By Mark Lewis Local Sports Journal The American Youth Basketball Tour’s (AYBT) second visit to the City of Bloomington (IN) will take on a special meaning July 5-6, as participants will not only play in normal five-game District Series Event (DSE) action but also will take part in a benefit for US Service people called Hoops for Troops. Directed by Todd Barbour, activities have traditionally been held at Illinois Wesleyan   Read More ...

Categories: Bloomington, Indiana

By Mark Lewis Local Sports Journal There will be tons of American Youth Basketball Tour (AYBT) action throughout the Midwest this weekend, including Kalamazoo (MI), Springfield (IL), Detroit (MI), Sidney (OH), Louisville (KY), and Mackinaw City (MI). Ohio’s lone AYBT event this weekend is in Sydney, where teams have traditionally competed at four locations, including Lehman High School (2400 St Marys Ave.), at Sidney Middle School (980 Fair Rd.), at   Read More ...

Categories: Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio

By Mark Lewis Local Sports Journal With the rapid proliferation of smart phones and compact, high-quality video recorders, it seems like nearly everyone has the ability to capture and upload footage to the internet with just a few clicks of a mouse or swipes on a touch screen. American Youth Basketball Tour (AYBT) events are no different. AYBT has a considerable presence on video sharing sites like YouTube, and as   Read More ...

By Mark Lewis Local Sports Journal The American Youth Basketball Tour (AYBT) may offer skills camps for grade, middle and high school basketball players, but the organization is joining up this month with the big boys and girls. AYBT has joined with the National Basketball Association’s Indiana Pacers and the Women’s National Basketball Association’s Indiana Fever to offer two AYBT Nights, June 25 and June 27. The Fever will host   Read More ...

Categories: featured, Indiana

By Mark Lewis Local Sports Journal The American Youth Basketball Tour (AYBT) will take over Findlay (OH) this coming weekend with the arrival of the Findlay District Series Event (DSE) June 7-8. The event will take place at two different venues, including Liberty-Benton High School (9190 County Rd. 9) and courts on the campus of the University of Findlay (1000 N Main St.). The DSE is for boys third-through-eleventh grades   Read More ...

Categories: featured, Indiana

By Mark Lewis Local Sports Journal It wasn’t that long ago the boys basketball team from Crestview (OH) High School was struggling. Although the school enjoyed a Div. 4 runner up trophy in 2003, as late as the 2008-09 season, the Knights were mired in 4-17 season. The squad dropped six of its first nine games to start the 2009-2010 campaign. Now, having finished this past hoops season with a perfect   Read More ...

Categories: featured, Fort Wayne, Indiana

By Mark Lewis Local Sports Journal After a three-year gap, the American Youth Basketball Tour (AYBT) returned to Kokomo (IN) two years ago after the tournament was mothballed for three years. “This (event) is smaller because of the three-year gap, but it looks like it’s coming back,” said Kokomo AYBT site Director Josh McFarland. “We (had) about 35 teams (last) year.” This year’s District Series Event in Kokomo runs June   Read More ...

Categories: featured, Indiana

By Mark Lewis Local Sports Journal The American Youth Basketball Tour (AYBT) is hoping for a shootout May 31-June 1 in Plymouth (IN). But not one of the O.K. Corral variety. In this case, people will be shooting basketballs instead of six-shooters as the AYBT rolls into town for the annual Plymouth Shoot Out. Boys grades third-through-eleventh and girls fourth-through-eleventh are invited to attend. Spectators pay $8 for a one-day   Read More ...

Categories: featured, Indiana

By Mark Lewis Local Sports Journal While many coaches give lip service to the responsibility they have as teachers and mentors to mold their players into responsible adults, one Fort Wayne-area group is putting its money where its mouth is. Or rather, it is putting its time and effort where its mouth is. Legit Basketball, a 22-year old skills program that started as an attempt by founder Arthur Gregory to   Read More ...

By Mark Lewis Local Sports Journal Though just in its third year, the American Youth Basketball Tour’s (AYBT) event in Tipton, IN is quickly becoming an annual tradition. The AYBT’s Tipton Spring Kickoff, which takes place May 10-11, rings in the spring season with a bang. And for the second year in a row, the event shares a date with Mother’s Day. Thus, some teams may play only one day   Read More ...

Categories: Indiana

By Mark Lewis Local Sports Journal In basketball terms, Brad Redford certainly has had his share of success. For example, the former Frankenmuth High School (MI) star took the 2008 Michigan Mr. Basketball Award (Michigan State University Draymond Green was also a finalist), while helping to lead his team to the state quarterfinals. He certainly earned the award, finishing with an astronomical 36.7 points-per-game average, making a state-record 140 three-pointers   Read More ...

By Mark Lewis Local Sports Journal Sure, he has an arm full of American Youth Basketball Tour (AYBT) national title trophies. He’s even had the honor of coaching national championship teams on both the girls and boys side during the very same year. But winning isn’t the only thing with which AYBT coach Louis Churchwell of Muskegon (MI) is concerned. In fact, Churchwell likes to say he uses kids’ natural   Read More ...

By Mark Lewis Local Sports Journal Hard to believe, but the American Youth Basketball Tour (AYBT) is entering its final week of district series events, headlined by the Southwest Michigan Slam in Benton Harbor and five other events in Michigan, Illinois and Ohio Benton Harbor-St. Joseph residents may think the AYBT is taking over their town July 13-14 as the Southwest Michigan Slam will hold events at seven area facilities.   Read More ...

By Mark Lewis Local Sports Journal Sure, Jamie Smalligan would eventually stand 7-feet tall. But, as a sixth grader growing up in Grand Rapids, MI, Smalligan was anything but a blue-chip basketball recruit. And yet, there he was, playing in what would become an annual tradition for him until his senior year of high school, at a local American Youth Basketball Tour (AYBT) event, just one of the players, just   Read More ...

By Mark Lewis Local Sports Journal As the summer heats up, the American Youth Basketball Tour (AYBT) swings into the final leg of its district series events, headlined by five DSEs this weekend and five more next weekend. This weekend will feature events two events in Indiana, two in Michigan and a single DSE in Ohio. All five events, in Bloomington, IN, Decatur, IN, Columbus, OH, Kalamazoo, MI, and Battle   Read More ...

Categories: Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, State

By Mark Lewis Local Sports Journal As the old phrase goes, it’s not where you start but where you finish. But the performance of the Brandywine (MI) High School girls varsity basketball squad, and its coach, Josh Hood, been impressive from start to finish – four conference, district and regional titles over the past four years. In fact, Hood, as the head of the Brandywine program, has never lost a   Read More ...

By Mark Lewis Local Sports Journal With the rapid proliferation of smart phones and compact, high-quality video recorders, it seems like nearly everyone has the ability to capture and upload footage to the internet with just a few clicks on a mouse or swipes on a touch screen. American Youth Basketball Tour (AYBT) events are no different. AYBT has a considerable presence on video sharing sites like YouTube, and as   Read More ...

By Mark Lewis Local Sports Journal It’ll be another big weekend for the American Youth Basketball Tournament, as the organization will host six district series events and one Nationals event. The East Coast Nationals, held in West Chester, PA June 21-23, will be staged at three locales, including Ruston High School, West Chester East High School and at Sturzebecker Health Sciences Center. Following the standard round robin format, the East   Read More ...

By Mark Lewis Local Sports Journal Romeo (MI) High School basketball coach Marvin Cushingberry has four sons. And all four of Cushingberry’s sons have enthusiastically participated in American Youth Basketball Tour events. In fact, the Cushingberry family’s experience with AYBT does well to explain what makes the organization’s annual slate of summer basketball tournaments so different. “I support what AYBT does 100 percent,” said the senior Cushingberry. “I think it’s   Read More ...

By Mark Lewis Local Sports Journal Recent Montague (MI) High School grad Brandon Moore attended the American Youth Basketball Tour (AYBT) Fort Wayne event three times. And in those three years, the prep basketball and football standout won the event’s slam dunk competition every time. But it wasn’t all just about Moore’s high-flying theatrics that he remembers about his AYBT experience. “I played with a group of guys from my   Read More ...

Categories: Fort Wayne, Indiana, Michigan