Team Elite, an AAU basketball squad, featuring 8th graders from the Stoughton and Brockton area, wrapped up a successful first season, and will continue to compete in summer league play, with an eye towards expansion in the near future.
Team Elite was created by Marcel Smith, the Head Coach/Director of Basketball Operations; Marcus Siskind, the Finance Manager and Event Coordinator; Steve Andrews, the Assistant Coach and Assistant Director of Operations; as well as the owners and managers of .
As a first year program, the program only fielded an 8th grade boys' team, but the Team Elite 8th graders found immediate success.
The team went 18-9 and won two Zero Gravity tournaments. The first tournament win was at "The Battle of Brandeis." They also won Zero Gravity's "Mass State Championship."
In the AAU sanctioned Massachusetts State Tournament, Team Elite went 3-1 which built their NEAAU.org Power Ranking to 15th in New England.
"Not bad for a first year program with 4-5 kids who NEVER played AAU level basketball until this year," Smith wrote in an email.
Team Elite eighth graders include: Lamar Pringle (Brockton); Luke Lewando (Brockton); Trey'von London (Brockton); Tyrell Wade-Green (Brockton); Daron Merian (Brockton); Solomon Siskind (Brockton); Isaiah "Zeke" Laurent (Brockton); Joshua Chuba (Stoughton); Malyke Ross (Stoughton); Lester Riley (Stoughton); and Clay Andrews (Stoughton).
The coaching staff includes Smith, a former Southeastern Regional and Massasoit basketball star, from Brockton. Andrews lives in Stoughton and is also the Stoughton 8th grade travel basketball coach and a Pop Warner coach in town. Siskind, from Sharon, is the owner of Massappeal Entertainment Company and also owns Bluejay Recording Studios.
Team Elite is continuing play throughout the summer, competing in the Mass Premier Summer League.
Smith said the goal is to "bring Team Elite back even stronger next year."
The program also hopes to offer the chance for more grades to play next year, "hopefully a 10th and 11th grade team," Smith said.
He added, "All expansion is possible, including bringing on girls' teams."
Questions about the program can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.