Game 1 of the best-of-three series took place in Venice Beach in Los Angeles on Sunday, May 8, with L.A. winning 59-55. They won game two by a similar margin, topping New York 58-55.
The People’s Games is a new concept that provides the common man an opportunity to live out the dream of representing their family, neighborhood and city in athletic competition against rival cities.
Both L.A. And New York held open tryouts to formulate their teams. The only requirements were that the player be 18 years of age or older, be a resident of the city they are playing for, and have no professional basketball experience.
The New York team was coach by Kicks legend, Earl “The Pearl” Monroe. The roster included Omari Phipps, a 26-year-old Queens resident who went to St. John’s Prep and now attends York College. He currently coaches for a league program called Higher Ground where kids from under-served neighborhoods can join a basketball league at a bargain or reduced price.