Friday, July 25, 2014
The SC Gators ninth grade AAU boys’ basketball team placed fifth in the nation at the National Championship held in Little Rock, AR July 9-14.
Coach Stan Kowalewski is having a busy summer. Two of the five AAU and USBA basketball teams he coaches have reached national championships this summer.
“I couldn’t be more proud of these guys,” Kowalewski said, “they worked really hard this year.”
Kowalewski explained that although the AAU national championship is a double elimination tournament, once a team is placed in the consolation round, they can no longer compete for the national title.
The Gators made it to the quarterfinals before losing to the Arkansas Wings 50-41. That loss put them in a consolation round playing for fifth place.
“Our guys gave them a good fight, and they should be proud because the Wings went on to finish 2nd in the championship.” Kowalewski detailed.
The Gators nabbed the national fifth place finish by defeating the Louisiana Tarheels 70-64.
Kowalewski pointed out the physical differences in the teams.
“We played some pretty big guys in Arkansas, but our guys didn’t back off.”
He went on to note that Justin Busby, a rising sophomore at Waccamaw High School played a huge role in the success of the team. Busby averaged 21 points per game for the Gators during the tournament.
“Justin was great, he was our most consistent player all tournament,” Kowalewski said.
Home court for the SC Gators is the Waccamaw Regional Recreation Center in Pawleys Island. The team is comprised of rising high school sophomores from Hemmingway, Johnsonville, Socastee, St. James, and Waccamaw. Kowalewski pointed out that each one of the players also plays for their high school.