Throughout the season, DrewLeague.com will be producing profiles on some of the league’s Top Performers.
By Lauren Jones, DrewLeague.com
Drew League Team: Cheaters
High School: Taft High School
College: Long Beach State University
Currently: Overseas, Mexico
Size: 6’6”, 215 lbs.
In Week 6 of the 40th Annual Drew League, Eugene Phelps of Cheaters earned Player of the Week scoring 30 points, 13 rebounds and 4 assists. He led Cheaters to an 89-83 victory over Coach Tiny’s K&E Bulls.
“Honestly, I was just trying to win the game. If I score 30 and 13 and we still lose, it doesn’t really make a difference,” said Phelps on his performance. “I was just going with the flow, going with my teammates and thank God my teammates were looking for me.”
The following week, Phelps had another impressive game earning Week 7 Top Performer. Phelps had 26 points and 9 rebounds in a second consecutive win for Hank’s Cheaters 1.
“On this team, I am a leader because I’ve been playing for Coach Casper for 4 or 5 years now,” said Phelps.
He started playing for legendary Coach Casper Ware Sr. at the Drew League in his freshman year at Long Beach State University.
“Actually, I played with little Casper in college, and I eventually met his dad,” said Phelps remembering how it all started. “He asked me if I wanted to play, so I’ve been playing with him ever since.”
Like many players, Phelps says that it was always his dream to play basketball.
“Me and my friends used to have an eight-foot basketball court that I used to dominate,” Phelps jokingly remarked. “I used to think all the time, this is for me.”
Over the last year, there have been noticeable improvements to Phelps’ game as his shooting percentage has gone up along with his ability to finish inside. He says he’s been dedicating time to his craft so that every time he steps on the court, “It’s just a rush, even if it’s open gym or I’m working out, I just love to play basketball,” said Phelps.
Phelps’ game has truly developed. He is a dominant player at both ends of the court who can finish with contact and is extremely athletic. The Champions Agency signed him a little over a year ago and he currently plays in Mexico.
“I had a lot of doubters who didn’t think I could go overseas and play well,” said Phelps. “I think I proved a lot of people that I am better than what they thought.”
Each weekend, Phelps has proved those people wrong. He has consistently performed at a high level in one of the most renowned and competitive pro-am summer leagues in the nation. “It’s good competition playing against NBA players,” said Phelps. “The summertime is a time to get better, so I feel like as long as I come out here and work I’m going to better myself.”
Phelps’ passion for the game shines through as he has led his team to victories in Weeks 6 and 7. He plans to continue making his mark and most importantly leading his team to more W’s this summer as the competition gets stiffer.
Lauren Jones is entering her senior year at USC majoring in Broadcast Journalism with a minor in Sports Media Studies. This is her second summer interning for the Drew League. Her career aspirations are to work as an esteemed sports journalist and eventually as a consultant for athletes in financial literacy, public relations and brand management. Her past experiences include interning for Yahoo! Sports, the Los Angeles Clippers, BET Network, EAG Sports Management, and Nike EYBL.