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April 24, 2008 - Seth Staskey
This past weekend, I had a chance to attend my first-ever AAU Basketball Tournament. Myself and a buddy, Kurt Stubbs, made the trip to Pittsburgh for the Flying to the Hoop Classic. Needless to say it was an experience. The play is absolutely out of this world (at least from what we are used to in the Ohio Valley), the amount of college coaches in attendance trying to sink their teeth into the next great hoop prodigy is amazing. When the first person you see when you walk in the door is Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski, you know you're not in the O.V. anymore.
While the play was fierce and high flying, I am still a little unsure of the entire concept of AAU. By that I am trying to figure out how a great player in the state of North Carolina (Mason Plumlee) can be playing for a team called Indiana Elite. I mean how does he get hooked up with those guys. I have concern over that because it seems there are some shady people involved in some of these activities. At least teams from Ohio are made up of primarily from Ohio, I.E. the all-Ohio Red was made up of players that are all basically from Ohio. I just don't get it, but maybe I am ignorant to the whole idea. That could be, but I still think there is some shady business going on with these high-profile AAU teams.
Overall, it was a good time. There's no other time when you can get that close to some of the nation's premier basketball talent and some of the nation's premier basketball coaches. And to tell you just how close we got, Kurt was actually talking shop with assistant coaches from Michigan, Purdue and Bradley just to name a few. This week's tour stop for AAU teams is in Akron for the prestigious King James event.
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