The exciting annual Southwest Showcase Main Event has become the kickoff event for the annual club season in Arizona, and this weekend's exciting event was the best of them all, as the state's top club teams proved just how good the level of basketball has become in Arizona.
Tournament director Ron Coleman worked diligently and as hard as he ever has to bring fans and basketball enthusiasts in the state an exciting event to kick off the club season. With more than 120 different club teams in participation, this year's event was bigger than ever and featured many the elite club teams in Arizona.
I spent much of my time this weekend taking in the 16U and 17U Divisions, and came away very impressed with the level of intensity displayed by each time. The competition was fierce on Sunday - making for some exciting games down the stretch.
No program exhibited the level of intensity needed to compete on the national and regional aau/club circuit more than Team Bibby - a club program coached and operated by former NBA player Mike Bibby. Again, Bibby has done more for Arizona basketball than any Arizona high school basketball product before him. Basketball in the state is much better because of him, and, as a result, players are getting better at a high rate. Bibby's players are always aggressive and tough, and they win.
This weekend was no different for Team Bibby 17U team, which waltzed through the competition and also blew past a very talented Arizona Power 17U club program in the tournament final. Led by the guard play of Saguaro High School's 6-foot junior guard BJ Murphy and Shadow Mountain High School's 6-foot-4 junior guard JJ Rhymes (pictured).
Murphy is among the elite football prospects in the country with more than 20 different scholarship offers from some of the top football programs in th country. He has been on a tear already this club season, and this weekend he proved that he is among the top overall prospects in the 2016 class of basketball prospects as well.
Murphy was superb this weekend alongside star guard JJ Rhymes. Rhymes proved this weekend that he is still a force to be wreckoned with, and that he is prepared to prove it with a big club season. Rhymes has numerous scholarship offers and college interest, and he proved why this weekend with another strong championship performance.
In the 16U Division and the 15U Division the storied I-10 Celtics took home the championships - as both teams featured top-rated prospects from around the country. Led by head coach and club President Raheem Oliver, this group looked dominant in this weekend's event - winning easily against top Arizona competition.
Stay tuned for my top performers from this weekend's event.