Local girls team wins AAU national championship
A basketball team made up of ninth-grade girls from throughout the Lowcountry recently won the AAU Classic Division II National Championship.
The tournament was held in Orlando, Fla., at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.
They won the title with a 64-47 win over Triple Threat out of Louisiana.
“This was a major accomplishment for these girls,” said D.A. Aldridge, who serves as the marketing director of the Lowcountry Ballers.
Aldridge said the 10-player team includes girls who attend school at Summerville, Wando, Pinewood Prep, Charleston Math & Science, Stall, West Ashley, Ashley Ridge and Academic Magnet.
The team, which has been playing together for two years, is coached by Renetta Aldridge and Wendell Haynes.
The Lowcountry Ballers qualified last year for the nationals but did not win a game.
Aldridge said the players and coaches were more focused on winning this time around.
This year’s tournament included pool play, in which the Lowcountry Ballers finished third, then went into bracket play with the Lowcountry Ballers capturing their title.
Aldridge said the team qualified for the national tournament at the beginning of the summer and placed second in the super regional.
Aldridge said the tournament victory gave the players plenty of exposure with more than 400 college coaches on hand for the entire event and an average of 25 coaches at each of the Lowcountry Ballers’ games.
“The girls have to watch a film by the NCAA (about recruiting) that lets them know what they can and cannot do.”
“They can’t talk to coaches and the coaches can’t talk to them. But they are on the coaches’ radar. Dawn Staley (the women’s coach at South Carolina) was at one of our games.”