Tag Archives: Basketball

Starbury: The Collection

By David Jordan Jr

Here’s a look at exclusive shoes from Starbury. The Highstepper and the Streetbeat are available at select Citi Trends stores nation wide. Be sure to also visit https://www.Starbury.com/

 

Big Baller Brand INC

By David Jordan Jr
Big Baller Brand. BBB. The Ball Brothers. The Ball Family. There is an old adage that says in order to do big things you have to first visualize yourself doing big things. The path always taken is not always the right path. There are many different ways to get to an intended destination. Lavar Ball has had a vision for his sons every since they were old enough to hold a basketball and understand that the game of basketball is something that they wanted to do with their lives. Love Mr. Ball or hate him, you must respect him for number one, his love and belief in his sons ability to play the game of basketball and number two his frame of mind to own rather than be owned.
Lavar’s three sons Lonzo, LaMelo and LiAngelo have all made waves in recent years through their on court exploits in Chino Hills, California. Through the AAU circuit playing ball for their father and by also playing collectively at Chino Hills High School, each Ball brother has created their unique intrigue for the media, analysts and fans to become enamored and consumed with in today’s world of basketball. Lavar Ball has not only sought to making sure his kids are in a position to be successful on the basketball court; he has fully embraced the opportunity to create a platform for success off the court with the creation and launching of the Big Baller Brand. Lonzo Ball, the oldest of the Ball brothers recently completed his one and only season of collegiate basketball at UCLA before deciding to take his talents to the NBA.   A sure lottery pick, the opportunity to turn pro is essentially what Lonzo has worked for his entire life and what Lavar has primed him for as not only a coach, but a father. Anytime a player declares for the draft, particularly the NBA Draft, a multitude of opportunities comes his way. Endorsement opportunities from all walks of life present themselves to the next potential NBA superstar. The one constant in recent years has been the signature shoe deal for NBA Draftees. The shoes companies which have consistently been involved with professional basketball over the years (Nike, Reebok, Converse, Adidas and most recently Under Armour) have had a stranglehold over the top talents which have entered the Association. The magic of Lavar Ball is that he totally understood the value which his son(s) not only would have to one of the aforementioned shoe companies but he also understood the value each of them could potentially have to themselves. Enter Big Baller Brand. NEVER has there been a player in any sport that entered the professional ranks with their own brand of athletic shoes and athletic apparel. The greatest athletes of all time which have had their own signature shoe had the rights of their shoe owned by a corporation which dictated essentially everything pertaining to the shoe. Sure some input was allowed from the athlete but in most cases a design team was put in place to put together  the shoe, the marketing plan for the shoe and most importantly the price of the shoe. Lavar Ball has to be celebrated for the fact that he understands the dynamics which factor into the shoe game and how corporations marginalize the person which has the signature shoe while maximizing the profit that comes from that same shoe.The Ball brothers and their father Lavar have been the victims of extreme ridicule and hate for being visionaries and game changers with ambitions as they have launched their own athletic brand. There are no rules which says a person has to follow the norm; conformity is what hinders not only people but ideas and in the world of business ideas and growth it is what creates dollars and cents.
Lonzo Ball is a potential top three pick in the 2017 NBA Draft and with that stamp shoe companies began clamoring after his signature once he declared for the draft. The genius of Lavar coupled with the design of the “ZO2” by Lonzo shook the entire shoe world; this happened because many looked at them as “How dare they create something on their own and not do what everybody else is doing” and then the price tag of $495.00 also created other discussions amongst people. So many people have been quick to say “he hasn’t proven himself” and that the price is “ridiculous” but the real question is who are these people to make these statements? So many people in the world (particularly the United States of America) get so caught up in labels and what everybody else is buying, wearing and driving that they are easily influenced and see nothing else. The fact that a black man has the mind and ability to go his own route in an industry as crazed as the athletic shoe industry has infuriated so many individuals. There have been countless journalists and reporters in the media that have not simply made judgements and remarks about Lavar’s Big Baller Brand, but have made personal attacks on Lavar, his family and how he parents his kids. The personal attacks on Lavar are totally unfair, yet they are not uncommon when it comes to black parents which have played a major role in their child’s development as an athlete. Richard Williams, the father of tennis superstars Venus and Serena Williams encountered much of the same resentment and backlash nearly twenty years ago for being a vocal father and having such a strong belief in his daughters and their athletic abilities.

Richard Williams with his daughter Venus and Serena Williams

Lavar has taken things a step farther with the creation of an athletic line, totally disregarding what other think he should do by pursing and financing his own corporation. The investment in one’s self will determine the potential return; Nike invested $90 Million dollars in Lebron before he stepped foot on a NBA court and in the years since he signed with them has made billions of dollars in profit off of his signature to endorse the Nike brand. The money invested by the Ball family into themselves has the potential for endless financial returns.

I applaud Lavar Ball for being a trendsetter within an industry which has had total control over the athletes which have propelled it to astronomical levels with not only notoriety, but also financially. The price tag of the ZO2 is what many claim to be dissatisfied about but the anger and resentment is deeper; the majority of people are upset that the Ball Family has chosen their own “LANE” to achieve success.

IV.

By David Jordan Jr

2016 is quickly coming to a close and with the exiting of this year, the basketball world saw the departure of four of the games greatest players. Kobe Bryant, Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett and Tim Duncan each retired from the NBA, nearly closing a gap of the era of active basketball players that were apart of the spectrum which actually played against Michael Jordan (Bulls Era) and Magic Johnson. Stephon Marbury (another link to this era and Class of 1996) has been continuing his professional basketball career abroad in China and has continued to achieve greatness on and off the basketball court. ESHE has put together a photo essay of unique images from the careers of Duncan, Garnett, Bryant and Allen.

A FREE WORLD | DCTG Sportswear

By David Jordan Jr
With the changing of the seasons, it’s only appropriate that the Wave GOD (Chris Douglas-Roberts) blesses the world with the releases of his much anticipated fashion collection, DCTG Sportswear.1v2a4423_massive

“Don’t Cheat The Grind” is not only something you wear; it’s a way of life, a way of living and maximizing one’s self to the highest level. Sportswear that is composed of not only fabric, but experiences has enabled  CDR to connect with the world on a unique level. The life he has lived has cultivated his perspective, which is clearly visible in the pieces in the collection. Simplicity and heart are what stand out when it comes to connecting with people. Style is something that you create and with each unique piece from the DCTG collection, one is able to create their own dynamic style.1v2a4198_massive DCTG Sportswear is unique in the fact that it enables us all to be apart of the something bigger than a label. We are all grinding through life for a purpose. Some people know their purpose early, others realize their purpose in the midst of their grind, but one thing is forever true; the grind reveals who we are as people.

Chris Douglas Roberts on the DCTG Sportswear Fall 2016 Collection –

As far as the mood: I’m creating a world. That’s what iconic street brands do. Create worlds that the people live in. Invested in. That’s how they become loyal supporters. I don’t like calling them customers. It’s a cool laid back world they can be themselves and feel comfortable in. A free world. DCTG™ Sportswear is a confidence too. No boundaries just positive vibes, love and acceptance. 1v2a4162_massive

As far as the personal gratification: I put my heart in it. I’m happy with it and that’s all that matters. I know the product is tight. I know the world I’m creating. I feel I’m a lot more advanced than a lot of “rookie” designers at this point.1v2a4623_massive I’ve only been in fashion for a year. This is my very first collection. I’m late with this release since its already considered Fall, but I’m going to get better. Like I said in a previous interview, my shit will be one of the hottest brands on the streets. And we aren’t going anywhere. I’m not chasing any trends. I’m not whoring the brand out by sending it to my famous friends. I can go through my Rolodex and ask for favors. Ask my famous friends to take pictures in my shit and post it, but fuck that; thats lame to me. I’m building this from the ground up. I want you to wear it because you like it. I’m going to stay true to DCTG™ Sportswear. I’m going to make shit I like, that I’ll wear, that’s stylish. The stylish people will find us. 1v2a4638_massive

 

WHO: DCTG™ Sportswear fashioned by Mason and Chris Douglas-Roberts.

Mason | IG @mai.mason

Chris Douglas-Roberts | IG @montecristo_ritchie

Photographed by Ashley Nguyen | IG @ashleyanp

WHERE: Venice Beach, California

Shop DCTG™ Sportswear By Clicking The Link http://www.wavegodtourmerch.com/collections/all

A Wave Supreme

By David Jordan Jr

Chris Douglas Roberts .CDR. Wave GOD Supreme. The evolution of a person is life. For Chris Douglas Roberts, his humanly evolution is one that has allowed him to become totally in tune with the nuances of life, things that have enabled him to not only grow as a person, but as a basketball player, a business man and humanitarian of self inspiration.sdsd Life’s experiences and circumstances, both good and bad present the opportunity for a person to grow. Hailing from Detroit, Michigan, CDR is no stranger to witnessing the things life will present to you on a platter in day to day life. The “D” is stamped on the soul of the Wave God and it’s ever present in not only his basketball game but in his aura. The University of Memphis and former head coach, basketball Hall of Famer John Calipari presented the belief and platform for CDR’s basketball career to fully develop and enable him to reach the highest levels of professional basketball in the NBA and internationally playing FIBA ball in Italy. The journey, not the destination is what makes a man, what develops a man. The success which CDR has enjoyed collegiately (Consensus 1st Team All American) and in the NBA has been equally mirrored by the unexpected roads of inexplicable difficulties the same game has brought his way; nonetheless his passion and love for hoopin’ is what has inspired him to go even harder.ijlhnjhnj Many times our setback are reaffirmations of what we are doing and reaffirmations of what we must keep doing. In addition to his basketball career, CDR has been equally as relevant in the forever evolving world of fashion. Seeded in his genes from his mother, the love of fashion and everything that fashion entails is the roots for his DCTG™ Sportswear collection. Hands on with his collection, we get the true feel for the Wave God Supreme through the pieces created and the forthcoming pieces coming out in the fall. Totality is a word that can accurately describe the Wave. Going forward forever without the inclination for stopping. Recently CDR spoke with ESHE Magazine about DCTG, his basketball career and his life experiences:

ESHE Magazine: First of all I want to say congratulations on the DCTG (Don’t Cheat The Grind) Collection. The concept and foundation is something that you’ve taught us about not only through your words but through your actions; in your workouts, in your career and in your life. When did you actually decide that you wanted create this clothing line? Was it something that developed over time with your life/career experiences or was it something that’s been inside of you and came full circle with opportunity and timing? 

CDR: Thank you. DCTG™ Sportswear. It’s a separate entity from “Don’t Cheat The Grind™.” I really want to clarify that to everyone. Don’t Cheat The Grind™ is the movement. A lifestyle. DCTG™ Sportswear is a lifestyle too, but DCTG™ Sportswear is its own presence. Not just a logo on some clothes. My upcoming fall collection will really cement that. I’m really super focused on it. I feel this will officially make me a designer. I’m releasing five hot pieces for this collection. Shit hard too. As far as how it all happened…style has always been a part of me. My Mom is very stylish. She always had things. Rings, coats, boots, necklaces etc. My Mom raised me so her sense of style is in my code. I’ve always been into looks more-so than clothes. I’ve always been ahead of the trend. Fashion is basically having an eye for the next thing. The next trend that people will follow. I have an eye for that and I know what looks good.  I see beauty in detail that I feel people can’t see. For my photo shoots I focus on the beauty more-so than my clothes. Finding the beauty is key. The look is what’s most important to me. My third eye has been open for years now. When you think of Preme you think of trendsetter and sauce. Look around, there will be no more big shorts in five years. It’s above the knee or you’re looking outdated. Go play Live 95 my guy. We can act like someone else brought it back but the Moon and the Stars know who really brought it back. wdfkjwdkljfk

But timing is everything. I’ve always been interested in clothing but I wasn’t ready. I’ve spent time studying the fashion game just like I study hoops. I don’t just do things to be active. I like to be prepared before I go through any door. I really put passion into whatever I’m doing. DCTG™ Sportswear is going to be a street wear brand heavy in the culture. Simply because I’m going to put my life into it. I’m going to outwork and out study everyone until my shit is the hardest on the streets. DCTG™ Sportswear Fall Collection ’16. Inspired by 70’s Rick James. I was listening to “Party All The Time” when I designed the jean jacket. Had the video running and everything. 

ESHE Magazine: During the time that you played in Italy, I know you were able to experience a totally different viewpoint of fashion since Italy is one of the fashion meccas of the world. Was there anything from the culture of Italy that planted some type of seed in you for creating your pieces?

CDR: I was wearing Lanvin & Margiela in like 08-09. Acne sweatsuits and Raf Simons. Jimmy Choo loafers. I had the Balmain high tops all white with the zippers so long ago. At that time people were still wearing Ecko Sports and jeans with colorful designs on the back pocket. I just wore a pair of Margiela’s for the first time in like 4 years. I went in the garage for em. Supreme never wore Louboutin’s ever. Basically I was always ahead like I previously said. Being in Italy just confirmed it for me. Being in Italy did show me the importance of a watch though. Timeless watches. I was introduced to Hublot while over there. I got one a couple years after leaving. You don’t have to have an expensive watch but it has to be official. 

I envision DCTG™ Sportswear being in stores like Mr. Porter. I want it to be high end street wear. The beauty of the era we’re in is you can read on a brand that’s already successful and see what steps they took to get there. I have no shame in that. I like brands like Acne, Boss, Alexander Wang but I also admire brands like Supreme, Stussy. I think those are God street brands. Lazy Oaf is wavy to me too. I’m still early in the game. I gain inspiration every step of the way. Like I said, I’m going to master this craft with the same intense focus I’m trying to master my craft on the court. DCTG™ Sportswear Fall Collection ’16. Rick James. “Give It To me Baby” vibes. I want you to take my stuff to the cleaners. Don’t just hand wash the Sportswear.
ESHE Magazine: One of the things that I’ve noticed is your total involvement with the creation and development of DCTG Sportswear. So many people have a line or call themselves a clothing collection designer yet they are not completely hands on with the entire process. I think your approach validates the authenticity of the DCTG movement. How important is it to you to be a part of the entire process? Describe the reception you’ve received from your supporters.

CDR: Oh no doubt. This is serious to me. I don’t have any sponsors. Don’t want em. No partners. This is me. I’ve build a team and we’re off and running. Every dollar spent is coming from my pockets. Every loss I take, I take it 100% and I wouldn’t have it any other way. If you don’t have ownership then you’re just a worker. I sponsored myself. I’m trying to have the DCTG™ Sportswear building in NYC. Emmanuel Mudiay is face of the DCTG™ Sportswear Sports. Hopefully by the time this is published they’ve announced that he’s First Team All Rookie.

webIMG_0196_original That’s major. I’m gifted with ideas. Those are my riches. Ideas. I then have Raven draw my idea. That’s how the process starts. Everything is built like that. I couldn’t let someone just run my line. To me that’s cheating the grind. I’m involved every step of the way. From production to photoshoots. I’m on these phone calls and in these meetings. Young black boss in and out of LA sitting there with his ripped jeans and Cartiers on talking fashion. I’m spending money and taking risk. It’s not easy and there’s no real security but this is the life I love. 
 
I’m very happy with the reception. The wave is definitely spreading. I’m so grateful for it all. We have steady activity. They really want the shorts.  I’m very grateful for that because I know people don’t have to care. To actually have an audience is something to be proud of. I’m a Detroit kid who doesn’t have any commercials, but I’m creating and selling clothing. No hype machine. All organic non GMO wave. 

 

ESHE Magazine: You were a Consensus All American your Junior year at the University Of Memphis. Talk about your last year at Memphis, the city and the impact Coach Cal had on your development from the time you arrived on campus up until you declared for the 2008 NBA Draft. 

CDR: I fell in love with Memphis immediately. I’ll always call Memphis my second home. The people took me in like their own. It made the transition much easier.  Also I’m from Detroit. Memphis is very similar. It’s like down south Detroit. So I could be in the south Memphis projects one day with my homie Andre Allen and it felt like home to me. Same kind of love and environment. I got a Memphis Tiger ring made last summer. It’s my favorite ring period. Tiger for life. Memphis' Chris Douglas-Roberts (14) throws down a dunk over UCLA's Kevin Love during second half action in an NCAA Men's Basketball Championship Final Four semi-final game at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas, Saturday, April 5, 2008. Memphis defeated UCLA 78-63. (Jeff Siner/Charlotte Observer/MCT)

Coach Cal is the Don. If Cal tells me you aren’t right then you aren’t right. No questions asked. Anytime Cal is around I’m in underboss mode. That’s our relationship. I hold him in that high of a place. If it weren’t for him I probably wouldn’t be doing this interview. He believed in me. That’s all you can ask for in this world. It’s only a couple people I won’t feel disrespected by if they cut me off while I’m talking, Cal is one of them. All hail Coach Cal The Don.

ESHE Magazine: As a professional you’ve experienced it seems every possible scenario a player could; playing your best at the highest level, being inexplicably benched or released, injury and just the every day up and downs of being a professional athlete. Describe your passion to keep pushing forward DESPITE and also how every experience from playing internationally and in the NBA has shaped your mindset as not only a player but as a person?

CDR: It’s simple. I love this shit. I love the grind. I love the pain. Man this has made me into one of the cold ones. Imagine the stuff y’all don’t know. I love being counted out. I love being told I’m not good enough by someone who never hooped. I love running on the treadmill. I love putting in work. I love it. I know people have quit when they reached certain obstacles that I’ve overcome. I feel bad for em, but I love knowing that I’m not them. I love every challenge. I will never fold. I’ve reached a point where I’m looking forward to a new struggle. I have to stop that because that’s what manifest in my life. I approach life like a video game. I want to conquer the hardest board. Where is the hardest board? I’m not scared of shit. I’ve felt the worst pain I thought I could last year with the Pelicans.ijlhnjhnj It took me 6 months but I overcame that. Now I’m look at me I’m unstoppable. I conquered my ego. I’m free. Nothing phases me. People say that but they don’t mean it. I really mean it. Nothing outside of me can influence how I feel. The jokes only on me if I want it to be. They’ll never see me in person anyway to have an opinion. I’m not sharing my energy with just anybody anymore. I’m The Supreme.

ESHE Magazine: Whenever somebody asks me where the best players I’ve ever played against come from, Detroit is one of the places I always say. For those that don’t understand, describe Detroit hoopers.

CDR: We have game and we know it. That’s our gift and our curse. Our confidence in ourselves. Weird right? The thing about confidence is how it’s received. Real ones view confidence as a positive and become inspired by it. Non real ones view it as arrogance. And those people are offended by it because that’s the energy they lack, in some cases. So it’s all in the eye of the beholder. Nothing changed. We’re still here. But we’re like the Rhino’s we damn near extinct. They trying to extinct us but we’re resilient. Major love to all my Detroit hoopers out there. We not going extinct. 

ESHE Magazine: What’s the best piece of on court advice you’ve ever received and who did it come from? 

CDR: Recently Wave God Sr. 6th man of the year told me make them conform. Never be someone else.sds You’re a scorer be a scorer. Period. At times I be on my point forward wave trying to fill up the stat sheet. He don’t like that. He wants me to be one way. Go get buckets. So if Wave God Sr. say get buckets that’s what I’m going to do. 

ESHE Magazine: What has been the biggest surprise to you during your basketball journey? In what way did it have an impact on you? 

CDR: Realizing that sometimes it may not be about basketball. Growing up in the business will show you. I’ve grown up in the business of basketball. I came out at 21. I had to learn the business on the go. Now I feel I’m knowledgeable of the business. Knowledge takes away stress because you aren’t wondering. You know. I’m more understanding now because I run a business myself. Sometimes it’s not personal it’s about the business or what one feels is best for the business. 

ESHE Magazine: Your personality, much like your game is a rare unique blend of individuality, humility and supreme belief in self. This is something that I feel has played a significant part in your success despite the many obstacles you faced, not only in basketball but in life. Choose 3 words to describe CDR and elaborate on how each word personifies you.

CDR: Wave God Supreme. 

Wave because water is life. Waves keep going no matter what. Waves because life is frequency. Wave because I know how important it is for the body to be electromagnetically charged. Wave because also I’m wavy. I’m cool and do cool stuff and say cool wavy things. Everybody loves when I’m talking my stuff. 
God because we are all Gods and Goddesses. Some of us know some of us don’t. Some of us look outside of ourselves for answers. Some look within. God because I know 98% of our body mass is made in stars. Besides helium and hydrogen every element in my body is basically stardust. I know everything within the entire universe is also within me. Literally. God because I care for all beings. I don’t feel my life is more important than a bee or fly.skdlfjksdjkfl I feel deep compassion for all living beings that are mistreated. I’m here to help others suffer less to protect Mother Nature the Most High. 
Supreme because I’ve reached a place where I’m able to say all of that. 

ESHE Magazine: Words To Live By:

CDR: Don’t Cheat The Grind™. Don’t listen to them because they are all scared. 76ebf805-a295-4816-a219-d844925f3d9a

Hoyas.1996

By David Jordan Jr

(Played in cadence by the Georgetown University Band) Bom.Bom.Bom…BOM BOM BOM BOM.BOM.Bom.BOM BOM BOM BOM, Tip off. This was ritual in 1996. The Capital Centre. Landover, Maryland. Georgetown Hoyas home basketball games. The 1995-1996 Georgetown Hoyas basketball team was one of the greatest, most talented teams to have ever have been coached by Coach John Thompson, Jr.allen-iverson-georgetown-air-jordan-11-concord1 The greatness of this team is not marked by their mere accomplishments alone; this team was great due to not only how they played, but also in the ways this team won games and the teams this Hoyas team dismantled throughout that memorable season. Starting the 1995-96 season out ranked #5 in the country in the Pre-Season AP Poll, the Hoyas would remain in the top 10 through the first 3 months of the season and drop no lower than 14th in the AP Poll, finishing the season ranked #4 in the country in the final AP Poll. 24page450_mediumA team fueled by an imposing defensive presence, the intensity and heart with which this team played with was always present to any viewer that watched them play; whether it was a non conference December ( during Christmas Break) game against Morgan State or a pivotal Big East game against nationally ranked UCONN, these Hoyas brought the same effort and focus nightly, from the starting team captain all the way down to the non scholar shipped walk on. Seeing these games was something to marvel at but each impacting player had the own unique contribution to this team. The wisdom of human interaction and basketball wisdom from not only Coach Thompson but his entire coaching staff enabled this team to come together to pursue the ultimate prize; the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball championship.
To fully understand the dynamics which created the run for that season, one has to have a complete understanding of how Georgetown University basketball came to be Georgetown basketball. 12 years prior to 1996 the Hoyas had won the 1984 NCAA Championship with legendary big man Patrick Ewing manning the post and leading the Hoyas to a victory over the University of Houston and their star center Akeem (later Hakeem) Olajuwon.163293195 This victory not only gave Georgetown University it’s first NCAA Championship (and to date its only NCAA Championship) but this victory also made Coach John Thompson Jr the first black coach to win a NCAA Championship. The time period which this happened was extremely impacting as it allowed for not only a positive light to shine in a city which was being plagued by many different adverse occurrences due to crime and the drug epidemic of the mid 80’s but Thompson’s prominence as a pivotal figure in Men’s college basketball helped him to further establish a foundation for which greatness could always be accessible. A strong black man that sought to make a difference in the lives of his player not only on the court, but most importantly off of the court weighed significantly in the minds of those that would choose to come play for Georgetown University in the following years. A life education, which included time on the basketball court is what Coach John Thompson provided to his players.234744 (1) In the years after the 1984 NCAA Championship, Thompson would have three other teams either reach the title game (1985) or the Elite 8 (1987,1989) but the other teams went no further. The biggest stars of those teams in those years would range from Michael Jackson, Reggie Williams, Alonzo Mourning to Dikembe Mutombo. Team that were exceptionally talented but did not always play to the expectations that preceded them. Every program goes through it’s years of expectations being lofted, whether they were met or not, and with this fact, each season provided an opportunity for Georgetown to be not only as good as the expectations set for them, but to be better then the expectations set for them.
In the fall of 1992 a pillar of the 1995-96 Hoyas team would arrive on the Georgetown campus as the #1 ranked player coming out of high school.237273 Othella Harrington, an exceptional post player from Jackson,Mississippi (Murrah High School) and the next big man in the line of paint controlling players which had come to Georgetown University. A staple of the teams from the 1992-1993 season through his Senior Season in 1995-96, Harrington was not only a consistent option and presence in the paint for the Hoyas, but he also provided extended voice and reasoning of coach Thompson, was evident during the games not only on the sidelines, but also during game play and in on court huddles. Captain was an undeniable role for Othella Harrington on this 1996 team as his experience and leadership enabled him to provide insight and balance for this otherwise young team. The other captain of this ’96 Hoyas team was forward Jerome Williams (later to become the Junk Yard Dog or J.Y.D.) known for not only his high energy and enthusiasm, but also for his high socks which made him stand out even more on the top of the full court press.238634 Williams could always be counted on for changing the pace of the game when Coach Thompson decided it was time to turn up the pressure. Although Jerome wasn’t a first option, he still provided scoring that was timely and essential to the Hoyas attack on the offensive end. Whether it was countless deflections, guarding multiple positions of the opposing team or simply providing a timely smile and reassurance to his Hoya teammates, Williams provided the equilibrium needed to keep the Hoyas pushing forward.
Allen Iverson. All World. All American. The Answer. The engine which made the team go to new heights.georgetown-stuff_1cgga2bi3bczl143x6zxxd3jsh Allen Iverson’s arrival at Georgetown University in the fall of 1994 signaled the “changing of the guard” as his style of play aided in the the restructuring of the style of play which Georgetown had traditionally played; as an inside to outside team, to a team that utilized it’s exceptional guard play to be the catalyst for its success. A great coach adjusts to his talent and this is what Coach Thompson did with the arrival of Allen Iverson. Iverson, an electric guard with an amazing ability to not only score the ball, but to create his own shot was also a dynamic defensive player as well, as he won the defensive player of the year in the Big East his freshman year. A remarkable feat for somebody that was a relatively small guard in a conference traditionally dominated by big men and big guards.classic-photo Iverson’s freshman year averages of 20 points per game, 4.5 assists per game and 3 steals per game were only a prelude to the historic things he would do in his sophomore year, 1995-1996.
Victor Page. If you simply saw Victor Page playing and were not told that he was a Freshman by classification, you would not think he was a freshman by his on court play. A product from Southeast D.C., Page played his high school ball at McKinley Technology High School, leading his team to the DC Championship and earning many individual honors and accolades, among them Washington Post All Metro Basketball Player of the Year.tumblr_m9uujhGZHq1qzc69yo1_500-458x630 Teaming in the Hoya backcourt with Allen Iverson, Page provided another unstoppable dose of offensive power. A smooth left handed stroke, leap frog like jumping ability and tenacity on the defensive end made Page and Iverson and nightmare for opposing backcourts on both the offensive and defensive sides of the court. Also note, Victor Page went on to win the Most Valuable Player of the Big East Conference Tournament in 1996, as a freshman.
The other parts of the team which enabled the greatness of this Hoyas team to happen may not have necessarily been celebrated in the press as much as their more notable teammates, but nonetheless they were as important. Sophomore big man Jahidi White provided the Hoyas with an interior presence that kept other teams honest and as the team progressed in the 1996 NCAA Tournament,310634 Jahidi’s role on the team began to increase on the offensive end as well as he provided another option for the team to use in addition to Iverson’s offensive prowess. Cheikh “Ya-Ya” Dia, Boubacar Aw and Joseph Touomou provided a stabilizing effect for the team whether as occassional starters or pivotal subs, maintaining momentum and dominance established by the starters or providing an inspirational boost with their hustle and game swinging made shots. Touomou always a guy that provided an extra spark defensively off of the bench when Iverson needed a breather and easily disrupted opposing teams offense with his defensive pressure on the ball. 79856134All of these players were molded together by Coach Thompson and played on one string to be a total anchor in a season where they competed against many of the top teams in the country night in and night out. Victories over Villanova, UCONN, University Of Memphis, Syracuse and Georgia Tech, teams which were compromised of All American and future NBA lottery picks solidified the great cohesion of the players playing for Coach Thompson.234108

One of the most notable things about this team had nothing to do with their on court efforts; it had everything to do with how they looked playing the game. Stepping on the court at the beginning of the season in the Nike Air Way Up1993: Georgetown Hoyas' Allen Iverson #3 jumps for a layup during a game. (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Allen Iverson (a shoe that was worn by Scottie Pippen during that 95-96 NBA Season) and then making the smooth transition into the Air Jordan XI, then called the “Patent Leather” Jordans by many at the time these shoes transcended not only the game because of the players they were associated with, but also because of how they were worn. They were a few games in which the players, notably Jerome Williams, Victor Page and Allen Iverson did wear the Nike Air Zoom Flight (shoe of Jason Kidd)pc1xqou14pw5jq4axkmb but the one common staple of the season was the Air Jordan XI. Making the shoe even fresher was how Allen Iverson wore the shoe with the all black McDavid Ankle Braces with no shocks showing, taking the black socks trend set by the Fab Five from Michigan to the next level with black ankle braces becoming fashionable for the high school and middle school kids playing basketball at the time.96510574 Add the kente style uniforms which the team had started wearing in the prior season, the fashionable style of this team was matched by their on court prowess.
The season was marked with key games, both victories and losses over other great teams in college basketball that year. Playing nine top 25 ranked teams, with many players that would later be drafted in arguably the greatest NBA Draft Class Ever (1996) the Hoyas were more than battle tested and proven against any and all. Madison Square Garden seemed to fuel the Hoyas to play not only their best basketball but also was home to some of there toughest, unforeseen losses; whether it was the 81-91 loss to Arizona in the Pre-Season N.I.T. Championship game which saw Iverson score 40 points in the finale or the heart breaking loss to Ray Allen and UCONN in the Big East Championship on a last second, twisted heave from Allen, all of these moments made for some of the memorable instances from this season 20 years ago.ray-allen-1996-big-east-championship
The Hoyas finished the season undefeated at home, going 16-0 and despite the loss in the conference championship game, the Hoyas were heavy favorites going into the 1996 NCAA Tournament to make in to the final four. Crusing past Mississippi Valley State University (a.k.a. Jerry Rice University) in the opening round95670724, the Hoyas defeated New Mexico and Texas Techin route to an Elite 8 Matchup with #1 Ranked UMASS coached by John Calipari and led by College Basketball Player Of The Year, Marcus Camby. A battle from the start, the Hoyas, never shy in effort could never get on a roll to carry Coach Thompson to another Final Four as their season ended that day in Atlanta at The Georgia Dome. One game short of the Final Four, the Hoyas left an indelible mark on the program, but also on college basketball and on the generation of player which came along during that time and after.238980 Many times greatness is not only measure in wins and losses but also in impact and this Hoyas team from 20 years ago left a legacy that is still standing strong in the world of basketball today.