Today was supposed to be the first day of the Hawks Talon GC new season. However, due to the coronavirus pandemic, the start of their campaign has been postponed. The silver lining is the league is finding ways to play special exhibitions remotely.
The first bit of action we are going to see will be on March 27th in the NBA 2KL Three for All Showdown.’ According to the league website, the showdown is an online 3-on-3 tournament featuring fan-organized teams, top female 2K players and social media influencers, all competing in the NBA 2K20 MyPark game mode for the chance to play against NBA 2K League teams and a share of a $25,000 prize pool.
Head Coach Wesley Acuff said, “We’re happy to have an opportunity to participate in the NBA 2K League’s ‘Three For All’ Showdown. Both the fan and the 2K League brackets should be entertaining and produce some excellent basketball content that everyone can be supportive of.”
Just a few weeks ago, I was able to catch up with Coach Acuff and a few of his players during their media day. Acuff is a culture-builder, first and foremost. Managing personalities on the team present the same challenges as leading any other group of extremely talented young people. But he insists that there is a strong bond between the members of the close-knit unit.
And like any other ultra-competitive league, there is plenty of trash talking. “Don’t pay attention to the outside noise,” preaches Acuff. Nothing said from the outside will change his approach. He believes in this roster, and they will continue to work together to get better.
The coach has good reason to have faith in his players. Thanks to another strong draft, and some bold offseason transactions, the team has a dynamic mix of talent.
BP is the point guard and leader of the team. His playstyle is like that of Allen Iverson, and he puts forth the same level of dedication. He works at his craft eight hours a day during the offseason.
Kel shares the backcourt with BP and models his game after another 2000’s All-Star — Tracy McGrady. If BP is focused on “just doing us,” then Kel makes a point of proving everybody wrong. Despite already achieving success, Kel continues to watch the people above him and work towards getting better than them (that’s his advice for anyone trying to follow their dreams.)
Lastly, I was able to talk to the team’s center, Lee. A first-round pick who is a paint beast like Hakeem Olajuwon. The youngster is a down to earth guy who touts positive energy. But if you have seen his twitch stream, then you know his competitive edge is going to take over.
The fun thing about this team is the mix of different personalities and backgrounds. Despite being some of the best in the world, they are all easy to talk to and focused on making Atlanta proud. They lean into the underdog mentality and use it as fuel when situations get challenging.
When the 2K League officially gets started, Hawks Talon GC is going to be a problem. Follow the organization and the players on social media, and you will quickly fall in love with this team.
Photo credit: Kyle Hess Photography