Monday, July 13, 2015

George Hill Rising Stars Crowned AAU 13U National Champions & Do So in Impressive Fashion

2015 13U AAU National Champions

The 2015 AAU National Championship now resides in the great state of Indiana with the New National Champion - George Hill All-Stars.  G3 at times made the game look easy as they dominated throughout the tournament using a systematic offense – often times picking apart opponents for easy baskets and large victory totals.

The George Hill All-Stars have long established a culture of winning and competing on the highest level; this having been their 4th Final 4 with this group they now have reached the summit having finaly clearing the last hurdle and being crowned national champions with a victory over an immensely talent Team Melo group out of the state of Maryland.  

Their experience was clearly apparent as they never looked rattled, their team defense play as a singular unit, and passes to teammates appeared as if they could be made with their eye closed.  Familiarity was their greatest asset outside of the special talent and skill sets they placed on the floor.
With arguable the most talented youth coach in the country trolling the sidelines Coach Saunders and his group opened with a series of commanding victories in pool play starting with a 62-31 blowout of the Akron Wolves, which they followed up with 67-38 shellacking of the current EYBL Champion Program Georgia Stars putting them at 2-0 heading into the final day of pool play.  They finished with the #1 seed in the pool after a 68-45 victory over the King James Shooting Stars having controlled the game from the tip-off.

When bracket play opened, George Hill found themselves down 7 at the start of the 4th quarter vs a tough Team Takeover who had opportunities down the stretch – but again the poise and experience of G3 made the difference as they battled back for tough 65-57 win.  In one of the most impressive defensive performances of the tournament in the next round George Hill won 48-17 over Tennessee’s Bluff City Ballers placing them into an Elite 8 battle against the reigning champs Oakland Soldiers.  Their victory in this game exemplified everything that has made them special for years – great coaching, team defense, and pin-point execution on offense; as they gave the Soldiers their first defeat and worse defeat in the past two years claiming a 62-37 win in front of a capacity crowd.  Their reward was a final 4 match-up against a very competitive SD Select team who fought hard for the pride of the west coast but came up a single point shy 46-45 in a controversial ending.  For a national championship run, you must be good, lucky, and the stars must align – for G3 it was their time.

In the championship game the outside shot was falling early which aloud George Hill to open up a commanding lead which they’d never relinquish – up 56-43 with 3:30 used ball control to avoid a final run, coasting to a comfortable celebration 59-45. 

Led by one of the top lead guards in the country Michael Saunders Jr., his poise, court spacing shooting and timely ball distribution was the catalyst from much of their success for the week.  His leadership and toughness and refuse to lose attitude made him a constant threat on both ends and he did everything you can ask within the 94-feet to secure his team victory.  He plays the game the right way and you can see so much of what he is doing as next level stuff already.

Trey Galloway, timely shooting and work at all three levels and sneaky athleticism that allowed him to do a ton of damage in the paint and at the basket impressed everyone in attendance.  Not only did he hit shots – he hit big shots proving his worth and value game in and game out.

The chip was a total team victory as the most noticeable and impressive aspect for the group was their team defense, especially in the interior – where they were often the smaller team, their heart, effort, and intellect made this squad for 2015 the #1 team in the country.  Congratulations to each of them, the coaching staff, and the George Hill program.


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