Select Super 16 Recap
Paducah, Kentucky isn’t exactly known as a hotbed for amateur basketball showcases, but last weekend’s Select Super 16 tournament looked to change that.
Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) teams from as far as Washington and Florida, along with local teams around Paducah, went head-to-head this weekend at the Select Super 16 tournament at venues like the Paducah Regional Sportsplex, Reidland Middle School and Lone Oak High School.
The tournament is in its second year. In its inaugural season, the tournament, hosted by AthElite Sports Management, Under Armour Premier Team Network and SI Select, drew 50 teams. This year, however, saw the tournament size doubled to 100 participating teams.
Among the 100 teams, the tournament managed to bring in a plethora of nationally-recognized talent. Teams such as the Adidas-sponsored Alabama Celtics, Memphis Bulls, Team Manimal, Team Tae and the host team SI Select came to participate in the tournament. Team Manimal is sponsored by Denver Nuggets power forward Kenneth Faried, while Team Tae is coached by former Boston Celtics forward Dontae Jones.
Jones said the environment at the event over the weekend made the tournament one to be remembered.
“The competition and environment puts this tournament up there with some of the best-held tournaments we’ve played,” Jones said.
Players in attendance garnered attention from renowned collegiate programs like West Virginia, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Portland, Bethune-Cookman, SIUC, SIUE, Morehead State and UNLV, many of which were in attendance at the event.
The first games of the championship brackets began at 1 p.m., and progressed until the final games at 6 p.m. DMG Elite won the 13U division, the Show Me State Warriors won the 14U division, SI Select won the 15U division, Team Tae took the 16U division, and the Southern Indiana Titans won the 17U division. Each championship game was hard-fought and went down to the wire to close out the tournament.
“The championship games were a perfect cap on a great weekend,” said Tournament Director Sam Swinford. “We had five nail-biting games and I truly feel that best team in each division came out on top.”
When it comes to AAU basketball, winning is great, but most teams are looking to give their players the best chance to improve their game and try to propel them to the next level. SI Select Head Coach Riley Swinford is well aware of that and felt that the Select Super 16 tournament gave them the perfect opportunity to do so.