Nike’s 3 on 3LA Live at Staples CenterSports — By Maurice Dwayne Smith on August 16, 2011 at 7:25 am
By Maurice Dwayne Smith
Occasionally, by accident, one stumbles upon a discovery or has to “settle” for an alternate plan, and those occurrences are the events that have saved lives, such as the inventor Graham Bell, and Dr. Pasteur, discovering the telephone and the pasteurization process, respectively. I stumbled upon the 3rd annual 3ON3LA.LIVE basketball tournament at Staples Center, in downtown Los Angeles, on August 6, 2011. Much to my chagrin I was unable to find The LA Clippers Open House event that day and in retrospect, it was a very uplifting experience.
I found amateur men and women from all walks of life, playing basketball ball at this extravaganza. It consisted of live musical entertainment, with both sides of Figueroa Blvd packed with endless basketball tournaments, food, and just good natured fun abounding everywhere .In fact, many kids were seen enjoying a sweet Saturday afternoon. The gems that I discovered in the rough that day were a team of amputees that were wearing, “$6 million dollar- man type” prosthetics, and playing at an extremely high skill level. They called themselves Amp1; they are an all amputee team that consists of young men who have lost a limb because of a devastating injury, or cancer. In addition to their surprising athletic prowess and nimble dexterity, their goals are to continue playing not only nationally, but also they plan on winning and beating non-disabled players, and also forming a professional league of amputees basketball player. These talented basketball gurus are also ambassador’s of good will to both disfigured veterans from the war, and also angels of mercy to the newly formed amputees , who have been devastated by the Haiti earthquake.
Surprisingly enough, I met also both the former UCLA,ex- New York Knick great, and now successful playoff winning coach of The Memphis Grizzlies, Henry Bibby and LA Sparks Hall of Fame player, Lisa Leslie, during an autographs signing session. Mr. Bibby was also promoting his accidental “invention” which he uses in his training camps-The Dribblepro. According to Marlon W. Morgan, in an article posted at January 20, 2011, on-line at www.commercialappeal.com, Mr. Bibby was conducting a training session and the basketballs that were in his possession became very lumpy from the boiling sun. He liked how it made his players use their hands. Thus, he had the basketballs’ design and marketed in the shape that the sun formed them. The rest is history. Henry Bibby and Lisa Leslie, declined to comment on the the NBA lockout. However, the former New York professional expressed great optimism for the upcoming year. “We had success without Rudy Gay, one of our best players and now,” said, Henry Bibby, “We’ll have him back healthy when play does resume.”