Much of the area's top basketball talent will again gather at a west Omaha gym for what has become the best offseason league around.
The seventh year of the Metro Summer Basketball League kicks off Thursday at Omaha Sports Academy, 11726 Stonegate Circle, with many of the same faces expected to show up again.
Players from Creighton, UNO and area colleges join a handful of professionals and some of the top players that will play at the collegiate level next year in the eight-week, 20-team league.
Jason Isaacson, director of the league, said getting all that talent together under one roof in the summer creates a competitiveness rarely seen in the offseason.
“All the college coaches love to keep their guys in the gym,” Isaacson said. “For the summer, it's as close as you can get to a real game.”
Former Omaha Central guard Deverell Biggs is the only current Husker on a roster thus far, but Isaacson said Biggs has told him that others could come at different points in the summer.
Some had wondered if second-year head coach Tim Miles would send more Huskers to the league, but that idea seemed to “fall through the cracks” after initial discussions, Isaacson said.
Biggs' Bank of Nebraska team is the league's defending champion and returns a majority of its players from last year. Former Husker Wes Wilkinson and ex-Creighton standout Justin Carter are also on the Bank of Nebraska squad. Both have played professionally overseas.
The defending champs should get a push from an Andy's Lawn & Landscape team made up of four ex-Huskers. Jason Dourisseau, John Turek, Andrew Drevo and Charles Richardson all played for Nebraska in the mid-2000s.
The teams play at 7 p.m. Thursday.
As of now, two-time All-American Doug McDermott of Creighton is not on a roster. Isaacson said that with McDermott's summer schedule, it didn't make sense to take up the roster spot.
All games are free to the public.
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