I’m still trying to keep up with everything going on in OKC Central. Earlier this week, I was contacted by Avery Stevenson, Jr., founder of The Cage, a series of basketball contests at the downtown public court at Reno and Hudson (across from the Myriad Gardens). It’s a pretty cool wet up, where The Cage basketball league films every game, posts stats for everyone to follow on facebook.com/thecageokc, has a DJ playing clean positive music, and an MC that does live play by play action.
Yes, it’s family friendly. Which is great. And while I was unable to participate in activities Friday night on Film Row, I really hope to be at the court tonight. Stevenson envisions The Cage is becoming the venue for the best basketball players in OKC to showcase their talents and build a fan base, much like the legendary Rucker Park is for New York. But Stevenson notes The Cage is not only basketball. It’s a family event where they have giveaways not only to players, but also the people who come out for the experience.
The fun starts tonight with a cook-off with free food for the first 100 people who arrive. The games continue every Sunday evening through September 22, with the final week featuring a championship game. Each night features three games at 7:30 p.m., 8:30 p.m., and 9:30 p.m. Combine this fun with the latest Twilight Concert at the Myriad Gardens featuring the Hi-Def Howlers starting at 7:30 p.m., and downtown offers yet another great evening as enjoy this incredible August weather.
Here the press release with provided to me by Stevenson, who I hope to meet myself tonight:
Slick Athletics is excited to announce the 2nd annual tournament of the premier outdoor basketball league in downtown Oklahoma City, The Cage. With the arrival of the Oklahoma City Thunder, Oklahoma has quickly become recognized for the sport of basketball. However, Oklahoma has been a hot spot for high-level basketball for a long time. According to Matt Lombardi’s article Top 25 Most Successful College Basketball Teams of the 21st Century, Oklahoma State University ranks 24th and University of Oklahoma is in the top 20 at 19th. Division 1 schools in Oklahoma have always had a very high success rate for basketball.
The University of Oklahoma boasts 41 former players being drafted to the NBA and Oklahoma State University has 35. Oklahoma has 10 junior colleges, 10 NAIA universities, 9 Division II colleges, and 4 Division I colleges with basketball programs in the state. That’s over 30 colleges in the state producing high-level basketball talent and offering opportunities for players around the nation to get an education while playing the sport they love. But what happens after that?
Oklahoma City finally has a centralized street ball scene for players to compete under the shadow of the beautiful Oklahoma City skyline.
Founded in 2012 by Avery Stevenson Jr of Slick Athletics, the first annual tournament at The Cage was a huge success. Stevenson says he is looking forward to making the event even bigger this year. Constantly pursuing new opportunities for the sport he loves, Stevenson has earned the honor of representing Oklahoma in the Red Bull King of the Rock World Finals at Alcatraz in San Francisco for 2011 and 2012. He is currently looking forward to representing Oklahoma for the third straight year on September 27th.
Outside of his street ball experience, Stevenson played NAIA basketball at USAO before going on tour with the Harlem Superstars across the east coast of the US. Upon returning to OKC in 2012, Stevenson was set on creating a stage to showcase the undiscovered talent of OKC basketball players, as well as a family-friendly community event to enjoy the excitement of the raw street ball style of basketball.
With the new focus on reviving downtown OKC as a family destination, the Myriad Gardens playground, and the Devon Sunday Twilight Series in the Myriad Gardens across from The Cage, there is an ever-increasing amount foot traffic back and forth by the court, which is located on the southwest corner of Hudson and Reno.
For more information, to enter a team, or sponsorship opportunities, visit our Facebook page (facebook.com/thecageokc), follow us on Twitter (@thecageokc), and/or contact Avery Stevenson Jr at firstname.lastname@example.org or 405-698-CAGE.