July 19, 2010
Throughout the sprawling neighborhoods of Atlanta, Georgia, one thing remains constant: Basketball.
On courts around ATL, ballers of all ages play a tough-nosed brand of hoops that represents the spirit of the city, and ridiculous athletes show flashes of brilliances worthy of any stage. Let us introduce some guys who are deeply rooted in the community off-the-court, and mean as hell on it.
The Campbell Twins
Born and raised in College Park, the Campbell twins are Atlanta through and through. After dominating at local West Lake High, Scott and Chris played professional ball both domestically and overseas before returning to their neighborhood, where they still play at their local recreation center four times a week. Whether jawing about cars, ball, or life, the twins have a sibling rivalry that runs deep, and a love for Atlanta that might run deeper.
Dion’s love for basketball has taken him such far-fledged places as Turkey, Lebanon, and the Dominican Republic, but it all started in Marietta, Georgia. A stud in high school, he went on to play college and professional ball in Atlanta, and perhaps most importantly, set up his own ATL-based charity to help provide youth aid and development. But dont let good deeds diminish his prowess on the court; a combo guard with a silky jumper and enough boost to put people on posters, Dion represents what the ATL game is all about.
A born and bred “Grady Baby” – JJ Merrit has given his life to the growth of hoops in Atlanta, and the dude could ball too. From middle school through his record-setting days in college, JJ has succeeded on every level, and continues to do so by coaching future U12 stars. The CEO of Pro Performance, a Basketball Skills Training Company, JJ’s family ties go back five generations in Atlanta, and he is helping to ensure that many more will follow.
For basketball fans, Matt Harping’s name needs no introduction. His legendary career in Georgia began at Marist High School before becoming an All-American in college. His professional career in America was highlighted by his tenure in Utah, where his high shooting percentages from the floor and the stripe helped carry the team deep into the playoffs multiple times. Currently a studio analyst, Harpring’s rugged game is the stuff of Atlanta folklore.
Adrian Jones has done it all. He balled in college. He took his game to the next level in the US and overseas. And now he is giving something back by coaching in Atlanta, while schooling cats of all ages on local courts.