SlamBall is back and maybe better than ever.
In case you’ve forgotten what the heck SlamBall is, it’s a form of basketball played with trampolines underneath the baskets with a bit of football mixed it.
It was played sporadically in the early 2000s, with business ceasing on two occasions in the United States – they tried two seasons in China in 2012 and 2016 as well.
However, it was announced last year that the sport would return to the USA after a 15-year absence, and its fifth inaugural season began on Friday, with games seen on ESPN’s networks.
The game has no foul shots – rather, it’s a one-on-one underneath the rim. So as one might imagine, emotions could run high rather quickly.
Saturday’s main event between the Ozone and Wrath got testy. Remember, they wear pads and head protection because you can tackle each other and make some pretty hard contact on slam dunks – it is called SlamBall, after all.
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But the head coaches took exception to what went on, so Trevor Anderson of the Ozone, and James Willis of the Wrath, got in each other’s faces before being separated by a referee and their respective players.
“This is SlamBall, let’s go!” one announcer said.
“This is what we came to see. Let them fight, ref, let them go,” another said before quickly walking it back.
Several former college athletes are in the league this year, including No. 1 SlamBall draft pick Bryce Morgane, who played basketball at Florida A&M from 2017 to 2022.
Raymond Taylor, a former running back at both Tulsa and Oklahoma State, also is in the league.
There’s also a pretty famous coach in Ken Carter – he was the head coach for all three first-place SlamBall teams, winning the league championship in 2002. But you may know him better as the subject of the 2005 film “Coach Carter,” which highlights the coach’s real-life move to suspend his undefeated high school basketball team due to their academics.
All the league’s game are currently taking place in Las Vegas.
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