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SoCalHoops Recruiting News

4th Annual adidas Texas Superstar Classic
Brings Top SoCal Talent--(Apr. 12, 2002)

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What:   4th Annual adidas Texas Superstar Classic
When:  April 12-14, 2002
Where: Houston, Texas
Who:    32 Top Club Teams & Top College Prospects
Sanctioned For Division I Coaches To Attend

As we've previously written and as most who follow college recruiting are painfully aware, especially those of us in California, there are no events which have been certified by the CIF for spring basketball.  This means that under the current state of NCAA bylaws, Division I college coaches cannot attend evaluation events during the "live period"--which runs during the month of April, from April 1-30 (with a few days off).  

While the NCAA intended (or so they said) to curb travel ball and the influences of club coaches by turning things over to the state high school associations and two year college associations, what they probably didn't count on was that some states would sanction events while others would simply refuse to act.    Here in California, the California Interscholastic Federation, for some fairly obvious reasons, has refused to adopt the Texas or Nevada approach, and instead is doing nothing.  The CIF isn't saying players can't play (they don't have that jurisdiction), but likewise, they aren't sanctioning or approving any events either.    Likewise, the COA, which has been asked to simply approve a handful of events, isn't acting either.

As a result of California's "do-nothing" approach, kids who now want to continue to pursue their college recruiting are traveling, and they are traveling far.  No staying home on Friday, and forget about missing a day of school, the kids are now boarding flights at airports around California (and all over the country in other states) today and heading off to, of all places, the Great State of Texas, to participate in one of only three sanctioned events taking place this spring during the April evaluation period, the 4th Annual adidas Texas Superstar Classic. 

Who will be playing?  From SoCal, we know that Belmont Shore will be there, as will several other California-based teams such as BWBA, IEBP, H-Squad and the Oakland Soliders.   For the current seniors who remain unsigned, it's time for the coaches to get what may be a last look at them before they make their final college decisions (or head off to an extra year of prep school, which is an option being pursued by some).  For the current juniors, it's time for the college coaches to determine which ones they'll be inviting out to make early visits now that the rules for such visits have been relaxed and juniors can take official trips before the fall of their senior year.  And for the younger players,  it's their time to just get some exposure so they can get in line for the recruiting train that's passing through.

We don't know all the team rosters that will be appearing at the tournament, but there are some pretty big names, including DC Assault, Oakland Soliders, Belmont Shore, IEBP, BWBA, Team Minnesota, Arkansas Hawks, Tim Thomas Playaz, Atlanta Celtics, Michigan Hurricanes, Portland ICP,  Southeast Pump N Run (aka "Southeast Raptors), Illionois Fire, Squires Richmond, Baltimore Select and Texas Blue Chip, among others in a packed 32-team field. 

Belmont Shore will have (in order of height)

Kevin Bell (5'-10" Jr. PG)  Fairfax (Los Angeles, CA)
David Gale (6'-1" Sr. PG)  Buckley (Sherman Oaks, CA)
Ray Reed (6'-2" Jr. PG/SG) Inglewood HS (Inglewood, CA)
Travis Sobers (6'-3" Sr. G) Green Valley HS (Las Vegas, NV)
Trayvon Williams (6'-4" Jr. G/F) Fontana HS (Fontana, CA)
Shaddean Aaron (6'-4" Sr. F) Claremont HS (Claremont, CA)
Jamal Boykin (6'-6" Jr. F) Fairfax  (Los Angeles, CA)
Harrison Schaen (6'-9" Jr. F) Mater Dei (Santa Ana, CA)

Dinos' team will play three games in pool play, starting with the first game tonight at 7:45 (CDT) against DC Assault, followed by two more games in pool play on Saturday, first at 9:10 a.m (CDT) against the Southeast Texas All Stars and then at at 1:30 p.m. (CDT) against the Houston Superstars "Three Stripes" squad.  Only the top two teams will advance to the Championship round which will start Saturday evening and continue through to Sunday

There are several other SoCal and California based teams in this tournament, including BWBA which will have Matt Llewellyn (6'-2" Sr. G) from Campbell Hall, JJ Brull (6'-6" Sr. F) and Avi Fogel (6'-1" Jr. G) Torrey Pines and a bunch of others we're not completely certain about right now. Also coming to Houston will be Rick Isaacs' H-Squad, which lost last weekend in the semifinals of the Pump Vegas Tournament, as will IEBP.  We haven't seen full rosters for either of those teams for this tournament, and didn't get a chance to speak with either Keith Howard of IEBP or Rick Isaacs of H-Squad, but we'd anticipate IEBP will have a mix of seniors and juniors, really some sort of combination of their three teams they had in Las Vegas last week, and if that's so, we'd expect to see guiys from the junior class like Deon Simpson, Sean Marshall, as well as seniors like JR Reese, Jeremy Lopez, Donovan Morris, Johnny Dukes, etc. The only other team we know about from California will be the Oakland Soliders, and they will have all of their guys playing together again this weekend (last week they were spread between the H-Squad and Double Pump All-Stars), so we'll expect to see guys like Leon Powe, Marquis Kately, John Sharper, etc., as well as LeBron James from Ohio on this team.

There are a ton of loaded teams in the 32-team field, more than we can hope to cover in one setting.  If you want to see the complete brackets (actually, it's the pools and the pool-play assignments), use this link.  You'll need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view this because the file is stored in PDF format, but it's well worth the download if you don't have it. And if you do, well, then never mind.

We'll have updates from the tournament on a very irregular basis, so check back throughout the weekend here, or check at the official Houston Superstar Foundation's website.

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