Las Vegas, NV – Grassroots 365 soft launched its Presidents Day Weekend team event in Las Vegas in preparation of its 2019 G365 Presidents Day event that will feature many of the top players and teams on the Grassroots 365 circuit. This past weekend proved to be successful as it featured teams from the Bay Area (CA), Fresno (CA), Orange County (CA), San Bernardino (CA), San Diego (CA), Phoenix (AZ), Salt Lake City (UT), and from the host city, Las Vegas (NV). Of the eight divisions, Vegas Elite took home the hardware in half of those divisions (10u, 11u, 12u, and 14u). Overall, the event helped solidify a few teams as G365 Top 25 teams.
The 8th grade division, won by a short-handed #9 Vegas Elite (4-1) team, cemented their top 10 status as they defeated a talented and soon-to-be top 25 Just Us Basketball Club out of Arizona. MVP Pop Pop Issacs and All-Tourney Selection, Jonathan Mersha, paved the way for Vegas Elite. Just Us Basketball was led by the talented lead guard, DJ Williams, who we will list as one of the 2022 top 10 players we have seen out of Arizona this season. Players that showcased their talent in this division also included Elijah Hart (Las Vegas Punishers) and Aiden Boyd (SD Black Mambas).
The 7th grade division featured a gold and silver division. The 7th grade gold division featured some talented teams, #24 Showtime (Redlands CA), Just Us Basketball (Phoenix AZ), OGP National (Anaheim, CA), San Diego Black Mambas (San Diego, CA), and Vegas Elite (Las Vegas, NV). The championship game came down to a competitive game between Showtime, led by guards Alfred Lee and Coby Christensen, and Just Us Basketball, who were led to victory by MVP Mark Brown. In the silver division, the West Coast Rebels took home the championship. Players that showcased their talent in this division also included Giovanni Burns (SD Black Mambas), sharp-shooter Mason Brown (Vegas Elite), and Lincoln Lantz (Open Gym Premier).
The 6th Grade division featured four G365 top 25 teams – #10 Vegas Elite, #16 Loyalty Vegas Panthers, #18 Fresno Swoosh, and #24 Bay Area Smash. In the end, a three way-tie for first, meant one team would be defeated by a slight point differential. That team was the Bay Area Smash (3-1) who had just come off an impressive victory over a tough Fresno Swoosh team. The championship game match-up would be between the ball moving Fresno Swoosh and the talented Vegas Elite team. Vegas Elite came out hot and essentially never allowed a tired Fresno Swoosh team to make a final run at them. Vegas Elite were led by Co-MVPS, scorer Casen Lochridge, and the defensive minded, Zarschon Cousin. In the silver division, the Showtime (Redlands, CA) took home the championship. Players that showcased their talent in this division also included Marshel Sanders (Fresno Swoosh Elite), Jackson Young (Fresno Swoosh Elite), Antonio Burns (Loyalty Las Vegas Panthers), and playmaker Justin Courneya (Utah Select).
The 5th grade division came down to a championship match-up between #6 Vegas Elite and #24 OGP HQ Blue. In an earlier pool match-up, the OGP HQ Blue Team defeated Vegas Elite 33-23. Wing and one of the top shooters in his grade, Dominic Bolton, led OGP HQ Blue to an undefeated (4-0) record heading into the championship game. However, Vegas Elite came in ready and took a 21-12 lead at the half. Vegas Elite Guard and Co-MVP, Randy Nance, had an excellent first half hitting open jumpers and dishing out assists. Also in the first half, Vegas Elite big man and Co-MVP, Tremayne Anderson, dominated the paint on both ends of the floor. In the 2nd half, OGP HQ Blue looked more like the team that had went into the championship game undefeated. The turn-around was led by guard and All-Tourney, Jordan Askew, who had a couple of big steals for lay-ups that helped cut down the lead to three with six minutes to go.
After a small run by Vegas Elite, OGP HQ Blue’s Hudson Greer hit a midrange jumper with 1:50 left to cut the lead again by three. Down two with 18 seconds to go, OGP HQ blue fouled Nance and he hit one of two to give Vegas Elite a three point lead. After a couple three-point attempt misses and offensive rebounds from OGP HQ Blue that led to one final scramble, OGP HQ Blue would have one last shot at it with three seconds to go. The final attempt would go to the sharp shooting Bolton who was fouled on a three point attempt with 1.5 seconds to go and down three. Bolton hit the first, missed the second free-throw, and would intentionally miss the third attempt that resulted in an OGP HQ Blue tip-in that was waived off by the officials for a shooters violation. All in all, an exciting game between some very talented and competitive young players. Players that showcased their talent in this division also included Jevon Yapi (All Vegas), Maleek Simeus (PFB Elite), Tyus Thomas (West Coast Select), and Jaron Stanley (Vegas Elite).
The 4th grade division came down to a match-up between G365 #12 Vegas Elite and G365 #22 Progress Feels Best. The Vegas Elite team, behind MVP, Jaxon Price, would go on to take home the championship. Players that showcased their talent in this division, also included Angelo Imperial (West Coast Select), Curtis Coleman (CM Bulls), Ja’Cory Gory (Progress Feels Best), Aaron Duke (Progress Feels Best), and Caleb Candolesas (Team Vegas).
The 3rd grade division came down to a match-up between Utah Select and CM Bulls. The Utah Select team, behind MVP, Joe Courneya, and guard, Carson Hill, who hit two big 3’s in the 2nd half, would go on to take home the championship. Players that showcased their talent in this division, also included Marlin Miles (Progress Feels Best), DJ Hunter (West Coast Rebels), and Markus Burston (CM Bulls).