Home » Columns » Currently Reading:


June 20, 2003 Columns No Comments

Oakland All-Stars give AND 1 Tour a Bumpy Ride

by Nicholas Lozito

Lonnie Harrell stands amongst a small group of reporters in the Oakland Arena’s media room. The 30-year-old forward has paid his dues since graduating from Northeastern University, having spent time in the cities of Huntsville, Tampa Bay and Rapid City, playing for teams named the Flight, Thunderdogs and Thrillers. His wrist is bandaged, keeping the first-year And 1 player known as Prime Objective from participating in the night’s Oakland tour stop, scheduled to kick off in about 15 minutes.

On an overhead television, Jason Kidd and Tim Duncan duke it out in Game 4 of the NBA Finals. Below, the band of reporters shower Harrell with questions about his basketball career, present and past, avoiding the obvious question.

“You guys always ask me, ‘Why aren’t you in the league? Why aren’t you in the league?'” Harrell says. “You know I really can’t answer that question because you never know what a G.M. might think. It takes one person to like you. If you’re not lucky enough to get picked in the draft, then the road to get there is a tough one. It’s a long one. If you want it you’ve got to be persistent, which I am.”

For now, Prime Objective roams the countryside along with the rest of the And 1 Mix Tape Tour squad, presenting America with its latest craze – streetball. Currently working its way down the West Coast, the tour – made up mostly of East Coast players – has upgraded from last year’s sold out high school gyms to this year’s semi-packed arenas.

Each tour stop brings new meat, handpicked by the And 1 crew during a pre-game open-run competition in the arena’s parking lot.

For And 1’s Waliyy “Main Event” Dixon, the nation of challengers is nothing new. After all, a dunk over Main Event would just about secure anybody a spot on the tour bus.

“Main getting dunked on is nothing,” he says. “I mean, I’ve dunked on so many people, and there is only one person who has ever dunked on me – I was 15 years old – and that was (Greg) ‘Big Country’ Ostertag. So, you know, it’s nothing. I don’t see it happening again anytime soon.”

On this night, however, it’s a guarantee that nobody will be dunking over Main Event, as the 6-foot-5 Linden, New Jersey native is out for two more months after breaking his leg in a December car crash. Despite his absence, America’s streetballers aren’t hesitating to challenge the rest of the And 1 cast.

The tour invaded Sacramento’s Arco Arena three days prior to the Oakland stop, and the end result was a Sactown spanking, dealt out by the likes of And 1’s Hot Sauce, 50 and AO.

“Honestly, I thought Sacramento sucked,” said 6-foot-6 John Harvey, aka High Octane. “That’s what I told them. The best streetballers (so far on the tour) are down here in Oakland, definitely. Actually, there’s one cat out there right now. I didn’t get a chance to get his name, but he’s got some serious ups.”

Mr. Octane was referring to East Oakland’s own Eric “EMAK” Robinson, a 23-year-old Fremont High School graduate who claims he’s not a basketball player. As soon as EMAK took the open-run court he went straight for the rim. After ripping off a few aerial maneuvers to wake up the surrounding crowd, Robinson took his act old school. Mimicking fellow Oakland native Isaiah Rider in the 1994 NBA Slam Dunk Championship, EMAK went between the legs. Minutes later he converted a 360-degree dunk, in which he brought the ball down to his knees in mid flight.

With the rim still gathering itself, EMAK was given a spot into the final round of the open-run competition, in which the top-10 participants battle for the final three spots on the Oakland All-Star team. “The competition really ain’t all that, because they are trying to do all the fancy dribbling instead of really getting in a good run,” said Robinson, who stands approximately 6-foot-2, not including the dreds. “I’m not impressed by all the fancy dribbling; I just want to catch an oop. I just want to give the city of Oakland a 360 in front of everybody and bring down the house.”

Another Oakland streetballer contending for a spot on the all-star team was Demarshay Johnson, a 6-foot-9 product of Oakland Technical High School who the DJ nicknamed Mutumbo. Johnson, with former Tech teammate and current McDonald’s All-American Leon Powe on hand, advanced to the final round after twice stuffing his arm in the rim.

“They’re all good game right now,” said Johnson about his potential And 1 competition. “There’s nobody in particular I can pick out right now, but whoever is under the rim is gonna get it. It’s nothing. I’m gonna put my arm in the rim on somebody. I damn near guarantee it.”

Johnson wasn’t given the chance to shine on the Oakland Arena floor on this night, as his affiliation with the University of Nevada-Reno disqualified him from the event. Other collegiate participants in the open run were Sacramento State’s Tony Champion and Derek Lambeth, who both failed to advance to the final round.

EMAK, however, did advance to the night’s main event with an overwhelming amount of crowd support influencing the judges’ decision. Little did he know that his quickly acclaimed Oakland-streetball-legend status was set to receive a mighty blow when he took his game indoors. Along with the pre-selected group of Oakland All-Stars, Robinson stepped into the arena’s pit with an eager crowd of Bay Area youth watching over the clashing squads.

Minutes after taking the court, Robinson was laying on his back, victim of a Headache crossover. Eager to avenge his prior embarrassment, EMAK attempted to dunk over 50. Bad move. 50 sent the dunk flying in the opposite direction and added a Mutumbo-style finger wag for exclamation. The same fans that had voted Robinson into the game an hour earlier were now calling for his head.

Despite EMAK’s misfortunes on the court, the Oakland All-Stars closed the half with a 42-33 lead. The first half featured many mistimed lobs and miscalculated tricks on the And 1 side, while Sky’s the Limit and Spin Master led an Oakland team which was much more focused on a win than a good show.

Following a halftime performance from David Banner (Yep, oddly enough the only man on the court without a nickname was the rapper), the And 1 team returned to the court with a much different mindset. Alley-oops turned into lay-ups, smiles turned into game faces, and the crowd turned… well… quiet. In the end, the Oakland All-Stars shocked the crowd and embarrassed their “legendary” opposition with a slim 72-69 victory.

But in the streetball world, scores fade away with time. What the 2003 And 1 tour stop in Oakland will be remembered for is a kid they call EMAK (short for Immaculate). For his sake, let’s hope they remember the between-the-legs jam.

The AND 1 Mixtape Tour continues this weekend in Texas, with Dallas on June 21st, and Houston on June 22nd. More details can be found on the AND 1 Mixtape Tour Website.


Comment on this Article:

Subscribe to Hoopville

Enter your email address to subscribe to Hoopville


Hoopville Archives

College Basketball Tonight

We hope you enjoyed COLLEGE BASKETBALL TONIGHT during the 2016 NCAA Tournament. COLLEGE BASKETBALL TONIGHT is a comprehensive look at the NCAA Tournament hosted by veteran college basketball broadcaster Ted Sarandis, along with co-hosts Mike Jarvis and Terry O'Connor, both former Division I coaches. It also included many great guests, including Hoopville's own Phil Kasiecki.

The show aired on AM 710 WOR in New York City on Sunday evenings starting with Selection Sunday and running through the NCAA Tournament.

Here are links to the shows:

March 13, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

March 20, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

March 27, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

April 3, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

Coaching Changes

The coaching carousel is moving. Keep track of the latest coaching changes right here on Hoopville.

Everybody Needs a Head Coach

Former college basketball coach Mike Jarvis has a new book out, Everybody Needs a Head Coach.

"As you read this book, I hope that Coach Jarvis' experiences inspire you to find your purpose in life."
-Patrick Ewing, NBA Hall of Fame center

"Mike Jarvis' is one of my special friends. I am so pleased that he has taken the time to write this fabulous book."
-Mike Krzyzewski, Five-time NCAA championship head coach, Duke Blue Devils

"In reading this book, I can see that Mike hasn't lost his edge or his purpose. Readers should take a look at what he has to say."
-Jim Calhoun, Three-time NCAA champion, UConn Men's basketball

Review on Hoopville coming soon!

Hoopville Podcasts

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – May 30, 2018

May 30, 2018 by

The NBA Draft and its deadline to withdraw to return to school leads the way in our latest podcast. We also look at one conference’s new scheduling plans, a number of quick hitters, and pay tribute to a fallen conference leader.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – April 26, 2018

April 27, 2018 by

In our latest podcast, we spend a lot of time looking at what the Commission on College Basketball came up with, as their report was just produced. We also look at the NBA Draft and transfers, which have many rosters potentially in flux for next season.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – April 6, 2018

April 6, 2018 by

In our first podcast in the postseason, we look back one more time on the NCAA Tournament, which was just what we needed at this time. We also look at the NIT, CBI and CIT, as well as important transactions with players leaving early for the NBA Draft and coaching changes.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – April 3, 2018

April 3, 2018 by

The 2018 national championship is in the books, and with it another season of college basketball. We break down the national championship game and some of its implications to wrap up the season.

College Basketball Tonight – April 1, 2018

April 2, 2018 by

Welcome to our Final Four edition of College Basketball Tonight. In this edition, we look ahead to Monday’s national championship game, and bring on two guests – long-time Villanova radio play-by-play broadcaster Ryan Fannon and Radford head coach Mike Jones – to get their thoughts and insights on the game.

Phil Kasiecki on Twitter

Recruiting Coverage

Lincoln captures Hamilton Park title

August 15, 2017 by

For the first time, a public school won the Hamilton Park Summer League, and they were led by a big effort from a junior point guard in the title game.

Notes from a day at the 2017 Boston Shootout

June 12, 2017 by

Some news and notes coming from the second and final day of action at the 2017 Boston Shootout, where the host program provided plenty of talent, but so did a program that produced a team that beat them.

Notes from a day at the 2017 Northeast Hoops Festival

April 11, 2017 by

The Northeast Hoops Festival helped bring in the new spring travel season in New England, and we have notes from some of Saturday’s action.

2016 Boston Back to School Showcase notes

September 12, 2016 by

We look back at the 2016 Boston Back to School Showcase, where a couple of Boston City League teams were among the most impressive on the day.

2016 Hoopville Spring Finale championship recap

June 28, 2016 by

We look back at the championship games of the 2016 Hoopville Spring Finale, which had a big local flavor as one might have expected.