OBL Crowns Chicago Regional Champion at Hope Academy Athletic Center and Awards $10,000 First Prize
Mario Smith, Yoshi Craig, Grant Anderson Advance to Las Vegas for 2022 OBL Finals in July
Smith, the OBL (@oblhoops) Chicago Regional Champion and recipient of the $10,000 prize, was seeded fourth after a 6-1 record on Saturday. He won the Championship match, 9-8, over Craig, making two free throws to ice the win. Anderson's buzzer-beater over Armani Chaney earned the former Cornell (Ind.) College and Homewood-Flossmoor (Ill.) high school standout third place. All three now advance to the OBL Finals in Las Vegas this summer (dates and location TBA).
"The Chicago event was another strong step forward for us and further proof that OBL will help these athletes get known and noticed," said McGrady. "The energy on the court was intense and the fans made themselves part of the show. Chicago brought the love for OBL and we are grateful."
Smith, 30, the only non-local player at the OBL Chicago Regional, competed at Glen Oaks CC in Michigan, and his pro career has included stints in Mexico and the Mid-Michigan Spartans. He now trains basketball players of all ages.
"I drove back and forth last night once I knew I'd make it through," said Smith, who traveled 2.5 hours each way, both days, to participate.
Craig, 28, played at Iowa Central and Kennedy-King College.
After a successful debut event in Houston (April 30-May 1) and follow-ups in Atlanta (May 7-8) and Chicago, OBL's next regional event is Saturday and Sundayat the Major R. Owens Community Center hosted by New Heights, Brooklyn.
Following New York, the remainder of the regional schedule is as follows:
The OBL Finals will see 18 players (the top three from each region) compete for a chance to win a $250,000 grand prize and be crowned "Ruler of the Court."
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