The King of Kings Life Development men's summer basketball league will again present many of the best players in the Utica, Syracuse and Albany-Schenectady areas, as the season tips off with a doubleheader Monday starting at 6:30 p.m. at Utica College.
This fourth season of King of Kings will see current Division I players from Syracuse University, Siena, Binghamton, Canisius and Colgate participate as the league has been certified by the NCAA, making Division I players eligible.
The league's players include former Division I players and several with professional experience in Europe. The majority of players have played at at least the Division III or community college level. Eight teams make up the men's league: five from Utica, two from Syracuse and the other from the Albany-Schenectady area.
Doubleheaders will be played every Monday and Wednesday through August 3, with playoffs beginning Aug. 5. Games will be played at Utica College through June then at Mohawk Valley Community College beginning July 1 and finally at Proctor High from July 20 through the end of the season. Admission remains free, but the league will accept a $2 donation at the door. Opening night proceeds will benefit Coaches vs Cancer. Other charity nights are planned as the season progresses.
Here is a rundown of this year's teams with some of the players on the rosters:
Prestige Elite of Syracuse won the league in 2007 and were runners-up in 2008. They come loaded this season with the addition of four Syracuse Orangemen: freshmen Brandon Triche, Mookie Jones and James Southerland and sophomore Scoop Jardine. They join team veterans 6-11 Marcus Douthit , 6-7 Lativia Escho and league MVP Mike McCluskey.
Five One Eight is from the Albany area, and is expected to have at least two current Division I players whose teams made the NCAA Tournament last season: Tiki Mayben of Binghamton and Edwin Eubiles of Siena. Also expected to play again this year ares 6-10 former University of Texas player James Thomas and former Purdue guard Willie Deane, both of whom play in Europe.
Greater Grace has added former SU star Billy Edelin, who helped the Orange win the NCAA championship. Some of his teammates will be these former college standouts: Scott Knapp (Siena), Jon Ferris (Canisius) and Joe Smith (Hamilton).
Streetz Officalz won last year's title by defeating Prestige Elite in the finals. They are led by former Tennesse-Chatanooga star Jerice Crouch, who plays in Europe.
Utica's Da Bombers have some of the city's top players in Deandre Preaster and Rameel Lockwood, along with former Herkimer Community College standouts Robby Marshall and Geoff Brown.
Shorty's is led by Ithaca College Division 3 All-America Sean Burton.
The Gunnas' core of players helped Proctor High win back-to-back Section 3 Class AA titles. PJ's All-Stars will be led by 6-10 Dan Pascale of Colgate along with Pat Goodman of Utica College and Dave Golembiowski of SUNYIT.
UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - The King of Kings Life Development Program, an annual summer basketball league based in Utica, is ready to re-start at Utica College, and once again the talent level has increased thanks to NCAA certification that allows current Division I players to participate.
In addition to local talent like Holland Patent's/SUNYIT's Dave Golembiowski, Whitesboro's/Utica's Pat Goodman and Notre Dame's/Ithaca's Sean Burton, three Syracuse University-bound freshman will play this year: Brandon Triche, who Jim Boeheim says will be the Orange's starting point guard this season, Mookie Jones and James Southerland. Sophomore Scoop Jardine, who sat out last season due to injury, will also play.
In addition to providing entertainment for the community, the league promotes everything from voter registration to SAT preparation for high school players at the games. More information plus the schedule can be found here.
The following is a press release sent out by King of Kings board of directors member Paul Lomeo: