FRANKLIN, Tenn. -- The Tennessee State AAU Championship was held this past weekend at the A Game complex and although some of the best teams in state bypassed the weekend, we watched many new athletes, and a few familiar ones make a big impression. Winners for each division were: 8th Grade Div 1 – TN Flight Select, 9th Grade Div 1 – TN Xtreme Little, 10th Grade Div 1 – A Game Springer, 11th Grade Div 1 – TN Fury Gold. Here are a few of the standout players:
Check out 5-6 point guard Asha Thomas out of Bishop O'Dowd High School. She has a quick first step, sick handles and can stroke it from behind the arc. Even better she knows how to make her teammates look good by giving up the rock. Thomas, who is on our 2015 Full Court Fresh 50 watchlist, was part of the Dragons state championship team that defeated Windward for the Califorinia Open Division title. This summer you can catch Thomas on the AAU circuit for Ca Ballaz.
Ever since Dick Vitale high-volumed his way onto a TV screen, American sports fans have listened to a host of commentators talk about coaches as if they were players. "Rick Pitino sure shut down Trey Burke in this one," an announcer will intone, as if Pitino were out on the court personally shadowing Burke.
In truth, of course, Pitino could have had the greatest strategy in the world, but if his players didn't have the talent to execute it, it wouldn't matter. Or, to put it another way, coaching IQ directly correlates with player talent.
Two rising stars in California are Sabrina Ionescu and Brijanee Moore. Sabrina, a 5-10 freshman for Miramonte High School, has an automatic stroke and a knows how to get to the basket. Sabrina will suit up for the Cal Stars this AAU season. Sophomore Bri Moore balled out for St. Mary's Stockton this year and helped the team get to the state semifinal where they lost to Bishop O'Dowd. You can check her out this summer with the Cal Sparks Black.
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- USA Basketball released the final list of 135 invited and self-invited players who will compete in the U16 National Team Trials at the U.S. Olympic Training Center here May 23-27. The particpants include 32 top players invited by the USA Basketball Women’s Developmental National Team Committee and an additional 103 players who were accepted through an open application process.
It was a graduation day to remember for Notre Dame star Skylar Diggins, who received a brand new Mercedes from hip hop mogul and Roc Nation Sports Agency owner Jay-Z.
Instagram photos show Diggins in her cap and gown outside of Notre Dame Stadium where she was presented with the surprise on Sunday. Diggins later tweeted, "I got 99 Problems but a Benz ain't one" in reference to HOV's famous hit song.
It looks like the coaching carousel has stopped spinning (though one never knows), and out of the many, many moves that were made, here are a few that stood out.
And with what many consider the most important season of all just around the corner -- that would be summer recruiting -- all the newcomers, not just the ones mentioned here, must hit the ground texting with both thumbs. Everybody’s smarter with better players, and this is when coaches can impress those better players.