LAS VEGAS - In past summers, UNLV Runnin' Rebel Anthony Marshall wouldn't have been able to find organized basketball during the summer in Las Vegas. Not this year.
"This is the first year for us, so everybody's coming here to play instead of us having to go to another state to play," he said.
Wednesday night, Marshall and fellow Runnin' Rebel senior Justin Hawkins were getting some competitive basketball in at Durango High School.
"I feel like this is great for the city of Las Vegas. I feel like, you know, when everyone comes home for the summer, we got a place that's organized. We all can play," Hawkins said.
Marshall and Hawkins are talking about the Desert Reign Pro-City Summer League which kicked off its inaugural season this week. The league is the brainchild of local elementary school teacher Bjorn Berg.
"I wanted to create a safe, positive, competitive atmosphere for all the high-level college athletes in Las Vegas," Berg said.
It's a four-team league of college guys and recently graduated high school players. The league also features players who have gone overseas to play professionally, such as Silverado and James Madison star Heiden Ratner.
"You know in college, everybody goes their separate ways, so to come back and play with everybody again and have some quality basketball at the same time, it's beneficial for everybody," he said.
That includes the fans. The league has to be NCAA sanctioned and can't make any money off the college kids. So, fans are invited in for free. Some fans like Shannon Mitchell were sporting Rebel red Wednesday night.
"This is Gucci row or the expensive row at the Thomas & Mack, so (getting) to see them up close and personal, it's cool," Mitchell said.