Balcomb, Davis at opening AAU ceremony

Vanderbilt Head Coach Melanie Balcomb and senior point guard Dee Davis helped to open the 2006 AAU 13u Division II Girls National Championship on Friday night. Coach Balcomb gave the keynote address, and Davis was the torchbearer in the opening ceremony at Allen Arena on the David Lipscomb University campus. VandyMania's Whitney D shares these photos from the event.

Fifty-two teams from around the country, including the Memphis Glory, will be participating in the week-long tournament.

Before the ceremony, the teams gathered in the garage to line up for the procession into the arena.

One by one, the teams were introduced and walked around the court, waving to friends and family.

The teams expressed their team identity in various ways, ranging from signs and banners to special fashion accessories.

After the introduction and procession of the teams, Coach Balcomb took her turn at the podium. "Colleges coaches are looking for players who work hard and play together," she told the young players.

Meanwhile, Dee Davis was waiting in the wings, ready to carry the AAU torch into the arena.

When the ceremony was officially over, teams, coaches, and families mingled on the court.

Dee and Coach Balcomb stayed around to meet and greet the young players, posing for photos and signing autographs.

Pool play in the tournament will take place on Saturday and Sunday at various sites around the city. Bracket play begins on Monday and continues through the week, with the championship and consolation games next Friday at Allen Arena. Game schedules and additional information are available on the Nashville Sports Council website,

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Photos copyright 2006 by Whitney D for Top Stories