MONTEGO BAY, St James — Montego Bay's best streetballers put on a great show last Saturday at the Montego Bay Sports Complex as they battled to earn a place in the local finals of the Red Bull King of the Rock one-on-one basketball tournament - and ultimately to play in the world's most Notorious prison yard, Alcatraz.
This was the first of two qualifiers, the second scheduled for this Saturday in Kingston, which will see the best one-on-one players face off in the local finals on Saturday July 28 for a chance to win US$1,000 and to represent Jamaica at the grand international finals on Alcatraz Island, San Francisco, this September - which comes with an attractive US$20,000 prize purse.
Le'Var Rose emerged champion when he bested Jermaine Rerrie 12-10 points in the final round of the event. Rose, Rerrie, and four other players - Don Cameron, Howard Daley, Jason Blake and John Murray - also advanced to the local finals.
The event incorporated the normal one-on-one basketball set-up where players went head-to-head on an outdoor court, using a single elimination tournament bracket. The rules and scoring were the same as regular hoops. Players engaged in four intense half-court games simultaneously, with each game having its own referee, court manager and scoreboard.
In 2010, Red Bull King of the Rock went down in history as the first official sporting event ever to be held on Alcatraz and the first time basketball had been played on 'The Rock' since the inmates left the island over 50 years ago.
Now in its third year, the global one-on-one basketball tournament will return with the most competitive field to date and Jamaica's best streetballers - through the two qualifiers and local final - will be vying for one of the 64 spots in the international finals on September 22 in the world's most notorious prison yard.
Red Bull King of the Rock is open to amateurs and pros alike and players may be either male or female but must be 16 years or older. Participants under the age of 16 will need to have a parent or guardian present to sign a waiver at the qualifier. There are no pre-applications to participate. First to come is the first to rule the court.