The VBL World Championship was an exciting thriller that lived to its tremendous hype. All year long, Brand Black showed dominance and they put themselves in prime position to come out victorious. But from the opening tip, the resilient Hall of Fame boys were not ready to give in.
From the jump, Brand Black employed a veteran lineup that featured Beast, T-Will, Young Fab, Captain Jack, and Boss Closs, an imposing starting five to begin the game. T-Will, aptly dubbed “King Hustle,” solidified an incredible MVP season by attacking the basket with toughness. Hall of Fame weathered the early knockout attempt by Brand Black, who got even more contributions when their reserves got involved in the action.
After an early charge from HOF’s B-Towns, Kwame “Freak of Nature” Alexander got it going. Despite being absent from the lineup the past couple of weeks, Freak of Nature did not miss a beat attacking and making ridiculously athletic plays at the rim. He converted on 7 of his first 10 buckets and had a crazy dunk that sent Rob Summers to the bench at the start of the third quarter. Even with the Freak of Nature’s inhuman antics, HOF refused to quit. Brand Black needed another x-factor to come out victorious.
Enter: Boss Closs. The seven-footer had a field day both protecting the paint and scoring down low. When Big Shak was on the bench, HOF did not have another big who could contain the former NBA vet. He made life a living hell for HOF around the rim and closed the game with 10 points, 5 rebounds and 7 blocks! But once again, HOF found themselves in the thick of things heading into the final chapter.
Let’s take a stroll down memory lane to see where Hall of Fame’s confidence materialized…
Way back in Week 6, after defeating Sun Block, Justin “YahDee” Archie boldly claimed that he and his Hall of Fame teammates wanted to face Brandblack. They had heard enough of the hype and wanted a stab at the undefeated giants of the VBL.
With a championship contest featuring these two teams on Sunday, a better storyline couldn’t have been written considering all of the brewing trash talk from both camps. Hall of Fame got their wish on the grandest stage of them all; Ron Beals’ Day.
You could tell Hall of Fame was aware of the moment and the opportunity they had to do something great. So with only 7 men suited up, they attacked the basket with reckless abandon, despite Beast and Boss Closs protecting the paint. All of their top players stepped up and took on the challenge.
Archie showed no restraint after suffering a minor ankle injury during the semi-finals. He finished with only 4 points but had 6 rebounds, 4 steals, and 3 assists. A typical Archie-game. His point guard play was important for HOF’s offense.
Hassan Stevens (10 points) looked a bit frustrated on the court as he couldn’t quite find the angles to score when he penetrated to the hole. But he fought through a tough night and played physical basketball.
Rob Summers, despite getting posterized, finished with 13 points and was not afraid to play against Beast and Closs.
B-Towns was the major spark plug for Hall of Fame, playing the sixth man role beautifully. Every chance he got, he was out in the open floor pushing the ball, setting up players, and scoring in unique ways. He sliced and diced his way to a game-high 23 points (off the bench).
When the fourth quarter hit, the entire crowd was wary of a potential upset. After Archie’s steal late in the fourth quarter, HOF took their first lead of the ball game. But Brand Black, like all summer long, was not fazed by the moment. Leon Gibson aka Colossus found T-Will for an easy lay-up to recapture the advantage. But with a chance to ice the game, King Hustle was at the line for a free-throw…Clank.
The ball caromed off the rim and HOF secured the board for one final play. With 5 seconds left, down two points, Hall of Fame could either go for the tie or complete one of the greatest upsets in VBL history with a game-clinching triple.
The inbounds play, as suspected, was going to Archie. Then, it happened…King Hustle snuck in and made the game-saving steal for Brand Black. Just like that, HOF’s title dreams were crushed and the celebration was on for the boys in black.
A spectacular season deserved a spectacular finish. T-Will, the 2014 VBL MVP, delivered it for his squad. Ron Beals Day saw the completion of perfection for Brand Black, the new world champions.