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Preview: Omaha Metro Summer Basketball (Week 3)

IMPORTANT NOTE: For the second half of the Metro Omaha Summer Basketball League season, the games will be played at 6:30 and 7:30 p.m.

We’ve hit the halfway point of the Summer League season, but one key Creighton Bluejay has yet to play a game. That will change this week, when CU newcomer Greg Echenique suits up at 6:30 p.m.

The first half of the league seemed to go quickly. We at WBR hope you enjoy going to the games (or reading our coverage if you can’t attend each week). Jason Isaacson, the league’s organizer, works hard to put this league together. He works with the venue (the Omaha Sports Academy), the volunteers, the referees, and the players to make sure the league offers players and fans a great experience.

But there are costs involved. The NCAA requires a certain level of insurance to be carried for the Division I players involved in these summer leagues. We have set up a way for you to make a donation to support the Metro Omaha Summer Basketball League and help offset the costs involved. Again, if you’ve enjoyed the games you’ve seen or the coverage you’ve read, please consider donating a few dollars.

With that PSA finished, here is a preview of the matchups for Thursday night.

Game of the Night:

6:30 p.m. (Court 1) Bellevue University (2-1) vs. State Farm (1-2)

Bluejays to watch: Greg Echenique, Antoine Young

This game gets top billing by default due to the anticipation of seeing Echenique in action for the first time since arriving in Omaha. Creighton fans have high expectations for Greg. If everything that has been said about Echenique is true, he should be a definite difference maker during the next few seasons. However, this may be the only time to see him play until mid-December when he becomes eligible to play for the Bluejays.

Other Games of Interest:

6:30 p.m. (Court 4) EQ School of Hair Design (1-2) vs. Narmi Group (1-2)

Bluejays to watch: Wayne Runnels, Kaleb Korver, Jahenns Manigat, Kenny Lawson, Doug McDermott, Ross Ferrarini

This is your Creighton-heavy game of the evening. Wayne Runnels has been the talk of Summer League with his scoring, rebounding, and quickness. At the same time it will be a great opportunity again to see newcomers Doug McDermott and Jahenns Manigat in action to get a better feel for their abilities. Both teams need a win to be in contention for the upcoming Summer League tournament.

6:30 p.m. (Court 3) Bellevue Alumni (1-2) vs. Shanks Law Firm (2-1)

Bluejays to watch: Will Artino, Casey Harriman, Kody Ingle, Matt Dorwart

The 6:30 p.m. time slot will be tough to follow for die-hard Bluejays fans. So while you are enthralled with Echenique’s debut and the continued progress of Runnels, make sure to take a gander over at court 3 to see the other talk of the summer, Will Artino. According to his Twitter, he is only going to be in Omaha for two weeks before returning home until school starts in mid-August. So enjoy watching him this week and next.

7:30 p.m. (Court 1) McGinn Law Firm (3-0) vs. ABIDE Ministries (1-2)

Bluejays to watch: Josh Dotzler, Nick Bahe, Pierce Hibma, Darryl Ashford, Taylor Stormberg

ABIDE Ministries will need all the help they can get in this matchup. McGinn continues to win with scrappy play. Darryl Ashford played a key role in the second half of last week’s game. With former Nebraskan John Turek, Ashford gives ABIDE another scorer to try and keep up with McGinn.

7:30 p.m. (Court 3) Barley’s (3-0) vs. Heartland Properties (1-2)

Bluejays to watch: Ethan Wragge, Josh Jones, Justin Carter

Carter joined the Heartland Properties roster last week. If he returns this week it may be what Heartland needs to knock off the unblemished Barley’s squad. Josh Jones will also show off his dribbling skills and jovial personality.

6:30 p.m. (Court 2) UNO (2-1) vs. UNO Alumni (1-2)

The Battle of UNO should be a good one for die-hard Maverick fans. But CU fans will enjoy watching former Bluejay Brody Deren playing for the UNO Alumni team.

7:30 p.m. (Court 2) Icehouse (2-1) vs. Go Gettaz (0-3)

Rodney Buford and his team are the last team in the league without a win. Icehouse could easily be 3-0. Go Gettaz has been close in three losses but have either faltered or gotten tired down the stretch, keeping them from victory.

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