HOUSTON COUNTY, Ala. (WDHN) — For many athletes the off-season just means more time to improve their game and the Dothan Summer League aims to do just that to advance players to the next level.
The league gives basketball players the opportunity to play against strong competition and get the feeling of playing in a professional organization.
“It’s more of a way we can bring everybody together and play basketball,” league owner and player Jamal Rodgers said. “Of course we play at the local gyms but we want everybody to come together and have fun. We keep it organized because a lot of folks, after high school who haven’t played in college, don’t get the chance to really continue to play, have fun and get the whole feel for it.”
High schoolers, college athletes, overseas pros and even guys who just want to get back into the sport participate in the league.
Games are filmed so that players have footage of themselves to send to coaches and agents.
“The idea of the summer league is to have something to do in the community but to also to have an elite way for people needing film for overseas or colleges they can get that as well,” Cottonwood High School Basketball Coach and league player Lazabian Jackson said.
The league is made up of eight teams with about ten players on each roster.
Right now about seven players in the league play overseas.
“It was hard for me coming out of college going overseas so as much film as I could get I was just trying to get it to different coaches and different scouts,” league player Jaylin Robinson said.
College players spending summer at home in the Wiregrass say the league helps them stay on top of their game.
“With all the gyms being closed it’s kind of hard to find good pickup games so this league helps me stay in shape,” league player Cam McKinney said.
The inaugural year was 2018, the league missed the last two years but now that it’s back Rodgers and Jackson hope to make it annual.
Plans for the future include getting players from different parts of the state involved, featuring various food vendors and halftime performances.
The league plays every Wednesday and Sunday. Games start at 3:30 p.m. and run until about 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $5 at the door at the Cottonwood High School gymnasium.