It’s been a long time, but Los Angeles’ number one pro-am basketball league is back. The Drew League returns this summer for its 48th season at St. John Bosco High School in Bellflower. Although there’s a new location, the motto remains the same: No Excuse, Just Produce.
There are some other changes this year, though. We’ve got some new teams added to the mix along with old favorites and former champions. MHP, led once again by Nick Young, is back to defend their 2019 championship, while teams like the Franklin Session-led Public Enemy and Redemption, with Jonathan Gibson at the helm, return to complete their unfinished business from a season ago.
The two divisions have been renamed as well. In 2020, the Drew League family was saddened to lose two of its most cherished members: Dejean “DeDe Smooth” Prejean and Dr. Tamara Smiley Hamilton. The new division titles are now named the DeDe Smooth Division and the Tamara Hamilton Division in their honor.
As the action tips off Saturday at 10:30 am, fans will see the return of the Nationwide Blue Devils, Black Pearl Elite, Pandas, Problems, Hometown Favorites, Citi Team Blazers, No Shnacks, I-Can All Stars, C.A.B.C., and Tuff Crowd, along with some new additions and a surprising return. After a multiple year absence, the legendary Cheaters have returned, while new teams include Undisputed, Saints, and BBB — and yes, that is exactly the BBB you’re thinking about.
The last year was tough, but the Drew League, which has lasted through nearly 50 years of social upheaval, lockouts, uprisings, and the pain of loss, endures. Here’s to the 2021 season; we’ve missed you. Welcome back.