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June 13, 2008The Deveroes Summer League has grown to become a Cincinnati Tradition for summer basketball. Ever since it was created in 1986 by Dennis Bettis, Butch Burbridge, Ralph Lee and Derek Davis, the Deveroes Summer League has been providing the University of Cincinnati basketball team, as well as other area colleges, with a chance to improve their basketball skills against other good players in an organized environment.
When the league began, it was simply for the players. Whether any fans showed up or not, the league was simply meant to allow local players to test their skill level against the top competition from the area. Since the league was held in the often unbearably warm Woodward High School gym, fans were scarce. However, that didn't stop the players from coming out and competing.
Noon McCluskey Chevrolet vs Brick Street
1pm Clovernook Health Care vs. Stan Litz Law Office
2pm Cintas vs Game Day Communications
3pm OHC vs John H. Flessa Law Office
Bye: Slats, Goodies Barbecue Restaurant
Since the early nineties when the league started to garner more attention, the talent level has increased tremendously. The attendance of the league has grown as well. The average attendance for a game is anywhere between 900-1,000 fans.
Over the years, the league has hosted numerous NBA players such as Corie Blount, James Posey, and Nick Van Exel, as well as many local college favorites. As the league continues to grow, more and more fans come out to see not only their favorite schools' players compete, but to see some of the legends of Cincinnati basketball who still return each year to challenge the young guys.
The now NCAA sanctioned league kicks off its 23rd annual season on Sunday, June 15th at Woodward High School, the original home of the league, and the hype is perhaps as big now as it has ever been. With the recent struggles of the University of Cincinnati men's basketball team, many fans are anxious to come see the nationally ranked recruiting class that they hope, along with the returning players can return the Bearcats to the glory days of the program.
Incoming freshman Yancy Gates, Cashmere Wright, Dion Dixon, and Junior College transfer Steven Toyloy will all be playing on team SLATS along with Deonta Vaughn and Mike Williams. The remaining players will be divided up amongst four teams. Alvin Mitchell and Kenny Belton will be playing for John Flessa Law. Rashad Bishop and Nick Aldridge will be playing for Clovernook Health Care. Darnell Wilks and Larry Davis will be playing for Goodies BBQ, and Anthony McClain will be playing with Brandon Miller on OHC.
While most of the returning players will all be in action on the Sunday, SLATSwill not make their debut until Saturday June 21st at 4 p.m. when SLATS goes up against CINTAS in their first game of the DSL.
The season is scheduled to run until July 13th, and the post season tournament begins on July 15th. The championship game will be held on July 26th. Admission to the games is free, but a small donation is requested at the door.
Stay logged onto BearcatLair.com for the most complete coverage of the Deveroes Summer League.