Albany set to host GymRat Challenge

Hundreds of teams ready for title fight upstate

by Russell Steinberg May 25, 2012 8:32am ET
Vasturia-17U MVP
GymRat CHALLENGE
2011 GymRat Challenge MVP Stephen Vasturia

A massive 240-team field is ready to make the trip upstate to Albany this weekend for the 2012 GymRat Challenge, sponsored by Li-Ning.

Teams from the boys 12U to 17U age groups will compete in the tournament, which begins Saturday morning in gyms around the Albany area. There is a three-game guarantee for all participants plus bracket games should a team advance that far. Teams are placed in pools with each pool winner advancing to bracket play, plus a set number of Wild Card teams, depending on the particular age group. For more information on how the tournament is organized, click here.

The 17U field alone will hold 23 pools of four clubs, making it one of the biggest events of that age group. Most of those teams hail from the northeast and will be fighting for regional bragging rights in this two-day event.

By the time bracket play tips off on Sunday, just 24 17U teams will remain. The 15U and 16U tournament fields will each hold 16 clubs.

Notable teams in the field include 16U and 17U representatives from the Long Island Lightning and a 16U Albany City Rocks squad. Of course, it shouldn't be a surprise that the City Rocks will be there. While their 17s will be at EYBL this weekend, program director Jim Hart had some nice things to say about the GymRat Challenge.

"It’s one thing to establish a nationally competitive event," he said. "It’s something very different to continually make it better. Make no mistake about it, the GymRat Challenge just keeps getting better each year."

The 15U field will be highlighted by Team SCAN and Sports U./Team Izod.

Be sure to check back with Fivestarbasketball.com early next week for a recap of all of this weekend’s action in Albany.

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