This past Sunday, July 27th, EBCRuckerPark and LineRocket Entertainment brought Harlem to Prospect Heights, Barclays Center, in the infamous EBC America Celebrity Backetball Challenge (hosted by Power 105.1’s Breakfast Club). The Entertainer’s Basketball Classic (EBC) has been around since the 80s and it is one of the world’s largest streetball tournaments. The basketball tournament is known for having many celebrity guest appearances, nick-naming the participating basketball players with funny Hip-Hop culture references and for bringing people together.
As someone that lives in Harlem, I have always heard about this tournament, since I was in middle-school but, never attended the event. My awesome cousin, Maria, won two tickets courtesy of, “Ashley Outrageous,” and passing up on this opportunity was not an option!
The event was set to start at 4:00PM but, in true CP-Time the event actually started at 6:30PM. While the audience waited for the competition to start the audience was being amused by young performers that go by the name, “Kings of the Dance-Floor.” While the dances were really cute and this organization most-likely keeps these children from engaging in activities that are not condusive to their growth.. some of the dance moves were a little too mature. But, still cute and well-deserving of praise. After that, the tournament was not ready to start so, the hosts suggested a twerk-off contest.
He asked the ladies in the audience if anyone wanted to participate and two brave women took turns gracing the Barclays arena with their assets. Although it was odd that anyone would volunteer themselves to shake what their momma gave them in front of thousands of people, for fun, it was quite entertaining.. and, for a second it took everyone’s mind off of the fact that they were running late!
Elle Varner, sang the national anthem. The players were finally ready and the competition started! It was a slow start, with each side (NY vs. LA) consecutively missing shots but, the energy started picking up after the third quarter. Big Sean made the first performance appearance and he sang some of his hits but, it was evident that his break-up with Naya Rivera hit him hard as he changed the lyrics to his verse in, “All Me,” from, “my new girl is on Glee,” .. to, “my old girl is on Glee.”
After the Big Sean performance, Maria and I decided to take a trip to the very exclusive Press Room/Interview Room, courtesy of my friend Dennis Gonzalez (thank you again for letting me charge my phone)! I stood next to Busta Ryhmes and watched the interviews take place with Jadakiss, LL Cool J, Fabolous, French Montana, DJ Clue, Troy Ave and more. They discuss how the EBC games have impacted their lives and influenced their careers. They also spoke on the status of Hip-Hop/Rap today. It was truly amazing to hear these rappers talk about how important it is to support community events and leave inspiration with every-one.
The DMV team, represented by Wale, ended up winning the basketball tournament. It was a fun event, it was different and I am glad I finally got to experience such a classic and historical event. And, to make my night even better, Elliot Wilson gave me a shout-out on his social media pages and, I got to take a follow-up selfie with Khloe Kardashian’s beau, French Montana. We took one last summer at SUPPER CLUB in Hollywood so, I thought it’d be fun to make it a yearly tradition. (Note: He is a really tall man, I keep cropping his forehead out of the picture.. sorry for that):
French Montana and I at the EBC America Celebrity Basketball Challenge, Summer, 2014
French Montana and I at SUPPER CLUB: Hollywood, Summer 2013
**Also, in attendance: Teyana Taylor, Joey Ba$$, Stalley, Kendrick Lamar, Maino