The basketball court at The Gregory School in Tucson has become a summer sanctuary for middle school hoopers.
Thats where former Wildcat basketball player Corey Williams runs the Tucson Summer Pro League, which began as a mens league 20 yeas ago. It became a kids league in the mid-2010s.
They just enjoy playing basketball, Williams told KGUN. So much is made about club [teams] and training, and all that stuff is great as far as player development. But sometimes, kids just needs to get out and have fun and enjoy the game. And thats the atmosphere we try to provide here.
Two new Wildcat guards made it a star-studded atmosphere on Saturday.
Incoming freshman KJ Lewis and Alabama transfer Jaden Bradley were named celebrity coaches for the day.
One day I was in this position, somebody was helping me out, telling me what to do, giving me feedback, said Bradley. And just being able to do the same thing is a blessing.
Once, I was in these little kids shoes, playing in little leagues like this, said Lewis, who attended elementary school in Vail. Im here to try to help out. And you know, we all love the game of basketball.
As a kid, I cant imagine what its like, Williams said. Cause in a few months, theyre gonna turn on the TV and see these guys playing. So its just a great thing and were really fortunate we can add that to the league this year.
Lewis and Bradley are roommates this year, still getting to know each other and their new teammates.
I think we got more of an edge, more of a dog mentality, Lewis said, when asked to compare the new-look Wildcats to the 22-23 team. I think were a little bit more athletic this year. Were gonna bring excitement.
Theyve already done that for the families and kids at the gym on Saturday.
The Tucson Summer Pro League features 12 teams, supported by different local sponsors. Ten to 13-year-olds play in three different divisions, with games taking place on Saturdays and Sundays through mid-July.
Social media posts show the TSPL previously had incoming womens basketball transfer Salimatou Kourouma and two-time NBA champion Craig Hodges as celebrity coaches this summer.
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