It's still a rare occasion when Washington's best college basketball teams face one another, and Georgetown and Maryland aren't even allowed to play right now because of the athletic departments' feud.
But a number of the best players produced by the area's top programs are coming together this weekend to represent the District in two games against a similarly constructed team from Philadelphia, a city that still embraces the Big Six competition among local rivals.
The showcase, meant as the precursor to The-BALL -- the Basketball Alumni Legends League -- takes place at George Washington's Smith Center on Saturday (Comcast SportsNet, 4 p.m.), then moves to Hagan Arena at Saint Joseph's on Sunday (Comcast SportsNet, 8 p.m.). The-BALL is expected to launch next summer. By using local players from strong college markets on the East Coast from Charlotte, N.C., to Hartford, Conn., the league hopes to build interest and local fan bases immediately.
The concept will be tested this weekend. With Henry Sims, Jason Clark, Austin Freeman and Chris Wright, Georgetown will have the D.C. team's biggest contingent. They're slated to team up with John Gilchrist, James Gist and D.J. Strawberry from Maryland. Three 2006 Final Four players from George Mason -- Folarin Campbell, Jai Lewis and Will Thomas -- are also expected to participate along with George Washington's Tony Taylor and Chris Monroe.
The Philadelphia roster has five players from Temple, including Dionte Christmas. Villanova (Curtis Sumpter), Saint Joseph's (Tasheed Carr), Drexel (Frank Elegar) and La Salle (Rodney Green) also will be represented.
- Craig Stouffer