Newark mayor Cory Booker took on guard Cappie Pondexter in a game of one-on-one during yesterday's "Welcome the New York Liberty to Newark" event yesterday at the Liberty's new home at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey.
In his own words, he got schooled.
Newark Welcomes New York Liberty | Double G Sports
Cory Booker might be the political star on the rise, but Newark’s charismatic mayor showed Thursday afternoon that his increasing fame won’t be the result of his hoops game. The former high school all-American tight end and Stanford University football star was no match for Liberty standout Cappie Pondexter, who showcased her lightning quick moves during their all-for-fun, one-on-one match.
For those keeping score, Pondexter was ahead of Booker, 4-0, when event emcees mercifully called for the last shot. Booker’s final layup attempted rimmed in and out, sealing his defeat. A bit winded but with a big smile on his face, Booker gracefully accepted his loss.
However, while Booker was forced into hoping for a rematch to avenge his loss, his central involvement in the event signifies his hope that this temporary move will be a win for the city of Newark, both economically and socially as well as continuing to prove itself as a basketball city suitable for a NBA franchise, according to CBS New York.
Newark Mayor Cory Booker Welcomes New York Liberty To Prudential Center While Madison Square Garden Undergoes Renovation " CBS New York
Booker still hopes the city can one day be a permanent home for an NBA team.
The Nets are playing in Newark while their new home – the Barclays Center – is constructed in Brooklyn. Seton Hall also plays there and it hosted NCAA regionals this March.
The idea of a temporary city eventually earning a NBA team is not exactly far-fetched - Oklahoma City took the Thunder after serving as a temporary home for the New Orleans Hornets after Hurricane Katrina. Anaheim was reportedly close to becoming the beneficiary of the Sacramento Kings' relocation this season after hosting a few games for the Los Angeles Clippers in the 1990's and being considered a destination for previous relocations.
NBA aspirations aside, what's most important about this event is having the public support of a mayor who is willing to have a little fun at his own expense for the sake of the team.
It remains to be seen how well this will translate into a "successful" stint in Newark, however you choose to define that.