May 30, 2016 5:15 PM
BALTIMORE (WJZ) — For the first time ever, the Maryland district AAU is hosting a national basketball tournament. It’s happening this summer on the Eastern Shore.
Mary Bubala reports it will showcase some of the youngest talent across the nation and here at home.
It’s never happened before. Some of the youngest players in the game will take the court this summer as the AAU Maryland District hosts the national championship in Salisbury. It’s a first for our state—but first there is hard work.
The number one eight-and-under AAU team in the state—named Train To Win—will compete in the tournament this summer. The coaches are excited to showcase their team.
“There’s going to be a lot of great competition, looking for all the challenges,” said AAU Coach Rasheed Muhammed. “We are just trying to get better; that’s the main thing.”
The players’ parents—including Bino Ranson, a University of Maryland assistant coach, and basketball great Juan Dixon—say the location of the tournament on Maryland’s Eastern Shore is the perfect mix of fun and competition for players this young.
“For Corey to get an opportunity to play an AAU with a great group of kids, he has a great coach and his daddy has been in those shoes before so I just want Corey to have a good time with his friends,” Dixon said.
“Now for them to have the national tournament hosted here in the state—you know, it means a lot,” Ranson said.
The national tournament is being held July 5-10 at the Crown Sports Center just 25 minutes from Ocean City.
“We were looking at the hotels—it has the indoor pools and the complimentary breakfasts,” they said.
And for the long time governor of the Maryland district, having the national championship at home is a dream realized.
“To have it here for the first time, we are making history in Maryland for AAU,” said AAU Governor Ben Dubose.
Forty teams are expected to compete for the eight-and-under national championship title.
Mary BubalaMary Bubala joined WJZ in December 2003. She now anchors the 4-4:30 p.m. newscast with Vic Carter and 5 p.m. newscast with Jessica Kartalija and continues to report on a daily basis.