HOUSTON and NEW YORK — May 2022 — Ones Basketball League (OBL) — an elite competition that celebrates the most skilled one-on-one players on the planet and created by Basketball Hall of Famer Tracy McGrady – today announced a content partnership with SHOWTIME Sports, the newest media distribution relationship for the start-up league.
Under its highly successful SHOWTIME® Basketball brand, SHOWTIME Sports will distribute a behind-the-scenes, all-access documentary feature for its YouTube channel capturing the story of this season through the eyes of Tracy McGrady. SHOWTIME Sports will also produce short-form digital content for distribution across its social networks from the remainder of the inaugural OBL season through the league’s Las Vegas Championship in July.
“The production and creative team at SHOWTIME Sports knows how to build and tell stories like no one else, and the detailed background and exciting drama we have already started to capture with OBL makes this content partnership a perfect fit for us,” McGrady said. “The team at SHOWTIME shares our excitement for putting a spotlight on one-on-one basketball and all of the great action, rich stories, and hyper-competition that flows from the game.”
“We believe in Tracy’s vision and are thrilled to be working with the OBL on their inaugural season,” said Brian Dailey, SVP, Sports Programming & Content, Showtime Networks Inc. “This collaboration embodies the SHOWTIME Basketball brand — premium, bold and boundary-pushing. We are delighted to welcome Tracy and the OBL team to our unmatched lineup of content and talent.”
“The early results of our proof-of-concept season look good, we love what we see on the court, and so does SHOWTIME,” said Jeffrey Pollack, OBL strategic advisor. “This content partnership with SHOWTIME Sports came together quickly and further validates Tracy’s vision for shining a bright light on the essence of basketball and celebrating the vibrant talent and culture that fuels the one-on-one community.”
SHOWTIME Sports joins SLAM Media, Playmaker and Heart and Hustle Productions’ as initial production and content partners for OBL.
Six cities across the United States are hosting a two-day, regional, 32-player round-robin knockout tournament with athletes aged 18 and up who are currently not under an NBA contract and have not been on an active NBA roster for more than 164 games (equivalent to two NBA regular seasons). The participants come from a combination of open-sourced video submissions and the advice of basketball insiders. The aim is to welcome both best-in-class talent and players who may still be under the radar of most basketball fans. The inaugural events this year will feature only men, and women will be welcomed as equal participants as soon as 2023.
The regional tournaments scheduled for the rest of the OBL season are:
New York City, May 28-29
(Major R. Owens Community Center hosted by New Heights, Brooklyn, NY)
The DMV, June 4-5
(The St. James, Springfield, VA)
Los Angeles, June 18-19
The winner of each regional tournament will take home a $10,000 cash prize along with an invitation to the Finals, which will see 21 players (the top three from each region) compete for a chance to win a $250,000 grand prize and be crowned “Ruler of the Court.” The regional winners from the first three events include: Glen Rice Jr. (Marietta, Ga.), Antonio Hester (Miami), and Tiras Wade (Tampa) from the Atlanta regional; John Jordan (Houston), Matt Kiatipis (Austin by way of Canada and Simon Fraser University), and Myron Taylor (Killeen, Tex.) from the Houston regional; and Mario Smith (Kalamazoo, Mich.), Yoshi Craig (Chicago), and Grant Anderson (Chicago), who took the top three places this past weekend in the Chicago regional.