It was only fitting that the two last games of the Washington D.C. stop in the 2012 Red Bull Midnight Run weren’t decided until the final moments. The action had been hard, aggressive and intense all night, and in one of those night-capping matchups, Kelly Beidler tipped in an offensive rebound at the buzzer.
Across the gym on a neighboring court, an epic double-overtime thriller finished with an incredible defensive stand by both teams. After three hours of basketball, one thing was clear: dwindling down a crowd of 100 players representing the area’s best hoops talent will be difficult.
Along with Chicago, New York and Boston, Washington D.C. housed Red Bull Midnight Run on Saturday night in the nation’s capital 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.
Whether you were Corey Allmond -- a former NCAA record breaker at Sam Houston St., or Mike Anderson -- an athletic, 6' 8" forward from the NBA D-League’s Dakota Wizards, or even Baby Shaq -- the famed streetball player and reigning Red Bull King of the Rock champ, didn’t matter. What mattered was whether or not you could impress John Wall. Washington’s NBA centerpiece was on hand to help scout the talent, and even got so hyped up that at one point during the middle of a game, he screeched at Virginia Beach’s 6' 8" Ralph Hegamin Jr., asking for his name.
Wall didn’t stop there.
“He don’t like to miss,” he pointed out about Allmond, the man who once set a Rupp Arena record by hitting 11 triples in a game against Wall and Kentucky. “His shots don’t even hit rim.”
But perhaps the best team of the night was led by two snipers named Jamal Haywood and Anthony Williams, a squad that featured no one taller than 6' 2". Yet because the entire starting five had played together since they were in middle school -- along with the help of Kevin Durant, they also won the famed Goodman League in D.C. last summer -- they functioned like a professional team with pinpoint passing and shockingly-accurate outside shooting.
They actually didn’t lose a game until the former Manhattan forward Christian Jackson beat them with a tiebreaking triple from the top of the key.
“The talent level here was great today,” Jackson said afterwards. “Guys played hard. Everybody got along.”
Red Bull has selected the top 100 non-professional basketball players from NYC, DC, Boston and Chicago to represent their city in Red Bull Midnight Run. Over the course of two rounds, the 400 players will be narrowed down to 32 to play on their city’s team in the finals.
- More info at the Red Bull Midnight Run site
- Find out which 35 D.C. players advance to Round 2
- Red Bull King of the Rock 2012