The season also is a wonderful showcase for the fans in attendance and those that follow the recruiting saga.
And although there are many tournaments in every state, every week, and teams that emerge for a weekend and then fade away, here are a few tournaments that are on the national radar and a few of the lesser known:
Week 1, April 6-8: A few certified tournaments highlight this weekend as the Real Deal on the Hill in Fayetville, AR is hosted by the Arkansas Hawks and has over 100 teams in the 17u and 16u divisions. Last year there were over 250 college coaches licking their chops over the talent rich field. Teams from Florida to California gravitate to this tournament now in its third year.
Look for these players to standout in the 17 and under division: Michigan State verbal 5-foot-10 guard Korie Luscious (Devin Harris-DTA), 6-foot-9 forward Yancey Gates (Ohio Basketball Club), Ohio St verbal commits 6-foot-2 guard Walter Offutt (Indiana Heat-MG) and 6-foot-5 wing William Buford (D1-Greyhounds). Buford's AAU teammate 6-foot-6 wing Darius Miller, 6-foot-3 guard Paul Williams (The Family), 6-foot-3 guard Jrue Holiday (Pump-n-Run Elite), and Trey Thompkins (Atlantic Celtics) are just a few more to add to an extraordinary list that could end around 100. Charlie Weber is synonymous with recruiting and he's hosting the Easter Hoopfest in Washington D.C. where teams from up and down the Atlantic seaboard to the mid-west flock to his popular tournament. His Easter Tournament has over 120 teams in the 16 and under and 17 and under divisions. Some of the 17 and under standouts include Georgetown verbal commit 6-foot-8 forward Chris Braswell (Triple Threat), 6-foot-9+ forward Roscoe Davis (DC Assault), and 6-foot-9 forward Jay Thames (Michigan Select). 6-foot-1 freshman guard Josh Selby played with the Baltimore Select 16u last year, how good could he get? Only time will tell for Selby but, not as long as it will take to see which player from these prestigious tournaments will shine. Next week, expect an in depth preview of Michigan's premier tournament the Motown Showdown and preview's of other AAU tournaments throughout the Spring season.