Culture of Hoops

ESPN to Televise Ball Up Competition for $1 Million Prize


Ball Up, the leading streetball brand in the world and home to some of the most talented athletes to play the game, has reached an agreement with ESPN to televise its first-ever Million Dollar Summer Challenge, a summer long basketball competition that gives six U.S. cities the opportunity to compete for $1M and bragging rights as the preeminent summer basketball team in the nation. The challenge tips off in Washington D.C. on May 30th and will air on ESPN2 beginning in September. Playing in six markets, the Summer Challenge will feature elite competition and allow local legends to become national champions.

This year’s competing cities — New York, Philadelphia, Washington D.C., Chicago, Indianapolis, and Los Angeles — will put forth their best 10-person teams to compete throughout the summer. Each market will start with a launch event, attended by Ball Up CEO Demetrius Spencer, Ball Up All-Star players along with celebrity guest appearances. The National Championship game will take place in Ball Up’s hometown of Los Angeles on August 2.

“We are thrilled to announce Ball Up’s Million Dollar Summer Challenge, which will give talented players across the country the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to showcase their skills on a national scale,” said Ball Up CEO Demetrius Spencer. “We are very excited to work with ESPN to showcase basketball in its purest form, and look forward to providing the biggest national competition that summertime basketball has seen.”

Starting on May 30th, eight teams from each market will compete to represent their city. The regular season features six weekends of local play per market. Local playoffs begin on July 10th, when the top six teams will enter a single-elimination playoff. The champion from each local market will travel to LA to compete in the national championship weekend kicking off July 30th.

The series of taped primetime shows on ESPN2 will highlight the competition and go beyond the court to tell the stories of the teams representing each city. In all, the Million Dollar Summer Challenge, airing in September and October, will provide a unique look into the culture of summertime basketball.


First Regular Season Games for Individual Market (six-game regular season schedule)

  • May 30th – Washington D.C.
  • May 31st – Los Angeles
  • June 6th – New York City
  • June 6th – Philadelphia
  • June 7th – Chicago
  • June 7th – Indianapolis

Local Market Playoffs

  • July 10th – July 12th – Washington & Los Angeles
  • July 17th – 19th – New York City, Philadelphia, Indianapolis, and Chicago

Championship Games

  • July 30th – Quarterfinals
  • July 31st – Semifinals
  • August 2nd – National Championship

Air Dates – ESPN2

  • September 16th @ 8:00 pm EST – 30 minutes
  • September 16th @ 8:30 pm EST – 30 minutes
  • September 23rd@ 8:00 pm EST – 30 minutes
  • September 23rd @ 8:30 pm EST – 30 minutes
  • September 30th @ 8:00 pm EST – 30 minutes
  • September 30th @ 8:30 pm EST – 30 minutes
  • October 7th @ 8:00 pm EST – 60 minutes
  • October 14th @ 10:30 pm EST – 60 minutes

* ESPN2 dates/times subject to change

About Ball Up, LLC
Ball Up is the premier sports and lifestyle brand dedicated to capturing and delivering the essence of streetball. Its mission is to provide an opportunity for the sport’s incredible athletes and fans to share their passion with the world. Founded in 2009, Ball Up has been strategically grown by professionalizing the sport and leveraging the lifestyle of streetball to create a global movement. In addition to the top rated competition reality series Ball Up: Search for the Next on FOX Sports, the brand continues to build upon different verticals in the sport and is producing the first Ball Up Million Dollar Summer Challenge, a national, basketball summer competition featuring the top players and teams in the country competing for national bragging rights and a life changing prize.

About Million Dollar Summer Challenge
Ball Up Million Dollar Summer Challenge is a national summer competition featuring the top players and teams in the country. Playing in six markets throughout the summer, the Summer Challenge will feature elite competition that raises the bar of summer basketball and culminates with the top teams coming together to compete on a national stage for a historic cash prize and ultimate bragging rights.

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