On Saturday evening D.C. got a glimpse of the innovation, creativity and vision of Global Mixed Gender Basketball. Men and women competing professionally on the basketball court is one of the classic fantasy matchups that seemed unfathomable to materialize but the folks at GMGB brought it to life. This concept came to fruition beautifully and once everyone gets a taste, it’s going to hit the streets harder than the Popeye’s spicy chicken sandwich.
It’s hard to understand exactly what GMGB is all about without actually experiencing it. When people hear men and women playing on the same court at the same time, I’m sure most write it off as a gimmick. But anyone who’s seen it up close and personal will let you know they’re not out there for a sideshow. The men are going at the women and vice versa. The misconception can come from the atmosphere the league creates. They’ve mixed a celebrity game vibe with the competitive aspect of a NBA/WNBA game.
The league has been perfectly crafted to capture the the essence of basketball in its purest form and combine it with the flair and excitement of the entertainment industry. GMGB has accomplished this in a number of ways. Each team has a celebrity owner. Tiny Harris (Atlanta), Ice T (New York), Anwan “Big G” Glover (DC), Laura Govan (Chicago), Trick Daddy and Trina (Miami) and Master P (New Orleans) who also serves as League President, lend their popularity, reach and influence to each team in their individual cities. But the GMGB is not relying solely on big names to validate the league. The main focus here is basketball and the on-court product matches the star power on the sidelines. The celebrity owners bring the glitz and glamour but make no mistake about it, this is about basketball. James Scott, CEO and Founder, charged his owners with ensuring the hoops could live up to the hype. You can’t promote a professional basketball league and not maintain those standards. And who better to do that than pros. The Washington Fusion coaching staff alone boasts a combined 28 years of experience at the pro level. And they used their knowledge and resources to guarantee the product would exceed the promotion.
The teams had practice, a shoot-around and compiled scouting reports for their opponents. Trust me when I say this is not what you think it is. I’m sure those in attendance expected to see a couple of highlights, some oohs and ahhs and a light hearted outing but they got the complete opposite. They got defensive intensity, crisp offense and some trash talk. Hell, one player left the game with stitches. If that doesn’t let you know this is a little bit different I don’t know what to tell you.
What Global Mixed Gender Basketball offers is nothing short of revolutionary. With the rampant discussion of the wage gap between male and female athletes, GMGB has decided the simplest way to nullify that issue is to have them play together. It also addresses the naysayers who try to downplay the lady hoopers skills. Seeing them out there competing successfully against men who played at the highest level should change their tune just a bit. These aren’t professional women going up against guys who work at Safeway and Kinney’s shoes. GMGB consists of NBA and Big 3 alumni as well as overseas players. So we can just kill all the talk of women not being able to compete with men. Pros are pros and this league proves that.
This is bigger than basketball and as the league grows, so will its impact. The platform and message of GMGB is one of equality and empowerment. League leadership has been able to wrap those ideals in a package that is appealing to virtually everyone. This is a new phenomenon that’s continuously gaining steam. You might want to get on board before it’s too late because in the words of one of the greatest modern day businessmen of our time, Marlo Stanfield, “The price goin up on the brick.”
It truly was a great event. Click the next page for some sights and sounds from the game.