Along with Chicago, DC and New York City, Boston hosted Red Bull Midnight Run on Saturday night at Boston University for the first of two sessions that will take the 100 invited players first down to 35 and then the final, lucky eight. The goal is to get to Brooklyn as one of those eight and have a shot at representing their city in the ultimate: the Finals on November 17th.
Spread out over four courts at the BU Fitness & Recreation center, the players responded to on court announcer Mouthpiece’s early proclamation that they should, “represent their hard nose, working class city” by going hard all night long. Apparently one player took this message to heart as he ripped off one of the rims dunking during warm ups.
Although Boston is never mentioned in the same breath as basketball hotbeds like Chicago, DC, or New York City there are a number of quality ballers that come out of the area and many were in attendance Saturday night. From Division 1 players, to semi-pros from the NBL (Canadian basketball league), and ABA, Boston was well represented.
Among the standouts was Dwight Brewington, the former Providence College player, whose hearing impairment (Brewington was born with 60 percent hearing loss) did not have any impact on his game as whatever team he was kept on winning. Also making everyone take notice was “Radio” Raheem Singleton, whose play earned him a trip to the championship game showing why he was the starting point guard for the University of Maine Black Bears for the last two years.
Many of the earlier matches were hard fought as they ended with ties in regulation and had to be decided in sudden death overtimes. Toss in a buzzer beater around 9pm and you can begin to realize the level of overall competition. But as the night progressed the truly skilled ballers began to stand out as the championship game came down to the wire. The final ten players battled for the entire seven minutes with the winner only being decided in the final thirty seconds. What made the game even more special was that over twenty players stuck around to watch, cheering on their fellow Midnight Run competitors.
With the second round of the Red Bull Midnight Run slated for September, expect the Boston contingent to be working on improving their game and making sure the other cities not overlook them during the finals.