Southern Hospitality went several ways as a near capacity crowd filled the 4,500 seat Georgia State University Sports Arena for the 8th Annual LudaDay Weekend celebrity basketball game. Cheering for their favorite celebrities and watching NBA players this crowd got their monies worth and some as Team Usher defeated Team Luda 100-91 in overtime. The game was the highlight of a charity weekend serving as a fundraiser to give back to the Atlanta community through The Ludacris Foundation. From those in the musical industry to professional basketball players and radio personalities they all laced it up to raise funds. Ludacris addressed the crowd afterwards thanking them for attending and announced that $20,000 was raised by The Ludacris Foundation.
As expected the laid back easy atmosphere game was filled with laughter, off-the-glass fastbreak dunks, failed alley-oops, long ill-advised three-pointers, non-pro players seeking a highlight and fun bragging rights. However as the game remained close, it quickly turned into a highly competitive contest in the second half. The juices began to flow from the NBA players on each team and their respective coaches, Usher and Ludacris including their teammates on the sidelines.
Trialing by three with 5.7 seconds left in the second half, Team Usher’s Raymond Felton of the New York Knicks dimed it off to Jarrett Jack of the Cleveland Cavaliers in the left corner for a three-pointer tying the game at 84 with 2.4 seconds left. After a timeout Team Luda’s John Wall missed a long three-point heave sending the game to overtime for the first time in its history.
In overtime Team Usher outscored Team Luda 16-7 pulling away in the final minutes for the win punctuated by a right corner three-pointer by Jack. Jack turned to the crowd celebrating in front of the Team Luda bench after he released it before it hit all net in the closing moments. Team Luda led at halftime 34-31 after coming back from 12 down earlier in the half behind Phoenix Sun Shannon Brown’s nine points. Brown is the husband of Atlanta musical artist Monica.
Jack, a product of Georgia Tech, lead all scorers with 42 points (32 in the second half) hitting eight three pointers. Raymon Felton finished with 21 (13 in the second half), Kenneth Faried of the Denver Nuggets put in 15 (11 in the second half) and the only WNBA player to participate, Angel McCoughtry of the Atlanta Dream had five in limited action for Team Usher.
John Wall of the Washington Wizards led Team Luda with 34 points, 28 coming in the second half. Brown dropped in 23, 14 in the second half, while Riverdale (GA) high school alum Josh Powell, who last played in the NBA with the Atlanta Hawks during the 2010-11 season, booked 13 points. Military vet, Florida State alum and former Dallas Maverick Bernard James tallied 10 points.
Known for his time on the And1 Mixtape Tour, Hot Sauce led all non-NBA/pro players with seven and was on the floor late when the competitive juice were flowing and the game was in the balance. Hot Sauce displayed the wickedest dribbling exhibition when he crossed up Atlanta’s V-103 afternoon DJ and former BET Rap City host Big Tigger in the first half draining a trey ball after Big Tigger was long gone. Prior to the game Big Tigger tripped out with V-103 talent on a bite about his Jordan’s, it wasn’t the shoes in this case.
Team Luda reality TV star Laura Govan also had a first half highlight when she went between her legs several times and spun in the lane for the hoop and the harm, she was guarded by and fouled by Bambi of Basketball Wives LA. Govan swished the free throw to complete the three-point play for her only points of the game. Bambi did not play in the second half and did not score in the game.