D.C. Assault hosts local AAU tournament

The spring and summer is a busy time for D.C. Assault, which travels the country playing in high-profile events. But this weekend, the AAU power brings all its talents local, collaborating with Hoop Magic Sports Academy in Chantilly, Va., for the Take Your Best Shot tournament.

D.C. Assault will bring its top teams at four age levels, giving lower-level and mid-level AAU teams in the area the opportunity to, simply, take their best shot at Assault's talent.

"It's not usually an opportunity to play against their gold teams at the right age division locally," said Arize Ifejika, Hoop Magic's tournament director. Assault usually sends its second or third teams to lower-profile local events, or its best teams (Gold) play up an age level.

This weekend is during the NCAA's two-month summer quiet period, which prohibits college coaches from making evaluations at tournaments. Ifejika said because of those restrictions, rising travel costs and the general state of the economy, it made sense for D.C. Assault to host a local tournament. "We have the venue, they have the name and prestige, so for us to come together is a no-brainer," Ifejika said.

"There's a lack of sponsorship and a lack of funding for a lot of teams—they can't afford to travel nationally year in and year out to help their kids get exposure. I definitely can tell you this: Local tournaments are going to be bigger than people realize moving forward. You're not gonna find where guys are traveling all over the place for tournaments because it's too expensive," he said.

This weekend's tournament, which will host about 75 teams in four age groups, as well as D.C. Assault's participation, is also a coup for Hoop Magic, a new, pristine basketball facility. Ifejika, who previously worked as a tournament director with grassroots basketball giant The Hoop Group, is trying to cement Hoop Magic as a prime host for high-profile AAU tournaments.

It has seven regulation courts as well as a fitness area, and is located close to Dulles Airport. During the evaluation period in July, Hoop Magic will host the Agent Zero to Hero Invitational, a collaboration with Washington Wizards' star Gilbert Arenas. It is expected to draw some of the region's top AAU teams.

In the grassroots basketball circuit, where new tournaments pop up every year, and older ones struggle to draw top competition, Ifejika is trying to make Hoop Magic tournaments last by hooking up with the likes of Arenas and D.C. Assault. "You kind of make yourself untouchable by partnering up with some of the heavyweights in your area," he said.

Hoop Magic will also host the Montrose Christian Challenge from June 20-22, which will draw 64 elite high school varsity teams.

What: D.C. Assault presents Take Your Best Shot
Where: Hoop Magic Sports Academy, Chantilly, Va.
When: May 9-11
Tickets: $8 daily, $15 for weekend

Divisions and Schedule

Terp targets and players to watch:*

17U

D.C. Assault Gold
PF Wally Judge (2009, Arlington County Day, Jacksonville, Fla. Kansas State commit)
SG Rodney McGruder (2009, Archbishop Carroll, Washington, D.C. Kansas State commit)
PF Roscoe Davis (2008, Hargrave Military Academy, Chatham, Va. West Virginia commit)
SG Bryon Allen (2010, Oak Hill Academy, Mouth of Wilson, Va.)
PG Daryl Traynham (2010, Vance, Charlotte, N.C.)

WPC Elite
F Isaiah Armwood and F Terrell Vinson (2009, Montrose Christian, Rockville, Md.)

D.C. Blue Devils
SG Dominic Milburn (2009, Montrose Christian)
PG Markel Starks (2010, Georgetown Prep, Bethesda, Md.)
PF Josten Thomas (2009, Progressive Christian Academy, Fort Washington, Md.)
PF Mouptaou Tarou (2009, Massanutten Military Academy, Woodstock, Va.)
C Brian Okam (2009, Montrose Christian)

16U

D.C. Assault Gold
PG Tyler Thornton (2010, Gonzaga, Washington, D.C.)
PG Eric Atkins (2010, Mount St. Joseph's, Baltimore, Md.)
PF Max Esho (2010, Wise, Upper Marlboro, Md.)
F Josh Hairston (2010, Courtland, Spotsylvania, Va.)

N.J. Playaz
PG Isaiah Epps (2010, Plainfield, Plainfield, N.J.)
G Cameron Ayers (2010, Germantown Academy, Fort Washington, Pa.)
F Jayon James (2010, Paterson Catholic, Paterson, N.J.)

D.C. Blue Devils
PG Louis Young (2010, Good Counsel, Olney, Md.)

Team Melo
PG Cedrick Johnson (2010, Snow Hill, Salisbury, Md.)
C/F Jordan Lantham (2010, City College, Baltimore, Md.)

15U

D.C. Assault
F Jordan Goodman (2011, Rockville, Rockville, Md.)
PG Quinn Cook (2011, DeMatha Catholic, Hyattsville, Md.)
G Chris Martin (2011, St. John's College, Washington, D.C.)

D.C. Blue Devils
C Jordan Omogbehim (2011, Montrose Christian)

*Paritcipants subject to change


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