The 2008 TOC brings high school hoops to Tobacco Road with venues at Duke, North Carolina, and North Carolina State among others.
The Volunteer state will be highly represented with four teams in the 17 and under division and two each in the 16's and 15's competing for the coveted gold trophy.
Pool E starts our magical mystery tour with the Tennessee YOMCA Tigers battling the likes of Grassroots Canada, Blessed IJN and the Michigan Hurricanes. The Tigers will welcome back Taverees Jefferson (Ensworth) who will be vital in this tourney. Look for big weekends from Blake Jenkins (Bearden), John "Silk" Jenkins (Station Camp) and Demonte Simpson (Bearden).
Welcome to Pool H, Nashville Celtics. Another weekend with the Worldwide Renegades; as well as, Triple Threat and Cuttino Mobley Philly Pride. The Celtics bring the noise with Drew Kelly (Centennial), Casey Prather (Jackson Northside) and Kentucky commitment Jon Hood (Kentucky). This will lso be my first opportunity to see the heralded newcomer DeAndre Daniels, a Class of 2010 player who plans on moving to Nashville for his junior season.
Mike Miller's M33M battle in Pool J with Ohio Basketball Club, Grand Rapids Storm and the United Celtics. Christian Watford (Alabama) is the marquee attraction but Class of 2010 hoopers like Tim Peete (Memphis Central), Alan Farmer (Cordova) and Masceo Harmon (Memphis Central) give them depth and solid guard play.
Cruising down to Pool P, the Mid-State Ballerz South rumble with Team Final, Illinois Bobcats and New Orleans Jazz. Sam Watson (Farragut) and Travai Pryor (Austin East) provide the only height the Ballerz have but their guard and wing play will be ultra superb led by Deonte Alexander (Glencliff), C.J. Crittendon (Dyer County), Skylar McBee (Grainger) and Nathan Parker (Bearden).
In the 16 and under division Pool B starts with Boo Williams, D-One Sports and the Illinois Wolves. The Mid-State Ballerz will need to be on their game to move on to bracket play with that tough crew. Thomas Greer (West Carroll), Tarius Johnson (Liberty Tech) and Demarius Smith (Kenwood) get the opportunity to make themselves known on a national level in this tourney.
Down in Pool D the Nashville Celtics 16's led by Ish Sanders (Cleveland), Jay Murphy (Bolivar Central) and Cody Henegar (Marion County) take on the tough Grassroots Canada, Richmond Squires and New Jersey Roadrunners.
Down in 15 and under country the Nashville Celtics battle the Playaz, Carolina Raptors and Michigan Mustangs in a very tough pool. The M33M-Memphis squad takes on the New York Gauchos, Birmingham Storm and D-One Sports.
Good luck to everyone and see you in North Carolina.