DC Blue Devils 16-under head coach Brian Inge coaching up the 16U highly coveted twin towers Makhi and Makhel Mitchell
When it comes to AAU basketball, many have opinions as far as if its good for the kids growth in basketball or if it isn't? Critics from every level of basketball have spoken loudly about how AAU basketball is killing the college and pro game. While, there are bad seeds planted in the ever evolving grassroots level of basketball, there are also those who genuinely are involved to help kids maximize their potential on and off the court. These genuine individuals usually are voiceless against the frequent attacks. I thought, why not change that? Why not have coaches who have been involved with AAU at the highest level and who are truly dedicated to the development of players give a inside perspective as to what it's all about. Enter Brian Inge. Inge is an assistant basketball coach at Bishop McNamara High School and is also the coach for the DC Blue Devils 16-under team, one of the top 16-under teams in the country. So without further delay, lets see what Inge has to say as he details the Blue Devils 16U journey throughout the summer on our Inside the Circuit series. - Finest Magazine CEO Cardell Dudley
"Top Down in the Winter, Thats What Winners Do"
One of the major negative connotations about AAU is that winning is not valued. I think that is the farthest from the truth because people are attracted to winners. College coaches want the best talent for their respective systems that fit what they are doing. A major factor in deciding the proper ‘fit’ is recruiting competitive guys who are motivated to get better. Coaches prefer winners because they know what it takes to be successful when things are not going as planned.
The group of kids I have the pleasure of being associated with this spring/summer on the DC Blue Devils 16u are all guys who are driven to win and to be the best day in and day out. They all have something that they want to prove. We've started 8-0 and are currently rated as one of the top five 16u grassroots teams in the country, but it has not been a cake walk. In our last game versus a really good Team Thad UAA team we found ourselves down early. Team Thad came out scrappy with a lot of heart and fight. They brought it to us, that is the only way I could put it. I forget what moment it was in the first quarter but we called a timeout and before any of the coaching staff could offer “encouragement” the players had already begun to police THEMSELVES. Now any coach knows that when you have a group of guys that hold each other accountable it makes everything that much easier. It is safe to say the guys refocused and turned the switch on and led us to our 8th victory to start the season.
Winning is important to these kids, and generally all of the kids on these teams in our league. Twenty Six teams are fighting for 16 playoff spots in the UAA Finals in July so please believe that competition is at a premium. This is good though because competition brings out the best in people. Even if you lose you learn something from the experience that makes you that much stronger in the future.
Going into the month of May we will be playing in a few events, the first being this weekend in the DMV Elite Super teams Showcase, but the main focus for our guys is to get in the gym and work on individual weaknesses and also strengthen their bodies. We will generally work out three times a week unless guys have practice with their high school teams who are preparing for summer league. Got to get our guys ready, but they do a great job of preparing themselves so the process becomes very enjoyable for all parties involved.
One last thing, I want to shout out all the local teams who are representing the area well. The DMV(can I include Baltimore?) teams are all playing well in their respective leagues or tournaments. Much respect to all the coaches and players who have worked really hard to be successful out there. Some local guys who have stood out to me that I have seen so far or that I have heard are doing work. I have not seen everyone so please don’t shoot me:
Makhi Mitchell DCBD 16u
Makhel Mitchell DCBD 16u
Marvin Price DCBD 16u
James Lee DCBD 16u
Jared Bynum DCBD 17u
LJ Owens DCBD 17u
Gibson Jimmerson DCBD 17u
James Bishop Team Thrill 16u
Adrian Baldwin Team Thrill 16u
Saddiq Bey DC Premier 17u
Everett Hammond DC Premier 17u
Prentiss Hubb DC Premier 17u
Michael Sumner Jr DC Premier 15u
Immanuel Quickley Team BBC 17u
Montez Mathis Team BBC 17u
Casey Morsell Team Takeover 16u
Wynston Tabbs Team Melo 17u
Noah Locke Team Melo 17u
Jeremy Roach Team Takeover 17u
Shariff Kenney New World 17u
Follow Brian Inge on IG @Binge0
On Twitter @TheRealBdotInge
Follow the DC Blue Devils on Twitter @DCBDbasketball