NBA’s Kevin Love Joins Pros Back at the Beach in August and September, Though It’s Not the AVP
Beach volleyball, as much a part of the culture of the South Bay as surfing and Taco Tuesday, is back for 2011.
It’s not the Association of Volleyball Professionals (AVP) but a new three-tour series that starts with the Manhattan Open the end of August and hits Hermosa Beach in late September.
The new tour, which features former AVP pros, is called the Jose Cuervo Pro Beach Volleyball and will be in Manhattan Beach the weekend of Aug. 26-28. After moving to Miami (Sept. 9-11), it then hits Hermosa Sept. 23-25, which is the same weekend as the Redondo Beach Lobsterfest). The NBA’s Kevin Love – whose uncle, Mike was a member of the Beach Boys – has announced he will play in the Manhattan Open.
The purse for the Manhattan Open is $200,000, while Hermosa and Miami are $150,000, respectively. The Manhattan Open is the most cherished of all beach volleyball tournaments.
Known as the Wimbledon of Beach Volleyball, it’s where it all began, the one that marks a player as a true champion of the sport. Not having “Manhattan” on one’s resume is a hole, like a quarterback not winning a Super Bowl or a star baseball player without a World Series ring.
Winners get their name on a plaque on the Manhattan Beach Pier.
It’s also a heck of a party for spectators. There are likely to be grandstands and an AVP-type atmosphere for all three of the events. And what goes with that are fun times at places like Shellback Tavern for Manhattan Beach (the new Strand Bar, formerly Beaches, will be open by this time) and Sharkeez, Patrick Molloy’s and Waterman’s on the the Hermosa Beach Pier.
And surely, this means Smack Sportwear will have a players party at Sangria on Sunday night!
Yes, party folks, beach volleyball is BACK! Mark it on your calendars.