It was the wild, wild west out there this weekend. I expected nothing less on the AAU circuit, as it’s part of what keeps things interesting.
Countless kilometres (or miles if you’re American) on the road, splurging on unhealthy treats, scheduling game times and speeding over to the gym 30 minutes away, while maximizing every time slot—it’s what we do–it’s what we signed up for!
My evaluation period started in Akron, Ohio for the King James Shooting Stars tournament, and ended in Pittsburgh for the #PIttJamFest.
Tariq’s Tidbits – Akron
- Koby McEwan came up with the play of the weekend–a 1-hand monster jam down the middle of the lane on a defender. I was shaking my head for a couple minutes on that one.
- CIA Bounce 14U squad is loaded with star power and might be the most promising team within the program, strictly from a talent standpoint — won the King James Championship.
- S- Elite 15U out of Milton won the Gold division King James title. Look out for this Canadian team. Under the radar but Making some noise, lead by 2017 guard Christian David.
- U-Play Bounce 17U lacked size on this trip, but made up for it with their toughness all around and strong guard play, lead by Kimbal Mackenzie, Daniel Dzierzawksi & Sheldon McIntosh.
- Abu Kigab out of St Catherines, Ontario continues to make his mark in the class of 2017. Plays on a promising Brampton Warriors squad.
- UPlay Bounce 16U met CIA Bounce in the semi-finals for an all-Canadian match up, featuring some of the top 2016 prospects in the country. CIA Bounce would pick up the W in comeback fashion, ultimately losing to King James in the championship game.
- Grant Audu (CIA Bounce 15U) came close to challenging McEwan for play of the weekend — elevated from the right wing and punching it in on the defence.
- Canadian teams that I wasn’t able to see in Ohio was DTC Basketball, Toronto JCC, Cambridge Cenataurs, Mississauga Monarchs and Core City. Hope to catch them this spring/ summer.
Tariq’s Tidbits – Pittsburgh
- Canada Elite 17U played their tails off, energized by their coaches Jermaine Jackson and Chris Skinner. Nevell Provo, Chase Vassell & co. gained the attention of several NCAA programs in attendance including American U, Canisius, Radford, High Point and The Citadel, to name a few.
- Waterloo Wildhawks 17U won the Steel championship.
- Blessed Sacrament defeated Grassroots Canada in the OPEN division semi-final, and would lose in the championship game to DB Hoops.