A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from July 18, 2011
UTEP Two-Step (basketball dribble)

The “UTEP two-step” is a crossover dribble developed by Tim Hardaway of the University of Texas-El Paso Miners basketball team. Hardaway was watching on television Dwayne “Pearl” Washington play point guard for Syracuse University when Hardaway noticed a move that he immediately tried to copy and improve on. Although Hardaway developed the dribble in 1985-86, the name “UTEP two-step” has been cited in print since 1991, when Hardaway was playing professionally for the Golden State Warriors.

The name “UTEP two-step” borrows from the name of the “Texas two-step” dance, but the “two-step” is not really used in the dribble. “Killer crossover” is another name for this crossover dribble.


Wikipedia: Tim Hardaway
Timothy Duane “Tim” Hardaway (born September 1, 1966) is a retired American basketball player who played in the National Basketball Association (NBA) and who in his prime was one of the league’s best point guards. Six feet (1.83 m) tall, he was best known for his devastating crossover dribble (dubbed the “UTEP Two-step” by television analysts), a move which he helped to popularize among younger players. He is the father of Tim Hardaway, Jr.

Early career
Hardaway was born in Chicago, Illinois. After graduating from Carver Area High School in Chicago, he attended the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) where he won the Frances Pomeroy Naismith Award as the best college player six feet (1.83 m) tall or under. Hardaway was selected as the 14th pick of the first round, in the 1989 NBA Draft by the Golden State Warriors.

Wikipedia: Crossover dribble
A crossover dribble is a basketball maneuver in which a player dribbling the ball switches the ball rapidly from one hand to the other, to make a change in direction. In a typical example the player heads upcourt, dribbling the ball in (say) the left hand, then makes a wide step left with a good head fake. If the defender is deceived, the player can then switch to dribbling with the right hand and pass the defender. The crossover can allow the player an open short jumper or a clear path to the basket.

Sports Illustrated
December 02, 1991
The Golden West
Who would have figured—certainly not us—that the retooled Warriors and the Magic-less Lakers would be the big winners in the Pacific Division?

Alexander Wolff
(...)
At week’s end the Warriors were atop the league, averaging 120.0 a game, and it was as much attributable to the off-the-bench contributions of guard Sarunas Marciulionis (17.7 points per game) as it was to the consistency of the remaining two members of the now busted-up Run TMC, Mullin (24.6) and point guard Tim Hardaway (23.4), he of the crossover dribble move known as the UTEP Two-Step.

Google Books
The Golden Boys:
The unauthorized inside look at the U.S. Olympic basketball team

By Cameron Stauth
New York, NY: Pocket Books
1992
Pg. 43:
At the University of Texas at El Paso, he’d mastered a crossover dribble—the UTEP two-step—that Magic was in awe of.
Pg. 71:
As they converged on him he rifled the ball from his left hand to his right — through his legs — and then back again, through his legs: the famous UTEP-two-step.

Google News Archive
25 February 1993, Lakeland (FL) Ledger, “The Card Corner—Tim Hardaway,” pg. 2D, col. 5:
These days there are few spectacular dribblers, but Tim’s crossover dribble ("the UTEP two-step") fires up the San Francisco Bay area crowds and gives opponents fits.

Google Groups: tw.bbs.sports.basketball
Newsgroups: tw.bbs.sports.basketball
From: (Rodolfo V. Moreno)
Date: 1996/12/25
Subject: New Moves 3

UTEP Two Step Tim Hardaway.
I think he does a between the legs dribble left to right, crouches on the right leg, then jumps off the right leg and lands on the right leg while bouncing the ball, looking like a crossover.

SLAM Online
Saturday, April 3rd, 2010 at 9:00 am
Original Old School: The Education of Tim Hardaway
SLAM 121: From under-recruited product of Chicago’s South Side to five-time NBA All-Star, Tim Hardaway showed he could exceed expectations on the basketball court.

(...)
One night while watching TV, Tim had seen a Syracuse guard do something on TV that had petrified the defender. Dwayne “Pearl” Washington had crossed the ball, changing hands and threatening to change directions. Then, as his defender leaned, Washington quickly dragged the ball back to his original hand in a simpler-but-devastating crossover. “But I modified it,” Hardaway says today. “I put it between my legs first, then crossed back.” It was, in a word, killer.
(...)
That killer crossover got dubbed “The UTEP Two-Step,” which had a cute ring to it, but not exactly the ring of truth.

NBA.com
The ‘UTEP two-step’ that changed the game
By Shaun Powell
Posted Jul 12 2011 6:25AM
(,,,)
The very next day, I tried to do it in the gym but couldn’t pull it off. Then I developed my own type of dribble, which became the crossover. I went between my legs, keeping the ball in front of me, going left to right, then went to the hole. I thought, ‘Maybe I can do this.’ There was nobody in the gym but me.”

Hardaway estimates he spent about a week tweaking and perfecting the dribble, then debuted it in practice at Texas El-Paso. It received a rousing two-dribbles-up approval from his teammates. Then he made it part of his ensemble, and fairly soon, the dribble was nicknamed “the UTEP two-step.”

The crossover didn’t get its due or its official label until Hardaway arrived with the Warriors and became part of the circus act known as Run-TMC (Tim, Mitch as in Richmond, Chris as in Mullin). Pretty soon, Hardaway’s dribble put slo-mo cameras on alert everywhere as TV commentators tried to describe it and players everywhere tried to steal it.

Posted by Barry Popik
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • (0) Comments • Monday, July 18, 2011 • Permalink