July’s weather led to an unpredictable schedule for the Goodman League, as several games were canceled or delayed because of rain. When it didn’t rain, high temperatures forced the league to wait until nightfall to start games.
But the League salvaged whatever moments they could to offer exciting basketball for the faithful fans who made their way to the Barry Farms court in southeast Washington, D.C.
According to Goodman League Media Relations Manager Mac Williams, teams that have struggled in past years have retooled or made roster changes to get better, and are now among the league’s best.
“Teams such as Back Yard featuring Brian Chase [formerly of Dunbar High School in D.C. and Virginia Tech University] and other Goodman League veterans like Derrick Payne and Jeff Allen have come out and beaten some of the top teams in the league, and are sending a message that they will be a team to deal with in the playoffs,” Williams said. “But the reigning Goodman League champs, Funk House, has shown the league they aim to repeat as champs.”
Williams described Funk House as a lineup of hard-nosed players who play defense and play together as a team.
“They have players like ‘Pig’ who is the heart and soul of Funk House’s defense and plays with scrappiness,” Williams said.
Williams said even Secretary of Education Arnie Duncan has put together a team that has been winning games in both divisions.
“The team is called Old Heads and they have an old school basketball flavor,” he said. “They play together and play great defense, they pass and share the ball. They play with effort and hustle and have beaten many teams and are vying for the Newcomers of The Year award.”
The final month of the summer has arrived and, as the playoffs approach, Williams said the favorites to look out for are Ariyuan, Back Yard, Funk House and Uptown Elite, along with other teams still in the hunt like On Point, Old Heads, Team Ullico, Taz and the B.F. Crazies.
“August is when teams that are winning may hit a snag or lose players to overseas [teams], NBA, etc., and teams that were written off are now making a run,” Williams said. “I expect this to happen this August so check the schedule and make plans to come and see the games and your team. I predict a crazy August where the teams that are hungry and behind are going to make a run.”