Hoops in the Sun at Orchard Beach is a premiere street basketball tournament in New York City. Tons of stars have emerged from and traveled to HITS for the elite competition.
This past weekend saw a match up between two powerhouse undefeated squads at the beach: Skull Gang vs Sean Bell All-Stars, who have lost only one game this entire summer so far—in all tournaments combined.
The Cruz brothers, Joe and Randy, do a superb job with managing their league as its commissioners. Every year they lock in amazing sponsorships. They offer the best prize packages for the championship team, including highly coveted airline vouchers that will take the winners to a destination of their choosing. They also have the best giveaways of any streetball tournament. In fact, this weekend they were giving away a Blu-Ray player.
While there are many terrific announcers in other tournaments, Bobby Cey and Uncle G-Stacks complement each other like no other announcing duo can. Fans and players alike tend to say the same thing about the commentating at HITS: it feels like you're at an NBA game.
This highly-anticipated match up started off as a slugfest with Skull Gang dominating the paint. Will "Rice" Pratt and Quinton "T2" Hosley combined for 52 points for Skull Gang's front court, scoring 28 and 24 respectively.
Meanwhile, Tu-Tu Holloway dropped a game-high 32 points and Kavon "Happy Feet" Jones-Lytch added 19 for the Sean Bell All-Stars, who ultimately outlasted Skull Gang, 100-98.
The continued dominance of the Sean Bell All-Stars is remarkable for a number of reasons.
If they continue to play at this level and to collect victories as they have been, this could prove to be a historic season.
Last summer Coach Rah led the Sean Bell All-Stars to two major championships that gave him two bids to the Nike Tournament of Champions where the winners of each of the Nike-sponsored tournaments—including Pro-City, Watson, HITS, West 4th, and Dyckman—go head-to-head to objectively crown the city's best team in streetball.
This summer, Nike is doing away with the Tournament of Champions and replacing it with a different event that is bigger than even the mecca of basketball. But, that's a story for future blog post. Suffice it to say, for now, it promises to be BIG!
If having two bids were not enough, both Sean Bell All-Stars teams made it to the championship, making it a win-win for Coach Rah and his squad. So, the fact that this team continues to dominate is especially impressive. What would it mean if they could clean house throughout the top streetball tournaments in NYC? Can they pull of an entire summer with only single digits in their loss column?
This prolific run they are on, should they seal the deal and reign in a few more championships this summer, would have to put them in the conversation of best streetball dynasties of all-time. Could they compare to the Bad Boys and Terror Squad teams that won a combined 6 championships at EBC/Rucker Park coached by Antonio "Mousey" Carela in the early 2000s? Could they be considered more potent than the TNP squad that terrorized teams with their defense in the mid-2000s?
I'd love to hear the thoughts of the streetball community in the comments. Just how good are these Sean Bell All-Stars?