Vaughn Jones, basketball coach at DC’s Coolidge High and local hoops aficionado, says the Goodman League is the best place to watch street basketball. Games run through August in this showdown of college, pro, and other top players. Wizards Gilbert Arenas and Andray Blatche drop by, along with Donte’ Greene, an ex-Baltimore high-schooler who’s expected to be a top NBA draft pick this year.
Jones says the Goodman atmosphere makes for the ultimate fan experience. Games are played on outdoor courts at Barry Farms Recreation Center (1230 Sumner Rd., SE, a short walk from the Anacostia Metro). Hip-hop, R&B, and go-go music blast while Miles Rawls, head of the league, handles color commentary and emcee duties.
Jones, a former star at DeMatha High School and George Washington University, says crowds ring the court. “When you see 1,000 cars triple-parked,” he says, “you know there’s something going on.
Two games run each night Sunday through Thursday. Tip-off is around 6:30 pm.
For free hoops in an air-conditioned arena, Jones suggests Riggs La Salle Recreation Center’s new gym (501 Riggs Rd., NE) every Tuesday and Thursday from 7 to 9 pm, where high-school, college, and older players square off.
The Nike Jabbo Kenner League at Georgetown University’s McDonough Arena offers more free premier basketball, with a high-school and a college/pro division (Arenas played here last summer, along with former Maryland star Steve Francis). Check the schedule on the men’s-basketball page at guhoyas.com.