Put On For My City
Romeo Travis leads the way at the Chris Chambers City Classic.
Being from Cleveland, the Chris Chambers City Classic has been a staple in the minds of ballers from the 216, 330 and 440 for years. Under the branch of Fun Game Sports, co-founders Ozell Dobbins and Chris Walker have taken the league to new heights… and a new location.
“We moved the league from the JCC (Jewish Community Center) to the Word Church to give it a more urban feel,” the 31-year-old Dobbins said of why they moved things from the suburban Beachwood gym to Miles road. “It’s a brand new, state of the art facility too. We wanted the NBA players to bring it back to the hood.”
Overseas vets Romeo Travis, Dru Joyce, Chet Mason, Marcus Johnson, Brian Swift and Steve Gansey have been playing in the league for what seems forever. Ex-NBA guys Keith McLeod, Damon Jones, John Edwards and Sam Clancy joined current league guys Earl Boykins, Daniel Gibson and Christian Eyenga. Throw in a pair of special appearances by LeBron James and you’ve got a hella legit league.
“The City Classic has all of Cleveland’s best players, past and present,” ex-South Florida star and newly named Warrensville Heights HS head coach Brian Swift boasted. “Being able to still be in the conversation for best guard in the city is a goal of mine every year and with these young guys elevating their games, I have to stay on top of mine!”
Playing in two games, LeBron balled out for the first go around and came away with a blowout W. The second go around didn’t fare as well for King James, with a three-point win in the final four and a shaky reaction from some of the still bitter C-town fans.
“The first game everyone gave a lot of love. He definitely put on a show,” Dobbins explained about LeBron’s surprising return to the City Classic. “Bron bought out the concession stand and gave it all away to the kids. He mingled with the fans and had a great time.”
“The second time… well, it was real up and down,” Ozell went on to say. “The fans heckled him a bit, though they really gave it to Damon Jones.”
Even without ‘Bron playing in the finals, his Monstars squad won the chip. League MVP Romeo Travis put on a show in the finals and finished with 30+. Coming off of a great career at Akron and yet another strong season in Israel, Travis seems destined to continue to build his EuroBasket profile. With no Dru Joyce (after just proposing to his girl) or Damon Jones, Rome put the Monstars on his back and took the title back to the 330… rubbing salt in the wounds of some Cleveland ballers.
“The Akron team wasn’t the most talented team in the league, but they played as a unit every single game. Most of the time, they were playing without Bron and Dru,” explained former Ohio Mr. Basketball and Adriatic League MVP Chet Mason. “I won it my first year playing and the league keeps getting better, but I definitely want to bring the title back to Cleveland.”
“We don’t have a set foundation here in the summers in Cleveland, but this is a place for NBA players to start to come and make their mark,” Dobbins threw in. “If you’re a baller in the Midwest, come to Cleveland and stake your claim.”