I'm here in Phoenix, AZ on a combination mini vacation and to cover/coach a showcase basketball event. The Texas D-1 Ambassadors will participate in my buddy, Chad Groth's Elite 8 (which has actually grown to 16 teams) beginning Saturday morning at Camelback High School. Several high powered teams will be on hand including Arizona Pump N Run (AZ), Danny Granger Hurricanes (NM), San Diego Magic (CA) & Compton Magic (CA) who some folks are saying are the highest powered team in the country thus far this spring.
I left my hotel at 6AM this morning to meet up with old friend, Head Coach Russ Pennell of D-2 Grand Canyon University. He's truly one of the gentlemen and good guys in the college basketball world. The former University of Arizona Head Coach had also served as an assistant in the past at Arizona State, Ole Miss & Oklahoma State. After leaving Arizona, Pennell had several coaching opportunities including another PAC-10 job but decided to take on the challenge of building the program from scratch at Grand Canyon (who will petition the NCAA for D-1 status in the next couple of years.) The D-1 Ambassadors will tour the Grand Canyon campus on Saturday.
The tournament will have plenty of West Coast media coverage & is loaded with talent, including the following top national prospects:
For immediate release – May 13, 2010
Chad Groth, Director
Areacodesbasketball.com presents ELITE 8 In the Desert
ELITE 8 brings in the Nations top High School basketball players; Including the #1 ranked team in the country Compton Magic
The ELITE 8 Basketball Tournament Committee is very pleased to announce the lineup of teams playing in this year’s event held on May 15-16 at Camelback High School Gym (4612 North 28th Street, Phoenix, AZ 85016.
Area Codes Basketball has solidified itself as one of the ELITE middle school and high school basketball tournaments in Arizona.
Tournament director Chad Groth, announces this tournament to be every sports writer and scouting services stop, as they can evaluate some of the top players in Arizona, California, New Mexico, Nevada and Texas as they scout this spring basketball tournament. “This tournament is about getting Arizona players EXPOSURE against the top prep basketball players in the country.” said Groth. Some of the Nations Top 16 ELITE basketball club programs will be competing for this championship will include 6 in-state and 10 out-of-state teams over the course of 32 games.
Some of the high level and nationally ranked players, includes players to watch: Jahii Carson (Mesa HS, AZ) playing with the Compton Magic. Several services believe the Compton Magic has the best team in the nation. Carson a Top 100 player in the nation the past year’s is being recruited by Arizona, Oregon State, Butler, Arizona State and UCONN. Other players to watch on the Compton Magic include Gabe York (California’s top player in 2012 at Orange Lutheran HS), and Damiene Cain from Harvard Westlake, he was the California D3 player of the year and is ranked in the Top 40 in the nation in his class of 2011. Norvelle Pelle a 7 feet tall and a player who compares to a Lamar Odom type player from Price HS 2011), he is being heavily recruited by Arizona, Oregon State and Washington. Isaiah Austin (Grace Prep, TX) son of Alex Austin who is 7 feet 1 and is a Top 5 player in the class of 2012.
Danny Granger Hurricanes are led by Kory Alford (La Cueva HS Albuquerque, NM) Alford, son of UNM coach Steve Alford, also is a top ranked prospect for the class of 2011.
Others to mention will be Arizona Pump n Run’s 2011 class players Colin Woods from Horizon HS and Cameron Forte, McClintock HS. Texas D1 Ambassadors Deon Mitchell Pflugerville, TX and 7 foot 1 center David Hahn who last weekend took an official visit to Marquette and is a unsigned senior. Inland I team is led by Mervin Lindsay (Canyon Springs high Moreno Valley, CA). Tucson Pump n Runs top player will be Matt Korcheck who got his release from UTEP and has been targeted by Oklahoma and Oregon State as of recent.
Joe Ward All Stars are led by Jordan McDougald (Red Mountain, Mesa, AZ) who is one of the top unsigned guards in the state. NBA player Trevor Ariza’s team ARIZA has a top player to watch in 6 foot 9 sophomore Daveon Thomas from Compton High School. Arizona Dream Team has Chinle High’s player of the year in 3A Koyai Clauschee and Enoch Rhemadji from St Mary’s HS Phoenix, AZ.
The Las Vegas Dogcatchers include Davion Pearson of Palo Verde in Las Vegas, NV. James Ford’s AZ Magic Seniors have top rated seniors in Arizona which include Lorenzo Ford (Desert Vista HS), Jarrett Green (Dobson) and Bryce Cotton (Palo Verde) in Tucson.
“With this years talent I am confident basketball fans across the valley will enjoy this tournament as 16 teams play for the Elite 8, Arizona basketball is on the rise and for the Elite out of state teams to travel to Arizona means something. Several scouting and media services will be in attendance include Josh Gershon (goazcats.com), Chris Karpman (ASUdevils.com), Jon Perryman (ArizonaVarsity.com), Richard Obert (Arizona Republic), Anthony Ray (Arizonapreps.com), Gerry Freitas (Hoop Review), Max Ivany (Texas Prep Report), Hoop Masters, Rivals and Full Court Press affiliates will also be present.”
The Texas D-1 Ambassadors will be led by (below from top to bottom):
2011 W 6'5" Jalen Washington of Pflugerville Hendrickson,
2011 PG 6'0" Deon Mitchell of Pflugerville
2010 C 7'1" David Hahn who has been impressing this spring with his play and has just returned from an official visit to Marquette.
Also, look for a new prospect to burst on the national scene from Austin, TX. 2011 Combo guard, 6'4" Eric McClellan of Ausin High suits up with the Texas D-1 Ambassadors for the first national event of his career. Look for McClellan to showcase deep range on his shot along with an explosive first step to the basket. He's currently a hidden gem who I predict will soon make his mark on the circuit. (McClellan #1, below skies over two Pflugerville players.)
As many of you know my health has been mediocre the past year so it was great to be feeling a little better lately and to play my first round of golf in close to 8 months. Newsflash: I am as bad as ever...lol and look to prove it again tomorrow when myself and Coach Mike Hardge tee it up and prove that old baseball players never die, they just learn to throw their clubs on the golf course.