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July 27, 2010
Taking Summer Basketball To New Heights
Youth Organization Aim to Create Elite Experience Both On and Off the Court on July 31 at Fordham University with the NYC Summer Classic AAU Tournament
Perhaps the most iconic image of summer basketball is that of thousands of fans cramming into and around Rucker Park to watch the game's greatest players match skills on the famed playground court in Harlem. These outdoor courts used to be the place where reputations were made and legends born. As the game has evolved, AAU events have become that showcase for today's young talent and tournaments are played throughout the country. Again this year, the spotlight will find its way back to NYC on July 31 at the second annual NYC Summer Classic AAU tournament held at Fordham University, presented by New Heights.
According to New Heights Athletic Director Kimani Young, the event will not only be a showcase for players but a welcome addition to the current landscape. "We love traveling, but we also wanted to create an event that brought the experience home," said Young. "We feel like New York is the center of the basketball universe and, as such, we thought there should be a tournament that capitalizes on that energy. Our goal is to produce a high quality NYC summer basketball event for the top prospects, coaches and programs in the Tri-State area. That means quality basketball, quality facilities, quality officiating, quality competition and high quality NCAA academic workshops. Last year's event was a tremendous success, with 32 teams participating and more than 100 college coaches in attendance. This year's event promises to be even bigger and better."
Nick Blatchford, the founder of New Heights, added that New Heights is putting a strong emphasis on creating a high quality experience, not just in terms of the caliber of play, but across the board. "We want to create an environment that reflects New Heights' mission, which combines competitive sports with an emphasis on education and character development," said Blatchford. "We want teams to walk away from New York City with a positive experience, regardless of how they do on the court."
This year's one-day showcase tournament will be held on July 31st at Fordham University in the Bronx. The invitation-only event will showcase 40 of the nation's most talented 15/U, 16/U and 17/U teams and will be certified by the NCAA as a "live" recruiting event, meaning college coaches from all over the country will be in attendance to scout young prospects from the region.
Committed Featured Programs Include:
New Heights NYC, NJ Playaz, Long Island Lightning, Metro Hawks (NY), Expressions, NY Panthers, Team NJ ABC, Juice All Stars (NY), Team Takeover (DC)
National Top 100 Prospects Include:
Jermaine Sanders '11, Rice (NY), New Heights, Mike Taylor '11, Boys & Girls (NY), Metro Hawks, Mikael Hopkins '11, DeMatha (MD), Team Takeover, Michael Gbinjie '11, Benedictine (VA), Team Takeover, Sidiki Johnson '11, Oak Hill (VA), Metro Hawks, Nkereuwem Okoro '12, St. Raymond's (NY), Long Island Lightning, Daniel Dingle '12, St. Raymond's (NY), Long Island Lightning, Myles Mack '11, Paterson Catholic (NJ), Playaz, Myles Davis '11, St. Peter's Prep (NJ), Playaz, Desmond Hubert '11, New Egypt (NJ), Playaz, Kyle Anderson '12, Paterson Catholic (NJ), Playaz, Maurice Harkless '11, Oak Hill (VA), NY Panthers, Derrick Randall '11, South Kent (CT), Playaz, Corey Edwards '11, Christ the King (NY), New Heights