"It's All About The Game"
Harrell hails arrival of Xtreme Basketball Xhibition
Ron Bailey, Publisher
Lonnie Harrell is giving players a chance to keep their dream going.
September 20, 2011 – A veteran of collegiate, professional minor
league and exhibition basketball ranks, Lonnie Harrell has had his ups
and downs in the sport, experience that has developed knowledge first
hand of the sport's business side. Accordingly, he knows what it feels
to be on the proverbial periphery of the sport, i.e. playing organized
hoops post high school, some for money, yet not quite getting his big
Of this vision, which took him “four years to make it complete”, Harrell realized “skills can be a showcase”.
Lonnie Harrell coaching hands-on during a recent First Class Sports Academy session.
According to Lonnie, himself a talented and tricky guard/forward as a
player, the XBX will allow “One hundred top players from around
the country to compete in Olympic style competition”: Harrell is
presenting hoops track and field style, with competitors competing in
shooting, ball handling, dunking, one on one, and skills challenges. Teams
will consist of five players per team, but compete individually. Squads
will accrue points, and the team with the most points wins, just like
track and field.
Harrell sat down and broke the game down into components like good players
do, understanding some are good at certain aspects of the sport. Why not
allow them to showcase their ability/skills, and via sponsorship (ala
skateboarding and some track athletes), get paid doing so?
Additionally “XBX will feature an “Expo where related global brands and local businesses will showcase and sell merchandise”.
The main event will take place November 11th, 2011, again at Capital Sports Complex. Both this and the qualifier are expected to boast players from around the country.
“Some guys are good at something, others something else” said Harrell of the different specialties players have in the game of round ball. Just like a track meet or skateboard competition, XBX allows these specialists to do their thing, with the possibility of earning some money doing so though sponsorship: Speed guys don't necessarily compete in the mile race during a track meet. As such players primarily skilled in shooting will not attempt dunking in XBX play.
Harrell just may be on to something. Hugh ‘Baby Shaq’ Jones, one of XBX’s initially sponsored participants, is a guy who thinks he his.
“Anything Lonnie puts together is a good idea” shared Jones of Harrell’s business plan and vision. “As long as I’ve known him, he’s always had a plan”.
Jones, an outstanding finisher who takes no prisoners and is a fellow
And One Tour veteran, indicated his experience with Harrell is extensive,
as “I grew up watching him play”, including stints as “L-Train
(college) and Prime Objective (And One Tour). He paved the way for me”.
First Class Sports Academy Notes:
Those interested in a young person in their life being taught how to play the game, First Class Sports Academy stands as an option; in an after school format (2-630p M-F) and also during summer break, Harrell teaches the game from a player's perspective.
"I teach how to score" said Harrell of his focus. "We do drills, but they are based on game situations".
During a recent session, his young charges (elementary/middle school aged) displayed impressive moves and counters, all of which were taught hands-on by Harrell.
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