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By Mark Lewis Local Sports Journal The American Youth Basketball Tour heads to two Ohio sports hotbeds, Dayton and Toledo this coming weekend, July 5-6.   Read More ...

By Mark Lewis Local Sports Journal Detroit is known for the cars it makes, but metro Detroit area could just as well be known for   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   Read More ...

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 ...

By Mark Lewis Local Sports Journal The American Youth Basketball Tour (AYBT) takes over Grand Rapids (MI) June 7 in an event that celebrates the city’s close relationship with the Grand River. The Grand Rapids River City Shootout will take place in four locales across the city, including, Caledonia High School (9050 Kraft Ave.), Cornerstone University (1001 E. Beltline Ave. NE), the Grand Rapids Courthouse Athletic Facility (8455 Bryon Commerce   Read More ...

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 ...

By Mark Lewis Local Sports Journal For the second time this year, Decatur (IL) welcomes the American Youth Basketball Tournament (AYBT) to the city, this time June 7-8, at various sites across the city. AYBT, which kicked off the first of three visits June 7 to what was once called the Soy Capital of the World, will conclude its time in Decatur at July 12-13’s District Series Event (DSE). Teams hoping   Read More ...

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 ...

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’s 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 The American Youth Basketball Tour (AYBT) will complete the second of two District Series Events in Baltimore, MD  May 31-June 1. The first event was held May 17-18. The tourney, directed by Doug Nicholas, will follow the AYBT’s five-game District Series Event structure. Boys third-through-eleventh grades will be allowed to participate. The famed Boys’ Latin School of Maryland will be the site of the event. Cost   Read More ...

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 ...

By Mark Lewis Local Sports Journal The upcoming Holland Area Shoreline Shootout event, taking place the weekend of May 31-June1, will be packed with exciting basketball action. This AYBT event will host boys fifth-through-eleventh grades and girls fourth-through-eleventh grades. Spectators can see all the action for $5 per day for adult and $4 for students and seniors. John Genung will again direct the Holland area event, which has been taking   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 For most of the year, the town of Ypsilanti usually sits in the shadow of neighboring Ann Arbor, home of the University of Michigan. But for one weekend a year, at least, Ypsilanti towers over its neighbor to the west . And that weekend is coming up soon. Ypsilanti, home of Eastern Michigan University, will host the American Youth Basketball Tour (AYBT) May 31-June   Read More ...

By Mark Lewis Local Sports Journal The American Youth Basketball Tour (AYBT) certainly has a close relationship with the town of Bloomington, IN. Bloomington is the site of several AYBT events over the summer, including two  the weekend of May 31, where the town of 80,000 will welcome the Hoosier Super Shootout and the Bloomington 1 District Series Events (DSE). The Hoosier Super Shootout, directed by Brian Pealson, will welcome   Read More ...

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 The American Youth Basketball Tour (AYBT) makes a stop in Mt. Pleasant (MI) Memorial Day weekend to stage the May Madness Michigan State Tournament. The event differs from normal AYBT District Series Event in that the structure of the tournament is Pool Play to Bracket Play. Players go from a guaranteed five-game pool play configuration to a single elimination tournament on the event’s last   Read More ...

By Mark Lewis Local Sports Journal Decatur, IL and the American Youth Basketball Tournament (AYBT) have joined up once again for three District Series Events (DSE) in 2014, the first coming May 17-18. AYBT will also host Decatur DSEs June 7-8 and July 12-13. Teams still hoping to join the May 17-18 event should sign up as soon as possible, as the deadline for registration is May 10. This DSE   Read More ...

By Mark Lewis Local Sports Journal The City of Jackson, home of Michigan’s first state prison, hopefully won’t be the scene of any jailbreaks when the American Youth Basketball Tour (AYBT) rolls into town May 17-18 for a District Series Event. Instead, Jackson will be the scene that weekend of a lot of fast breaks. Hosted by Director Kirk Glassel, the event will welcome boys third-through-eleventh grades and girls fourth-through-eleventh   Read More ...

By Mark Lewis Local Sports Journal Over the first half of his life, John Waller lived in the West African nation of Liberia. Not that you’d know it. Waller, who was adopted at 12 by Angela and Darin Waller, doesn’t seem to have any discernible accent or practice divergent cultural customs. In fact, he pretty much seems like your average American teenager. And yet, behind the appearance of normalcy lies a   Read More ...

By Mark Lewis Local Sports Journal The American Youth Basketball Tour (AYBT) travels to Baltimore, MD for the first of two appearances this season May 17-18. The tourney, directed by Doug Nicholas, will follow the AYBT’s five-game District Series Event structure. Boys third-through-eleventh grades will be allowed to participate. The famed Boys’ Latin School of Maryland will be the site of the event. Cost to spectators is $5 per day. There also is plenty   Read More ...

By Mark Lewis Local Sports Journal For coaches, one of the benefits of having their programs participate in American Youth Basketball Tour (AYBT) events is that they can have players from several grades learn vital hoops skills over the summer. To ensure those skills work their way throughout the program, it is even better when those players are related. Nowhere is that more true than at Kent City (MI), where   Read More ...

By Mark Lewis Local Sports Journal The American Youth Basketball Tour (AYBT) makes the first of two appearances in Springfield, IL May 24. Springfield’s most famous past resident is, of course, Abraham Lincoln, who lived in the state capital from 1837-1861. The AYBT event, directed by Steve Klunick, will take place at various high school and college sites across the area, including The Gym, a multi-court venue owned by Klunick   Read More ...