Local club team wins Colorado AAU qualifier

The Arizona Redshirts, a local Phoenix club tournament team won the Juniors Division Regional AAU Championship this Memorial Day weekend in Denver at the AAU Super Regional qualifying tournament.

Arizona Redshirts Team Profile 200x267
Arizona Redshirts
After impressively winning the Regional Juniors Division by an average margin of more than 36 points per game, these overachieving sophomores and juniors continued to progress in the older division brackets and advanced to the U17 Championship game.

After an uncharacteristic low conversion percentage the younger Redshirts team found themselves down by 27 to start the fourth quarter of the Championship game.

After an amazing furry of defensive effort and miraculous offensive plays, the Arizona Redshirts fought to bring the margin down to 8 points with 3 minutes left in the fourth quarter.

Jack Simon, AAU referee, said, "I watched this team from Arizona all weekend. The teamwork and offensive synchronicity, as well as the defensive intensity and individual fundamental display from each of the players were impressive. Every year there is a team about whom everybody says, 'Where did these guys come from?' You can tell this is one of those teams everyone will be talking about when they are all playing at their own age groups next year. In the fourth quarter we were all thinking this team just might win the older division too."

The altitude of the arena, at almost 6000 feet above sea level, and playing against top-ranked seniors, the Denver's former State Champion, 5A D-I Montebello High School, proved too steep a climb for this promising U16/Junior team - consisting of half sophomores and half juniors in high school.

Head Coach Brian Fabiano said, "I could not be more proud of this team and their performance at this prestigious tournament. They played hard, played together and without being intimidated by the older players to stay in the game and give them a chance to win against higher-ranked competition."

The team had their choice to take the bid to nationals as a D-II team in the national tournament for their runner-up position in the 17/18 division, or attend the AAU Nationals using their D-I bid in the Juniors Division to participate in the AAU National Championships, to be played this July in Orlando Florida.

Red Shirts' assistant coach, Jordan Ballard (son of long-time Valley college coach Sam Ballard) said, "We like for the team to play in tournaments at the highest level they can compete, as it helps develop the players, although in the Nationals and the Adidias Super 64, and in many of the NCAA recruiting tournaments this summer, we will compete at the Juniors age group, giving the players a chance to be evaluated by recruiters with their high school graduating class.

Players for the Red Shirts attend seven different high schools in the Valley and include:

Branden Stiles Washington High School
Judah Amand Scottsdale Christian Academy
Tony Fabiano Desert Mountain High School (IB student)
Mitchell Burnett Central High School (Honors Classes)
Lorenzo Pineda Washington High School
Tyler Guy Horizon High School (Honors/Ap Classes)
Mark White Paradise Valley High School
Austin Cooke Desert Mountain High School
Alec Savage Desert Mountain High School
Jake Cooper Desert Mountain High School
Randy Azuogu Desert Mountain High School

All-Star Red Shirt Forward Mitchell Burnett was selected to the All Tournament team this weekend.

About The Arizona Red Shirts

The Arizona Red Shirts, a Scottsdale, Arizona-based youth basketball club, have been playing as a team since kindergarten. The team is a non-profit organization with a mission of community outreach, utilizing basketball as a means to teach future business leadership. Coach Brian Fabiano established the team as a vehicle to ensure that hard-working young men who might otherwise be overlooked get a chance to be seen by college programs. The Arizona Red Shirts players have all committed to harness their athletic skills in order to build a platform for their education to one day become team leaders of our community.

For more information or to see the players' profiles, visit www.redshirtsbasketball.com. You can also contact Club Coach Brian Fabiano at (602) 909-7722 or email him at brian@fabcomlive.com.

To offer a donation to this 501(c)(3) organization please visit www.supportazredshirts.com. These kids need financial help to get to the tournaments and the best for our youth has always proven to be a great investment in our community.