Northern Arizona Basketball Exposure Showcase | September 14, 2013
Thank You Note From Inspire Courts

AZ All-Stars Shocks Team Inspire at "Rise Above 2" Tournament Varsity Championship

Arizona All-Stars at Rise Above 2 2013 RUNNER-UP CHAMPIONS"Beauty and the Beast" is a traditional fairy tale that was first published in 1740.  Variants of the tale are known across the world.   On August 18, 2013, a new version of the story was written by the Arizona All-Stars and Team Inspire at the "Rise Above 2" tournament Varsity division.    Why the analogy to a fairy tale?   Answer:  The Arizona All-Stars represented a team of players that were led by Chandler high school Marco Morales who is ranked in the "Top 50 in 2014 Class" and Mountain View's Trevin Crider who is a 6' 6" player with incredible upside.   Both were accompanied by a roster of players who have been together for years working on their fundamentals.  There in existed the beauty...the old-school concept of training hard, developing your skills versus a group of highly talented and proven players who rarely train together but are good enough to win most tournaments.  In my opinion, and let's be real, both approaches get results but it comes down to choosing which approach is in alignment with each organization's need at the moment.


CompetitorsThe Arizona All-Stars roster consisted of Marco Morales, Trevin Crider, Jared McCleery, Devon Lundy, Austin Kobar, Zach Jolley, Myles Thompson and Jared Paulus.   Marco Morales was unstoppable and not one "Top 20 in 2014 Class" Inspire player was able to guard him although they rotated multiple players on him to try to slow him down, All-Stars Austin Kobar shot the lights out from beyond the arc with seven 3-pointers, Devon Lundy was amazing crossing-over players at point and Trevin Crider, a Junior that will soon have recruiters tripping all over themselves to get to him, was phenomenal in every aspect of the game to include blocking multiple dunk attempts.  The rest of the All-Stars were playing inspired basketball, no pun intended, to include Sophomore Myles Thompson and 8th grader Jared Paulus who was playing up in Varsity and contributed like he was born to play at this division.

For this writer, the long development journey were players stick together through thick and thin and work on their skill-sets is were the beauty exists....this is what the Arizona All-Stars represent....the beauty of old-school training and loyalty to the team, coach and overall program.    Team Inpire represented the dominance of beastly players who are highly recruited and come together on occassions for the purpose of winning tournaments but eventually go back to their official club teams.   The concept of bringing together as many known players as possible to dominate the court and to dunk your way into legendary status supported by an in-house videographer in tow...a ready made high light show if you will is a very tempting scenario which does attract top players.   At the Rise Above 2 tournament there was no doubt that Team Inspire was a beast of a team.   Team Inspire consisted of some of the best players in the state of Arizona like Zylan Cheatham, Kodi Justice, Rolando Rhymes, Ryan Richardson, Felipe Velasco, Isaac Allen, and Bryce Fisher.  Keeping it real, it is not easy to attract multiple elite players to one team, therefore, my compliments to Inspire Courts for being able to bring together highly regarded top basketball guns to one roster.

ShowdownAt the Inspire courts venue, the showdown of concepts took place.  Even before the first tournament game came to fruition, the word was out....Team Inspire was going to beat the Arizona All-Stars by 70+ points.    By the time the tournament ended, Team Inspire did beat most of the other varsity division teams by 30+ points, however, when meeting up with the Arizona All-Stars in the championship game something beautiful happened.....    All-Stars Marco Morales, Trevin Crider, Austin Kobar and Devon Lundy's outstanding play literally put fear in the eyes of Team Inspire and you could see that Inspire was having to bust their tail to simply hold on to the game.....Team Inspire was up only by 1 point at the half with a score of 26-25 and 0 dunks.    With less than 6 minutes in the game, Team Inspire was ahead by only 8 points when the All-Stars' only big man, Trevin Crider, who was having a phenomenal game fouled out.   The game before, the All-Stars lost their strong rebounder and shot blocker, Jared McCleery to a sprained ankle so the loss of Crider left the All-Stars with only guards to finish the game.  At this juncture, Team Inspire took advantage of the boards and spread their lead to double digits.   It was then and only then that Team Inspire managed to win by 17, however, the score was not indicative of the alley fight that Team Inspire had to endure throughout the entire game.   If it wasn't for the outstading 3-point shooting of Team Inspire's Rolando Rhymes, the All-Stars would have pulled off the win.  Rolando must have hit ten 3's and it was his performance that kept Team Inspire from being completely outplayed and outhustled.

Needless to say, although the All-stars lost, the way they played shocked the hushed crowd who expected to see highlight dunks and an easy win for Inspire.  The All-Stars showed up to play and the game was a psychological win for the All-Stars team that trains and stays together for the purpose of developing skills-set and winning in the long-term.     The game was a version of the beauty and the beast fairy tale with a hoops' twist.   The fairy tale became a reality when two concepts met and, as stated earlier in the article, an argument can be made that both do work but, unlike fairy tales with good endings, in the basketball community the two approaches to team building will not necessarily live together happily ever after. 

NOTE:  Congratulations to Inspire Courts for running a great tournament with multiple divisions.  The East Valley is a hotbed of great teams and talented players and we highly recommend that teams attend the very competitive tournaments held at Inspire Courts.

Pool Play Standings
Team Win Loss PDiff
Inspire 2 1 38
AZ All Stars 3 0 22
EV Thunder 1 2 -1
Team Blur 0 3 -59

Teams listed as Home
Away

Pool Play Schedule & Results
Sat 8-17-13 3:00 PM
COURT 4
EV Thunder
AZ All Stars
56
57
Sat 8-17-13 3:00 PM
COURT 5
Inspire
Team Blur
62
28
Sat 8-17-13 6:00 PM
COURT 6
AZ All Stars
Team Blur
59
40
Sat 8-17-13 6:00 PM
COURT 7
EV Thunder
Inspire
47
82
Sun 8-18-13 9:00 AM
COURT 4
Team Blur
EV Thunder
49
81
Sun 8-18-13 9:00 AM
COURT 5
AZ All Stars
Inspire
2
0


Tournament Bracket

Bronze [3] EV Thunder
Bronze [4] Team Blur
[1] AZ All Stars 52

Game 1

Sun 8-18-13

3:00 PM

[1] AZ All Stars

Game 3

Sun 8-18-13

5:00 PM

[4] Team Blur 35
[2] Inspire 77

Game 2

Sun 8-18-13

3:00 PM

[2] Inspire
[3] EV Thunder 48