Chris Carr's 43 Hoops 16 and Under team is shining bright again as they traveled to Cincinnati and won the It Takes 5 Classic. This is an event with a ton of good teams but the best this week was the 43 Hoops group from the Twin Cities. Jordan Smith scored 26 in the semi-final and 20 in the championship to lead the Carr's team.
"The championship game, we played very well," Carr said. "We jumped on them (Indiana Elite One) early and had a lead at 31-27 in the first half. We did what we had to do to play well down the stretch to win it.
"It was a collective team effort all across the board. Probably first and foremost Jordan Smith was outstanding. He had 20 plus three-pointers made over the last four games of the tournament. Jordan was just on fire and absolutely blistering from three point range. Estan Tyler was a stud on both ends of the floor and Ross Travis was Ross. He played well with his athletic game. Thomas Schalk shot a high percentage from the field and like I said it was a collective effort. Marquel Curtis attacked the rim hard and hit some big baskets down the stretch to keep us in control of the game. As a team we just played locked down defense."
Carr's team walked into this event having much success thus far. In April they played three events against 17 and Under teams from Minnesota going undefeated two of those weekends. The first 16 and Under competition they faced was in Atlanta where 43 went 5-2 at the Wallace Prather Memorial Classic and in Bloomington, Indiana in mid-May the squad was once again undefeated. Since those events Carr's team has played in a college league at the 43 Hoops Facility. Most of the games are against local college teams except the one battle with the top 43 Hoops 17s team that was won by the elder participants. All that competition seems to have prepared Carr's team nicely for events in July especially this week's It Takes 5 Classic where they won six games and improved to 22-5.
"We started off bracket play by beating the Illinois Warriors by 25," Carr explained. "In the second round we beat the Kansas City Pump N Run. Then we beat the Derek Smith All-Stars who is a very good team out of Kentucky and Tennessee. Lastly we beat Indiana Elite One who is the top Indiana Elite team."
This is the first week that division one college coaches have been allowed into gyms to see summer basketball competition and already the 43 Hoops players are receiving a bundle of interest.
"There is just a ton of interest coming the way of these kids as everybody's recruitment is going up," Carr stated. "I had a number of coaches tell me that my team legitimately has ten kids that they need to keep an eye on as they move on through the rest of the summer. Ohio State, Vanderbilt and Texas A&M really like Ross Travis and Estan Tyler. Bradley certainly likes Marquel Curtis. Valparaiso and Bradley like Thomas Schalk and Virginia Tech liked Thomas as well. Really everybody's recruitment picked up as pry 60 or 70 schools are keeping a good hard eye on any one of our guys."
This group is now in Chicago getting ready to play in the Chicago Summer Classic. From there 43 Hoops is off to Milwaukee for the NY2LA Sports Jam and after a week off they will head to Las Vegas and then finish up in Kansas City.