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The Mac Irvin Fire Godfather team out of Chicago has a tradition of success in July, but that often follows a challenging spring.
“The program as a whole has done pretty well so far this year, but our program has generally improved a great deal as the season progresses,” said Irvin, who serves as the program director. “In Illinois, there are a lot of high school team things in the spring, and that holds us back a little. We have an intense training camp before we start the July tournaments, and that really helps us improve.”
The first event of July for the Fire will come at the Suwanee Tournament of Champions. The event, which will showcase top flight teams from around the country, will be played at the expansive Suwanee Sports Academy outside of Atlanta from July 5-8.
Two of the veterans from the Mac Irvin Godfather team are Kiara Lewis and Chardonae Hamilton. Lewis is a 5-8 points guard who is a top 2016 prospect, and Hamilton is a 6-6 post player who is also from the Class of 2016. Lewis is currently rated as the No. 17 recruit nationally in her class by the All Star Girls Report, and Hamilton is listed at No. 208.
“Kiara is just a special, special player,” Irvin said. “She is a skilled athlete who can do it all. This year, she is working on her leadership skills, and she is doing a good job. She is working more with her teammates, and she is talking more on the court. If she can continue to improve as a leader, that could take her to the next level. The sky is the limit for Kiara.
“Chardonae missed the spring with a fracture in her foot, but she has been cleared to play. She is working hard, but it will probably be late July before she is at full speed. Chardonae is a classic, back to the basket, low block post player. She really knows how to use her size to control the lane for us.”