Crown League is a 5 week long basketball tournament featuring the best players Toronto has to offer – everything from 15 year olds all the way up to D-League and NBA players. Crown League (brought to you by Nike with House of Hoops) is back for 2017 and its better than ever! ‘Better’ in this case means that it is a sanctioned event for NCAA, CIS and NBA, and that means better players.
We have been going to Crown League for the past three years and each year it gets better: better production and better games. Last night was the first night of the 2017 tournament and it was no exception.
There were 3 great games (every team plays every week) between the 6 teams:
1. Northern Kings vs. 1LoveTO
For me this was the standout game as soon as Brady Heslip from 1LoveTO hit three consecutive 3s to cement the lead. There was no coming back for the Northern Kings. We sat next to a very proud Northern Kings mom (her son is only 15 and did see a little playing time).
2. CIA Bounce vs. 6Man
Lots of dunk attempts in this one, lots of drives to the hoop, but it was pretty slow overall. Very low scoring and the highlights were lots of spectacular blocks. It was fun to see Ignas Brazdeikis play – we have seen him several times in tournaments around the city and he is filling out and polishing his game more now that he is about to graduate high school. I think we will see big things from him.
3. M.A.D.E. vs. ACE
We bounced before this game unfortunately but based on the highlights I saw it was a good one. Next time we won’t make the mistake of leaving early.
The basketball at Crown League is really good, but I think the best part is the community feel of the event. You are sitting in a very small gym, with limited stands. That means you are right beside the parents/girlfriends/kids of the players and the players themselves. Everyone is constantly running into people they know (shout outs to CanadaGotSole and TheBragAffair) and it makes Toronto feel like a small town, in a good way.