Virginia Playmakers 8th Grade Basketball Team Ranks in Division 1 National AAU Championship

| July 25, 2018 | 0 Comments | News

Virginia Playmakers, 2018,From left to right:
Coach Ron Cole, Andrew Nguyen, Jayden Ross, Jack VanderWoude, Khaleel Abdullah, Wesley Williams, Michael Ackerman, Diego Aviles, Cameron Cole, Bobby VanderWoude , and Coach Tony Nguyen. (Photo by Virginia Playmakers parents.)

By Shedina Bettis and Kim Nguyen

The Virginia Playmakers Black, an 8th grade basketball team out of the Western Prince William County and Manassas areas, qualified for AAU 8th Grade Division 1 Nationals.

After a long year of training and a record of 28-6 during the spring season, the boys went on to compete in the championships in Orlando, Florida on July 5-9. There, they were ranked the 11th best team in the country within their division.

Only 46 teams nationwide qualified for the 8th grade division. A 2-1 pool play finish earned the Playmakers a spot in the championship bracket.

While the Playmakers won the first round, they lost in the next bracket to the team that would go on to take first place in the national championship.

And though that loss took them out the championship bracket, the team nonetheless qualified to play on towards a national ranking. The Playmakers continued on to play all eight games in the championship whereas most teams were eliminated earlier on.

The Playmakers finished 11th out of the 46 teams competing. They missed the 9th place ranking by just four points in overtime, and are now ranked 11th in the 8th grade division 1 team in the country.

“We might not have the height like most other teams, but we’ve definitely got a lot of heart. These student athletes have so much to proud of,” said team mom Shedina “Dee” Bettis.

The Virginia Playmakers 8th grade basketball team is made up of nine boys: Khaleel Abdullah, Michael Ackerman, Diego Aviles, Cameron Cole, Andrew Nguyen, Jayden Ross, Bobby Vander Woude, Jack Vander Woude, and Wesley Williams; Tony Nguyen and Ron Cole are their coaches.

The boys reside in the Haymarket, Gainesville, Bristow and Manassas areas and attend Marstellar Middle School, Gainesville Middle School, Wakefield School, Metz Middle School, and Seton School.

“We are very proud of this group and what they were able to accomplish against the top teams in the country,” said Coach Nguyen. “Their endless fight and determination and ability to close out close games were key factors in our success. This is a strong group of young men that believes in each other. They are always focused on making each other better. We are looking forward to the future.”

Parents were likewise proud of the young athletes.

“Congratulations to the 11th rank 8th grade division 1 AAU team in the country from our area, the Virginia Playmakers!” said Bettis.

© 2018, Bristow Beat. All rights reserved.

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