For the fourth straight year, Nike Toronto has brought Crown League back to the hardwood at Ryerson University; and every year the competition seems to become stiffer, and the atmosphere gets more electric. Coming off of an incredible NBA playoffs, most basketball fans are itching to fill the void that the offseason brings, and Crown League fills that void – and then some.
Crown is not unlike the other massive pro-am basketball tournaments that have been dominating the summer in other countries. Quai 54, EYBL, even the Drew League have been host to some massive stars over the years, and Toronto’s Crown League is no different. Every Friday night for five weeks straight, 6 teams compete in a round-robin style tournament, which ends with the crowning (yeah) of a champion in the final game of the season. In the past, the tournament has seen the likes of players such as Kelly Olynyk, Norman Powell, Corey Joseph, and Brady Heslip. Toronto’s basketball community is ever-growing, but extremely tight-knit, so you never know who may come ball up.
Although the play on the court is already enough to get excited over, the atmosphere and energy in the building is spectacular all on it’s own. The venue is DJ’d by some of the best MC’s in the city, and has live commentary from Toronto’s own Akil Augustine. If you squeeze several hundred hoop fans into a medium-sized gym, bump some tunes, and add in some world class athletes duking it out for one trophy, you can imagine the result.
Something that started last year and has taken-off like a rocket is Complex Canada’s weekly ‘Style in the Stands‘ report. Every week Complex compiles a list of individuals who showed up and showed out with their kicks and their fit. And while it seems like most people are too cool to admit they want to be featured, when you look at the way people are dressing, you know it’s on their mind. Friday nights at Crown have become the stage for some of the craziest fits in the city; so if you come, come correct.
We just passed the halfway point of the 2018 season, but the best weeks are still yet to come – because it’s playoff time. Week 4 (this week) is the start of semi-final action, and week 5 (next week) is when a champion will be crowned (yeah again). You can RSVP through the link HERE to claim your seat and take in the action – and remember, it is absolutely FREE to get in. The first game of the night tips off at 6:30PM, but arrive early so you can grab that court-side seat. See you there!