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Midnight Basketball League Tips Off July 7

Tuesday, July 07, 2015

 

Mayor Jorge Elorza's Midnight Summer Basketball League starts on July 7th at parks across the city of Providence. 

"Community, opportunity, exercise and fun. We want to unify the community. There will be Work opportunities with the vendors, there are startup business's selling all sorts of things. We want Old and young folks to get out of their homes," said Kobi Dennis, the director of Project: Night Vision, a group that is dedicated to providing inner-city youth with a safer environment. 

Forming the League

The idea to start the midnight league stemmed from Kobi Dennis after he remembered the smile that an older version of the league put on his face when he was younger, he wanted to reintroduce the league and allow it to entertain locals again.

"I remember the Rucker park league growing up and always thought it was great. Late 80’s was the first midnight league and I used to go to the games. There wasn’t much to do in my neighborhood," Dennis said. 

The organization of the league gained traction when Dennis, along with other officials, went to Elorza's office shortly after he was voted into office to speak about possible community events that could unify the people of Providence.

"Myself and 10 other city officials approached the mayor and he asked us some things we could do in town and this was one of many things that we thought would be cool. He said its going to take a lot of blood sweat and tears to put this together," said Dennis.

After all of the hard work that was put in, Dennis and the rest of the league's organizers are primed for a resounding success.

The League

The Midnight Summer Basketball League consists of 32 teams split into four divisions with eight teams making up a division. Each division will play their games at a different park.

The league will play games at Bucklin Park, Davey Lopes Park, Davis Park, and Gano Street Park every Tuesday and Thursday night from 8:00 PM until 12:00 AM until the league's championship tournament on August 8th.  

"We have some pro players, ex college players, 18-47 or 48," Dennis said.

Midnight basketball makes it's return to Providence parks across the city on July 7. For more information on the league and the games, click here.

Photo Credit: Midnight Summer Basketball League Facebook page

 

Related Slideshow: GoLocal’s All-Rhode Island 2014-15 Division I Hoop Teams

Here is GoLocalProv's 2014-15 All-RI D1 basketball teams. 

See the slides below. 

Prev Next

G - Kris Dunn

PC's Kris Dunn was the best player in the state of Rhode Island this season. On the year, Dunn averaged 16 points, seven assists and five rebounds leading Providence to their second consecutive NCAA Tournament appearence. 

"He was a terriffic player, it was obvious as the year went on that he was the best pro prospect in the conference. Considering he hadn't played much prior to this season cause of injury, he had a great year," Friar legend Joe Hassett said. 

Dunn posted eight Double-doubles and one triple-double during the season and led the Big East in assists and steals. Kris Dunn is the first player ever to lead the league in both of those categories. 

Dunn's acolades this season included:

All-Big East First Team

Big East Defensive Player of the Year

Big East Player of the Year 

Prev Next

G - E.C. Matthews

E.C. Matthews led the Rams this season, averaging 17 points and five rebounds per game and leading URI to their first post season appearence since 2010. 

Matthews scored int double-figures in URI's final ten games and 13 of the last 14 while his season high of 27 points came on December 10 against in state rival Providence. 

"E.C. had a great year, adjusted well to being the go to perimeter player for us. He took on the other team's best defender every night and did a good job," URI assistant coach Jim Carr said. 

During the season, E.C. Matthews was selected as a finalist for the Jerry West Award, and prior to the season Matthews was placed on the Bob Cousy Award watch list. 

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G - Dyami Starks

Dyami Starks led the Bryant Bulldogs to their first division one post season win in program history when Bryant beat Sacred Heart in the NEC quarterfinal. 

Starks averaged 19 points and three rebounds per game while shooting 91% from the free throw line. 

In Bryant's 31 game season, Starks reached double-figures in scoring in every game accept for two and had at least 20 points in 11 of those games.

"He was terrific this year on and off the court for us. Dyami had a great career, we are going to miss him," said Bryant head coach Tim O'Shea. 

After the season, Starks was named to the United States Basketball Writers Asscoiation All-District 1 selection. Starks was the only player from the NEC to be selected. 

Prev Next

F - LaDontae Henton

LaDontae Henton carried the Friars offense  this season averaging 20 points and seven rebounds per game for Providence. Henton also posted seven double-doubles on the year.

On March 4, LaDontae Henton reached the 2,000 career points milestone making him only the second Friar everto record 2,000 points and 1,000 rebounds. The only other Friar to do it is Ryan Gomes, the progams all-time leading scorer.

"LaDontae has been terriffic his entire career, especially this year in a good Big East conference that got six teams into the NCAA Tournament. For him to lead the league in scoring is quite an accomplishment," Hassett said. 

Henton ends his Friars career with 2,051 points, making him the second all-time leading scorer in PC history.  

For his efforts, LaDontae Henton was selected to the All-Big East first team this season along with teammate Kris Dunn. 

Prev Next

F - Hassan Martin

Hassan Martin was a force on the URI front line this season, averaging 11 points and eight rebounds per game for the Rams. 

On the year, Martin blocked 103 shots and recorded 24 steals on the season. 

On January 22, Martin nearly recorded a triple-double, pulling down nine rebounds, recording 10 blocked shots and pouring in 14 points in URI's 59-47 win over La Salle.

"For him to not be chosen as the A-10 defensive player of the year is mindboggling," URI assistant coach Jim Carr said.  

Martin recorded eight double-doubles on the year, two of the most notable ones coming in the regular season against Davidson and Richmond. Martin pulled down 16 rebounds in both games. 

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Rookie of the Year

Jared Terrell gets Rookie of the Year honors after starting every game except one and averaging nine points per game for the Rams. 

Terrell's career high 23 points came in a 81-68 win over St. Louis. 

On the year, Jared Terrell averaged 1.4 steals per game for a season total of 46 to help lead URI's lock down defense. 

Other Contenders:

Jarvis Garrett (URI): six points per game, 33 games played, 25 minutes per game. 

Ben Bentil (PC): 6.4 points, 5 rebounds per game, 21 minutes per game in 34 games played

Bosko Kostur (Bryant): 8 points per game in 23 games played, 12 starts. 

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Coach of the Year

URI coach Dan Hurley gets Coach of the Year honors after leading the Rams to a 23-10 overall record and 13-5 in the A-10. 

To put the wins in perspective, in Dan Hurley's first two seasons as Rams head coach, URI only won 22 games.

Under Hurley, URI got back to the post season for the first time since 2010 and won their first round NIT game against Iona at the Ryan Center. 

Under Hurley, the future of URI basketball looks bright. 

Other Contenders

Ed Cooley (PC): 22-12 overall, 11-7 in the Big East. Made it to NCAA Tournament for second straight season. 

Tim O'Shea (Bryant): 16-15 overall, 12-6 NEC. Won first division I post season game in program history. 

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Player of the Year

Kris Dunn is the player of the year in Rhode Island averaging 16 points, seven assists and five rebouds to help lead the Friars back to the NCAA Tournament. 

Dunn is the only player in history to lead the Big East in both steals and assists. 

Now the Friars and their fans wait on Dunn's decsion. Stay in college or go to the NBA?

"I say 50 percent chance he leaves. I think he can be an NBA player. But my advice to him would be to stay in school another year," said Joe Hassett. 

Other Contenders:

LaDontae Henton (PC): 20 points, seven rebounds per game. Led the Big East in scoring. 

E.C. Matthews (URI): 17 points and five rebounds per game. Was named tot he Bob Cousy Award watch list prior to the season starting. 

Dyami Starks (Bryant): 19 points per game. Led Bryant to first division I post season win in school history. 

Prev Next

GoLocal Second Team

Here are five players that made the GoLocal second team. 

G- Joe O'Shea (Bryant): 11 points per game, shot 47 percent from the field.

G- Jared Terrell (URI): Averaged nine points per game, 46 steals on the season.

G- T.J. Buchanan (URI): Averaged six points and three rebounds per game for URI. Provided a big spark and leadership off the bench. 

F- Cedric Kuakumensah (Brown): Averaged 11 points, eight rebounds per game. Recorded 76 blocked shots on the season. 

F- Rafael Maia (Brown): Averaged ten points, nine rebounds on the season. Recorded seven double-doubles on the season. 

 
 

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