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WHAT HAPPENED TO AAU BASKETBALL (DMV)?

AAU girls basketball in the DMV has appeared to have fallen to an all time low.


DMV'S TALENT POOL

AAU girls basketball in the DMV has appeared to have fallen to an all time low.  Overall the talent level doesn't seem to be where it once was when the DMV was recognized nationally as the hotbed for girls basketball talent.  Don't get me wrong there is still quite a bit of taleted kids that roam the DMV community which is evident by the area consistently reaching near 70 young ladies going to college on a scholarship on some level, however, overall the region seems to have taken a dramatic dip over the last 10 or so years.  
FALLING NUMBERS

Looking at the numbers in 2005 there were close to 60 middle school AAU clubs in the DMV and 35 in the Potomac Valley region alone, all trying to make it to the AAU Nationals in search of a championship or at least placing.  Many of the organizations would field two to three teams per age group.  These numbers have dwindled down to around 20 clubs with few really playing competitive basketball.  Most clubs have abandoned the traditional AAU route in favor of "showcase" basketball, meaning starting at middle school kids are no longer playing to develop and win AAU games but they are now chasing scholarships and seeking to play in front of college coaches as seventh graders.  This is what's leading to the primary reason for the drop in the talent pool.
WHAT HAPPENED?

In the early to mid 2000's, coaches were activley recruiting young girls to play basketball.  The sign "No Experience Necessary", could have been hung over every gym in the DMV as coaches were willing to teach kids the fundamentals of the game and allowed them to progress through weekly practices, usually about three times per week.  Coaches would make themselves available if a kid wanted to come early or stay late for some extra work.  The tryout of 30 kids would yield three teams and every kid could find a place where she could fit according to her skill level.  Fast foward to today, most programs won't pick up a player unless she already knows how to play coming through the door, player development for the novice is non existent unless your're in the six foot plus club, gym time is scarce and most have abandoned learning the game with their team coach during practices in favor of personal trainers.  Nationally the AAU Nationals has gone from a 200 team annual event to a 45 team mini tournament.  Even AAU has flipped its script to put emphasis on what it calls the "Super Showcase".  The DMV would place several teams in the top 20 at the AAU Nationals with powerhouses such as:

PV Vouges
Beltway Lady Cougars
Maryland Lady Crusaders
Boo Williams Red Tide
Boo Williams Miracles
Maryland Hurricanes
Fairfax Stars
VA Cardinals
Marshall Heights Lady Bisons
Maryland Mystics
MD Lady Lions
Maryland Flames
Maryland Madness
Maryland Panthers
Baltimore Comets
Baltimore Starz
Team Excel
MD Xtreme
UTurn Warriors
Maryland Shooting Stars
Baltimore Charm
James River Blaze
Maryland Crusaders
Team Sol
Boo Williams Black Widows
Virginians
MD Lady Majic
Maryland Classics
MD Lady Tigers
Germantown Panthers


There were others and most were considered power teams that had legitimate shots at winning it all nationally (several did).  Although many still exist as a program, they are all a shell of what they once were.  If we could ever get back to true grassroot basketball reaching the novice players and teaching fundamentals in a team concept, the DMV will rise again.   

Visitor Comments (1)

Nice article

Great story man, even though this is a girls topics I wanted to commit and post although I have been apart of one
Of them great girl teams who produced a few MBA players.
.
We are when them top boys program in moco. But for the reason you stated above
I have decided to go back to coaching middle school. Developing players to learn how
To compete and play this game correct.

TEAM VITO is holding tryouts 6th to 8th grade and all you need is a desire to play
at the top level.and we are looking for parents who are committed and dedicated to the sport.

We are having tryouts for :
6th and 7th grade boys tryouts feb 17th and 18th

If your son is interested in joining the Team Vito Family - Please Visit Our Website for more detailed info.
click on our team name to the left http//mocoheat.org