Memphis, Tenn. — I’ve spent the better part of 17 years traveling the country for youth basketball events, seeking out the nation’s top teams and players annually. In that time, I’ve grown to appreciate not only the basketball talent that the greater Memphis area has produced but also the passionate fans that keep the game alive and thriving in the city.
After a several-year hiatus, it felt great to be back in Memphis, this time for the 2022 Under Armour Future Presidents’ Day Classic. In reflecting back on the three-day event, here are my top takeaways from the weekend in Tennesee…
P7 Sports Academy To Become Youth Hoops Destination
Not everyone can appreciate the luxury of having an event held under one roof. From a media and evaluation perspective, the primary benefit is that it allows scouts to watch more games, and observe more players. The opportunity for a talented player to go unnoticed is greatly reduced. Despite the grassroots basketball talent and major tournaments that Memphis has hosted throughout the decades, the new five-court, P7 Sports Academy should allow for even more youth hoops excitement in coming years. Expect this facility to become a mainstay host for many of the region’s top events.
Under Armour’s Future Circuit An Excellent Youth Platform
As part of the new UA NEXT Basketball (no affiliation with Prep Hoops Next) rebrand, per their website, “UA Future sets the new standard for grassroots circuits at the middle school level by modeling the format of the UAA and becoming the foundation of our youth basketball platform. UA Future seeks to advance the development of young players, teams, and coaches to set the course of grassroots basketball for the near future.” Personally, I’m excited to continue following the regional stops over the course of this year’s travel season. My current plans include attending the UA Future National Championships scheduled for June 24-26 in Hamilton, Ohio.
Kingdom Hoops Has Talent Worth Watching
The Kingdom Hoops organization is well-known throughout Iowa but may have taken some beyond the Midwest by surprise with their 8th Grade title at the UA Future Presidents’ Day Classic. However, the core of this group has long-established chemistry, and the individual progression by much of its roster should allow this squad to continue having success and garnering attention well into the grassroots season. I’ll have more details on their individual talent with additional insight from head coach, Vance Mosley, later in the week but this is a team to become familiar with in the Class of 2026.
P7 Elite Debuts With A Pair Of Titles
In addition to their new facility, the recently founded P7 Elite program is aiming to earn its own accolades on the youth hoops scene this year with a talented collection of teams and players. The 2022 UA Future Presidents’ Day Classic proved to be an ideal platform to jumpstart the momentum, as both the sixth and seventh-grade teams captured respective titles while matched up against extremely respectable competition. Overall, the P7 Elite organization boasted a collective, tournament-best 12-1 record, with its eighth-grade team falling just short of the championship round due to the structure of the super pool format.
901 Bulls A Young Team On The Rise
Along with the successes of P7 Elite, another local team defended their home turf throughout the weekend, as the 901 Bulls earned the right to call themselves the 2022 UA Future Presidents’ Day Classic 5th Grade champs. Their perfect 4-0 tournament record saw the Class of 2029 group collect a pair of victories against Kingdom Hoops (IA), as well as Utah Mountain Stars (UT), and the Miami Knights (FL). It’s still very early in the season but count this unit among the clubs to watch in the Mid-South for their grade division with a chance to earn more national notoriety in the coming months.
Stay tuned for more from Prep Hoops Next!