Describing CBC road to the TOP of the country basketball rankings is simple….REDEMPTION!

by CTalentTv on September 5, 2011

(from left to right: Ashon “Chewy” Avent, Darrick Boyd, David Pacheco, Tyrique Jones, Blair “Fresh” Howard, Arkel Ager, KeAndre “Breeze” Fair, Hasson Daniels)

Three years ago the CBC 6th grade (class 0f 2015) made their first trip to the AAU Division III National Championships in Hampton, VA.  As CBC’s youngest team, it was Coach Reggie Hatchett’s desire to expose Hartford’s talent outside of the state and to bring home the National Championship title. It was obvious upon their arrival that the task would be nearly impossible, but they were determined to be recognized.

The core team members, KeAndre Fair, Ashon Avent and Blair Howard had been with the coach from day one and were the heart and soul of the squad. They made it all the way to the Sweet 16 and were ahead 16-0 against a team from Philly. Then every coaches nightmare happened…the starting point guard and captain of the team sustained a knee injury. The team crumbled and gave up that lead and eventually lost that game.

The team took the confidence that they could play with anyone in the country back to CT. The following season, they ended up ranked number 10 in the region and didn’t lose a game in CT. The addition and improvement of Arkel Ager, Tyrique Jones and Hasson and Kharon Daniels proved to be just what the team needed. Still bitter about the way they lost the previous year, they returned to Hampton the following year with the core players still intact, but with better support players. The team ran through pool play and through the playoffs in impressive fashion. The made it all the way to the National Championship game versus a team from Toronto, Canada. The Toronto team was headlined by Justin Jackson, a 6’7″ 13 year old considered one of the top 5 college prospects in the 7th grade. They held him under ten points and led the game from the opening tip. But still suffered a heartbreak by losing the game by 2 points on a buzzer beating three pointer.

Obviously, the team was crushed and felt that they should have been the National Champions. But once again, the team returned to CT with a different level of focus and confidence that propelled them ahead of any team in the state. The team added a trio of players from Springfield, MA, Darrick Boyd, Joshua Malone and David Pacheco. This year’s team was looking more like a championship squad.

Holding on to the same players who all had a mission to complete, this year as 14U there was no doubt in their minds that the chip was theirs. With Darrick Boyd settling in and feeling more comfortable with this team, his offensive abilities began to shine. Teammates Arkel Ager (Bridgeport) and Tyrique Jones (Hartford) both had growth spurts of at least 5 inches and used their added size to improve the teams rebounding and defensive prowess.

Armed with two years of national level experience, the team went back to Hampton for a theirs time. But this time with the mindset of “we’re coming back to get what’s ours!” and they did just that. CBC’s 14u absolutely dismantled every team they played. Winning every game by double figures (including a matchup with the team they lost to in the previous year’s National Championship), it was no doubt in their minds that the championship game would be no different. They ended up having to play the home team, The Boo Williams All-Stars (VA) in the championship, but quickly put them away by getting a 20 point cushion by halftime.

This year’s team was a team destined for greatness! Not too many teams can say that they are the best in the country at something. But Connecticut Basketball Club’s 8th grade (Class of 2015) can stand up proudly and say…”CT we did it! We’re the best in the country!”

Story by: Reggie Hatchett

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