Playing against older competition, the St. James Coastal Crew Rebels’ 16U basketball team finished 3-1 overall at the Ice Breaker Tournament held March 31-April 1 in Augusta.
“We played in the 17U bracket, which means we played up a division, and we were able to win three ball games and win our pool bracket,” Rebels’ coach Ernie Walthour said. “We lost to a very good team out of Atlanta on Sunday, but I was real pleased with the kids playing against the juniors compared to sophomores. Anytime you win three games and win your pool, that’s big in a tournament. Everybody played their game.”
Walthour said he saw exceptional play from Miguel Pineda and Trevon Scott throughout the tournament. He added that Jamorris Hill and Herbert Roberts excelled defensively, and Ahmad Muhammad was great on the boards.
The Rebels now are gearing up for the heart of the AAU tournament circuit and are headed to the Norman Parker Elite Showcase April 13-15 at the Suwanee Sports Academy. The boys will head back the to the Suwanee complex for the Bob Gibbons Invitational Tournament of Champions April 27-29.
“We are looking forward to these two tournaments and have our kids seen and be recruited. Last weekend we had one recruiting service approach us. They didn’t know where we were from but they told us, ‘Man, you all have a lot of talent on that team,’ and that is what we are trying to do: Get these kids out there in front of college coaches and recruiters and keep their name out there,” Walthour said.
Walthour said the Rebels are really excited about being invited to play at the King of New York Invitational being held in May in New York City.
“We leave May 17 to go to New York,” he said. “We are raising funds now, and we are asking anybody that wants to donate to the Rebels to call us. We are very excited to get this opportunity to go to New York and play in a tournament. We are also going to visit Yankee Stadium and some other monuments while we are there.”
The 15U, 16U, 17U and eighth-grade teams also will make a trip in July to Orlando for the AAU Nationals.