Game Attracts Big Talent to Amateur Basketball League

Game Attracts Big Talent to Amateur Basketball League

The rapper brings NBA stars to LA's South Central neighborhood.

Published July 16, 2011

Former G-Unit rapper Game is taking advantage of two indefinite delays—of his album R.E.D Album, and the NBA lockout—to give back to his community in Compton, California. The rapper is serving as coach for the Drew League's Go Ham basketball team, and he's called on some professional hoopsters to the court. So far, Game's team has recruited NBA rookie Derrick Williams, the Lakers' Ron Artest and Kevin Durant. Game still has his eye on Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose to round out his starting lineup.

According to Game, it wasn't always this easy to get the heavyweight talent on the South Central court. In the beginning I had to sell something like, ‘If you play on the team, I’ll go wherever you’re from and we can do a show or something,’ as a favor to him,” Game told Yahoo! Sports. “But now the word on the Drew League is everywhere, and guys are hitting me up to play.”

The Drew League—which has attracted NBA players before, but never at this level of talent—has games every weekend at Leon H. Washington Park near Watts that are free to spectators.

Even though playing ball is taking up most of his time these days, don't expect Game to give up on the rap game anytime soon. “Being a rapper is definitely cooler,” he said. “People don’t even know some NBA players. If you ain’t Kobe [Bryant] or Carmelo [Anthony] they might just walk past them and say, ‘Oh, you’re tall. What do you do, play basketball?’ As a rapper, you get all the perks.”

(Photo: Earl Gibson/PictureGroup)

Written by Smriti Mundhra

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