Guest post from Ananth Pandian. Follow him on Twitter.
Walking up Commonwealth Avenue in Allston on Saturday at midnight you will be treated to the sounds of packed bars and the occasional LMFAO pumping neon highlighted party bus. Really the only reason to be out in Allston is to eat some delicious ethnic cuisine then drink the night away. But last Saturday night, Allston had a different meaning for a select group of 100 – the Red Bull Midnight Run.
Sean broke down the very first Midnight Run in Washington DC close to a month ago and the Boston run proved to be very similar. Spread out over four courts at Boston University’s Recreation center, the players responded to on court announcer Mouthpiece’s early proclamation that they should, “represent their hard nose, working class city” by going hard all night long. Apparently one player took this message to heart as he ripped off one of the rims dunking during warm ups.
Although Boston is never mentioned in the same breath as basketball hotbeds like Chicago, DC, or New York City there are a number of quality ballers that come out of the area and many were in attendance Saturday night. From Division 1 players, to semi-pros from the NBL (Canadian basketball league), and ABA, Boston was well represented.
Among the standouts was Dwight Brewington, the former Providence College player, whose hearing impairment (Brewington was born with 60 percent hearing loss) did not have any impact on his game as whatever team he was kept on winning. Also making everyone take notice was “Radio” Raheem Singleton, whose play earned him a trip to the championship game showing why he was the starting point guard for the University of Maine Black Bears for the last two years.
Many of the earlier matches were hard fought as they ended with ties in regulation and had to be decided in sudden death overtimes. Toss in a buzzer beater around 9 pm and you can begin to realize the level of overall competition. But as the night progressed the truly skilled ballers began to stand out as the championship game came down to the wire. The final ten players battled for the entire seven minutes with the winner only being decided in the final thirty seconds. What made the game even more special was that over twenty players stuck around to watch, cheering on their fellow Midnight Run competitors.
With the second round of the Midnight Run slated for September, expect the Boston contingent to be working on improving their game and making sure the other cities not overlook them during the finals.