Local AAU basketball team wins Div. II championship

Team Invasion won the AAU boys under 13 national championship by defeating their opponents by the score of 58-56.

Local AAU basketball team  wins Div. II championship
July 21
06:00 2016

Winning a national championship is the dream of most amateur athletes. Team Invasion of High Point won the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) boys 13 and under Division II National Championship in Greensboro earlier this month.
Teams from all across the country were invited to the Greensboro Coliseum to play in the National Championship tournament. Each state held a tournament to decide who would have the chance to play in the national tournament. After finishing second in the state behind the Charlotte Dragons, Team Invasion went into the tournament with high aspirations and a chip on their shoulders.

“I always told the team that you always want to play on the last day,” said head coach Desmon Baldwin. “Our expectations were to be playing on the last day, and playing in the championship was not really a surprise, but I was definitely glad to be there.”

The teams in the tournament were seeded and placed into pools of four. The top two teams went into the championship bracket and seeded similarly to how the NCAA seeds its teams during its championship tournament. The lower two teams in the pool went to the consolation bracket. Team Invasion battled through the rounds and edged the Pelicans from Louisiana in a nail-biting victory with the score of 58 to 56.

“I think during this year’s nationals we played probably the best basketball we have ever played. We came together and we handled adversity very well, especially with the injuries we had to endure,” Baldwin went on to say.
According to Baldwin, Team Invasion controlled the tempo throughout the first half even though it was a close game throughout. He says his team pushed the lead to eight points in the third quarter then became a little complacent. This allowed the Pelicans to come back during the fourth quarter and take the lead. With under a minute and a half to go in the game, Team Invasion was down by four points.

With the game tied 56 to 56, James Wilkins III drove to the basket and was fouled. With ice in his veins, he stepped to the line and drained two free throws to put Team Invasion up by two points with nine seconds left. They were able to hang on for the victory.

“At the end of the season, we really came together and played as a team,” a Team Invasion player said. “We were coming to win and we expected to win. During warm ups, I was a little nervous, but come game time, you have to get focused and just look at it as another game,” he went on to say.

Another Team Invasion player said he was very nervous before the game because this was his second time playing in the championship game. He stated during his fifth-grade year, his team lost in the championship.

“I really just felt the pressure to help the team win because I really wanted to be first in the nation this time,” he concluded.
The parents were very proud of their children and were happy they were able to bring home the championship.

“I was really proud of them and it was a great accomplishment for them,” a parent said. Another teammate’s mother added, “I think they played wonderful as a team and they really pulled together. It was a tough game and they all worked so hard to get there. To see the smiles on their faces after they won that game was just unbelievable.”

One of the players’ mothers wanted to give a special thanks to the coaching staff. She stated that the current coaches provided so much encouragement for the kids. She was happy the staff was focused on more than just wins. That meant a lot to her and the other parents.

Team Invasion looks to defend its title next year. When asked what the team’s expectation’s were, officials said, “Defend and repeat, simple as that.”

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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