Day One Complete At USA Basketball Youth Development 14U National Tournament
The inaugural USA Basketball 14U National Tournament wrapped up its first day on Friday, June 30, at Jonathan Byrd’s Fieldhouse at Grand Park in Westfield, Indiana. After preliminary round play concluded in the afternoon, coaches could take part in a social event, while participants had the option of attending a clinic and a skills challenge event.
The USA Basketball 14U National Tournament is a USA Basketball Youth Development initiative. The focus of the national tournament is to promote the growth of basketball through core values of fun, safety and development. The event is open to the public, and the cost to attend is $5 per day. Children under 6 are free.
In the boys tournament, two teams from each of the four preliminary round pools have perfect, 2-0 records, including Pool D’s Team Teague (Ind.) and Triple Double Basketball Black (Fla.); Pool E’s Grand Park Premier 2022 Red (Ind.) and ProBound Elite (Ohio); Pool F’s Flint’s Finest (Mich.) and Grand Park Premier 2022 Black (Ind.); and Pool G’s Corcoran Elite (N.Y.) and Elfrid Payton (La.).
The only overtime game of the day was in fact a double-overtime, 62-61 win for Flint's Finest against Kingdom Red Blake (1-1).
The tournament is being conducted in accordance with USA Basketball’s youth guidelines and will use modified FIBA international rules, including four, eight-minute quarters and a 30-second shot clock. Every coach in the tournament is a USA Basketball licensed coach.
“It was kind of the same, but it was pretty cool to play under USA Basketball rules,” said Harold Garcia of La Liga del Barrio Warriors (Pa.). “I liked the shot clock, because it gives the game more energy.
“We got blown out in both games,” Garcia admitted. “We are hoping to do better. We need to improve our hustle and our defense.”
Preliminary round play will continue through Sunday morning. The top two finishing teams from each of the four pools will advance to the division 1 playoffs. The boys division I one championship game will be streamed live online at usab.com/live at 1:15 p.m. (all times listed are EDT) on July 3.
In the girls tournament, only two teams were scheduled for two games on Friday, Georgia Pearls (Ga.) and St. Louis Eagles (Mo.), and both went 2-0.
The closest girls game of the day was a 37-34 victory for Wisconsin Shooters (1-0) over the Dayton Lady Hoopstars (0-1).
“I think we had a hard start just to get the nervousness out, but then towards the end, we had a good game working together,” Brynne Petersen (Wisconsin Shooters). “We went over the rules, and the coach told us about them before the game. We were sort of used to it. One thing that we weren’t used to was the rule about not passing it into the backcourt once you are in the front court, but I think we played through it pretty well.”
The top two teams from each pool will advance to the division I quarterfinals. The semifinal winners will compete in the championship game, which will be streamed live online at usab.com/live, at 11:40 a.m. on July 3.
The clinic was directed by Don Showalter, USA Basketball coach development director and an eight-time winner of the USA Basketball Developmental Coach of the Year award.
“The clinic was fun,” said Jermaine Foster of P.G.F. Basketball Wolves (Ohio). “We worked on our left hand, a back pivot and a front pivot, and I got to spend time with my teammates.”
The skills challenge included the traditional elements of a FIBA 3x3 World Cup, which are a 3-point contest, an obstacle course and a partner hotshot.
“It was pretty fun,” said Skylar Quillet, who along with Carolina Waves (N.C.) teammate Misia McKinney took part in the hotshot challenge. “Our teammates hyped us up a lot, so it was really exciting.”
More information is available at usab.com/14UTournament.
- Five teams are from Indiana; represented by three teams each are Illinois, Michigan and Ohio; and Florida and Pennsylvania boast of two teams apiece. One team from Louisiana, Missouri, New York, North Carolina and Virginia round out the division.
- La Liga del Barrio from Philadelphia raised $7,145 through a GoFundMe page to bring two teams to the tournament.
- Triple Double Black from Florida, which has two teams in the tournament, includes three generations on its roster – head coach John Latimer Jr., assistant coach John Latimer Sr. and player John Latimer III.
- Three teams hail from North Carolina, while Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Missouri, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia and Wisconsin each feature one team in the tournament.
- Bridgette King, head coach of the Lady Panthers from Texas, was the first person to become a USA Basketball Licensed Coach, earning her license on Feb. 15, 2015.