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Hoop Dreams: Ivy Edition

By Juliet Spies-Gans, Contributing Writer

If you're frustrated with the NBA lockout and craving a game to watch, your solution might be nearer than you think. Later this month, Penn’s historic basketball arena, the Palestra, will hold an event that will showcase NBA players that even Ivy League students might know.

The setup will be simple: Team Philly vs. Team Melo. Team Melo will boast of many of the NBA’s top acts, including the New York Knick’s newly acquired Carmelo Anthony, the New Orleans Hornets’ point guard Chris Paul, the Oklahoma City Thunder’s superstar Kevin Durant, and the player everyone loves to hate, the Miami Heat’s Lebron James. Opposing this formidable group is Team Philly, led by the Phoenix Suns’ Hakim Warrick and the Houston Rockets’ Kyle Lowry. Unfortunately—or at least in my opinion, as yours truly hails from Los Angeles—Kobe Bryant has turned down an offer to join Team Philly.

A piece of the profits from this showcase will go to local Philadelphian charities. For anyone interested in making the trek to Philadelphia for the 6 pm tip-off on September 25th, tickets range from $35 to $50 but are going fast.

Around the Ivies ...

Princeton women’s basketball team is starting off the season by shooting from long distance. A very long distance. The Tigers traveled last week to both Paris and Dakar, Senegal, where they played four games over the course of a week. While freshmen weren’t allowed to participate in this trip, the team was granted an earlier pre-season work-out start than usual, which can be used to every body’s advantage. When they were not competing, Princeton’s athletes spent the remainder of its trip visiting local villages, volunteering at an orphanage, and holding basketball clinics. After winning last year’s Ivy League title, the Tigers hope that they can continue their success this season. The team arrived back in New Jersey on Sunday night.

Across the Charles …

Boston University’s senior Jake O’Brien, the Terrier’s fifth-most leader in blocked shots all-time, received a block of his own on Monday night when he underwent season-ending foot surgery. This was a tough blow for B.U., as O’Brien was looking like the team’s centerpiece for the upcoming season after former star John Holland graduated last May. O’Brien has done well in the past against Harvard, nabbing 18 points and eight rebounds against the Crimson as a freshman, 14 points as a sophomore, and 20 points as a junior. As a result of this surgery, O’Brien will redshirt this season and be granted one more year of playing in 2012-2013.

Around campus …

For the fifth consecutive year, Harvard men’s basketball’s coaches will be holding a coaches clinic free of charge to all Harvard students. This daylong experience will entail watching an actual practice led by coach Tommy Amaker, running drills, and hearing a lecture by Basketball Hall of Fame inductee Larry Brown.

This will take place from 10 am to 4 pm on October 30th. So even though this event takes place the day before Halloween, throw on some basketball shorts and come out. After all, you might even see the scariest costume yet: Harvard students in athletic gear.

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