Title: Crown League gives Toronto’s basketball elite — and a growing fanbase — a summer haven
Date: July 23, 2018
Original Source: The Athletic
Synopsis: In my latest for The Athletic Toronto, I wrote about Nike Crown League, which continues to grow into a marquee summer event for Toronto’s basketball elite.
The itch comes again quickly.
Xavier Rathan-Mayes was back from Las Vegas only two days before it struck him again. On the tail of a run to the Las Vegas Summer League Finals with the Los Angeles Lakers, a run that required him to play 10 games over 16 days in the desert, Rathan-Mayes would have been forgiven for seeking downtime, or at least the recluse of an empty gym to do lighter work.
For someone like Rathan-Mayes, two days off is already an eternity. He is emblematic of most of the competitive basketball world, where there is no longer such a thing as an offseason and where, for players on the fringe of the NBA, standing still is akin to moving backwards. Upon returning home from Las Vegas — Rathan-Mayes was born in Markham and works out with coach Vlad Matevski of Real Basketball Training out of North York — he was right back into the gym. He’s working on refining his body, with a focus on diet and leaning out. And while that’s important work, Rathan-Mayes doesn’t like to go too long without seeing game action. A point guard has to be on the floor, he feels.