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Breakdown Of Ravens' B-Ball Skills

Posted Mar 25, 2013

There was a broad spectrum of talent at Torrey Smith's charity basketball game over the weekend.

Torrey Smith’s annual charity basketball game Saturday brought out Pro Bowlers, budding stars, and the highest-paid player in NFL history.

But being a football star doesn’t mean much when it comes to the basketball court.

So how did they did they do on the hardwood?

There was some talent out on the floor, as players like quarterback Tyrod Taylor and Browns cornerback Joe Haden were hoops legends in the region back in their high school days. The two of them can both run the point and knock-down shots from long range.

Taylor was the unofficial MVP for the second year in a row.

“Tyrod was definitely the MVP,” Smith said. “He can play, and he knocked down a whole bunch of baskets.”

The Ravens’ other quarterback, Joe Flacco, wasn’t even in the MVP conversation. He spent most of the game as a spectator, and he didn’t seem all that interested when he did get on the floor.

One thing is for certain: Flacco plays basketball with the same gunslinger mentality that he brings to the football field.

He was constantly looking for the full-court outlet pass (without much luck) and also threw up a few four-point shots (there was four-point spots on the court several feet beyond the three-point arc), but didn’t hit any of them. His was also called for one of the only fouls of the game when he hacked 49ers linebacker NaVorro Bowman in the paint.

Flacco lacked intensity to the court, but his old teammate Anquan Boldin didn’t share Flacco’s same relaxed attitude. Boldin wins the award for most competitive, as he was barking out commands to his teammates and yelled at himself for missed shots, even when his team was up 20 points.

Boldin and his fellow receivers like Smith, LaQuan Williams, Tori Gurley and Redskins' Josh Morgan kept the crowd entertained with plenty of dunks and alley oops throughout the game. But for every successful alley-oop, there were probably about five failed lob attempts.

And on the topic of failed dunks, running back Damien Berry definitely had the most embarrassing moment of the afternoon. He was the only player to get stuffed by the rim on a wide open dunk attempt. Even the PA announcer cracked a joke at the mishap.

The gym burst into laughter after the play, and a number of Ravens teammates actually ran out onto the court to stop the game. Ray Rice and Williams called timeout, and Berry was pulled out of the game and put right on the bench. 

“D-Berry was horrible,” Smith said. “That’s the first time I’ve seen someone get escorted out of the game.”

Berry, 5-foot-10, blamed the mishap on not getting stretched out enough. He did get a shot at redemption in the waning seconds of the game, as both teams cleared out of the lane to give him another chance to dunk, and he was able to thrown down that time. 

“I wasn’t loose yet on that first try,” he said. “You saw the second one, so I just had to get loose.”

Berry is developing quite the unfortunate reputation as the worst player at his teammate’s charity sporting outings. Berry also took home that distinction last year at Lardarius Webb’s charity softball game.

Overall, the running backs weren’t too impressive. Rice and fullback Vonta Leach missed a number of close-range buckets and Rice seemed more interested in just having a good time and keeping the crowd entertained.

At one point he came off the bench on the middle of the play to take a shot. He missed, and then went right back to his seat, with a wave to the crowd.

“I think everyone enjoyed it,” Smith said. “We had to do some stuff to keep it interesting, and I think everyone had a good time.”

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