By: Law Murray
Week 5 at the Drew League was Father’s Day weekend, and in addition to being a day to celebrate influential men, there were exciting moments on the court and in the building.
The last game the night before Father’s Day featured A.P.N.G. getting their first win of the season with help from former USC QB Matt Leinart. Leinart made his Drew League debut a memorable one, scoring 15 points in a 76-71 win over #Juglife. Leinart had his son Cole at the game, and afterwards, he got to meet #Juglife Coach and former pro player Olden Polynice.
“Pleasure meeting you Matt and your son. You were the Player of the game,” Polynice tweeted after the game.
“Thanks man! You made my son’s night!” Leinart responded.
Another team looking for their first win, C.A.B.C., got help from 7’6” center Mamadou Ndiaye from California-Irvine. Ndiaye teamed up with Mychel Thompson to help lead C.A.B.C. to a 69-65 win over Hank’s Cheaters 2. Thompson’s brother Klay came to the game along with their father Mychal, the top pick of the 1978 pro Draft.
Father’s Day weekend featured four overtime games, after there were no overtime games played during the first four weeks of the season. Saturday saw the Jaguars defeat LA LOOP 90-81 in OT, but Sunday was OT special. Three of the seven games needed extra time, starting with a 78-72 double OT game that saw Salvatori’s Nova Stars defeat Soleclinics. The very next game saw Sky Ryse defeat the previously undefeated Cheaters 83-80 after a Lillard-like game-winning three-pointer by Josh Gordon in OT. And Robin Hood Project’s Marc Wilson hit a Hail Mary of a three-pointer to force overtime against Hank’s Panthers, but the Panthers pulled out an 81-79 victory.
Nick Young, who presents his squad M.H.P. this season, was a part of another memorable Father’s Day game as his team took on the Stingrays. Coaching with his son on the sideline, Young witnessed his team win a back-and-forth battle that wasn’t decided until Robbie Robinson’s three-pointer rimmed out for the Stingrays. M.H.P. won 85-82 behind 24 points and eight rebounds from Victor Rudd, surviving another huge scoring output from Robinson (28 points).
Finally, the last game of Father’s Day featured La Familia and Hank’s Houdini’s All-Stars. The game started 100 minutes later than originally planned, yet there was still a good crowd present. The game was a complete mismatch: Houdini’s All-Stars were ticked about their loss to Hard Times in Week 4 and took it out on La Familia, torching them early, often, and late, shooting 67 percent from the field. Garrett Nevels hit five threes and finished with a game-high 23 points in his season debut to lead Houdini’s All-Stars to the biggest blowout of the season, 99-58 over La Familia in a game that didn’t end until 8:45 Sunday night.
In all, it was a great weekend to be at the Drew League, and a Happy Father’s Day once again.
Law Murray is in his fourth year in Los Angeles via Philadelphia. He has been at grad school at USC’s Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism since 2012, and graduated from California University of PA in 2009 with a degree in communication studies. Law has also served two years in City Year and covered the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Russia. He specializes in breaking down teams and players on a variety of media platforms.