He stared at me from a distance like a father sizing up a young man that was waiting for a first date with his daughter. I sat alone halfway up the old bleachers at O'Keefe Gym on the campus of Georgia Tech. This was my first foray into Atlanta grassroots basketball.

SUWANEE, GA – Getting comfortable takes some time whenever a person makes a move. For a high school teenager, it can take longer than normal.

It took Jalyn Patterson an entire basketball season to finally feel comfortable at Montverde Academy in Florida. Now, he is looking to step into a new role to fill some big shoes at the start of next season.

Team Charlotte was one of the most successful teams in the country in April. A championship at the Bob Gibbons Tournament of Champions, a North Carolina state AAU championship and a final four run at the Pittsburgh Jam Fest is an impressive month's work.

The key to the team's success? James Demery, the MVP of the Tournament of Champions, says the plan was simplified.

SUWANEE, GA – It took Brandone Francis one year to figure it out. A three-month window injured during the summer was the actual bright moment.

For a small window in the summer, Francis realized his dream of playing college basketball is within his sights. He just needed to put in some work and re-dedicate himself to the sport he loves.

The best kind of exposure a player can gain in April is playing on Sunday in the championship bracket. Perhaps no one understood that more than Team Heat (N.C.) guard Gabe Devoe.

The 6-foot-3 from Shelby High School ended the spring evaluation period with more than a dozen offers and a long list of schools that want to follow him around in July.

SUWANEE, GA - At an early age, Florida Elite’s Dante Buford had his sights set on dreams outside of this world.

His vision has been of universal proportions where the stars all line up for him to live out a dream. Buford’s dream, like any other player on the travel basketball circuit, is to make it to college then the league.

SUWANEE, GA – Balance scoring was essential in the 13U championship game.

QCAA and Lauderhill waltzed to the finals by dismantling opponents during the Jr Bob Gibbons Tournament of Champions at Suwanee Sports Academy that when they met for the finals something had to give. Well, QCAA outlasted the Lions and willed itself to a 62-44 victory to take the title.

College coaches and basketball fans came to Bob Gibbons Tournament of Champions this year looking for talent. Here are my top 10 players and their “wow moment” from the event.

The 2013 Bob Gibbons Tournament of Champions was a major success. The buzz in the gym on the web was incredible. This was a national event with national headlines. Here's a collection of the content that was created from the weekend. coverage
17U All-Tournament Team
Team Charlotte wins 17U championship
SC Raptors North win 17U American title
Eric Gordon Central Stars win 16U division
Atlanta Celtics take home 15U championship
Miami City Ballers claim 14U trophy
Reach Higher Kings win 12U division

17U semis: Last second drama puts SC Raptors into finals
17U semis: Team Charlotte beats Team Heat in state OT battle

Saturday notebook: Names to know from Gibbons
Saturday notebook: Quick hitters from Day 2
Trending: Friday night at the Gibbons

Robert Alfonso's unsigned senior watch from the Gibbons
Robert Alfonso's top 10 class of 2014 performers

Justin Young's top 10 class of 2015 performers
Justin Young's top 5 class of 2016 performers

Justin Young's 2015 eye-catchers

National media coverage

ESPN: Young Georgia PGs shine Bob Gibbons Weekend Recap
GAVarsity/ wrap-up
What the national media tweeted about at the Gibbons
All-Metro Hoops recap
DunkDog's top 2017 performers


Day One highlights from Coolie Bai
Jordan Demery, 17U MVP from CourtCred
Chris Cokley posterizes a defender from CourtCred
Kaiser Gates plays above the rim
Ty Freeman Photo Gallery

Misc. links

College coaches that came to Gibbons
Stats for the high school divisions
Completed tournament brackets

SUWANEE, GA – Team Charlotte’s pre-game conversation was simple. They wanted to head back to North Carolina with a championship. Nothing less would be accepted.

Mission was emphatically accomplished thanks to Charlotte’s heavy rotation of guards.

SUWANEE, GA – Playing in any championship game is never easy. The emotions run through individuals like a roller coaster ride.

There are highs and lows, which is exactly what happened during the 17U American title game of Bob Gibbons Tournament of Champions.

SUWANEE – There was never any doubt.

SUWANEE – When you see the Miami City Ballers it is easy to see Victor Uyoae being an instant impact. At 6-foot-9, he towers over the competition.

SUWANEE, GA - All weekend long the Eric Gordon Central Stars drummed the competition, winning games via mercy rule. Balanced effort, intense defense, calculated offense and unselfish play was the calling card.

No one really challenged last year's champions in the 16 and under age group.

Then came the Florida Tarheels. It was a different story with the kids wearing the powder blue jerseys. They were having no part of the past and gave Eric Gordon's crew a battle that they won't soon forget.

It was a back-and-forth battle all the way to the buzzer as Eric Gordon Central Stars won out 57-56 to claim the 16 and under championship.

Nick Rogers scored 10 points, as did Ryan Welage to pace the team in scoring. Avery Brown finished with 20.

"I thought we played great," Rogers, said. ""We played as a team. That's what we do. No one has to worry about who is getting the most shots. We want to play well as a team."

That they did. And they did it all weekend long. Team play, balanced effort, smart decisions and unselfishness paced the team to another trophy at the Gibbons. Rogers was named MVP of the 16 and under division.

He and Florida Tarheels point guard Avery Brown went back and forth in this one, providing fans and coaches with one of the best point guard match-ups of the tournament. Brown finished with 20 points in the game and was easily one of the best point guard match-ups in the tournament.

Trey Hall and Josh Raoul each scored 10 for the Tarheels.

SUWANEE – Team Charlotte exhausted all of its energy against a familiar foe – Team Heat. Both organizations were locked into an intense battle during the 17U Bob Gibbons Tournament of Champions semifinal.

Charlotte needed a comeback and overtime to advance to the finals with a 73-66 victory at Suwanee Sports Academy.


If the NCAA tournament taught us anything, just play. Don't look at the jersey, don't look at the name, don't look at anything but what happens on the court.

That's what happened in the Atlanta Xpress and XPress United game. The Atlanta-based squad is coming off the heels of a Final Four run in Pittsburgh last week and the team is anchored by a number of highly recruited players.