Summer National Championship Preview: 14U and 15U
Team SCAN, Indiana Elite, Dunk Dog and more...
Travel teams have completed their summer schedules and Summer National Champion week is upon us. Unlike last year, we now have four age groups in which to crown our champions and the race to the top went right down to the wire. Here is a look at the candidates for the 15U and 14U Five-Star Summer National Champions, which will be officially announced on Wednesday:
Indiana Elite: Indiana Elite ascended to No. 1 early in the year and reached that spot again last week by winning the Best Buy Summer Classic. How did they follow that up? All Indiana Elite did was go out and take the 15U adidas Super 64, beating a pair of ranked teams in the process (No. 7 Compton Magic, No. 6 Eric Gordon All-Stars). That win over Eric Gordon was especially sweet for Indiana Elite since it had been Eric Gordon that handed them their first loss of the year after a long undefeated streak to begin the summer. Their lone loss at Super 64 came to the No. 9 Colorado Hawks — their second loss to the Hawks this year.
Team SCAN: To the surprise of absolutely no one, Team SCAN is in the conversation for a Summer National Championship at the 15U level. Owning a host of tournament championships this summer, including HOF New England, GymRat Challenge and King of the Rock, SCAN has distinguished itself as the best 15U team in the northeast. And to erase any doubt about their abilities on a national level, they went out and won Fab 48 in Las Vegas last week, highlighted by a win over a talented Team Loaded squad. If they hadn’t lost to The Family last week in the final of the Nike Invitational, SCAN might be the runaway favorite to be our National Champion. Chancellor Ellis is one of the many talented players on this Team SCAN squad.
Dunk Dog Elite: Dunk Dog made its convincing case for No. 1 last week at 14U Nationals. After cruising through pool play, Dunk Dog defeated No. 2 Team SCAN for the second time this year in the semifinals, then staged a remarkable comeback in the championship game to beat the No. 9 Karolina Diamonds in a game aired on ESPN3. Dunk Dog also has a win this season over No. 5 Team Penny and they won the prestigious Rumble in the Bronx. Dunk Dog is led by Khalea Turner, Thon Maker and Malik Crowfield.
Karolina Diamonds: The Karolina Diamonds were ranked No. 9 last week, but they enter the title conversation after an impressive run through Nationals. Though they fell short in the championship against Dunk Dog, the Diamonds went 8-1 in Orlando and knocked off Team Penny and No. 3 D.C. Assault in the process. Seventh Woods and Timmy Walker Jr. are two players for the Diamonds that you will have to keep an eye on over the course of the next few years.
Team SCAN: It seems like Team SCAN is always in the conversation for the No. 1 ranking and the final week of the summer is no different. SCAN rebounded from a semifinal loss to Dunk Dog at Nationals by beating D.C. Assault in the consolation game. Though they lost to Dunk Dog twice this year, SCAN has won some championships (New York regional championship, Bball spotlight) and cannot be overlooked.