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VBL & VWL DRAFT RECAP

Veniceball Draft Day 2024: Where Legends and Newcomers Shine

It’s that time of the year again! The 2024 Veniceball Draft has officially wrapped up, and the energy on Venice Beach was electric from the get-go. Despite a rocky start with players struggling during drills, draft host Devin Williams swiftly brought order with a firm reminder: “Y’all are grown adults, so we ain’t gonna baby you on the court.” His words set the tone for a day of intense competition and high spirits. 

The incredible music and infectious enthusiasm from the athletes turned the beach into a vibrant arena of talent and determination. The day was packed with intense challenges and drills designed to push the players to their limits. From the grueling training drills and push-up contests to the high-stakes 1 v. 1 and 3 v. 3 matchups, the competition was fierce.

The player’s athleticism was truly tested during the four hours of intense competitions, pushing athletes from a grueling sand run straight back to the courts to showcase their capabilities. The crowd, including Venice Beach natives as well as tourists and those passing by who stopped to watch, were exhausted just from watching the relentless action.

With only 10 coveted spots available for the men’s team and approximately 70 players in attendance, every moment was crucial. Each participant was determined to leave an impression, knowing that the opportunity to be drafted into the Veniceball League was on the line. The atmosphere was a blend of camaraderie and fierce rivalry, with athletes encouraging each other while also giving their all to stand out. 

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The Draft Day highlight was the Draftees vs Venice Legends where the green hoopers got their  chance to earn a name in matchups against the originators and current stars of Venice Beach basketball. An all star crew saw SikWitIt, Hezigod, Amir Smith, Elvin Rodriguez, White Iverson, and more show the potential draftees how it’s done in the VBL, exemplifying the skill and dedication that have become synonymous with the league. We extend our deepest appreciation to all these originators who have been there since day one. Their presence transformed the event into more than just a draft with three generations of hoopers coming together.

With the sun breaking through the clouds around 3 PM, it perfectly timed the start of the women’s draft, lifting the energy even higher. This year marks the second season of the Venice Women’s League (VWL), and the talent has only continued to grow since its inaugural year. The energy and competition of the women’s draft was equally intense. Kendra Williams, last year VWL champion and finals MVP from Phil Handy’s Team Lady Sweat, took over as the draft host. Kendra brought her unique flair and championship energy to the event, embodying the VBL spirit and inspiring everyone with her skill and presence. The VWL is quickly becoming a cherished tradition, attracting top-tier athletes who bring their A-game to the iconic Venice Beach Courts. The dedication and skill on display promise an exciting season ahead, solidifying the VWL as a premier showcase of women’s basketball talent.

As the final players were selected, the 2024 Veniceball Draft concluded with a sense of accomplishment and anticipation. The selected players now have the chance to shine in the upcoming season, and those who didn’t make the cut will return hungrier than ever next year. The blend of serious competition and community spirit made the event a true celebration of basketball.We extend our heartfelt thanks to all the athletes who came out and showcased their endurance, strength, mental toughness, and game-ability. This year’s draft day showcased how The Veniceball League continues to embody the passion and talent that makes it a cornerstone of the basketball world here in Venice. 

If you missed this year’s draft day, don’t worry. Keep an eye on Veniceball’s social media for updates, highlights, and schedules as we gear up for another epic season. We’re all looking forward to seeing the new talents hit the courts and the exciting games to come. Here’s to an amazing season ahead in Hooper’s Paradise!