Memorial Day Preview….Part 1



The Memorial Day Holiday has become a showcase weekend for many a major basketball event.


Teams from all over the country will converge on places such as Chapel Hill, NC, Birmingham, AL, Los Angeles, CA and Atlanta, GA to get their hoop on.


Many folks consider this weekend one of the most formidable of the entire summer.


In the Volunteer state we have no shortage of squads who will represent us in the various events over the long holiday weekend.


Let's take a long look at what we have in store this weekend.


Bob Gibbons Tournament of Champions

Chapel Hill, Durham and Raleigh, NC

The longest running and most established of the Memorial Day events is the TOC. Beginning in Pool A the M33M Elite will look to Bobby Parks Jr. (Melrose) for their scoring punch as they tangle with the likes of Triangle Flight, Long Island Lightning and Indiana Elite/Team Indiana in pool action.


Jaylon Moore (Mississippi) will be challenged to play big like his efforts at the Real Deal on the Rock in April for the Elite to make a push into bracket action later in the weekend.


Also joining the Elite for the weekend are Cedric Williams (Siegel) and Andre Brown (Clarksville Northwest).


Moving down to Pool B, the Nashville Celtics stride to the Research Triangle led by a superb backcourt of Kendall Anthony (Liberty Tech), Anthony Hickey (Kentucky) and Zavion Williams (West Creek).

Rising fast on the national scene, Alex Poythress (Clarksville Northeast) will be a major focus of the throng of media that will proliferate the area. The Celtics will tangle with a very nasty pool that's includes CP3 All-Stars, Coastal Crew Rebels and Mid-Atlantic Select.


The Celtics will need major contributions from another scoring source such as Dre Barnette (Liberty Tech) or emerging big body Conor McDermott (Ensworth).

The final entry in the 17 and under division from Tennessee is the always powerful Memphis Magic Elite.


Last season, Chris Jones (Melrose) owned this event with a never before seen scoring explosion of sorts. Jones will ultimately control the tempo but the Magic have a veritable potpourri of scoring options including Adonis Thomas (Melrose), Andre Hollins (White Station) and Cameron Golden (Ridgeway).

Big things will also be expected from the inside crew led by Nino Johnson (White Station) and Marvin Williams (White Station) as they tangle with pool play participants Team United, Connecticut Basketball Club and the West Virginia Wildcats.


In the 15 and 16 and under divisions the lone representative is the Nashville Celtics. A tremendous backcourt highlights the 16's led by Keilan Blanks (Spring Hill) and Daijon Williams (Clarksville).


Taylor Barnette (Kentucky) may be the finest shooter in the Southeast and talented wing John Ross Glover (USJ) will certainly accumulate his share of points.


Size is a Celtics staple on the 16's with ever improving big man David Howard (MBA) and the Ramsey brothers, Logan Ramsey (Livingston Academy) and Mason Ramsey (Livingston Academy) ready to battle in the Tarheel state.


Leading the charge for the 15's, Desmond Robinson (Bolivar Central), Princeton Harlan (Mt. Pleasant) and a host of young men we will all become very familiar with in the coming years.




Nike Elite Youth Basketball League (EYBL)

Los Angeles, CA

The final chapter for the 17 and under Nike Elite squads brings them to Hollywood with a great deal riding on their success this weekend.


The Tennessee Travelers have been running on guard play for the majority of the summer. Depth at the position is a Traveler mainstay with Rico White (Bearden), Galen Campbell (Fulton), Dre Mattheiu (Knoxville Central), Craig Bradshaw (CPA), Brandon Lopez (North Carolina) and Jordan Cross (Sullivan East).

Guard play will be vital, but a big weekend from 6'11 Zach Garland (David Crockett) should go a long way, as the Travs will play five games over the weekend starting with the Georgia Blazers, Memphis YOMCA, Mean Streets, Louisiana Select and finally Team Final.


The Memphis YOMCA showed signs of marked improvement as the second stage of the EYBL were coming to a close a few weeks back in Houston. Steve Kaspar (ECS) and Kerrell Davis (Hillcrest) are the senior members of a young squad and their leadership will be vital for this ultra young and talented club.


Telvin Wilkerson (Melrose) will have the opportunity to showcase his skills with the absence of Parks.


Jarnell Stokes (Memphis Central) had an immediate impact on the squad making them tougher on the interior instantaneously. Cameron Clear (Memphis Central) and Wayne Martin (Florida) loved the extra room the attention to Stokes provides.


The YOMCA gets the Albany City Rocks in opening game action then tangles with in-state rival the Tennessee Travelers. Georgia Blazers, Team Final and Wisconsin Elite round out the schedule for the Memphians.