Upon entering the basketball courts at Boston University’s Fitness and Recreation center for the second round in Boston of the Red Bull Midnight Run, the first thing that comes to mind is the 2008 adidas Kevin Garnett “Boston is a Brotherhood” ad campaign. The 35 players that made the cut from the first round’s 100 are all familiar with each other from playing around the city so
dap and hugs are happening all around the gym as everyone warms up.
Why shouldn’t the players be happy? They made the first cut and got some new Reebok kicks, and a backpack stuffed with an UNDFTD Red Bull Midnight Run hoodie and Red Bull Midnight Run water bottle. It’s a jovial mood and the energy is high (yet loose) and this all carries over to the opening group huddle where on court MC Mouthpiece begins to explain the rules.
Instantly someone jokingly heckles Mouthpiece for wearing a shirt from the Chicago stop of the Red Bull Midnight Run. Mouthpiece fires back that all of the other cities are already discounting Boston. This quick little exchange changes the mood for the rest of the night with everyone gunning to make the final eight and show the other cities that Boston is not to be overlooked. With a trip to play in the new Brooklyn Nets arena (the Barclays Center) on the line, the night’s games were physical, and hard fought.
After the first couple of games, Boston’s elite eight began to take form, featuring some of the stars from the first round. “Radio” Raheem Singleton (University of Maine) continued his stellar play from the first round, literally taking over two games straight, knocking down three after three and finishing at the rim with ease. It took Corey Connor (Bridgewater State’s all-time leading three-point shooter) a couple of games to get warmed up but once he did, he was shooting lights out, leaving defenders shaking their heads. Eric Downie, who recently finished second at the Boston stop of the Red Bull King of the Rock, seemed to solidify a spot on the final Boston team with all-around excellent play throughout the night.
Boston will be fielding a team with strong jump shooters and ballhandlers but the lack of height could be the team’s undoing. But anything can happen in basketball, and if their shots are falling, the teams from New York, Chicago and D.C. will be in a lot of trouble.
Which city do you expect to win?
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