by Daniel Friedman / @DFried615
HARLEM, NY — The Ball Up All-Stars made the fifth stop of their summer tour in New York City Saturday night and put on a show for the hundreds of fans packed into City College’s Nat Holman Gym.
Ball Up’s All-Star squad consisted of streetball icons like The Professor, AO, Special FX, Sik Wit It, Air Up There, Bone Collector and rookie high-flyer G-Smith. The team brought roars from the crowd every time they connected on jaw-dropping alley oops, put down monstrous dunks or spun defenders around with dizzying ball-handling moves.
Streetball legend Rafer “Skip to my Lou” Alston and NBA free agent Sebastian Telfair coached Team NY. Alston brought streetball to the fore with the rise of the AND1 Mixtape Tour back in the early 90s. The squad representing the Big Apple was chosen after a number of tryouts and open runs at Dyckman Park and throughout the city earlier this week.
Team NY did its best to hand the Ball Up All-Stars their first loss of the tour. In the first half, Ball Up showed why they’re some of the top streetball players in the world. At one point, Aaron “AO” Owens easily lured his opponent into his signature move, hypnotically dribbling until his defender let down his guard down. Then he bopped the ball off his opponents’ dome, bringing cheers and jeers from the crowd.
In the second half, Bassy and Skip coaxed NYC’s chosen few into playing some defense and taking it to the hole a little bit more than they had been in the first few quarters, bringing Ball Up’s double-digit lead down to merely five. But with the prospect of losing their perfect record (and respect), Ball Up woke back up and took control of the game once again, putting away Team NY in theatrical fashion by a score of 136-113. Check out highlights and photos of the game in the gallery above.