Each year, hundreds of teams from across the country converge on the city that never sleeps, where what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas but two Memphis teams are bringing hardware to the city. The Memphis Wildcats 13U led by Coach Dedra Lawson won the Big Foot Classic defeating Vegas Elite 7 Premier 82-76 in the title game but it wasn’t easy. The young team that has been together awhile found themselves down big early, a total of 22 but clawed back into it by shortening the court and picking up the defense according to an observer who was present at the game. Down a player (Marquan Dean) and only having 6 at their disposal for the last two games of the tournament and the night before going into 8 overtimes in a game that was won by 1 point, I’m sure fatigue was a factor on Sunday but they got it together enough to win 1 game that morning and then the title game, in come back fashion The big 3 of Johnathan Lawson 24 points and 11 rebounds, Jalen Brown, 25 points and 8 rebounds and Tadarius Jacobs who had 20 and was a catalyst on defense, combined for 69 of the 82 points scored for the Wildcats. Next up for them, the Primetime Nationals which will be held in Dallas this week.
Newly founded M32P22 coached by former University of Memphis players Marcus Moody and Paris London went to Las Vegas on one mission and one mission only, to earn respect as one of the best upcoming teams in the country. and that’s exactly what they did. In a city that features Team Penny, Team Thad and M33M, bigger programs through admission by most, the 16U squad won the FAB 48 coming back from a deficit with under 10 minutes left in the game. The Hoop 4 Life Foundation sponsored team features a few players who have shined some this summer and at their high schools including Allen Hatchett, a 6’3 (White Station) progressing guard who works near the rim and with the mid range jumper who had a game high 30 points and 10 rebounds in the championship game, 6’6 Cameron Jones (Whitehaven) 20 points and 6 rebounds and 8 assists, 6’5 Reco Gibson (St.Benedict) 16 points and 8 rebounds and Jalin Clay (Houston) who ended the game with 16 points 6 rebounds. I got a chance to speak with Coach Moody earlier and he said, “It was a great tournament, my team stayed poised & focused throughout the title game, Sacramento had incredible guard play, but I think our depth & length was too much for them” . This is a team that could draw some looks of a shoe company by next year as they continue to establish themselves as a top 3-5 organization in the city. With this FAB 48 title under their belt, M32P22 is taking a step forward in doing just that.