Next Level Sports girls basketball teams competed in two national tournaments in Kentucky in July and came away with valuable experience and, more importantly, invaluable exposure because of the number of college coaches in attendance.
Next Level’s under-16 team competed in the Run for the Roses tournament where it finished 4-1 July 5-8. Some players then joined the 17-and-under team for the Battle of the Boro played in the same facility in Kentucky where that squad went 2-4.
“They were in the most elite bracket,” head coach Sonny Wilson said of his 17-and-under team. “We played against some really big and talented teams. Three of our losses were by single digits: two points, four points and seven points. A Nashville team beat us by 20.”
Wilson said he didn’t know how tournament organizers determined which squads would play in which brackets, though he wasn’t complaining. He likes that his players are facing better competition with the added exposure of playing in front of more college coaches, he said.
“They’re pulling us in it,” he said. “If you really want to play against high-level teams you have a chance for it. We’ve been lucky; we’ve had a bunch of colleges looking at us.”
He believes winning the Lone Star tournament in April in Arlington compelled organizers in Kentucky to put Next Level in a bracket that was more challenging.
“We’re getting pretty good,” Wilson said.
While Next Level will take some time off, Wilson said his players are not. Some have enrolled in college camps that will help them improve and give them a chance to play in front of those staffs with the aim of earning a scholarship. Other athletes are playing for other select teams that are registered for tournaments in the southeast.
“They’re getting in front of coaches one more time,” Wilson said.
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