Familiar players with unique rules

Posted: August 03, 2012

WHOEVER determined that summer was not basketball season might need to work a little harder getting that message out.

The Basketball Alumni Legends League Showcase Games (otherwise known as The-BALL Showcase) will make its debut Saturday afternoon in Washington, D.C., tipoff 4 o'clock, and then come to Saint Joseph's Hagan Arena on Sunday night, tipoff 8 o'clock.

Both games, to be televised live on Comcast SportsNet, will pit teams of basketball alumni from D.C. and Philadelphia against each other.

Showcasing players from Villanova, St. Joe's, Temple, La Salle, Penn and Drexel, Philadelphia's team includes former Wildcats Allen Ray and Curtis Sumpter, former Hawk Pat Carroll, former Explorer Rodney Green and former Owls Mark Tyndale, Ryan Brooks, Ramone Moore and Dionte Christmas. Christmas reportedly will still play despite recently signing his first NBA contract with the Boston Celtics, after a successful run with the team in the Orlando Summer League.

Former Quaker Zach Rosen may be making an appearance for Philadelphia as well, though event organizers are still not sure he will make the event. Rosen tweeted on Thursday that he signed a contract with Hapoel Holon of Israel's Ligat HaAl.

Composed of players from Georgetown, Maryland, George Washington and George Mason, Washington's team will feature former Hoyas Jason Clark and Austin Freeman as well as former Terrapins James Gist and D.J. Strawberry.

This year's event is set up as a home-and-home series, with the two teams first squaring off Saturday afternoon at the Charles E. Smith Center on the campus of George Washington University.

The game is meant to serve as a precursor to an entire BALL League, which is expected to debut in the summer of 2013 with eight teams from New York, Syracuse, Philadelphia, Connecticut, Washington, Virginia, North Carolina and Charlotte, and players from five or more local colleges, with some overlap.

Another six additional markets are being considered for teams, including another team from Pennsylvania, which would use players from Pittsburgh, Penn State, Lehigh, Duquesne, Bucknell and Lafayette.

To attract younger fans, The-BALL will offer free seats in a student section for anyone wearing the colors of a represented university and holding a valid student ID.

Although it appears to be similar to most summer showcases, which are quite common around the country, The-BALL will look to set itself apart with some unique rule changes for the games.

In addition to a standard college three-point line, there will also be a four-point line 25 feet from the basket.

There will only be one free throw when a foul is committed, but it will be worth two points, and once a team reaches 16 team fouls for the game, a bonus will be in effect, allowing the team to choose whether they wish to attempt a free throw, three-pointer or four-pointer. That team will then retain possession of the ball, so fouling late in the game will be rendered useless.

To make the game more fan friendly, there will be less than half the amount of media timeouts than there are in an average college basketball game. Players also will be allowed to touch the ball as soon as it hits the rim, a FIBA rule commonly found in international basketball.

Whether or not a group of local college players competing in a unique brand of basketball will ever catch on remains to be seen. But will it be different than anything you've seen before? You bet.

For more info, check out http://the-ball.com/the-ball-showcase/ n

Contact Daniel Carp at dcarp@phillynews.com

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