LANCASTER, N.Y. (WIVB) — Some of the biggest basketball trick shot content creators on Instagram and TikTok are here in Buffalo tonight for the inaugural Buffalo Cold Rush Creator Event. In a game filled with eye-popping shots and nasty dunks, tonight’s matchup really is Buffalo versus the world.
The event was the brainchild of Buffalo’s own trick shot TikTok king Emeka Uzomba, and thanks to his contacts within the social media world, Uzomba convinced fellow creators to fly to the Queen City to play in a five-on-five game against some of Buffalo’s best basketball players.
“Man, this is awesome. From when we sat at home on the phone talking about doing something like this, imagining it, to actually bringing it to fruition, this is amazing,” Emeka Uzomba said. “This is more than I expected. I’m so happy that everybody came out and supported because it means the most to us, and we hope to do something like this again and make it great and only make it bigger and bigger from here.”
Representing Team World, the stars in tonight’s game included Raye McKinney (@ypk.raye), Jordan Southerland (@1footgod), Jayden Beloti (@beloti_10), Brandon Beloti (@beloti44) and Jack Woodruff (@jackwoodrufff). Daemen men’s basketball All-American Andrew Sischo (@andrewsischo22) also played on Team World.
Along with Emeka (who found fame on TikTok under the username @mekaaaaaaaaa doing crazy layups), the other players representing Buffalo were former Daemen All-American Casey Sheehan (@caseysheehan10), Tapestry High School rising senior Massai Graham (@sai.graham), D’Youville men’s basketball junior Jaeger Martino (@jaycrushsalot) and former Daemen Wildcat and current Japanese basketball pro Gerald Beverly (@gbev55).
Throughout the games, the crowd witnessed dunks, alley-oops, blocks, and everything in between.
After an insanely entertaining two hours of basketball, the visiting Team World edged out a win over Team Meka, but in the end, the event was so much more than the final score.
“I think my takeaway is you just look at the atmosphere in the background and the noise and the energy,” Buffalo Cold Rush co-founder Mark Coppola said. “People are coming up to us saying, ‘I’m so glad you’re doing this for Buffalo, putting on for our city, allowing local talent to showcase their skills,’ and I think the most important thing is the creators had a good time. That’s what’s most important about the whole event is showing how cool the city of Buffalo is and that we can play basketball a little bit, even though we lost.”
“First of all, I want to give a big shoutout to Emeka for inviting me to this event. I met Meka, he came down to Atlanta and we did some stuff, did a run, he’s a good kid and I’ve been tapping in with him since. I couldn’t wait to do another event with him, and this was a great show out. Buffalo showed a lot of love, there was a lot of people here,” TikTok star @1footgod Jordan Southerland said after the game.
“My biggest takeaway is that even in the smallest of towns, in towns like Buffalo where people don’t think you can host a good event, you can. So don’t be afraid to go out and try to host an event for your city because there’s people out there watching that have been watching you and want you to do something for your community. This is something major for Buffalo, and I know it’s something major for Emeka.”
Coppola says the event was such a success, they hope to bring it back year after year.