Sabre Scoop: News From The EYBL

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EYBL: Saturday Hampton Session

The Nike Elite Youth Basketball League consists of four “regular season” sessions, each one taking place at a different location. Los Angeles was the location of Session 1. Session 2 took place this past Friday through Sunday at the Boo Williams Sportsplex in Hampton, Virginia. Forty 17-and-under squads participate in the league, but only the top 24 will make it to the EYBL Finals at the Nike Peach Jam event in July. Following pool play at the Peach Jam, eight teams make the final EYBL tournament bracket. The winner of the bracket is the EYBL champion.

I was on hand for the Saturday portion of the Hampton EYBL, which began on Friday night and lasted through Sunday afternoon. Each team played five games before heading back home.

Team Takeover, a 17U squad led by Keith Stevens, took the court at 9:30 am Saturday against Team Family from Detroit (MI). The Takeover squad consists primarily of players from Maryland, but a few northern Virginia natives and a DC area standout are on the roster as well.

Prior to the two 17U squads taking the court, a 16U contest between CP3 (Chris Paul’s AAU squad based out of North Carolina) and the Florida Vipers took place. Kentucky’s John Calipari, Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski, and UNC’s Roy Williams were among the coaches on hand to watch this game, which featured Tar Heel state standout freshman Harry Giles, considered one of the top overall prospects in his class.

Team Takeover dispatched The Family 78-66 in the morning game, and later in the day I took the opportunity to see Team Takeover’s 5 p.m. match-up against Indy Spiece. The second game was much closer, but Takeover got the 76-75 win. Team Takeover ended up going undefeated this past weekend and is undefeated through nine games on the 2013 EYBL circuit.

At 11 am, I watched Mac Irvin Fire’s overtime win over the New York Lightning. This game had to have been one of the best of the EYBL season so far. Mac Irvin mostly features players from the Chicago (IL) area, including Stevenson (Lincolnshire, IL) sophomore point guard Jalen Brunson, a player UVa has now offered, and highly regarded junior center Jahlil Okafor. (Okafor was in Hampton but did not play this past weekend.) Junior center Cliff Alexander,