For those of you not in the know, The Deveroes is a chance for Division I hoopsters who reside-in or play for colleges in this region of the country to keep stay in shape and keep their ‘ball skills on point‘ on Saturdays, Sundays and Tuesdays from June 19 to July 30. The annual hoop summit will feature several current players from the University of Cincinnati roster. James White, Jihad Muhammad, Ryan Patzwald, and Eric Hicks makeup the current list of UC ballplayers participating in the league.
"Playing here is a good way to get to run up and down and stay in shape and play basketball, while still being able to stay close to home," said Eric Hicks, UC's resident monster in the middle. "It is a good level [of competition]. I mean it gives you a chance to bang out there and stay in shape. I haven't played in three weeks, so I am glad to just get the chance to compete."
The Bearcat coaching staff is very supportive of Hicks and the other UC student-athletes participating in leagues such as The Deveroes, as the NCAA really handcuffs programs in terms of the time coaches can spend with athletes in the off-season.
"The coaching staff supports us getting out here and staying in shape. There is only so much you can really do in a gym for basketball conditioning," said Hicks. "There are rules about where you can play over the summer, but I like The Deveroes and the fact we get to be out here and get in shape."
Last season Hicks, a soon-to-be senior, and all D-I athletes were unable to participate in last season's festivities.
"This is going to be my second year in the league. I was injured one year and last year no college players were allowed to play," said Hicks, who, like all D-I athletes, was playing in the league due to NCAA certification regulations that limit's the eligible leagues off-season athletes can participate in.
For that reason, last year's league consisted largely of incoming college recruits and former college players or professionals. This year's league consists of numerous Bearcats that fall in one of those two categories. Armein Kirkland, Erick Murray, DeAndre Coleman, Devan Downey, Tyree Evans, Abdul Herrera, Domonic Tilford, Tarrice Gibson, D'Juan Baker, Melvin Levett are the players of UC's glorious past and brilliant future that will suit-it-up during the leagues six week run.
The NCAA has reinstated the league‘s eligibility before this season, so athletes from Xavier, Miami (OH), and Wright State will join the University of Cincinnati in stocking the nine-team league.
The league will kick things in to full gear once again on Tuesday afternoon, as three games are scheduled to take place starting at 6:30.
6:30pm Mike Albert Leasing vs Slats
7:30pm Stan Litz Law vs John H. Flessa Law
8:30pm McCluskey Chevrolet vs Masser Const.
Bye: Mecklenberg Gardens, Cintas, Innovative Mktg.