While at Nationals I took a picture of Dequan Cook, Aaron Pogue, Darren Powell, and Coach Powell with the National Championship trophy. If that picture would have came out I had planned on using it in conjunction with this article and calling it the "Ohio connection," for this unit helped the Spiece Indy Heat of Indiana win the National Championship.
As a matter of fact without this group I don't know if they could have won it. Now, the Spiece Indy Heat are the real deal. I have the deepest respect for Coach Conley and his bunch. Many people focus on 6'11" Greg Oden who is a PIT and PG Micheal Conley who is one of the best point guards in the country, but the teams depth is unquestionable and they've got so many good guards that I wouldn't put anything past them, but Dequan Cook was the most consistent player on their team and Aaron Pogue provided the giant Oden much needed relief.
Now Lil' Powell didn't get to play because of that stupid "boarder rule" but he would have contributed as well. To say the least without the "Ohio connection," it would have been a more difficult task. So, what does next year hold? Everybody is after Coach Powell and the Airmen: Adidas, Nike, every other AAU program in the state (including mine), and the ! Airmen may go solo?
The Airmen have two teams at this age level Maroon and Gold. The top scorers are Cook 25 ppg, Pogue 17 ppg, Antwain Sain 12 ppg, Donovan Potter 10 ppg, and Aaron Brown 9 ppg. The top rebounders are Pogue 16 rpg, Cook 12 rpg, Sain 6 rpg, Brown 5 rpg, and Steve Dees 4 rpg. The assists leaders are Brown 10 apg, Cook 7 apg, Powell 6 apg, Potter 4 apg, and Dees 3 apg. The top 3 pt shooters are Cook, Potter and Greg Napier. The steal leaders were Brown 5 spg, Powell 3 spg, and Cook 2 spg. Aaron Brown is the next best player behind Cook. He started PG for Belmont Varsity last season as a freshman and his game has matured greatly since last summer.
The Airmen won the Bean City Classic, Centerville Spring Classic, Cincinnati Select Invitational, and the All American Cage Classic and finished runner up in the Southwest Ohio Classic. Now, Powell and the organization have to make some decisions. Do you send the kids back to Indiana? Do you keep the kids in Dayton and capitalize on having one of America's finest young basketball players in Cook? This capitalization would mean money from the shoe companies in exchange for wearing their gear and traveling to tournaments and camps that they sponsor. Do you combine with another fierce outfit and make an even better outfit??
Some say I'm crazy because I run a
top-flight program and should be all over Powell and the! Airmen, but I think
they should develop a top-flight program in DAYTON!!! Now, if Coach Powell decides to join up
with somebody he knows I want an interview, but my heart felt advice is to take
advantage of what they have and BUILD a program that will help ALL the kids in
Dayton and the future of the Airmen program. Many decisions, but whatever happens the
Airmen program definitely FLEW in 2003!
For more information on this dynamic team go to their website at
www.eteamz.com/daytonairmen. Thanks to
Coach Doug Potter for the stats provided in this article.