Saturday, April 28, 2012

Special Gibbons Update: Southern Select vs Upward Stars

With Friday evening's "Weekend Plans" and Saturday morning's "Friday Recap... Saturday Preview" posts, we are attempting to keep readers and viewers informed about our diverse set of weekend activities.  As we have explained, the Bob Gibbons Tournament of Champions in Suwanee, Georgia, is one site where many fine AAU basketball teams have gathered to compete in a "bracket play, elimination style" tournament.  So Saturday's 8 A.M. match up between Georgia's Southern Select, the Norman Parker Elite Showcase tournament champions, and the Upward Stars, the Ice Breaker Invitational champions, was no ordinary early morning spring game.

These teams, each loaded with players destined to be solid college basketball players, put on an entertaining display of offense, combining for 184 points.  After starting somewhat slowly and trailing 46-34 at halftime, Southern Select, which includes Augusta area players Frank Booker (#11, Westside High) and Ronald Jones (#21, Butler High), scored 55 second half points and tied the game at 82 with a few minutes remaining.  But Upward, which was led throughout most of the game by the dynamic play of #20 Justin Mckie (son of South Carolina Gamecock legend BJ Mckie), got timely free throws and big plays by their floor leader Alec Wintering (#2).

It is unfortunate that a team as solid, not to mention as fun to watch, as Southern Select has been eliminated from championship contention this early.  But the Tournament of Champions is a refreshing change of pace from standard AAU "college evaluation" formats, which often feature several pre-determined match ups and, because there is no penalty for losing, can result in players having "nothing to play for," except, of course, the attention of the college coaches in attendance.

This game was worth waking up for and watching at 8 A.M.  But those who missed it can see over four minutes of highlights in the videos below.  And if that is not enough, the full game is archived at and  We must say that iHigh, Hoop Seen ( and ABR teamed up to produce a rather exciting broadcast.

And Upward fans can look forward to another live stream of tonight's key match up with the formidable Florida Rams.  ( and

Upward Stars vs Southern Select (1st Half Highlights)

Upward Stars vs Southern Select (2nd Half Highlights)

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