It’s not your ordinary summer basketball league.
The Goodman League began its 20th season Tuesday in southeast D.C., and it was nothing but love inside the gates, as a cookout atmosphere brought out the best in everyone.
What began as the Barry Farms Summer League in 1977 has grown to be a nationally revered event, coordinated by league commissioner Miles Rawls, aka Miles on the Mic.
The 20th opening day featured matchups between Team Ariyaun, Bump n Run, Drew All-Stars and Lincoln Park. Team Ariyaun defeated Bump n Run 83-73 before inclement weather halted the Drew All-Stars-Lincoln Park contest.
Rawls, who has been league commissioner since 1996, stressed the impact the Goodman League has had on the Barry Farms community.
“We’ve had many people from different areas and walks of life participate here and we’re still expanding,” Rawls said. “It’s been a great ride so far, we’re just focused on being impactful to the area. The Goodman League is what everyone around is looking forward to in the summer. It keeps the people off the streets and out of trouble.”
D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, who was in attendance, proclaimed the event to be a community institution.
“We love Goodman,” Bowser said. “Goodman means so much to the community that last year I granted Miles with the key to the city, and I’ve only given out four. That’s how much Goodman means to this community.”
The Goodman League began with teams only in the D.C. region, but has stretched across statewide throughout the Maryland and Virginia area.
Though many current and former NBA players such as Kevin Durant, Gilbert Arenas and Caron Butler have graced the refurbished Goodman court, local standout Andrew “Spongebob” Washington leads the charge. His success in the Goodman League has resulted in national exposure, propelling him to be featured in the Ball Up Million Dollar Summer Challenge and FightBall, two prominent streetball-style competitions.
“Playing at Goodman prepared me to play in front of any type of crowd,” Washington said. “When I was 16, I began playing at Goodman, and it helped develop me into a college player and then overseas and display my talents. I’m forever thankful for the Goodman League.”
Under the guidance of Rawls, the league continues to bring positive vibes to the Barry Farms community.
Asked about the future of Goodman, Rawls said that he was thankful for where the league came from to where it is now, and that he’s just taking it one day at a time.