Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Memorial Weekend

Memorial weekend has always been a big weekend for AAU basketball with some major events going on around the country. In Michigan most of the teams flocked to Ypsilanti to play in the MI Mavericks Invitational. All Ohio Red also has their annual Memorial Showdown in Columbus, OH. The Family, the Flint All-Stars, and the older Mustang teams all headed to Buckeye Country.

But most of the Memorial Weekend talk circled around the teams that made the far trip to North Carolina for the prestigious Bob Gibbons "Tournament of Champions". The Grand Rapids Storm, REACH Legends, and Michigan Hurricanes all participated in the 17-u division with the Mustangs 15-unders being the other Michigan representative.

Gibbons' Tournament of Champions is not only one of the most prestigious tournaments in the country, since the games are played at the University of North Carolina, Duke, and NC State, but it is also one of the toughest. It is incredibly difficult to make it out of pool play and one loss can ruin those chances.

**None of the Michigan 17-u teams could get any kind of success rolling in Carolina. REACH and the Storm were able to pull of a win in pool play.

**The Storm's Ben Simons played well in Carolina even though he wasn't 100%.

** The Storm had a chance to tie their final pool game against the United Celtics (and have a chance to advance out of pool play) but a lay-up from Austin Harper bounced off.

**REACH added a much needed point guard in Maurice Jones. Pookie along with Keith Appling are dynamite and fun to watch.

**REACH also let a tight pool game slip away with some missed free throws down the stretch, the close loss to Flroida Assault stopped REACH from advancing out of pool play.
**REACH got a win over the Georgia Ballers when Appling (20), Jones (18), and Dion Sims (14) all went for double digits.

** Jonny Horford did dislocate his knee and is only expected to miss 3 weeks. He will be ready for the month of July.

** The Mustang 16's and 17's both fell in the sweet 16 in Columbus. Both teams were missing multiple starters with players like Doug Anderson, Tony Brown, Dedo Jackson, and Nick Jobe all missing the trip.