With 10 teams entered into the league, the second season of the Bulldogs Basketball Mens League has begun. There are two teams from Fort Myers and Naples, with all others from DeSoto County.
The league is a fundraiser for the DeSoto County basketball team inspired by coach Darrell Nicklow. He is also in charge of the concessions and gets volunteers to run the scoring and admission tables. Once all helpers are in place, Nicklow ends up on the court as one of the referees.
This league gives players of all ages the opportunity to sharpen their skills. There are players who are freshmen in high school competing against men in their thirties ... and a few even older than that. That can only make the high school players better, going up against those with more experience.
It is a reunion of sorts twice a week as players showcase their skills and get the chance to catch up with old friends on the other teams.
For those that have graduated and their glory days are in their rearview mirror, it gives them the opportunity to show their stuff in front of the crowd again and show everyone else that they still have game. They like to bust each others chops about how they have gotten out of shape, and a lot of good spirited trash talking goes on during the game.
Former Bulldog Kionte “Hitstick” Akins was leading the league in scoring, knocking down 14 points in the 51-47 win by the Legend Killers over the S4G (strive for greatness) team. Jamari Redding (an incoming freshman) had 12, as did Garrett Leath, a member of last season’s DeSoto JV basketball team.
Akins lost his league leading status once the second game was finished, however, as Dennis Frolov buried 24 points, with teammate Denzel Porter right behind with 21, as Lights out defeated TGM, 85-78. At least Akins can tell his 3-year-old son Zy’hire (Hit-twig) that the old man was once the league leader in scoring.
Results for the other two games played on opening night saw the Five-0 team (made up of mostly law enforcement) down Obsidian, 73-54, with the Sniper Gang dropping Camp Koonce in the nightcap, 84-70.
The Tuesday-Thursday league plays four games on Tuesday, five games on Thursday—Naples and Fort Myers play Thursdays. Action starts at 6:30 p.m., and admission is just $2.