It was only a matter of time before a sports cult classic like SlamBall made its triumphant return to the court. With the resurgence of the XFL and the rise of the Pro Tour of Pickleball, SlamBall’s trampolines, big dunks, and bigger hits are back in action after a 20-plus-year absence. The SlamBall playoffs are officially set, following four weeks of intense regular-season games played by the eight teams. The quarterfinals will take place on Tuesday, followed by a slam dunk contest, and the semifinals will be held on Thursday. Finally, the highly anticipated SlamBall championship game will conclude the thrilling comeback, with all the action taking place at Cox Pavilion in Las Vegas.
The Journey of the Playoffs
As the playoff matchups are finalized, let’s take a look back at some of the best moments from the regular season and what we can expect from the on-court action this week. The regular season showcased eight teams competing in the field, but only six teams have made it through to The Slamball Series 6 playoffs. The top two teams in the league, MOB and Buzzsaw, earned byes into Thursday’s semifinals. MOB, the team to beat during the regular season, finished with a flawless record of 16-0 and secured three wins over Buzzsaw. With victory margins never falling below 13 points, MOB seems to be the clear favorite heading into the playoffs. However, Buzzsaw, finishing 9-6, will have a chance to challenge the MOB when they face the winner of the clash between the No. 3 seed Slashers and the No. 6 seed Gryphons. It’s worth noting that the Slashers were the only other team to finish with a winning record this season at 7-6.
On the other side of the bracket, the No. 4 seed Wrath will be up against the No. 5 seed Lava for a chance to potentially upset the MOB in Thursday’s semifinals. Excitement is further amplified with an eight-participant Slam Dunk Contest scheduled for Tuesday after the quarterfinal games. Unfortunately, Ozone and Rumble missed out on the playoffs after finishing the regular season at 2-8 and 1-8, respectively.
The Players to Watch
SlamBall features seven players on each roster at a time, with four players on the court during game action. The league comprises 56 players from 23 states, each with diverse collegiate backgrounds. Among the 56 players, 26 played Division I basketball, while 11 played D-II, two played D-III, and six each came from the NAIA and junior colleges. Here are some standout players to keep an eye on during the playoffs:
Darius Clark, MOB, Gunner:
Clark, the top scorer on MOB, is undeniably the player to watch. A former track athlete at Florida State and Texas A&M, Clark led MOB with an impressive 257 points in the regular season. He showcased his dunking skills by converting 77 out of 100 attempts, leading the league in both scoring and dunking.
Tony Crosby II, Slashers, Handler:
Crosby II is known for his hard-hitting style of play. Leading the league with 48 hits, he clearly displays the physicality SlamBall is renowned for. Additionally, Crosby II contributed 230 points and 38 assists in the regular season while captaining the Slashers at just 5-foot-6.
Gage Smith, MOB, Stopper:
Smith is a defensive force to be reckoned with in the league. Standing at 6-foot-6, he leads SlamBall in multiple defensive categories, including steals (28), loose ball recovery (156), stops (146), and faceoff percentage (100%).
Ty McGee, Wrath, Gunner:
While Clark led the league in total points, McGee’s average points per game during the regular season were outstanding. With 28.4 points per game over nine contests, McGee surpasses Clark by nearly eight points per game.
Tyquan Scott, Buzzsaw, Stopper:
Scott may not lead the league in every defensive category like Gage Smith, but he still proved himself as a strong defensive player. Finishing second in loose ball recoveries (113) and stops (116) and fourth in steals (11), Scott demonstrated his ability to make a defensive impact.
SlamBall games are comprised of four five-minute quarters, resulting in a total game time of 20 minutes. The court measures 96 feet in length and 64 feet in width, with three identical “springbeds” on each side. Players wear protective equipment, and the standard positions in SlamBall are handler, gunner, and stopper. For a comprehensive understanding of the sport’s rules regarding court size, gear, equipment, and various nuanced foul and trampoline regulations, be sure to visit the official SlamBall site.
Unforgettable Moments from the Regular Season
The regular season was filled with excitement, and here are some of the standout highlights:
– Greg Helt from the Wrath delivered an in-game dunk contest against the Gryphons, showcasing his skills with a thunderous one-handed slam after a between-the-legs alley-oop pass to himself.
– Nathan Karsjens from the Slashers made a game-saving block against Ty McGee from the Wrath to secure a victory for his team.
– Jordan Jones amazed spectators with an incredible windmill dunk, reminiscent of Vince Carter, and sealed the game with his arm in the rim.
– Paxton Henry from an unidentified team flexed his muscles after posterizing a defender with a massive dunk.
In an exciting announcement, it was revealed that five-time NFL Pro Bowl running back, Marshawn Lynch, would be joining the SlamBall broadcast booth for all six Series 6 playoff games. Known for his distinctive personality and love for the sport, Lynch is sure to bring an extra level of excitement and expertise to the games.
With the playoffs set and the anticipation building, SlamBall is ready to take the court by storm once again. Don’t miss the electrifying action as these athletes defy gravity, deliver thunderous dunks, and showcase their skills in one of the most thrilling sports of our time.