Josh Howard basketball tournament brings out fundamentals

Josh Howard basketball tournament brings out fundamentals
June 16
08:15 2016



Youth basketball is the sport being played in its most raw state.  There is no dunking like LeBron, little to no fancy dribbling like Kyrie Irving, and no three-pointers from 30 feet away like Stephen Curry.  What makes these games so exhilarating are the fundamentals and love for game the kids have.

This past weekend, the High Point City Ball H.A.W.G.S. (Heart and Will Go Strong) took home the championship in the 9-to-11 age group in the Josh Howard/Porsche Jones Classic.  The team went 3-0 during the tournament, defeating each team by double figures in each game.

“Our team is very good, and we played a very good game, and the fact that we won was great,” said point guard Jayden Davis.

Power forward Bryson Mickey said, “I think we just played very well and it turned out the way I wanted it to.”

Josh Howard and Porsche Jones were both standout basketball players at Wake Forest University.  Jones is the director of Bondskills, which is a sports event hosting company that hosts tournaments all across the area.

The Ball H.A.W.G.S. is a youth development program sponsored and supported by The M.I.N.D. (Moving In a New Direction) group, which is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in High Point.  The M.I.N.D.  group is coordinated by Bryon Stricklin, director/founder/sixth-and seventh-grade coach. The coach of the team, Rondrigus Davis, was impressed with his team’s performance during the tournament.

“I am most proud of the growth my team showed,” said Davis.  “I had a player who had never stepped foot on the basketball court before and to see his progression from the first day until now, he’s developed so much, and going forward I can’t wait to see him blossom.”

The tournament was a round robin and the H.A.W.G.S. first played the Greensboro Warriors and defeated them by the score of 36-14. They then matched up against Team Major, who gave them a tougher test. However, they prevailed 39-23.

In the beginning of the championship game against Team Mercury out of Winston-Salem, the H.A.W.G.S. jumped out to an early lead, setting the tone for rest of the game. At the half, they were up by double figures.  With a pressuring half court defense, which led to a number of steals and break-away bas-kets, the H.A.W.G.S. continued to stretch the lead in the second half. They were clicking on all cylinders.

“I am elated about the championship because the boys worked very hard,” said Cheryl McCoy, parent of player Bryce McCoy.  “Bryce loves his team, program and the friendship with the guys.  I am most proud of the guys for getting better and playing as a team, and that’s what counts.”

Stricklin stated that The M.I.N.D. group basketball program started in 2012 as a way to bring kids in to help them understand the nuances of the organization and what they have to offer.

He also said that the Josh Howard/Porsche Jones Classic is a very good and well-organized tournament that allows players from across the Triad to showcase their talents.

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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