by Curtis J. PhillipsCanada's Basketball Historianwww.frozenhoops.comFort McMurray AlbertaPhone - 1-780-743-4853
If you are a fan of high-scoring basketball games, make sure to check off January 28, 2007 on your calendar, for that's when the American Basketball Association circus...oops...I mean 2007 ABA All Star Game grabs the spotlight at Halifax's Metro Centre.
The calibre of professional basketball, to be honest, will be third tier as the best North American players are already showcasing their talents in the National Basketball Association, NBA Development League and Continental Basketball Association.
Majority of these ABA All Star players come from community college or NCAA Division II or III programs.
Unfortunately, the odd are that the closest any of these players will ever get to an NBA court is by purchasing a ticket...make that one in the nose bleed section for their salaries are third-world.
What you will see though , is athletes playing the game for love and living dreams.
What you will see is a high-scoring game with plenty of three-pointers jacked up...attested by previous ABA All Star Game scores: 163-149 (2004-05) and 161-138 (2000-01).
There are several interesting stories in this collection of 26 players.
San Diego Wildcats' Cardell Butler will showboat is skills he learned from his days as a AND1 player while Atlanta Vision's 6-foot-8 Robert Martin will display his monster dunks courtesy of a 40-inch vertical.
Detroit Panthers Kantu Davis is no stranger to crossing the border for pro hoops as he was a 1999-2000 second-team league all star for the Black Hills Gold (Rapid City, South Dakota) in the International Basketball Association which featured teams in Saskatoon (Saskatchewan Hawks) and Winnipeg (Winnipeg Cyclone).
Arkansas Aeros ' made it to the NBA doorstep by playing the D-League way back while Wilmington Sea Dawgs' Cedric McGinnis hope his ranking in the Top 20 players in semi-professional basketball last year, brings out the scouts,
Would be nice to see his uncle in attendance too...George McGinnis one of the marquee players of the original ABA (1967-76).
Also hitting the court at the Metro Centre will be Quad City Riverhawks Lonnie Randolph who while playing for Drake in the NCAA ranks hit an amazing 22 of 24 free throws in a game.
Let's hope that The Hollywood Fames' Billy Knight brings some of the teams owners along which include W.W.E. diva Stacey Keibler and three-time NBA champion and 14-year vet John Salley.
Most interesting player perhaps and the one that may bring out the NBA scouts is 6-foot-9 guard Sun Yue of the Beijing Aoshen Olympian.
Playing for this transplanted team from the Chinese Basketball Association, Yue has already put up a couple of quadruple-doubles and is pinpointed to be the starting guard for China at the 2008 Olympics to be held in Beijing.
All of this may sound like Chinese to you but one thing is for sure...there will be plenty of English on the basketball come January 28.
By Curtis J. Phillips