Young NBA star Brandon Jennings promised he would make an appearance on the Goodman League’s original outdoor court before the summer was over. He made good on that pledge during a week of play in the D.C. street ball league.

The 21-year-old point guard, drafted 10th overall by the Milwaukee Bucks in 2009, debuted in the Goodman Coalition indoor league on July 9, scoring 49 points in a game held at Spingarn High School in Northeast Washington, D.C.

But the Goodman Coalition is just an extension of the traditional Goodman League games that are played outdoors, “Inside the Gates” of Barry Farms community basketball court in Southeast D.C. So following his July 9 appearance when Jennings found out that his presence was also requested outdoors, he didn’t hesitate to give the fans what they wanted.

The Compton, Calif. native scored a game-high 36 points for Team Hobo in a 96-91 loss to the Da Squad on July 13. Jennings impressed the fans with his quickness, agility and prolific scoring ability, but he shared the court with former Georgetown University forward and D.C. native Nat Burton, who scored a team-high 28 points for Da Squad.

Jennings gained fame as the first top-rated high school prospect to skip college and play overseas for one year until he was old enough to play in the NBA. He showed the same individual will in his decision to play outdoors. Goodman League commissioner Miles Rawls said some professional players who have never played in the Goodman League before are hesitant about playing outdoors on concrete.

“They’re worried about their knees. I have to let them know that this isn’t the same hard asphalt that they used to play on before,” Rawls said in an interview with FullCourtPressBreakers.com. “ Nike did a $50,000 makeover of the court at Barry Farms last year, so it’s more of a rubber kind of surface.”

Jennings enjoyed playing in the Goodman League so much that he was back indoors with the Goodman Coalition at Spingarn High School on July 16, scoring 44 points in the 5 p.m. feature game, according to Black Wright of the Web-broadcast show Fantasy Sports and Politics.

It remains unclear whether Jennings will participate in the highly-anticipated Aug. 20 showdown between the Goodman League and the Drew League of Los Angeles, Calif., or which side he might join. Jennings has already made three appearances in the Goodman League this summer, but his hometown of Compton is much closer to the Drew League in L.A, so he could be invited to team up with either side if does decide to play in the game.

Wright told the AFRO that TNT basketball reporter David Aldridge also made a visit to the Goodman Coalition at Spingarn on July 16. Aldridge is a D.C. native and has been covering professional basketball for decades, so it was no surprise to see him on location with a selection of pro ballers.

“With the Lockout, I got to see some ball somewhere, so I came down here,” Aldridge told Wright.

Wright told the AFRO that an interview with the DeMatha High School alum will air on the Fantasy Sports and Politics show (http://www.blogtalkradio.com/vichbk) on July 21 at 8 p.m.
 

 

Perry Green

AFRO Sports Editor