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BASKETBALL: Lathrup alum co-hosts elite AAU tourney that sees heavy local influence WITH VIDEO

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DEARBORN – The local prep basketball scene got an offseason tune-up over the weekend with the holding of the annual IPS-R.E.A.C.H Legends Summer Tune-Up AAU basketball tournament at the Hype Athletics facility in Dearborn.

Inside Prep Sports (IPS) is a highly-respected area prep hoops scouting service founded in 2006 by Southfield-Lathrup alum T.J. Kelley. R.E.A.C.H Legends is one of the top AAU organizations in the state ran by Marcus Webster, whose son Evan was a basketball star at Orchard Lake St. Mary’s, graduating in 2010 and currently playing in college at Davenport University.

“The state of Michigan in general is in the middle of having a really great offseason and this was just another extension of it,” Webster said.

Graduating from Lathrup in the 1990s, Kelley is happy to be making a difference in the community.

“There is so much negative out there for kids to get involved in, this tournament and the kind of attitude and work ethic these kids displayed out there are nothing but positives,” he said. “It was a productive environment and everyone took advantage of it.”

Talent from Oakland County definitely made its presence felt during the two-day event.

Southfield Christian’s Bakari Evelyn was the starting point guard on the 15-U champion, the Family, winners 58-43 over R.E.A.C.H Legends in the finals. Evelyn, who helped take Southfield Christian to a Class D state championship last season as a freshman, was his usual energetic and steady self in the finals, scoring 12 points, dishing eight assists and making three steals.

Josh Jackson, the state’s top-ranked incoming freshman was the Family’s leading-scorer in the championship game, scoring 17 points. Jackson, an electrifying and still-growing 6-foot-5 swingman, went to middle school in Southfield, however will be playing his high school ball at Detroit Consortium this winter.

North Farmington’s Jeron (Buddha) Rogers, like Evelyn, a starter as a freshman on varsity last season, usually plays with the Family's 15-U team, but missed the weekend’s activities due to being out of town.

The Clarkston pair of combo guard, Jordan Dasuqi and forward Chance Huth played on the R.E.A.C.H Legends 17-U team that took out R.E.A.C.H Legends (Core City) from Canada, 61-54, in the championship game. Entering his fourth year on Clarkston’s varsity squad this upcoming season, Dasuqi is one of the county’s top returning players for the 2013 campaign.

Madison Heights Bishop Foley’s Gary Perry, Birmingham Brother Rice’s Kevin Hayes, and Clarkston’s Mason Vires and Andrew Meyers were all on the R.E.A.C.H Legends squad that lost to the Family in the 15-U finals.

Perry, Bishop Foley’s rangy and fast-improving 6-foot-7 center, was a contributor in the frontcourt as a freshman for a 2012 Ventures team that captured both league and district titles. Hayes is an athletic forward who should make an impact on Brother Rice’s varsity team this winter, while Meyers and Vires are a pair of sharpshooters continuing the long-distance tradition of Wolves’ bombers of the past. Vires hit 11 3-pointers in a game earlier in the spring.

The R.E.A.C.H Legends 16-U team also walked away with a championship trophy, besting the Lansing Outlaws 48-44 in the finals.

Over 100 of the 300 players that participated in the Tune-Up are expected to play Division I basketball at some level when they hit college.

Last Updated: 7/14/2012 5:48:59 PM EST


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