Who owns the Drew League? How many teams take part in it?


Who owns the professional-amateur basketball competition known as the Drew League?

The Drew League is a professional-amateur summer basketball league in Los Angeles. Los Angeles native Dino Smiley is the commissioner of the league, which plays its games on Saturdays and Sundays, and the Drew League slogan is “No excuse. Just produce.”

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James Harden and Kevin Durant in action in the Drew League in 2011

As it turns out, the Drew League is owned by its founder Alvin Lewis. Lewis claims to have founded the league in 1973 “for young men and women out of South Central Los Angeles to learn life lessons via basketball,” according to the Drew League website. For 49 seasons, the Drew League has given the South Central community a chance to see basketball talent from all walks including streetball, college ball, and the NBA. And in return, it has given players from these worlds a community – besides giving itself mainstream popularity.

Teams are comprised of high-level amateurs who have some college experience or are just great rec-league players. Also, professionals, including NBA players, participate in the famous league. In 1990, Ed Reed set a league record with 64 points. Former Los Angeles prep star and Drew League legend Casper Ware Sr. scored a championship-high 47 points in 1987, while NBA superstars such as LeBron James and DeMar DeRozan have also taken part in it previously.

How many teams take part in the Drew League?

As of now, 28 teams take part in the world-famous Drew League.

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DeMar DeRozan and LeBron James taking part in the Drew League last year

The number of teams taking part in the Drew League has evolved over the years. 40 years ago, Alvin Willis established the six-team Drew League, with the games being held at Charles Drew Junior High School on the corner of Compton Avenue and Firestone Boulevard in Los Angeles. Soon, the number went up to ten and in some time, reached its current count of 28 teams.

While the summer is populated by entertaining amateur leagues with an occasional professional player thrown in, The Drew is the best in the West Coast and continues to grow in popularity.

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