The Coastal Crew Rebels seventh-grade team went 5-0 for first place in the Cobb County Georgia Cup tournament April 25-27.
The Rebels defeated were the Georgia Heat, LSA Elite, Georgia Stars-LW and Georgia Stars-H. Coastal Crew won the championship game over the Georgia Stars, 68-54.
“Jaleel Gilbert did an amazing job of setting the tone for our defense,” Rebels coach Simon Steele said. “Our defense is a sharp spear, and Jaleel Gilbert is the head of spear. When each child does their job, our team seems to be unstoppable. I’m proud of every child on our team.”
Isaiah Scott finished the championship game with 27 points and 11 rebounds en route to claiming tourney-MVP honors. Scott was joined by fellow Rebel Qualeek Keith on the all-tournament team.
“We have two (Simon Steele and Jaleel Gilbert) very unselfish guards on our starting squad that enjoying seeing their teammates shine,” coach Steele said. “Jaleel Gilbert and Simon Steele have been recognized by HoopSeen, the leading regional voice of grassroots basketball, as extremely quick, unselfish, talented guards and are willing to do the dirty work. In a HoopSeen article, the Rebels were referred to as the ‘A Team’ and ranked us as the fifth-best seventh-grade team in Georgia.
“As a coach, I was speechless. This No. 5 ranking goes to show how hard our team works. It’s not just one person that makes our team go. We collectively create a team. There is something special about this team. Before every game, these young men pray together without being told to do so. Off the court, they treat each other like brothers. I’m proud to be their coach/mentor. It takes a community to put this program together. With our community backing us, I know we can go far. I would like to send a special thank-you to the Hinesville YMCA for supporting us in this process.”
The Coastal Crew Rebels are planning their trip to nationals July 6-12 in Orlando and are looking for willing donators/sponsors. Call coach Steele at 912-610-0435.