Wednesday, March 28, 2012

AAU Preview: Southern Kings 15u

AAU Preview Video: SKG 15u

Southern Kings (Augusta) 15u
The Southern Kings of Augusta 15 & Under AAU team's roster is filled with talented 9th graders from the greater Augusta, Georgia, area.  And the team's challenging schedule of tournaments is as impressive as its personnel.  But the most intriguing thing about the team may be the willingness of the players and coaches to challenge themselves by playing the toughest competition possible.  After winning the 15 & Under AAU Super Regionals in North Augusta, South Carolina, last month, the team's coaches (Marcus Gibbons and Rodney Johnson) decided to enter the team in the 17 & Under division of the Hot Shots Alpharetta tournament and the 16 & Under division of this weekend's Ice Breaker Invitational.  The Ice Breaker is an event organized by Kings (Augusta) founder Dameon Key, and the tournament (which includes over 100 AAU teams) has become known as the unofficial kick off to the AAU season in the southeast United States.

The Southern Kings will participate in the 16u Division
of the 2012 Ice Breaker at Augusta Prep Day School.
But playing against older players is not new to the team's core players.  Almost all played a significant role for their high school teams this season.  Guards Reggie Reid (Harlem High) and AJ Gray (Washington County) were among their teams' leading scorers.  And Dontae Coleman (Butler High), Jashawn Brooks (North Augusta High) and Maurice O'Bannon (Glen Hills) also played significant varsity minutes.

"We are playing at a higher age level with the goal of playing at our best by the time we go to some of the most competitive 15 & Under tournaments," coach Marcus Gibbons recently shared.  The list of challenging tournaments the Kings will attend is certainly long.  In April, the Augusta based team will play in the KnoxVegas Heat Invitational (Knoxville, TN); the King James Southern Exposure Event (Augusta, GA); and the Jayhawk Invitational (Kansas City, KS).  Add two in state tournaments and a trip to Dallas, Texas (Under Armour Memorial Day Tournament), in May, one in New York in June, and one each to Little Rock, Arkansas (AAU Nationals), and Las Vegas (Adidas 64 Invitational) in July, and this group will have tested itself against some of the best teams the Spring and Summer AAU circuit has to offer.  And coach Gibbons and Johnson's strategy of playing against older players early in the season should help to prepare the team for the difficult journey.

Enjoy the Southern Kings (Augusta) 15u preview video (above), and take a look at the team's roster:

Southern Kings Gold 15under Roster (2012)

Niquia Andrews        6’1 2G/PG            Richmond Academy High School
JaShawn Brooks       6’4 2G/SF             North Augusta High School
Dontae Coleman       6’2 PG/2G            Butler High School
A.J. Gray                  6’2 2G                  Washington County High School
Jamari Griffin            6’5 PF                  Westside High School
Maurice O’Bannon   6’5 PF/SF             Glenn Hills High School
Quinton Phillips        6’4 SF/PF             Westside High School
Reggie Reid              5’11 PG/2G          Harlem High School
Calvin Taylor            6’7 C                    Fox Creek High School
Jervon Walker           6’5 PF/SF             Laney High School

Director: Dameon Key
Coaches: Marcus Gibbons & Rodney Johnson

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