• May 11, 2019 at 1:05 am

COUNCIL BLUFFS, IA: The quest for the Jr. NBA Global Championship tipped off earlier today at Iowa West Field House in Council Bluffs, Iowa. The Central is the first of eight U.S. regional competitions to decide the field that will travel to the ESPN Wide World of Sports, August 6-11. Both teams from the Central won the whole enchilada last year in Orlando, and the winning Boys program, Drive5 Power Elite, began the defense of their title today.

Drive5 Coach Allen Skeens returned for the second straight year. Skeens talked about the event and the unique opportunity the Jr. NBA Global Championship offers his players.

Its very enjoyable, the NBA does a wonderful job for these players on this platform. It’s great competition out here, and it makes you have to coach well in order for these boys to be successful.

– Allen Skeens

Drive5 collected a pair of wins on the day to set themselves up for a run into bracket play.

One player from last year’s winning girls team returned with a new team. S’mya Nichols, guard for the Missouri Phenom, played in Orlando. Missouri Phenom also went 2-0.

14-year NBA legend Jason Richardson was in the stands cheering for his son Jase who plays for Billups Elite (Chauncey Billups’ sponsored team). Billups Elite won both of their matchups on the day. Head coach, Jackie Paul praised her team’s determination and defensive effort.

We usually come into games undersized, but I have a group of kids that work really hard. We have a defensive premise, and energy. Everything with us is energy, and valuing possessions, and doing things that most kids don’t do anymore.

– Jackie Paul

Action continues tomorrow 8:45 AM CST with the conclusion of pool play, a life skills session led by Sacramento Kings forward, Harrison Barnes. Bracket play begins for the boys in the afternoon.

Watch the drama unfold on Eleven and Flo Sports. And keep up with all of the action on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

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