The summer basketball season has always been a time for conjecture. So many questions that were rarely answered on the court. In 2015, that will change when the ASGR Summer League debuts.
The ASGR Summer League will provide the answer to questions about which travel team is the best, or how the top two post players or point guards would match up. The League will feature 32-teams in each age groups, for 17U, 16U and 15U. The best of the best will compete throughout the summer, with the League crowning its champions at the Summer Basketball Playoff in Charlotte at the end of July.
“We are obviously very, very excited about this innovation,” said ASGR president Michael T. White. “This League approach is going to fill the summer with electric competitions that pair up the best players and the best teams. We have gotten a tremendous initial response from some of the elite travel programs, and this is just the beginning.”
“When you have a league with nothing but the best, that creates a great opportunity for the kids,” added Nard Hudson of the WP Celtics out of Atlanta. “I think you will see some nice rivalries develop between the teams. It used to be that you might play the other big teams once every year or two. With the league, that will change. Plus, the teams will be playing for something more when they meet. I think it is going to be very exciting to see these talented kids competing in that environment.”
Each team in the ASGR Summer League will play three regular season games. These games will be scheduled on the days leading up to the traditional major ASGR events, including the tournaments in Raleigh, Atlanta, Washington, D.C., and Las Vegas. The Summer League games will be separate from these main tournaments. Each League team will play in the Summer Basketball Playoff, with the regular season contests used for seeding purposes.
“We have been waiting for something like this,” noted Walter Welsh of iEXCEL from New York. “You are going to have the top teams going against each other and there will be a national champion determined. It’s really a lot like what they do at the college level.
“We all want to play against the best, and we all want to be playing for championships. If you have a great team, you should want to really see who is the best.
“I already told our kids, and they were very excited. They want to play against the top players they have heard about or read about. They want to see how they stack up against the best players from California or Georgia or Chicago or wherever. If you feel like you have worked hard to become one of the best, you want to see if that work has paid off.”
While League action will draw plenty of attention, those games will serve as a springboard for the main events in each city.
“It was very important that we designed the League in a way that it had a positive impact on our other events,” White said. “The League teams will be playing in the main events, so all of the strong independent or sponsored teams will have an opportunity to compete against the top teams in their level.”
The League events will provide an rare opportunity to compare the top players at each level. Bret McCormick, the veteran analyst for the All Star Girls Report, is looking forward to this premium competition.
“This is going to be a great set up. This is going to give the teams and players something special,” McCormick said. “I also like the fact that these teams are also going to compete in the larger events, so they will be facing a lot of different opponents. There are so many great players and great teams out there, and this format gives everyone a chance to compete against the highest level.”
“In travel basketball, the ultimate goal is for the kids to get a scholarship. But, when your team has a chance to play for something like this championship, it means a little more,” said Kenny Kalina of FGB Elite. “Plus, I think we are going to be able to develop rivalries with some of the top teams in the country through the ASGR events.
“One of the best things about the league is that ASGR is including the younger kids. These young players are going to be challenged right off the bat. This will give those kids a huge advantage as they develop, and they are going to get tremendous early exposure.”
The All Star Girls Report was launched by White in 1995, and it has been providing the nation’s most accurate player ratings for the past 20 years. White’s Top Ten All American Camp has produced 175 McDonald’s All-Americans since 2001, and he spent 15 years serving as a grassroots consultant for major brands such as adidas, Reebok and FILA. White, who currently serves on the McDonald’s All-American Selection Committee, successfully launched the Michael T. White Signature Shoe and Clothing Line in 2008.
The fact that the event is being run by the experienced ASGR staff has been a major selling point with the travel programs.
“We think this is going to be something great for the kids,” said Mac Irvin, who leads the Mac Irvin Godfather program out of Chicago. “The All Star Girls Report was really the first group to do major events for the girls. They really know the players and the programs, so they can do a great job of finding the top teams. That’s really going to be the key to making this league successful.”
For more information about ASGR, you can visit www.ASGR.info, or you can follow us at www.Twitter.com/ASGR1995. For information on league opportunities and the uniform purchase program, you can contact Mike White at (818) 298-3488.