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April 26, 2007

Busy weekend ahead on grassroots circuit

The mad, mad world of grassroots basketball continues on this weekend and Rivals.com continues to blanket the country for coverage. This weekend will prove to be busy once again as our team takes on Akron, Las Vegas and Nashville for four tournaments.

Sin City hosting three spring champs

Vegas, no stranger to big time grassroots basketball, will double dip and host a pair of tournaments. The Las Vegas Spring Showcase boasts a number of the spring's early champions.

Boo Williams, winners of its own big time spring event, and the Southern Cal All Stars, winners of the Las Vegas Easter Classic, are the top dogs in the field.

Boo Williams boasts a huge frontline consisting of five-star big men Ed Davis and Ty Walker and a balanced roster that features a dozen Division I prospects. Brandon Jennings pilots the SCA machine.

Other teams in the field include Houston Hoops, featuring Jeremy Green and Las Vegas native Elijah Johnson, a promising 2009 guard. Inland Reebok relies on UCLA commitment Malcolm Lee while USC pledge Demar Derozan leads the way for Belmont Shore.

PHPS big man Terrance Jennings is emerging as a top flight big man prospect in 2008. The Lamar Odom I-Can All Stars look to 2009 star scorer Jordan Hamilton. The Oregon Rebels have guard Michael Harthun while Branch West relies on the brute force of Tyreese Breeshers.

The Double Pump Spring Classic is small but it will have a number of top flight prospects in the field.

Most notably are the Real Deal on the Hill champs and host team, Pump 'N Run. Jrue Holiday, Jerime Anderson and Larry Drew form one of the best backcourts in the country. Reeves Nelson, Victor Davila, David Wear and Travis Wear make for a big frontline.

The Las Vega Prospects have the luxury of playing on it's home turf and will certainly lean on Ohio State commitment Luke Babbitt from start to finish.

The Oakland Soldiers have a good looking 1-2 punch in Drew Gordon and Matt Simpkins. The M33M Magic have one of the most sought after guards in the country in Elliot Williams as well as Malcolm White, Terrance Joyner and sophomore Christian Wafford.

Rivals.com's Jerry Meyer and Tim Watts will be on hand for both events.

King James hoping for royal weekend

For the second straight year, the King James Shooting Stars Classic is filled with a large amount of teams and some of the top dogs in the country.

Taking a Kingwood approach to the grassroots tournament concept, the King James event boasts nearly 500 teams. The 17 and under division will be played on 24 courts across the Akron-Canton, Ohio area.

The championship game will be televised regionally on Fox Sports Net.

Grassroots Canada, winners of last weekend's Pitt Jam Fest, and the D1 Greyhounds, runner's up in the Steel City, are in the field. Grassroots guard Devoe Joseph emerged as a national target while the D1 roster is lead by William Buford, an Ohio State commitment, and Darius Miller.

The Westchester Hawks, winners of the Spring Jam Fest, mix good individual talent with inspired team ball. The Hawks won the 16U division last year at the King James Classic. Meanstreets, runner's up at the Boo Williams Invitational, take to the field and have the size in Michael Dunigan and Josh Crittle and quality guard play in Matthew Humphrey and Kevin Dillard.

Illinois Wolves, a Final Four team in Pittsburgh, are as fundamentally sound as any team in the country. Point guard John Moran really emerged at the Jam Fest. The New York Gauchos, winners of the Steel City Division in Pittsburgh, put a rotation of guards that can play with anyone on the floor. Jordan Theodore, Kemba Walker, Chris Fouch and Daryl Bryant will challenge anyone that steps onto the court with them.

The Baltimore Stars are young with sophomores Terrell Vinson and Isaiah Armwood and even bigger with Henry Sims.

Speaking of big, the host team puts a big frontline on the court. King of the Court will look to Delvon Roe, a Michigan State commit, Kenny Frease, a Xavier pledge, and point guard Anthony Crater, an Ohio State commit.

The Florida Rams have a number of prospects, including Kenny Kadji, Jared Swopshire, Ray Shipman and emerging wing Dago Pena. State mates Team Breakdown will combine last week's 16U Pitt Jam Fest champs (notably Brandon Knight) with Kenny Boynton and Eloy Vargas.

Georgia Stars make a first time appearance in Ohio and bring a big frontline to the tournament. Al-Farouq Aminu, Tony Woods and Wesley Witherspoon make for a talented a versatile line up.

Other teams of note include: Juice All-Stars, DC Assault, New England Playaz, Playaz, South Carolina Ravens, Team Final, Team Melo, The Family, Triple Threat, Worldwide Renegades Orange and more.

Rivals.com's Justin Young will cover the King James tournament.

King of the South also takes to the court

Two of the top players in the class of 2009 lead the charge in the second annual King of the South in Nashville this weekend.

Demarcus Cousins will play for the Birmingham Strom in the 16 and under division while Derrick Favors will suit up with the Atlanta Celtics 17 and under team.

The Celtics also boast Howard Thompkins, Chris Singleton and Noel Johnson.

The Midstate Ballerz will lean on top 50 players Scotty Hopson and Bud Mackey. Southeast Elite, a consistent final four team at every event they play in, are looking for production from Romero Osby, Courtney Fortson and Darnell Wilks.

The Jacksonville Lee Bulls are back in action and the team's strength is it's backcourt with Dante Anderson and Shaquille Johnson. Recent Tennessee pledge Phillip Jurick plays with the Tennessee Mavericks.

Rivals.com will have representatives in Nashville for the weekend.


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