Over 200 players made their way to the Copper Box Arena for the men’s division at the London Qualifier with the best of British talent from throughout the London region coming out to show and prove they have what it takes to make it all the way through to the MM finals at the end of the month.
Former MM Winners such as Tayo Ogedengbe, Karolis Stepanaviciuis, Perry Lawson, Sam Toluwase and Leon Bennett-Harris joined a stellar group of pro’s and semi-pro’s from the capital in establishing what looks set to be an ultra-competitive O23 2014 competition. The Show & Prove courts were so heated, there were several well-respected players with international pedigree who never even made it through to the Elite Court.
“Names and what you’ve done in the past won’t get you through at Midnight Madness” boomed resident ‘Voice Of Reason’ Nhamo Shire. “You’ve got to bring your game to the battle. You can’t buy your way in, speech your way in or sneak in through the back door – this is a free event for all the players – the only currency that matters here, are your skills. Can your skills pay the bills?” he continued.
Players were amped.
Notable players who turned heads early and often who made it through to the Elite Court included Lukas Volskis, a skilled 6’0 point guard who controlled play for successive wins while showing he still has a nice outside jumpshot. Standing 7 ft tall, Lee Greenan made his successful debut at Midnight Madness with strong play inside, showing solid footwork and a soft touch in the hoop. The ‘twin towers’ combination was completed with 7’0 Zak Wells also making his first trip to Midnight Madness a successful one, showing good mobility, rebounding and ability to finish around the rim in qualifying through to the Elite Court and then on to the next round of the competition.
Once the Elite Court got underway, it was Ogedengbe and Greenan who finished up on top of the leaderboard at the end of the competition with 19 and 16 BWB points respectively, however Idominik Efeotor was perhaps the ‘surprise’ player of the day displaying a mix of athleticism, hunger and determination that would not be denied on the day. He was duly rewarded with a Golden Ticket pass through to the next round on 23rd August at the All-Nighter.
Overall London leader, Tayo Ogedengbe said “I’ve been playing pro overseas in France last season so it’s good to have Midnight Madness back as it gives me an opportunity to remind everyone here at home that I’m back, new and improved. I’m looking forward to the next round”.
Complete scores from London Qualifier Pro/Am Division (top 15 automatically qualify for the next round):
|Ranking||First Name||Surname||POSITION||BWB Score|