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OT: I Was At an AAU Tournament This Weekend...

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  • OT: I Was At an AAU Tournament This Weekend...

    ...and I feel like I should set the stage just a bit.

    We're in Frankfort, KY. My son's 9th-grade team played their first two games and they went fine. We were beaten in one game by a 25-foot bank at the buzzer, but it was all fine. We played relatively well.

    Earlier in the day we'd seen an 8th grade team from Richmond play. They had one kid who was the embodiment of Jon Hood. Walked like him, stood like him, had the same hair--it was uncanny. Kid could really play. Otherwise they were just decent for an 8th grade team.

    But there was something odd about this team. One, they didn't have a coach so much as just a random guy sitting on the bench. In the second game we saw, the guy said nothing; he just sat there. Two, the players were constantly fighting amongst themselves; at one point their two best players got into it. Three, there were no parents with this group that I could see.

    Anyway, we watch them play a team from Lexington. They win easily, and afterward there's a near-scuffle in the handshake line. Kids are separated. I made the comment to somebody I was sitting by that this crap always happens in AAU ball: near-fights, kids mouthing off, no real adults in the vicinity.

    Okay, so flash forward to 5:30 that evening. This team from Richmond is in the championship of the 8th grade division. They're playing a team from Louisville called Louisville 300 and the game is close. It goes to overtime--nobody scores. Double overtime--nobody scores. They are forced to go to sudden death because my son's team was waiting on the sideline and at this point they'd run over about 45 minutes. Both teams get fouled multiple times and nobody can hit a free throw. Finally the Jon Hood kid gets fouled and he misses both. Crowd is aghast. The 300 team rebounds, is immediately fouled, and a kid hits one free throw. Game over.

    The players go to the handshake line. The tournament director--a poor young man who figures into this story in much more tragic ways shortly--was giving out medals. Team 300 starts posing for photographs and such and hoisting their trophy. And at this point total chaos breaks loose. A player from the Richmond team attacks the ref. Then there's a dogpile. Multiple players get into it. A couple go after the tournament director.

    There was another, older team who may have been from Richmond sitting off to the side; the boys on the 8th grade team seemed to know them. These older boys started to instigate things. People were trying to break up fights all over the gym. And all the while, the team from Richmond would not leave. They refused to leave the premises even though every adult in the crowd was screaming at them to go. Their useless coach did nothing except stand there. The grandmother (I heard it was a grandmother; may have been a mother) of one of the boys came out and tried to fight multiple people. My son swears she was reaching into her purse for her gun at one point.

    This was a 30-minute ordeal. They finally, FINALLY got the players to leave the gym and the police were called. The poor official had a very bad black eye. All the officials and the director were rattled afterward, for good reason. And again, remember there were no adults that I could see with this group, only Useless Coach and Wild Grannie. So more than ninety minutes later my son's game started.

    It was an absolutely sickening thing to watch, and it was all over a meaningless game played by 14-year-olds.
    Last edited by Will Lavender; 04-22-2019, 01:13 PM.

  • #2
    Wow, that is insane....
    I can spell, blame it on my not so smart smart phone, makes up it's own words as it goes.....

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    • #3

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      • #4
        ^ That's a picture my son's coach put on Facebook.

        The blue team is the team from Richmond. What you can't see at the bottom of that pile is the official.

        The gentleman in the orange shirt and the yellow cap is the team's coach. To call him a coach is really a disservice to the term. I blame him and the grandmother for what happened more than anyone.

        The kid who took the first swing at the ref was probably 100 pounds soaking wet. A tiny child, basically. The boy you see standing up immediately in the center of the shot was one of the wilder ones in the bunch; tried to fight virtually everybody all day.

        It struck me that the reason they didn't leave was maybe because they were together with that older group and they were waiting on a bus back to Richmond. It also occurred to me that they may have been from an alternative school or something. They were a completely unhinged group. I've played in hundreds of events myself and have attended a bunch, and this was the strangest and most embarrassing thing I've ever seen in sports.

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        • #5
          Who in there right mind would want to officiate one of these games for 10 dollars, crazy!!!
          I can spell, blame it on my not so smart smart phone, makes up it's own words as it goes.....

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          • #6
            Wow! Really disturbing to read/see. How can parents allow their children participate on a team with such lax (apparently non-existent) adult supervision?

            I know nothing about how AAU stuff works but ............

            Obviously the Blue team players and the non-coach all have names and and are, in some way, linked to the team. Is there not any governing body within AAU that can penalize those involved and hold them accountable?

            Or, if punishment is meted out, do they just morph into a new team with a new name and pull the same stunt at the next event?

            Good report Will. You've proven once again that 'truth is stranger than fiction.'

            GW

            ^^^ $10 a game really? That barely covers gas money and the alcohol needed by the ref afterwards to forget the experience.
            Last edited by Catgrad7072; 04-22-2019, 01:34 PM.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Catgrad7072 View Post
              Obviously the Blue team players and the non-coach all have names and and are, in some way, linked to the team. Is there not any governing body within AAU that can penalize those involved and hold them accountable?
              I had this same thought.

              The AAU thing is sort of like the wild west. Actually, everybody calls it "AAU" but most of it is probably not even sanctioned by AAU, which has become kind of a catch-all term for summer basketball.

              I would imagine some of the folks in this Richmond bunch are in a world of hurt this morning, because the guy running the tournament did press charges. I hope they have reached out to people in Richmond to make sure these kids aren't able to play for the rest of the summer...but I would imagine they will, just on different teams.

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              • #8
                Crazy story. I've been to a few AAU events and honestly this sounds infinitely more interesting than what I saw.

                Goes back to that universal wisdom, just hit your free throws and you won't end up blaming the refs.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Catatonic View Post
                  Crazy story. I've been to a few AAU events and honestly this sounds infinitely more interesting than what I saw.

                  Goes back to that universal wisdom, just hit your free throws and you won't end up blaming the refs.
                  The craziest thing about this game was that the refs were totally fine. There was no controversy until the moment the kid lost his mind.

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                  • #10
                    A good, fair dose of corporal punishment could be in order. EVERYONE of those "kids from Richmond" and their loser coach need a a** whipping. JMO.

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                    • #11
                      OMG...this is just nuts

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                      • #12
                        Will, did the team from Richmond have a name on the front of their jersey? My first thought when reading your original post was this might have been a team from one of the Homes for disruptive kids. When I coached at The Cabbage Patch, we played teams from Ramey Home in Ashland, and another from here in Louisville. However these Home's usually send decent Coaches and Staff. There are several of these all across the state.

                        The pay for officials now is considerably more than $10. That's what I made 40 years ago for this type game.
                        John 3:3

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                        • #13
                          Crazy. You act like that then it's ratherr apparent that their home life is terrible. Those type of kids have parents that never tell them NO. There is no accountability. I feel sorry for those kids that they have no positive role models. I feel even sorrier for the "parents".
                          Isaiah 5:20

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Lighthouse View Post
                            Will, did the team from Richmond have a name on the front of their jersey? My first thought when reading your original post was this might have been a team from one of the Homes for disruptive kids. When I coached at The Cabbage Patch, we played teams from Ramey Home in Ashland, and another from here in Louisville. However these Home's usually send decent Coaches and Staff. There are several of these all across the state.

                            The pay for officials now is considerably more than $10. That's what I made 40 years ago for this type game.
                            The team's name was the Richmond Wildcats. Someone told one of our parents that the team didn't really know each other and had just gotten together. Clearly they didn't have a real coach.

                            The lack of parents was weird. That never happens on the AAU circuit, especially in 8th grade. That they seemed to be there alone was very strange and suggested to me they came by bus, which is also unusual in my experience.

                            There are always dads hovering around the court, which is usually worse than the kids. This team didn't have any of that.

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                            • #15
                              Ruined everyone's day except the ones who were there for a fight. That's a shame.

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                              OT: I Was At an AAU Tournament This Weekend...

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