NBA Hall of Famer Tracy McGrady visits Hollis ahead of inaugural basketball league event

Ones Basketball League
New York City Mayor Eric Adams joins NBA legend Tracy McGrady for an event hosted by the new Ones Basketball League in Hollis on Friday, May 27 2022. (Photo by Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)

NBA Hall of Famer Tracy McGrady took in the sites of Hollis on May 27 with New York City Mayor Eric Adams and Schools Chancellor David Banks. The visit came before McGrady’s Ones Basketball League (OBL) inaugural New York City round-robin tournament at the Major R. Owens Community Center in Brooklyn on Saturday and Sunday.

During his visit to Hollis, McGrady visited the tribute mural of the late Run-DMC member Jason “Jam Master Jay” Mizell, located at Run-DMC and Jam Master Jay Way and Hollis Avenue.

Additionally, he passed by the childhood homes of the members of Run-DMC, including that of Jam Master Jay and the band’s manager and co-founder of Def Jam Records, Russell Simmons. McGrady also spent time visiting local youth groups in Hollis.

“It was an honor to meet with the mayor and the schools chancellor to talk about what we are doing with OBL, but to also get a chance to experience another one of my passions, the history of music, right here in Queens,” McGrady said.

Photo by Jessica Slate

New York City is one of six cities across the country holding OBL’s two-day regional, 32-player round-robin knockout tournament. Athletes in the tournament are aged 18 and up and currently aren’t under an NBA contract and have not been on an active NBA roster for more than 164 games (equivalent to two NBA regular seasons). Participants come from a combination of open-sourced video submissions and the advice of basketball insiders.

The aim of the event is to welcome both best-in-class talent and players who may still be under the radar of most basketball fans. While this year’s inaugural event only features male athletes, there are plans to include female athletes as soon as 2023. Prior to New York City, OBL held its first event on April 30 and May 1 in Houston, Texas. In addition to New York City and Houston, the other OBL events will take place in Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C.

Each regional tournament winner will receive a $10,000 cash prize and an invite to the finals, which will see the top three players from each region compete in a 21-player tournament. The winner of the finals will be named “Ruler of the Court” and receive a $250K grand prize.

Some of the notable participants in the New York City OBL event included two time Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) first team selection at Iona College Mike Glover; Atlantic 10 and Met Area Rookie of the Year at Fordham Jon Severe; former NBA player for the Brooklyn Nets and Utah Jazz, 2010 G League all star and third all time leading scorer at Archbishop Molloy High School in Queens Sundiata Gaines; and former NBA player for the Milwaukee Bucks and Memphis Grizzlies and 2015 G League all star Xavier Mumford.

The $10,000 prize winner at the New York City event was NBA G League player Isaiah Brown. He, along with second and third place finishers Zach Radz, formerly of Sacred Heart University, and Darien Davis, formerly of Dowling College, will compete in the OBL Finals, set to take place in Las Vegas this July.