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Top 10 North Philly playground players

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Top 10 North Philly playground players

Postby BT » Thu Mar 26, 2009 12:16 pm

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For years, Littel Vaughn has been sort of a town crier for Philadelphia basketball - especially North Philly basketball.

He used to have his own scouting service for city players and now publishes a local basketball magazine, Checkball. He ran a summer league, has been involved in all sorts of hoops marketing ventures - years ago, he did some street marketing for And1, the apparel company - and is a go-to guy for college coaches, especially junior-college coaches looking for big-time talents who might not be academically qualified for big-time Division I basketball.

"I've been kind of like a Philadelphia ambassador. . . . I helped a few kids a long time ago, 15, 16, 17 years ago. They never made it to the NBA," said Vaughn, who said he played a year of junior-college ball himself. "The bottom line, they were better for getting away, getting to school."

Vaughn said all sorts of people praise the guys who have made it out of North Philadelphia. But until they make it, "this can be a negative city," he said.

Vaughn has stayed close to a number of players who have made it to the NBA, such as Hakim Warrick of the Memphis Grizzlies. But he wants to see the local guys do more after they've made it.

"All we want you to do is give something back, not only to help the community and the family, but to market yourself," Vaughn said, pointing out that donating money to keep libraries open right now would be a no-brainer. "A lot of Philly players don't market themselves and then they wonder why they don't have a big shoe deal."

Vaughn's been at this for a long time. "Just say I'm in my 30s," he said.

So at this point he knows everybody playing ball in North Philly. He was asked to come up with a list of all-time top playground players. He came up with this criteria: Players had to be from North Philly and dominate for at least 10 years, mostly on outdoor courts. Their inclusion is based on their playground performances, not school ball or the NBA, within the last 25 years.

1. Galen Baker: Philly's version of New York's Fly Williams.

2. Reggie Wells: Dunking machine.

3. Anthony "Staff" Chennault: The Philly playground version of Andrew Toney.

4. Todd "Tidy" Branch: The General can do it all.

5. Emmanuel "Vel" Davis: This late bloomer went from crosstown to 16th Street to the NBA.

6. Aaron "AO" Owens: Before the And1 Mixed Tapes, he was a Connie Mack playground play making machine.

7. Ronald "Flip" Murray: Plays above the rim, with Pearl Monroe moves.

8. Sad Eyes Watson: Big-time scoring guard.

9. Rodney "Hot Rod" Odrick: Ballhandling wizard; very creative.

10. Maureece Rice: Strawberry Mansion playground star at age 10. Broke Wilt's city high school scoring record but scored more points on the playground. Will likely take his game to the NBA soon.

Vaughn, who grew up in North Philly and ran a summer league at 52d and Parkside for a few years, gave notice to six more "big game but no publicity" North Philly playground stars: Tyrone "Chrome" Garris, Derrick Gathers, Deacon Fred "Crown Dog" Crawford, Dominique Stephens, Mark Thompson, and Kurk Reed.
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Re: Top 10 North Philly playground players

Postby BT » Thu Mar 26, 2009 12:19 pm

If you want to read a good article on Flip Murray check this out
http://www.philly.com/inquirer/sports/2 ... egend.html

Some good stories of him growing up as a North Philly Streetball Legend
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Re: Top 10 North Philly playground players

Postby XQzMe » Wed Apr 01, 2009 11:05 pm

I hear about Sad Eye all the time, but I never seen him play. Anthony Chennault has a son who is in the class of 2010, and is committed to Wake Forest. Maureece Rice is overseas, and the rest I've never heard of.
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