The 2014 Books and Ball All-City Classic was held at the Baychester Community Center in the Bronx, NY on Friday, October 3rd and featured some of NYC's rising basketball players.
In addition to keeping one's finger on the pulse of the future of New York City's basketball talent—and, of course, spending time on the baseline of my beloved sport of basketball—this event also served as a platform for one of the city's ascending talents on the microphone—Dave "Cha Ching" Teele a.k.a. "Op-Op-Operate".
It was Dave, actually, who invited me to the game. Having covered summer hoops in NYC for the past decade, Dave and I have worked in tandem for more than a few basketball events over the years and I am grateful that he invited me out.
His excitement for the game and his role as the emcee is what really drew me in. And I have to say, Dave was in rare form for the occasion.
The energy in the gym was electric, in no small part due to Cha Ching's comedic antics. When he changed attire mid-game and came out in an operation outfit, complete with a stethoscope the game shut down for a few minutes while the crowd, players, and coaches admired Dave's entertainment antics.
I hope you enjoy some of my images from the games. I covered both the underclassmen and upperclassmen high school games, which were the last two games of a full schedule of games featuring talented players of all ages.
A product of my NYC environment, I was happy to create my shots from the sidelines of the Books & Ball All-City Classic. Special thanks to Dave for bringing me out and to the players for putting on a show for everyone to enjoy. I hope I get to photograph these young men at the next levels of their basketball careers as they continue to grow and develop.
Roaming the sidelines of these community events, soaking in the energy and excitement is why I love this game. The support from families, friends, elder players and coaches, and basketball fans in general was admirable and a sure sign that the New York brand of basketball is alive and well and will continue to be for many years to come if these games were any indication.