On Saturday afternoon, some of the best one-on-one basketball players from Las Vegas and beyond headed to Sunset Park to compete in the Red Bull King of the Rock qualifier, hoping to advance to the finals held in The Yard on the island of Alcatraz on September 22.
The Las Vegas qualifier drew talent not only locally but from Southern California as well, with players from Los Angeles and San Diego lined up to play starting early in the morning. This included David Vik, a 6’ 11” baller who lives in Lake Elsinore, California. Vik is no stranger to Red Bull King of the Rock, having served as an alternate for the Finals on Alcatraz in 2010, where he advanced all the way the final four on the island.
Unable to attend a qualifier last year, Vik showed up in Las Vegas highly motivated to earn his way back to the island. Standing in his way was Derrick Lemuel, last year’s Las Vegas qualifier champion, who was determined to keep his title.
In order to stop the sheer power of Vik, Lemuel had to rely on fouls, racking up four relatively quickly.
As the heat set in, players tried to pace themselves, but the one-on-one format took its toll with players running out of steam quickly. The wind also picked up, making outside shots especially difficult and making an inside game the best strategy. Vik and Lemuel were able to save their energy, outlast their opponents and wound up facing each other in the final.
Vik employed the tactic he’d been relying on all day -- an extremely physical style of play that emphasized his size and strength as primary offensive weapons. Lemuel countered with quickness and hustle, getting numerous blocks and steals from the much larger Vik. But in order to stop the sheer power of Vik, Lemuel also had to rely on fouls, racking up four relatively quickly. As the game stretched into triple overtime his fifth foul was called, giving the game to Vik, who will now advance to the finals on Alcatraz.
“I shoot well, but with the wind today I just concentrated on forcing my way to the hoop,” said Vik. “I’m really excited to return to The Rock -- I missed the chance to compete last year, and I want to see if I can do better than the final four this time.”