Hopefuls from the four corners of the grid, came out to Polson Pier to participate in Canada’s first-ever Red Bull King of the Rock qualifier. With almost 30 of Toronto’s top ballers battling it out for a chance to meet the world’s best in Alcatraz, only one could claim ultimate bragging rights and top spot. Crowds watched as home-town hero Aaron Duncan, 27, pushed through five intense rounds where he faced hard-hitting competitors, earning himself a ticket to the World Finals on September 24, 2011. “I feel liberated and proud. I didn’t expect this win,” says Aaron.
BATTLE TO THE TOP
Serious business went down once shoes were laced up and whistles were blown followed by a few hours of physical and aggressive 1-on-1 basketball. Battling in intense heat and moments of down pour, the elements did not serve the players benefits. Host Tyrone “T-Rexxx” Edwards said; “The players were really good. Aaron was able to showcase his skills despite the elements.” Omar Simpson, 30, gave Aaron a tough fight. With seconds until the end of the final battle, Aaron scored a 3-point shot tying the score 8-8. Going into overtime, the wet courts made for slipper conditions for Simpson and Duncan. It was Aaron that took charge and ended the saga with a score of 13-8. “I tried. I’m coming back next year.” Said Omar, runner-up of the Red Bull King of the Rock Toronto qualifier.
Last year, debuting in the US, Red Bull King of the Rock held six qualifiers on the West Coast. Bringing together 64 athletes to compete in a one-on-one outdoor tournament on one of the world’s most iconic and recognizable locations. The “Yard”, the infamous Alcatraz Prison, was transformed into a schoolyard basketball venue. History was made as the event marked the first time an official sporting event had been held on the “Rock”.