Wednesday, July 31, 2013

NYBL All-Star Game Rosters Released

When the National Youth Basketball League (NYBL) was developed 2 basic promises were made. First, we promised a high level of competition. We think we delivered on that promise as evidenced by the fact that of the top 8 finishers at the recent 6th grade AAU Nationals, 7 of the teams played in the NYBL, including 3 of the Final 4 teams as well as the eventual national champion. Secondly, we promised a high level of exposure. Over the course of the NYBL, numerous stories and features have been written highlighting the standout performers from session to session. In an effort to further showcase the significant amount of talent the NYBL was fortunate to amass, the league decided to host a NBA-styled all-star game to close out the inaugural season.

To this end, the best talent that the NYBL has to offer will be on full display in Columbus, Ohio on September 21st when the ball is tipped on the inaugural NYBL All-Star game. More specifically, there will be 2 all-star games which will feature the league’s top 40 players. The “Top 20” game is the more prestigious of the 2 games and will feature the league’s top 20 players.  Because there was so much talent in the NYBL, 1 all-star game would not do the league justice.  Therefore, the “Top 40” game will feature the league’s next best 20 players.  Make no mistake, those next 20 players can ball, and could have very easily made the top game.

In terms of the selection process, at the conclusion of each of the league’s 3 sessions, top performers lists were developed which contained the top 40 performers for that particular session. From there, the players on the list were broken down by position and where they were selected on the list (i.e., 1st team, 2nd team etc). As a further example, players that appeared more frequently on the top performer lists and/or were selected as 1st and 2nd teamers were selected for the “Top 20” game.

The 2 NYBL all-star games will be played on Saturday, September 21st in conjunction with the Buckeye Prep Elite Showcase, and will part of a slate of all-star games that will include Ohio North vs South games in grades 7th -11th, and 8th grade “Ohio vs Indiana” and “Ohio vs Kentucky” games. In addition to their participation in the NYBL all-star games, the players will be afforded the opportunity to participate in the elite showcase where they will compete against other players from across the country that did not necessarily play in the NYBL. As part of the showcase, players will play 4 additional games and could possibly be selected for a final showcase all-star game late Sunday afternoon.

Awards will be given out for MVPs for all of the all-star games and exposure opportunities will be maximized. In fact, within the next couple of days we will be releasing individual player profiles for each player selected for the game. Below are links to the all-star selections as well as the session by session top performer lists.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Carolina Preps Claims National Championship

Carolina Preps-2013 AAU 6th Grade National Champions

On Sunday, Keyford Langley’s Carolina Preps squad defeated Deron Williams Elite 50-55 in overtime to capture the 6th grade AAU National Championship in Virginia Beach, VA. On their trek to the title, Carolina Preps defeated Georgia Stars (78-36), NO Rising Stars (64-35), and Team Providence (72-34) in pool play. During bracket play, Preps dispatched SEMO Elite (79-45); Rens 6th Grade (59-48); Carolina Chaos (62-36); All-Ohio Red (41-47); and finally Deron Williams Elite.

According to Coach Langley, the game was close the entire way, as both teams employed similar styles of play. “We felt that D-Will was a mirror image of our team. They have a similar defensive strategy as we have. They ran our same defense we used in the past,” offered Langley. In terms of his strategy heading into the title game, “we had to contain their shooters. We watched them play Memphis [War eagles] and knew they had shooters who were not afraid to put it up,” stated Langley. “We just had to stay the course. The difference in the game, we had Wendell Moore. He was the X factor,” Langley said. Wendell Moore scored a team-high 14 points, followed by Michael Green who finished with 12 and Kobe and Keyshawn Langley who added 10 and 8 points, respectively.

Wendell Moore

Langley’s team has been participating in the AAU Nationals since the second grade and have enjoyed some success, including a 6th place finish in the second grade; a third place finish in the 5th grade and a second place finish to All-Ohio in the fourth grade.

This year, Carolina Preps finished with an impressive overall record of 70-1. Langley credits much of his team’s success to their participation in the National youth Basketball League (NYBL). “We played a lot of tough competition [in the league] this year. We normally don’t see competition like we saw in the league until the [AAU] nationals,” said Langley. “The NYBL was big for our kids. We had to face a lot of adversity throughout the three [NYBL] sessions,” continued Langley. “Three tough games in one day [in the NYBL] made our kids ready. You can’t duplicate that anywhere else,” Langley said.

Langley thought his team benefited from NYBL play off the court as well. “This nationals was unlike any nationals we have ever attended. There was no craziness between teams. Our parents and kids all socialized and hung out with the other parents and kids from the other NYBL teams. It was like one big family. It [NYBL] was a great experience,” Langley said.  

Although the 2013 AAU season is now in the books, Coach Langley said he will give his kids 2 weeks off then they will get back in the gym then start getting ready for next season, I guess that’s how you win a national championship! Congratulations to the entire Carolina Preps organization for a job well done!

Before I close, I would like to give a shout out to all of the NYBL teams that participated in the AAU Nationals and represented the league better that we ever expected. In total, 13 teams participated, and 7 teams finished among the top 8. The final order of finish is as follows: 1) Carolina Preps; 2) Deron Williams Elite; 3) All-Ohio Red; 4th) Memphis War Eagles; 5) Southern Stampede; 6) Metro Flyers; 7) Carolina Chaos; 8) ETU Select; 9) Team Teague; 10) G3 Indy Hoosiers; 11) Chick Web/B-More Finest; and ATR.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

NYBL is Well Represented in Elite 8

As has been reported over the past couple of days, NYBL teams have dominated at the D-I 6th grade AAU Nationals in Virginia Beach, VA. so far. Case in point; of the eight teams still alive and fighting for a national championship, 7 of those teams participated in the NYBL this year. What that will mean, 7 NYBL teams will place in the top 10 in the country after the horn blows on Sunday. The significant success of the NYBL teams at the AAU Nationals can be traced back to the extreme level of competition these teams faced over the course of the first-year league. “It prepped us well,” said Dana Watkins, one of the coaches for the Southern Stampede.

The following teams, including their NYBL record, are still in the hunt for a national championship: All-Ohio Red (15-1), Carolina Preps (15-1), Deron Williams Elite (14-2), Southern Stampede (12-4), Carolina Chaos (12-4), ETU Select (8-8) and the Metro Flyers (8-7). In 3 of the Elite 8 games on Saturdayday, NYBL teams will face off against each other. Deron Williams Elite will play the Metro Flyers at 12:40pm; All-Ohio Red will match up against the Southern Stampede at 12:40; and Carolina Preps will face instate rival Carolina Chaos at 2:00pm. The final Elite 8 game pits ETU Select against the Memphis War Eagles at 2:00pm. Also, the 6th Man Warriors (7-9) are making a run in the Classic Bracket. In fact, they are only 1 win away from advancing to the Final 4.

Because 7 of the 8 teams in the Elite 8 are representing the NYBL, the league is guaranteed to have at least 3 of the Final 4 sports as well as a spot in the national championship game. If ETU Select can get it done, there could be both an all-NYBL Final 4 and championship game! From what I hear, the NYBL teams are pulling for and supporting their league brothers in Virginia Beach this week.

In addition to the 7 teams that have advanced to the Elite 8, three other NYBL teams are still fighting to place in the top 12. The SC Hornets (10-5) will take on Team Teague JTO at 11:20 in the first round of the third round consolation bracket. They would need to win 2 games in order to advance to the 9th/11th place medal game. The Upstate Warriors (4-11) and Team Izod/Sports U (6-10) would have to win 2 games in the first round consolation bracket to advance to the 10th/12th place medal game.  Unfortunately, only one of those teams can advance to the game because they would have to play each other in the second game on Saturday.
AGame-West Coast AAU National Champions

Make no mistake, the success of the NYBL teams in Virginia Beach this week is no fluke. In fact, AGame, a team made up of players form Team Rio Elite (6-10) and Team Izod/Sports U went out west and won the West Coast AAU National Championship. The players on that roster included: AJ Hoggard (PA), Jalen Gaffney (NJ), Bryan Antoine (NJ), Alex Klatsky (NJ), Tarig Ingram (DE), Darrien Dalcourt (MD), Chris Autino (NJ), Stephen Lubischer (NJ), Jordan Montgomery (CA), Terrence Williams (DC) and MJ Wright (NJ). The only player who did not play in the NYBL on that team was Jordan Montgomery, but he will be running with Team Rio Elite in the NYBL next year.

Good luck to all of the NYBL teams still alive in Virginia Beach. Regardless of what happens from this point forward, the NYBL can take great pride in what ever role we played in preparing these teams for the run they made at the AAU Nationals!  

Friday, July 26, 2013

12 of 13 NYBL Teams Advance to Championship Bracket Play

So far, NYBL teams have dominated at the D-I 6th grade AAU Nationals in Virginia Beach, VA. In fact, of the 13 NYBL teams participating in the tournament, 12 of them have advanced to the championship bracket. In addition, 8 of the 12 teams finished first in their pool with 3-0 records.

All-Ohio Red finished pool play 3-0 with wins over VA Select (70-28), Florida Panthers (60-29), and Team Takeover Jamison (91-58). Carolina Preps breezed through pool play 3-0 with victories over the Georgia Stars (78-36), N.O. Rising Stars (64-35) and Team Providence (72-24). Deron Williams Elite was also perfect in pool play with wins over Team FOE (62-18), SO LA-ATR (46-30) and Georgia Heat (64-12). The SC Hornets were a perfect 3-0 with wins over the Louisiana Jaguars (68-28), Team YCP Hoyas (69-37) and Chick Webb/B-More Finest (44-33). Southern Stampede went 3-0 in pool play with victories over ACAD Prep (56-47), Minneapolis F.A.B. (66-37) and Diamonds in the Rough (59-34).

ETU Select will carry a 3-0 record to bracket play with wins over the Aiken Warriors (55-26), College Park Express (61-57) and Indiana Elite Force (39-24). E1T1 finished pool play 3-0 with victories over Middle TN Impact (55-48), LA Razorbacks Elite (42-38) and Metrolina Havoc (55-41). Carolina Chaos finished pool play 3-0 with wins over the Atlanta Celtics Black (62-37), a forfeit win over TN-EOTO and  DC Assault (69-50). The Upstate Warriors finished 2-1 with a 47-43 win over M.A.D.E. Elite, a 60-41 win over the Tidewater Wildcats and a 49-45 loss to the Broward Sharks.

The Metro Flyers will take a second place pool finish to bracket play after a 51-42 win over the Metro Sixers, a 57-34 win over the Georgia Red Storm Red and a 40-46 loss to Team Teague JTO. New Heights finished second in their pool with a 2-1 record which included a 58-45 win over the Milwaukee Spartans, a 53-47 loss against the Reach Higher Kings and a 71-41 win over M33M Elite. Team Izod/Sports U finished 2-1 with a 46-30 win over South Piedmont, a 47-45 loss to the SC Raptors and a 59-56 win over the Tennessee Legends.

The 6th Man Warriors were the only NYBL team that failed to punch their ticket to the championship bracket.  However, they could rebound from an unfortunate situation and run the table in the Classic Bracket. It should be noted that the Warriors actually won 2 pool games, but a discrepancy involving a player’s release from a prior team and a successful protest led to them forfeiting their first game. Consequently, they finished 1-2 and was relegated to the Classic Bracket.

In the first round of championship bracket play on Friday, NYBL foes Upstate Warriors and the Metro Flyers will face off for a berth in the Sweet 16. The winner of that game could face another NYBL brother if E1T1 can get by ACAD Prep Hawks in the first round. ETU Select and New Heights could meet in the Sweet 16 if ETU beats cross-town rival DC Assault and New Heights handles their business against Cats 6th in round one. Southern Stampede will match-up against Metroline Havoc, a former NYBL team in round one. Friday night at 6:00pm could see a rematch between All-Ohio Red and the SC Hornets with a ticket to the Elite 8 on the line. This could be another grudge match between 2 very talented NYBL combatants. Deron Williams Elite will match-up with the defending national champions, G3 Hoosiers at 3:20 Friday afternoon if both teams hold serve in the opening round game Friday morning.  Stay tune for more updates.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Ohio Teams Place at D-II AAU Nationals

Ohio Hoopsters Elite-6th Place D-II AAU Nationals

Last week, 2 Ohio-based 6th grade teams placed in the top 8 of the D-II 6th AAU Nationals in Virginia Beach, VA. The Ohio Rising Stars placed 4th and the Ohio Hoopsters Elite placed 6th. The Ohio Hoopsters enjoyed great success this year as evidenced by their impressive 50-8 record. In addition to their 6th place finish at the AAU Nationals in Ft Wayne, IN, the Hoopsters went 7-1 and finished 3rd at the Gym Ratz Nationals. The win was highlighted by a 32 point win over the defending national champions, Indy Storm. The Hoopsters were led by AJ Bennett, Tre Watkins, Jeremiah Keene, Gavin Baker, Will Chatman and Sean Marks.

Also, the Riverside Flyers bounced back from disappointing pool play to win the Classic Bracket at the D-II AAU Nationals. The Flyer roster included; Tanner Wilson, Andrew Shope, Joel Lambiotte, Ty Wilcoxn, Charlie Large and Graeson Malashevich. Congratulations to all 3 teams for repping the Buckeye State!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

NYBL Teams Finish Undefeated on Day One of AAU Nationals

At this point, most 2019 basketball fans already know just how ultra competitive the field was in the inaugural season of the National Youth Basketball League (NYBL). As an example, of the 13 teams that played in the NYBL this year and are currently participating in the 6th grade AAU Nationals in Hampton, Virginia, all 13 teams won their opening round games on Tuesday. In fact, in most cases on Tuesday, NYBL teams not only won, they won BIG!

Below are the day-one results: The league champions, All-Ohio Red, defeated VA Select 70-28 to make a big opening round statement; Carolina Preps smashed the Georgia Stars 78-36; Deron Williams Elite crushed Team FOE 62-18; the Southern Stampede got by ACAD Prep Hawks 56-47; the SC Hornets rolled over the Louisiana Jaguars 68-28; 6th Man Warriors pulled out a 54-49 win over the Cats; ETU Select got a 55-26 win over the Aiken Warriors; Carolina Chaos outclassed the Atlanta Celtics Black 62-37; the Metro Flyers beat the Metro Sixers 51-42; New Heights defeated the Milwaukee Spartans 58-45; the Upstate Warriors squeaked by M.A.D.E. Elite 47-43; E1T1 notched a 55-48 win over Middle TN Impact; and Team Izod/Sports U blew by South Piedmont Heat 46-30 to secure an opening round win.

In all likelihood, one of the NYBL teams listed above will take home a national championship. If the NYBL finals are any indication, All-Ohio Red and Carolina Preps could be the favorites to win it all. With that said Deron Williams Elite, SC Hornets or Southern Stampede could get on a role and pull the upset. The only real chance that the NYBL won’t be able to claim national championship is if the G3 Hoosiers get by Deron Williams Elite in the Sweet 16 and makes a run at the title.

In terms of the possible match-ups in bracket play, if the seedings hold, All-Ohio Red could face the SC Hornets in the Sweet 16. For those of you who followed the NYBL this year, you know that All-Ohio beat the Hornets twice. The winner of that game could matchup with Southern Stampede in the Elite 8. All-Ohio Red and Carolina Preps could meet in the “rubber match” in the Final 4. Both teams split during the NYBL season. ETU Select could run up against the 6th man Warriors in the Sweet 16.

The way I see it, they only way we see an all NYBL final is if Deron Williams Elite can get by the G3 Indy Hoosiers in the Sweet 16 on Friday and the Memphis War Eagles on Saturday in the final 4. I think one of these teams will come out of the left side of the bracket. Unfortunately, the other top teams are all on the right side of the bracket and are likely to knock each other out.  It should be a great tournament and the NYBL should be well represented in the medal round come Sunday! Good luck to all of the NYBL teams!

King James Takes AAU Super Showcase

King James-2016 AAU Super Showcase Champs

For those of us who have watched the Ohio’s 2016 class play over the past several years it comes as no surprise that the class continues to make an impact on the national scene. Exhibit #1; a few days ago Ohio’s Team Work captured the championship of Adidas Invitational Classic. Exhibit #2; last Saturday, Coach Quincy Simpson’s King James squad won the championship of the prestigious AAU Super Showcase in Orlando, Florida.  

On their trek to the championship King James defeated MC Warriors (75-33), Central Florida Tar Heels (66-36) and Team Ontario (58-23) in pool play; then they ran the table in bracket play with wins over Nike Team Florida (73-33), E1T1 Flash (62-34), Southern Phenoms (59-34), Team Forrest (45-32) and YAAACE 47-38). Some of the key players on that team includes: Xavier Simpson (Lima Senior Catholic), Anthony Christian (Hoban), Seth Towns (Northland), Derek Funderburk Jr. (St. Edwards) and Trey Cobbs (Lima Senior Catholic).

Recently, OBC’s 2017 team capped off a great season with a championship at the Adidas All-In Tournament in Cincinnati, Ohio. For the season, OBC finished with an overall record of 59-11, including 3 championships and 2 runner-up finishes. Some of the key players on that squad include: Tommy Schmock, Tyrell Ajain, Jaden Sayles, Antwon Smith Jr. Tyler Knetch, Dylan Dupler and Trey Pugh.

Buckeye Prep-7th Place D-II AAU Nationals

While I’m giving shout outs, my 4th grade Buckeye Prep team finished 7th at the D-II AAU Nationals in Charlotte, NC last week. The roster includes: Damian Davis, Mark Small, Daaron Brown, Makhale Massey, Deon Thorpe, Magnus Entenmann, Termir Allen, Jaden Hawking-White, Will Miner and Davion Pirtle. Congrats to Coach Aaron Brown and his team for a great run. Finally, All-Ohio Red’s 4th graders finished 11th at the D-I AAU Nationals in Lexington, Kentucky. Congratulations to all of the coaches, players, parents and fans for representing Ohio basketball!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Team Work Wins Indiana Title

Team Work-U-15 Adidas Invitational Classic Champions

Over the weekend, Adam Vincenzo’s 2016 Team Work squad finished a perfect 9-0 on their trek to the Platinum Division championship of the Adidas Invitational Classic in Noblesville, Indiana. In bracket play, Team Work had to get by quality teams such as Hoop Dreams, Wisconsin Playground Warriors, Grand Rapids Storm, Houston Defenders and the Iowa Barnstormers. In the championship game, Team Work defeated the Compton Magic 96-88 to grab the crown. Although Medina’s Jon Teske “was a Monster all weekend,” according to Coach Vincenzo, and averaged about 14 points per game; his team “played well together, and everybody brought something different to the table,” continued Vincenzo.

The Team Work roster included: Ibi Watson (Athens), Jon Teske (Medina), Mason Baich (Dublin Jerome), Like Vargo (Dublin Jerome), Seth Fuller (Dublin Jerome), Preston Boswell (Magnolia, WV), Trey Smith (Delphos Jefferson), Micah Potter (Mentor), Drew Potter (John Glenn) and Mitch Peterson (Walsh Jesuit). In the U-16 division, the Ohio Basketball Club finished second after a 97-76 loss to Indiana Elite in the Championship Game. All-in-all, it was a great showing for the Buckeye state with 2 teams placing in such a prestigious tournament!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013


Below is the 3rd piece in a series of articles written by Dr. Kenneth Ransom designed to educate players, parents and coaches about the sports-related health of their children. The Buckeye Prep Report is proud to be partnering with Dr. Ransom to bring our readers these original articles.  Enjoy!


Young basketball players want to grow as tall and be as strong as possible. Height is, to a great extent, determined by genetics; tall parents tend to have tall kids.  However there are non-hereditary factors that can help a young man achieve his maximum growth potential.  This is especially true during adolescence when a period of rapid growth occurs. From the ages 12 to 16, a male can grow up to 20% of his adult height.  Nurturing your child’s growth is a lot like growing a plant. Like a plant, the human body grows better when well nourished.  Along with plenty of sleep, eating a healthy sports nutritional diet are the main, non-hereditary factors that can help your son maximize his growth development. 

The body needs fuel, or food, to build and work. Growing boys need about 2500 calories a day for normal growth and activity.  Up to an additional 1000 calories may be required to meet the demands of intense training and competing.  So the average adolescent basketball player can burn up to 3,000 to 4000 calories a day.  That’s a lot of chow!  The most essential caloric sources in a sports diet are carbohydrates and proteins. Fats cannot and should not be totally avoided but should be limited to the more healthy unsaturated varietals as is found in lean meat, fish and chicken, nuts, vegetable oil, etc.  Stay away from fried or fatty foods as much as possible, including most fast foods.

Carbohydrates are the body’s main energy source and should make up about three-fourths of your son’s diet. These foods include fruits, vegetables and grains.  However, carbohydrate stores only exist in a limited supply in the body and must be continually replenished on a daily basis. Breakfast is an especially important meal because the body has not consumed nutrients throughout the night and is in a near-fasting state.  The body will consume its’ carbohydrate reserves when no exogenous source is provided.  So when your son goes to practice or a game later that day his carbohydrate stores will have been depleted so his body will break down protein, or muscle, for fuel instead.  This will make him weaker and he will fatigue sooner.  On game day, not only should he eat a good breakfast, but consuming carbohydrate snacks during the day will further help preserve his body carbohydrate stores.

Proteins should make up the other one-fourth of the diet, primarily meats and dairy products.  Protein foods are the source of amino acids, the building blocks for virtually all types of tissue, including muscle.  Proteins along with the carbohydrates should be a regular part of your son’s diet throughout the day.  It is also important to consume extra amounts protein right after an intense work out, about 20 grams. This in needed to replenish damaged muscle tissue.  Protein bars or shakes work well.

Although a healthy balanced diet will likely provide adequate vitamins and minerals, a one-a-day multivitamin is advisable for any growing teen.  A vitamin of particular concern, especially in non-sunny climates like Ohio, is Vitamin D.  Vitamin D is essential for the uptake of Calcium which is required for strong bone development.  An adolescent athlete needs about 2000 IU of Vitamin D and 1500 mg of Calcium daily.

Last but not least, the body needs sleep to grow. The majority of bone growth occurs during sleep.   Experts claim that adolescents should have 9 to 10 hours of sleep a night for adequate growth and development.  Sleep is also critical for body tissue repair, especially muscles.  Your son will not only grow more with plenty of rest but will also feel better and be less injury prone

Dr. Kenneth Ransom

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Invitations Extended for Buckeye Prep Fall Elite Showcase

Below is an email that was sent out today to all of the players listed on our bulk mailing list extending invitations to the Buckeye Prep Fall Elite Showcase which is currently scheduled for September 21st and 22nd at Central Crossing HS.  If you have attended past events or have previously been extended an invitation and did not receive the email, contact me at: The event should be our biggest and most competitive ever! Click on the elite showcase logo on the right and at the bottom of the page for more specific as well as updated information about the event.

 Attached you will find an invitation and registration forms for the Buckeye Prep Fall Elite Showcase. This year the event is scheduled for September 21st & 22nd. The invitation letter should provide most of the information you need initially. As was the case last year, the event is 2 days.  However, unlike last year, instead of a skills and drills sessions, I have added an additional game, for a total of 4 games. From the feedback I’ve received from parents and coaches, most of you would prefer an additional game as opposed to the skill session.  The fall event will be similar to what you saw last September in terms of the slate of all-star games on Saturday, followed by the first round of league games that will start sometime late Saturday afternoon or early Saturday evening.  As soon as I get the schedule completed I will post it on the website.

 It’s very important that you register ASAP, as this event WILL SELL OUT! With the addition of some of the new Saturday all-star games, there will be a lot more kids participating in the showcase this year, so space will fill up quickly! You can pay your registration fee on line using the Pay Pal link, but make sure you provide specific player information so that your payment can be matched with your child/player.

 As always, I need quality volunteer coaches to work the event. If you or anybody you know is interested in working the event please contact me as soon as possible.  You cannot coach your son or player, and you must be able to render fair and unbiased assessments of the kids you evaluate.  Coaches will be provided with a camp t-shirt and will have access to a fully stocked hospitality room where they relax, eat and drink at no cost.

If you intend to send you son/player, please email me with his name, grade, height and position ASAP so that I can enter his name on the “Committed Player List” below.  This helps me keep track of my numbers and allows people to track who will be attending the event. This list is unofficial, but I find that people like to keep track of the list as it grows to see who is coming to the showcase. I think this showcase has the potential to be the biggest and most competitive event ever, so don’t let your child/player miss this experience! If you have any questions please feel free to contact me at 614-203-2929.  See you in September! 

Rob Taylor
Showcase Director

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Who Got Game Wins D-III AAU Nationals

We Got Game Team Dennis

Congratulations to Coach David Dennis Sr. and Who Got Game Team Dennis for winning the 10th grade East Coast D-III AAU Nationals at the Boo Williams complex in Hampton, Virginia today. On their trek to the championship Who Got Game finished an impressive 7-0.  Team members included: Malik Bobcook, Dana Coffman, Rael Windley, Ramon Wilson, David Dennis Jr., Case Chamblin and Drew Mellen. Who Got Game’s win is yet another example of just how good Ohio basketball really is. Congrats to Coach Dennis, his players, parents and fans for representing the Buckeye state well! 

7th Grade AAU Nationals-Final Day Report

Buckeye Prep-D-II 9th Place Finisher

Twelve Ohio-based teams participated in this year’s D-I and D-II 7th Grade AAU Nationals, and by the time the dust settled on Sunday in Memphis, only 4 teams returned to the Buckeye state with hardware. Although the Columbus-based Excel got off to a rocky 0-2 start in pool play that ultimately relegated them to the D-I Classic bracket, they refused to get discouraged and pack it all in, then proceed to make a magical run that did not end until they were crowned champions of the Classic bracket. They may have been led by their main guys like Dane Goodwin, Isaiah Speelmam, Braden Norris and Matt Allocco, but Excel has always been about total team effort, so “total glue guys” like Jake McLaughlin, Xavier Henderson, Eli McNamara and Nathan Hellstedt played a significant role in the team’s run to the championship. SMAU U made the deepest run in the D-I tournament, but besides Excel, there were no other D-I teams from Ohio left playing on Sunday.

Excel-D-I Classic Champions

For the record, in D-I, the order of finish is as follows: 1st-Georgia United; 2nd-Team Izod; 3rd-We All Can Go All-Stars; 4th-NC Runnin Rebels; 5th-Spiece Ky. Gators; 6th-San Antonio Hardwork; 7th-DC Assault; 8th-ATR Xplosion; 9th-Chicago Select; 10th-Florida Phenoms; 11th-SW Illinois Jets; 12th-Team Ramey; 13th-CB Spiders.

Although the Buckeye state was not represented among the D-I finalist, in D-II we dominated! Of the top 12 finishers, Ohio placed 3 teams in the top 10. With an overall record of 6-2, and for the second year in a row, Shining Stars-Kelly placed 3rd. Right behind the Shining Stars with a 6-2 overall record was Dayton Metro who finished in 6th place. Last year Chuck Painter’s squad placed 4th. With a 7-1 record, Buckeye Prep finished in 9th place.
Shining Stars-Kelly-D-II 3rd Place Finish

For the record, in D-II, the order of finish is as follows: 1st-Slam & Jam Hoyas; 2nd-Judge’s Court; 3rd-Shining Stars-Kelly; 4th-NC Swarm; 5th-Eastside Hoops; 6th-Dayton Metro; 7th-Inland Force; 8th-Indana Blizzard; 9th-Buckeye Prep; 10th- NJB Orange County Stars; 11th-St. Louis Gateway; 12th Memphis War Eagles (6th grade).

In closing, I thought most of the Ohio teams really represented the state very well.  In addition, although we often beat each other up on the court and sometimes on the message boards, I was really proud of the fact that we supported each other in Memphis last week.  On several occasions players and coaches from opposing teams not only came out to watch other Ohio teams play, they actively rooted for and chanted O.H.I.O. in support of their follow Buckeyes. Trust me on this one; Ohio’s support for each other did not go unnoticed by the fans from the other states! You guys may not realize it, but we really have something special going on in the Buckeye state!

Dayton Metro-D-II 6th Place Finish

Now that the AAU season is in the books for the class of 2018, the next big event will be the Buckeye Prep Elite Showcase currently scheduled for September 21st and 22nd. In addition to the traditional showcase on Sunday, I’m currently putting together the rosters for the Ohio North vs South All-Star Game.  Also, I’m also working on an Ohio vs Indiana game as well which should really be HOT! Look for those rosters to be posted in the coming weeks. Congratulations to all of the players, coaches, parents and fans for a great season! See you in September!!