Training timeout: Time to play ball

With much of their summer dedicated to lifting weights, doing sprints on Baker Beach and running up The City’s notorious hills, it is safe to say the players on the USF men’s basketball team are looking forward to actually getting on the court and playing some ball.

For four Dons, their great escape begins next week, when the 27th annual San Francisco ProCity men’s basketball league tips off at Kezar Pavilion.

Starting with the SF City-Bay City game Monday at 8 p.m., there will be games Monday-Thursday until the playoffs begin Aug. 7, with a three-game championship series starting Aug. 14.

Antonio Kellogg, Dior Lowhorn, Armondo Surratt and Allan Wiggins will all take a break from their USF training to play in the fast-paced, high-scoring league.

“It’s a great way to measure your talent against some of the top players around,” Wiggins said. “The ProCity kind of shows you where you are, and what you need to keep working on.”

Joining the talented quartet of USF players in the league this summer are NBA players Jason Richardson (SF City) and Drew Gooden (Bay Pride), both of whom will play when in the Bay Area. League veteran A.J. Rollins (East Bay), Justin Davis (Bay Pride) and LyRyan Russell (SF City) are three of a number of players currently playing abroad, while preps such as Mitty’s Drew Gordon and Castlemont’s Cory Douglas (both of Bay Pride) will get a chance to test themselves against proven talent.

“I think a number of coaches underestimate the importance of summer play,” USF coach Jesse Evans said. “The level of play at Kezar is outstanding — a lot more competitive than at your neighborhood ballyard.”

The ProCity will also allow Lowhorn to reintroduce himself to the Bay Area audience. The former Riordan High and Berkeley High star recently transferred to the Dons after a year at Texas Tech. He will sit out next season due to transfer rules, but will log some court time by playing in his first ProCity.

“I’ve been watching it forever and I’m really looking forward to getting out there and playing,” Lowhorn said. “The league is for the fans — they want to see the 3s, the moves and the dunks and it should be a lot of fun.”

melliser@examiner.com

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