew League, where some of the best players in the world compete in the longest-running pro-am in America). A new name is about to join that illustrious collective, and it’s one that already has a longstanding tradition of its own of combining hip-hop and hoops: J. Cole’s Dreamville.
Dreamville is partnering with Wilson Sporting Goods Co. to announce the Dreamville Chi-League, a four-week tournament running throughout the month of August at the University of Illinois Chicago. The league will be co-sponsored by Gatorade and will pit eight teams of pro players, from NBA stars to overseas standouts, and local legends against each other for summer hoops glory. There will be men’s and women’s divisions, too, giving an equal opportunity to shine to all.
Wilson will be dropping limited-edition Dreamville products throughout August while hosting youth basketball clinics alongside the YMCA. Former NBA star Antoine Walker, who coached in a springtime iteration of the tournament, said in a statement, “Last season was the best pro-am I’ve been a part of, and I couldn’t be more excited to see what’s in store for this season. The history of this league is something to be celebrated and I’m proud to see its continued success.”
It remains to be seen whether Cole himself will lace up to participate in the league after playing out his contract for the Canadian Elite Basketball League’s Scarborough Shooting Stars, but it wouldn’t be a surprise, given how much he loves to play. I guess the only way to find out is to show up! You can find more information at dreamvillechileague.com.