Basketball can be many things. The game brings together amazing kids, parents, coaches, and basketball fans with a unified desire to better the kids. Basketball tournaments become that type of avenue and I have always felt blessed to be part of this basketball community. To be part of a basketball history in which I played, coached, and worked. This weekends July Jamboree was a perfect example of the community of a basketball event. From the Strength N Motion International groups full of talent from Mexico to Sweden to teams from all over the state of Texas, all unite under this game we love.
The Platinum High School boys division was full of talent from around the globe. Yes around the globe. Strength N Motion’s two varsity groups cover all parts of the globe including Sweden, Switzerland, Germany, Mexico, Angola, Argentina, Brazil, and numerous other countries including kids from all over TX. A brainchild of Gee Gervin started 10 years ago, the International Camp has grown from a handful of campers to over 40. All spending time together learning their diverse cultures and common bond in basketball. One of the neatest things I experienced this weekend was a conversation from three kids from three different countries trying to explain the Varsity bracket they were competing in. All speaking broken English sounding more like their foreign tongue they figured out their map to the championship. On this map would be a very talented field including the Texas Bulldogs from San Angelo, K Town All Stars from Killeen, San Antonio Elite, Boerne Greyhounds, Next Level Raiders, and Lake Travis Cavs. As the dust settled four teams would remain in the semifinals. Strength N Motion International A would face the Texas Bulldogs and Strength N Motion International B would face San Antonio Elite. In the first semi the Texas Bulldogs would prove to be too big for SNM International A and in the second semifinal SNM International B would have a hard time staying with the pure athleticism of San Antonio Elite. The championship would be epic with both the Texas Bulldogs and San Antonio Elite going back and forth at each other. Close the entire way, Bulldogs BJ Hollis would have a monstrous dunk that would change the momentum of the game in the last couple of minutes. The Bulldogs would go on to take the championship back to San Angelo led by Hollis’s 23 point and 9 rebounds along with Jordan Pena’s 12 points. San Antonio Elite would be led by Malik Nevrell’s 22 points.
The Gold Junior Varsity boys division championship would come down to the Port Arthur Warriors and San Antonio Falcons. The Falcons would take an early first half lead but the PA Warriors would bounce back and take the lead before half time. In the second half led by Jamie Keal (14 points) and Nick King (10 points) the PA Warriors jumped out to a six point lead. The San Antonio Falcons would not go away and with only six players due to injuries they stormed back in a thriller to jump ahead as time ran out. The Falcons comeback was mainly lead by steady scoring from Cristian Russel (8 points), Brandon Nethertori (10 points), Dhimani Hernandez (10 points), and Joseph Trevino (8 points).
The Red 3rd/4th Grade boys division was decided by a late three point bomb. The game between the Alamo City Hoop Squad and the Blue Devils was close the entire contest and the Alamo City Hoop Squad found themselves ahead by one point with just under a minute left in the game. With the Blue Devils having the possession, Roman Flores would drain a long bomb and never look back. Flores would finish with 8 points and Blue Devils Lorenzo Morales would chip in with 10 points. The Alamo Hoop Squad were led by Trey Martins’s 16 points.
The Silver 8th Grade boys division once again came in as the largest division of the week with 16 teams. Talented teams like Capital City Elite, Texas Prime, San Antonio Sun Devils, San Antonio Blue Devils, Austin Beast Elite, EBA, and Texas Dreamteam. A very competitive championship bracket would produce only two teams for the championship though. Texas Dreamteam had found themselves three times before this Spring and Summer in the semi finals knocking on the door to the championship unable to advance. This time they would face a tough EBA team making their first Excel championship. The “Beasts in Pink” would not denied in this championship. Led by Amarea Bailey (18 points) and Brandyn Riojas’s sharp shooting and 14 points, the Dreamteam jumped out to an early double digit lead and never looked back. EBA was led Ambrose Johnson’s 12 points.
The Purple 7th/8th Grade girls Division saw an unbeatable San Antonio Lady Outlaws take their first “L” in a very long time to the San Antonio Lightning. They would rebound from the loss and find themselves Sunday in the championship against a very tough Unite Skills Academy. The Outlaws led by Alexus Arroyos (13 points), Madline Gomez (12 points), and Avalon Munoz (12 points) took an early demanding lead and never looked back. The Unite Skills girls would have strong performances from Sophia Haberer (9 points) and
Bella Brown (7 points).
The Amber 9th Grade Division championship had yet another epic finish between the San Antonio Mustangs 2020 and Texas Bulldogs of San Angelo. You can see the video on the excel tournament blog Facebook page but I will describe the moment. With seven seconds left in the game and the Texas Bulldogs in bounding the ball at half court they in get the ball to Kobe Penha but in the back court which instantly would prove to be a challenge for Penha who now gained momentum and drove the ball directly to the basket where the Mustangs collapsed on him. Penha would find teammate Isaiah English diving to the basket and English would put the ball in the basket with 1.3 seconds left. The Mustangs couldn’t create a miracle in the limited time and the Texas Bulldogs would escape withe their second Championship of the evening.
In the Lavender Division would be full of great teams such as the San Angelo Shockers, San Antonio Lightning, San Antonio Synergy, San Antonio Lady Vipers, and Liberty Hill Swoosh. The championship would come down to the Liberty Hill Swoosh and San Antonio Synergy. The Swoosh all weekend put on show of spectacular teamwork and passing that would melt opposing defenses. Nothing would change in the championship against a very strong Synergy team as the passing would cut up Synergy’s defense on way to a championship finish. Melany Bethany would lead the Swoosh with 14 points while the Synergy were led by Morgan Rodriguez’s 8 points and Bri Gonzales’s 7 points.
OTHER CHAMPIONSHIP RESULTS: CRIMSON 1ST/2ND GRADE BOYS CHAMPIONS Alamo Hoop Squad/RUNNER-UPS Killeen K Town All Stars, BLUE 5TH GRADE BOYS CHAMPIONS Clear Lake Legends/RUNNER-UPS Brennan Lil Bears, ORANGE 6TH GRADE BOYS CHAMPIONS San Antonio Kings/RUNNER-UPS Dream Loudly Boomers, BRONZE 7TH GRADE BOYS CHAMPIONS Dallas Hoop Hunters Hustlers/RUNNER-UPS Fredricksburg Kings, LILAC 6TH/7TH GRADE GIRLS CHAMPIONS Somerset Hoopstars/RUNNER-UPS Houston Lady Legends.
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