AZ Redshirts finish runner-up in Colorado

This year's Double Pump Spring Classic held this weekend in Lakewood, Colorado kicked off the 2011 spring AAU/club season this weekend for many club programs across the country, while, for many others, this was their first major event of the spring.

Desert Mountain HS 5-foot-10 junior point guard Alec Savage led his Redshirts team to a runner-up championship finish in the Silver bracket this weekend in Colorado.
The Pump Brothers, David and Dana Pump, always put together excellent events that are very organized and always well attended. The event's media packet was also well put together - making it very easy to know who you were watching play. Tournament Directors, Jan and Phil Bryant are always a treat as well, as they work so hard to keep things rolling throughout the weekend and in seamless fashion.

This year's field of teams was absolutely loaded with talent, as teams from all over the country filled the 6-court gymnasium in Colorado. As part of the Best Buy Basketball Challenge Series, the tournament also had two rooms filled with Best Buy's best in audio and video equipment for the players to enjoy throughout the event - a very nice added addition to this year's tournament.

While another group of Arizona top prospects finished among the final 8 teams in the Open Division, the Arizona Redshirts AAU/club program also made Arizona proud - advancing to the championship game of the tournament's Silver Division.

Program director and head coach, Brian Fabiano and his team of hardworking and dedicated players proved that team defense, sharing the basketball and working together go a long way. The group of talented Arizona 2012 prospects advanced to this year's tournament championship in the Silver Division, only to eventually lose in the finals.

"Our kids played very hard," said Fabiano. "I am very proud of our team's effort this weekend - we have some really good kids."

Fabiano's program returned three players this club season from a team a year ago that did very well on the club circuit. A talented trio of Desert Mountain High School players returned from last year's group - 6-foot-7 junior Jake Cooper, 5-foot-10 junior point guard Alec Savage and 6-foot-3 junior Tony Fabiano. The trio of junior prospects returned to this year's team with two focuses in mind - winning and building their college recruitment.

The Redshirts added 6 other players to the group this season, and have rolled thus far this spring. This weekend the group came together nicely - almost winning it all in Colorado.

Savage, a pure point guard prospect that gets everyone involved in the game, while providing excellent on-the-ball defense, also shot the basketball very well this weekend. Savage looks ready to have a breakout season for himself, after leading Desert Mountain HS to an excellent season as a junior starter.

Fabiano is a tireless worker on both ends of the floor that plays with an unselfish mentality on the offensive end, and gets more enjoyment out of setting a good screen for his teammate rather than scoring. Fabiano is a great teammate and is the vocal leader of this team.

Cooper is a big body 4-man that competes hard at all times, and utilizes his body well and gains excellent inside post position. While he is still developing on the offensive end, he plays with excellent heart and determination. A very good prospect for a smaller program next season looking for size.

The Redshirts also got excellent suport from Chaparral HS 6-foot-10 junior post Lucas Stivrins. Stivrins had a coming-out-party this weekend, as he proved that he is a big-time sleeper prospect in Arizona's 2012 class. A post presence this high school season that saw his time at the junior varsity level, Stivrins has improved a great deal in the past 2 months, and it showed this weekend as the talented post prospect came up very big down the stretch for the Redshirts.

Fairfax HS 5-foot-8 junior guard Lejon Johnson and Marcos De Niza HS 5-foot-11 junior guard Joshua Mayes provided excellent depth in the backcourt for the team this weekend. Both players shot the basketball well, while also defending the basketball on the perimeter effectively and creating turnovers.

6-foot-1 senior guard Lanaire McDonald provided the Redshirts with good scoring and was among the team's leading scorers in the tournament. An unsigned senior guard, McDonald is an athletic slasher that is capable of playing both guard positions on the floor.

While the Redshirts did not win it all this weekend, they definitely represented the state of Arizona well as they play the game the right way as a team and do it for the right reasons.

"I love the Redshirts," said Joshua Mayes. "When I saw all the places that this team is going this spring and summer, and after I went to one practice, I knew I had to be a part of it. This is a great experience."

Congratulations to the Redshirts program and all of it's members on a great weekend in Colorado.