There may very well be only one game remaining in the 2017 NBA season, but the 2017 Venice Basketball League (VBL) season is just getting underway.
This past Sunday, the VBL kicked off its 11th year in front of a crowd of both locals and tourists. Fans were treated to an afternoon of five games on a newly resurfaced court.
The league’s goal is to “unite, showcase and inspire,” and it’s got some fun, quirky rules to boot. There are no free throws, and players who get dunked on have to sit down for two minutes.
Among the ten teams to showcase their talents on Sunday was The Panda’s Friend, led by former NBA All-Star Metta World Peace and AND1 legend Sik Wit It, whose efforts weren’t enough to get the W. Defending champion Nova Stars, who notched the largest margin of victory of the day, and the China Elite All-Stars, VBL’s only international squad, were also on display.
The day’s events, however, were hardly limited to just basketball games. The morning began with the Kids Venice Basketball League camp, VBL’s non-profit initiative focused on engaging the community’s youth in healthy activity. At noon, there was a ribbon-cutting ceremony to inaugurate the new court as part of VBL’s “Build Courts Not Walls” campaign.
The league will run throughout the summer in Venice Beach, hoping to provide a family friendly atmosphere with quality entertainment.
Q&A: Metta World Peace
Photos courtesy of Venice Basketball League