The 2013 Bob Gibbons Tournament of Champions is exactly what the title says it is. This year's field is collection of teams that have already taken care of busy this spring.

Florida Elite is coming into the tournament as the champions of the adidas Exclusive Run tournament. The team is balanced, big and ready for another weekend of hoops against the best of the best.

Brandon Francis was named the Most Valuable Player at the event and shortly thereafter he earned a scholarship offer from the University of Florida.

The SC Raptors Elite won the King James Southern Expsoure last weekend in North Augusta, S.C. and were paced by the dynamic backcourt of 2015 prospects Juwan Evans and Gage Ellis.

The Smyrna Stars were paced by a number of 2013 players that are still hungry for a scholarship and won the KnoxVegas Heat event at the start of the month.

A number of other teams went deep into their respective brackets, too. The Atlanta XPress and Team Charlotte finished the Pittsburgh Jam Fest in the semifinals. The same can be said for the Atlanta Celtics Glover team at the adidas Exclusive Run. Atlanta Celtics-Neysmith were the Silver Bracket champions at the adidas Exclusive run.

Team Heat NC lost to the SC Raptors Elite in the championship of the King James Southern Exposure and enter the Gibbons on a roll. The NC Red Storm were runner's up at the Icebreaker. Team Impact (GA) finished in second at the KnoxVegas Heat tournament.

Stackhouse Elite won Silver at the Southern Stampede Big Shots event. Atlanta Select Penny, Atlanta Celtics 16 (Demond) and Atlanta Celtics 15 (Dickerson) all won their respective brackets at the Big Shots Clemson event last weekend.

The Southern Phenoms came in second place at the Battle of the South in March. Birmingham Ice 16 won the Battle of the South and finished in the Final Four at the King James Southern Exposure.

Atlanta Select Black won the Big Shots Clemson. Team Momentum 15U played up and won the Carolina Courts Easter Invitational. Scholar Shots won the Silver Bracket of the Clemson Big Shots Orange 17U bracket.

There are plenty of other teams that have enjoyed early success this spring. If we missed your team, please tweet at us at

This is a true tournament of champions. Who will come out on top this weekend? We'll find out at the Suwanee Sports Academy.


As we get closer to the Bob Gibbons Tournament of Champions, we wanted to put some teams under the microscope. Robert Alfonso, Jr. took a peek at five teams to watch on Thursday. Today, we dive into five more teams to watch and the players that make those teams go.


The Upward Stars came to the 2012 Bob Gibbons Tournament of Champions as an upstart program filled with fresh faces, familiar coaches and one game plan: play, win, let everything else take care of itself.

The plan worked perfectly. The team finished the tournament in the final four only to lose on a buzzer beater to runner-up Garner Road.

This year's Upward Stars team is similar to last year's program, says coach Curtis Wheeler. The familiar link is this: this team has talent. And a lot of it.

"We don't have the security around the basket like we did last year but we have some new guys that haven't played at this level before that could emerge," Wheeler said. "Across the board from one to 11 we have a chance to have a team that can finish on Sunday."

As one of the top players in the event, P.J. Dozier will certainly draw a strong crowd of college coaches. The 6-foot-5 class of 2015 guard enjoyed a big-time sophomore season at Spring Valley (S.C.). His recruitment will draw coaches from coast-to-coast.

Dozier is the top dog for the Stars but this team is deeper than the five-star stud.

Point guard Dantez Bennamon of Goose Creek played well at the Icebreaker tournament at the start of the month and could emerge as a fine Division I point guard prospect. Not bad for a guy that is also one of the top quarterbacks in the Palmetto State.

Big men Javis Howard, DeMetre Rivers, Wesley Johnson and Troy Henderson all have Division I offers. The quartet mix and match very well and cause some serious match-up problems.

"The way we built this roster was having two guys at every position. Then from there we wanted to have someone that could come in and do something than the guy that he replaced," Wheeler said. "I think we'll be a good team once we get to Atlanta."


Deshawn Freeman's Twitter handle is @Cant_Guard33. That's a proper moniker for the 6-foot-7 class of 2013 power forward. The dread-locked post player was the MVP of the Icebreaker and the talk of the event in Augusta.

Simply put, he brought it.

And so did the Red Storm. The North Carolina team blew through teams at the start of the month, finishing the Icebreaker in the championship game. Entering the Bob Gibbons Tournament of Champions, the Red Storm have to be considered one of the top teams in the field this year.

The backcourt of T.J. Evans (Apex HS) and Carlee Clemons (Millbrook HS) should be one of the better duos in the field. Evans can flat out shoot while Clemons will be one of the most athletic guards in the tournament.

Big men Thaxter Spruill (2014/Clinton) and Papa N'dyiae (2014/Christian Faith) anchor the front court alongside Freeman.


Deep, big, skilled and interesting. That's a good combination of things for college coaches to pull up a chair and take a good, long look at the Charlotte Nets.

Matthew Fisher-Davis, a 6-foot-5 shooting guard from Charlotte Christian, may be the most intriguing rising senior on the roster. He is coming off a junior campaign that saw him score nearly 18 points a game and shot nearly 45 percent from three.

Inside the paint is 7-foot Raekwon Long, a class of 2016 prospect. You can't miss him. He'll be the biggest player in the entire tournament field this season.

Go down the roster and you'll find a long list of prospects with good size for their respective positions.  


The yells are almost akin to battle cries you'd hear on Last of the Mohicans or Braveheart. The screams are meant to intimidate the opposition.

So far this spring the screams have worked for SC Kings big man Anthony Moses, a 6-foot-7 from Sumter High School. He played well at the Icebreaker to start the grassroots season off, averaging nearly 30 points a contest. He did it by powering through people, including a big-time match-up against Dan Manzi, another spring riser.

"He's a little bit crazy," one coach that knows Moses well told me. "I kind of like that."

So do I.

As Moses sets the tone, the rest of the team follows suit. They play hard, play with purpose and play without intimidation.

Point guard Jordan Dingle of South Aiken has good size at 6-foot-2, knows who he is as a player and goes from there. Wofford recently offered a scholarship while a host of others are keeping close watch.

Wing Jaylen Lawrence of Silver Bluff (S.C.), Christian Mills of Dutch Fork (S.C.) and Tre Miller of Newberry (S.C.) and a host of others round out a roster worth watching at the 2013 Bob Gibbons Tournament of Champions.


Like sleepers? Coach Gerald Ogletree has 'em. The three guys you'll want to see are Gerdarius Troutman (2014, Taylor County High School), Mike Harden (2014, Smiths Station) and Kimiun Woods (2014, Carver).

Troutman (pictured above) is a smooth shooter with size (6-foot-4) and could be one of the top sleepers in Georgia. We saw him at the beginning of the grassroots season and liked him enough to hand over the first ever invitation to The Preview.

Try this on for size: Harden is the four man for the Georgia Kings and a fine one at that. Hard work and hustle has been his calling card so far this spring. The 6-foot-6 power forward Smith's Station (Ala.) is his high school team's starting point guard. So, there's that.

Oh, did I mention Harden has a 4.9 grade point average and if the school year would end today, he'd be the valedictorian? Brown, Cornell, Harvard and others are involved.

Woods isn't very big but the 5-foot-10 point guard is super quick and smart enough to realize what he's working with.

Also with the team this year is 2013 center LaMarcus White of Kingdom Prep. The 6-foot-10 big man is considering a post-graduate year but wanted to play the spring out to see if anything opens up. At one point in his recruitment, Auburn, Tennessee, Clemson, Jacksonville and UT-Chattanooga were serious players, Ogletree said. White could still end up at a college in the fall.

"We have some really talented kids and being that we are south of Atlanta you find yourself sometimes in no man's land," Ogletree said. "If you can advance in a tournament like Gibbons, you can really help yourself against nationally known program. They can play against the best."

SUWANEE – Bob Gibbons Tournament of Champions tournament attracts some of the best teams from all over the country. However, most are Southeastern teams who have built a reputable reputation.

SUWANEE – Sometimes the best wake-up calls in sports is adversity. The Georgia Stars 14U team is considered one of the better teams in the state. They are talented, well coached and have chemistry on the floor. However, there are times the Stars will get tripped up by a team they should have handled. This is when losing is the great motivator.

SUWANEE – One word can best describe the 17U championship of the Norman Parker Elite Showcase: dominating.

SUWANEE – A viper is defined as a venomous snake that normally keeps to itself. However, when they strike it is quick and most people do not realize they have been bitten by them until it is too late.

SUWANEE – Playing on championship Sunday is becoming normal for the North Georgia Elite 13U team.

SUWANEE – Atlanta Rockafellas has a frontline which could be the envy of most high school age teams. This team is not in high school, just yet, but they are setting the foundation and building on the future playing an age group up.

SUWANEE – The Final Four isn't the only tournament in town this weekend.  Many of the country's best high school travel teams elected to play their first travel team tournament this weekend and many of them found themselves playing within 25 miles of the Georgia Dome (this year's site for the Final Four).  The Norman Parker Elite Showcase at Suwanee Sports Academy certainly had a number of aspiring players hoping to make it to the Final Four one day themselves. 

With the attention of the college basketball world focused on Atlanta this week for the Final Four, we thought it was a good time to make some announcements about and Suwanee Sports Academy.

What's changing? A lot actually. Let's start with Clearly the website you're reading now has changed. And changed a lot. We hope you like. We do.

SUWANEE – Daniel Giddens is a standout player in the state, who has gained some recognition around the country with the work he puts in while playing for Game Elite or other individual showcase camps.

DACULA – Atlanta Elite is playing with a chipping on its shoulder they refuse to let go of any time soon. This first year program is looking to get some respect with teams and have started to do just that after the 4th grade HoopSeen Shootout Championship when the Elite beat Team Threat 42-36 on Sunday at Dacula High School.

DACULA – The future is here – literally. Team Future is a new team looking to make its name on the travel circuit just before they all embark into the high school season next year. For the teams first tournament, they showed it is looking to make some noise this summer.

DACULA – Being the best means that everyone is going to come after you. This is what the Reach Higher Kings 6th grade team will experience this travel season. However, based on the way they handled the challenges set forth against them during the HoopSeen Shootout this weekend, the Kings are not going to back down from anyone.

DACULA – All weekend the road to the finals looked like the Grizzlies and the DeKalb Heat were headed to meet each other and they did. Both teams found themselves meeting again with the Heat imposing its will in a 72-60 win over the Grizzlies on Sunday at Dacula High School.

SUWANEE – The biggest upset of the post-season took place during the Region 7-AAAAAA when Meadowcreek’s Terrance Snelling hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer. North Gwinnett was heavily favored and the fourth-ranked team in Class AAAAAA. So instead of preparing for the Road to Macon, the Bulldogs watched the Mustangs earned one of the four state-playoff berths from the region.


SUWANEE – Eric Gordon All-Stars are built around a simple concept. Play fundamental basketball in a quest to win championships while placing players in school. The Indianapolis-based organization brought their brand of basketball to Atlanta looking to continue their goals.


SUWANEE – When the Wellington Wolvesmade the decision to play in the Bob Gibbons Tournament of “Future” Champions tournament they were looking to measure their skills against teams outside of Florida.