Tournament showcases girls’ basketball talent

Photo by Timothy Ramsey

Tournament showcases girls’ basketball talent
August 03
04:00 2017

The game of basketball is continually growing as a global game each and every year.  The involvement of girls playing the sport has also seen a boom in recent years as well. Brian Robinson of the Winston-Salem Stealers held a tournament to allow Division I coaches to get a first hand look at some potential recruits. He is helping young women achieve their goal of playing on the collegiate level.

The one-day tournament was held on Monday, July 24 at the Gateway YWCA.  The tournament brought out several coaches from colleges such as Fayetteville State University, North Carolina State University, High Point University and the Air Force Academy just to name a few.

Robinson, founder and president of the Stealers, says he enjoys having these tournaments to allow coaches the chance to see a plethora of talent all under one roof.

“It was a big success and was probably the most successful one we have had thus far in the four years we have been holding it,” Robinson said.  “We hope to continue to grow it in the next couple of years.”

Robinson says that during the summer there are probably around 25 to 30 other tournaments going on around the same time and for 26 college coaches to come to this tournament was phenomenal.

Going forward he says they would love to expand the tournament to multiple days to incorporate more teams and more coaches.  This year 12 teams played a total of three games on Monday, giving the coaches several looks at the talent.

“We understand that we need to grow slowly,” Robinson said.  “Everything that we do needs to be very deliberate and eventually we will get to the point where we like it.  Until then we were very happy with the turnout and we know the girls had a great opportunity to get seen from a lot of different coaches.”

Over the years Robinson has heard much positive feedback from the coaches and the young women who compete in his tournaments.  He says many young women have received calls and/or letters from college coaches because they were noticed at his tournament.

“A lot of coaches say the reason they come to our event is because we keep the cost very reasonable for them and it’s only one day,” he continued.  “It’s a great bang for their buck and they love it.  They also have time to travel to other events so they appreciate what we do.”

Currently the Stealers program has 14 total teams, seven of which competed in the tournament last Monday.  Robinson says they have so many teams because they don’t want to just cater to the “elite players” but want to allow as many young women to play as possible.

“Part of the draw of our program is that we have given a lot of girls opportunities at all levels of college,” said Robinson.  “We understand that they’re a lot of players on a lot of different levels so the fact we have so much interest from so many girls in this area and beyond allows us to fill so many teams.”

Throughout the years 123 players have left the Stealers program and achieved a scholarship on some level of college basketball. Included in that number are 19 young women who have received Division I scholarships.

“It is definitely a wonderful feeling to see so many players go on to play basketball in college,” he said.  “We just feel like if you continue to try and do the right thing then good things will happen.  We are proud of all the girls, not only the ones who received scholarships but also the ones who have gone on to do great things with their lives.”

Robinson says he feels as though he is the fortunate one to have the chance to be a part of the program.  He will host another Division II/Division III tournament in September and its also contemplating whether or not to hold another Division I tournament later this year.

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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