Frequently, I am invited to events in Manhattan where I do not know what to expect—FightBall is a perfect example. FightBall is a three part basketball tournament, where 16 players compete one-on-one. This was the second of three competitions named “FIGHTBALL 02.” Winners of the first two tournaments receive $10,000, and the final competition has a $100,000 grand prize.
On Thursday, I walked up to SIR Stage37 in west Manhattan to find a long line at the door. The crowd was mostly young men, some of whom were loudly complaining to the bouncers. They had been waiting outside for hours. Stuck in a crowd of anxious fans, my friends and I subtly cut the line and waited for our fate with the bouncers.
Lucky for us, after half an hour we entered to find a dimly lit room with a basketball game playing in the center. There were bleachers, though most people were standing up to properly see the game. Finding the free pretzels and popcorn was a highlight of the night; I took them with me to find a comfortable seat. After sitting for a bit, I went to the VIP section upstairs, where men in suits served gourmet snacks and guests were treated to cocktails.
The winner of the games was D.C. native Andrew “SpongeBob” Washington, who currently plays for The University of Delaware. Washington will advance with the seven top players from the first two tournaments to compete in the final.
After the players left the court, the performance everyone seemed to have been waiting for began. A$AP Ferg came onto the court with one of his crew members. Without introduction, he started dancing and jumping energetically, opening with his hit single “Work”. Next, he moved on to his latest single “New Level”. After his brief performance, FightBall 02 commenced.