WASHINGTON, D.C.—While the Democrats and Republicans battle for the right to run things in Washington, USJN continues to maintain control of the “courts” by once again setting the standard in club basketball events. The 29th annual USJN U.S. Junior Nationals returned to the Walter E. Washington Convention Center for the third consecutive year to kick off the second segment of the NCAA July recruiting calendar. A deep talent pool featured 348 teams representing 28 states, three provinces in Canada as well as a team of her majesty’s subjects from Great Brittan. Taking in all the action were just under 800 college coaches who enjoyed convenience of 30 floors under one roof making the evaluation process “one stop shopping”.
Champions were crowned in eight separate divisions following competition among 58 six team pools. Three Nike EYBL teams as well as three additional teams who would have made it out of pool play were forced to miss bracket play Monday as a result of their travel plans. The competition was still hot and heavy and in the end top honors for the elite Diamond Division were decided in a battle between two teams from the Rocky Mountains. The Colorado Rockies and BC Denver Elite faced off Monday evening following five pool games and two playoff matchups. BC Denver came through unscathed while The Rockies dropped just one game in seven on their way to the final. In their third game of the day both teams were slow out of the gate with BC Denver holding a 6 – 4 edge after five minutes of play. A quick 5 – 0 run extended the margin to 11 – 4 forcing the Rockies to call time out to stop the momentum of their in state rivals. The message was well received from coaches Kenny VanRyn and Johnnie Bratton as the they returned to the floor and went on a 19 -5 run of their own to take a 23 – 16 halftime lead. The second half started slowly with the Rockies still maintaining a nine point lead with 10 minutes remaining in the contest. Camilla Emsbo, a 6-3 2018 forward, knocked down two jumpers and completed a three point play at the 7:06 mark to take the gap to double digits for the first time in the Rockies favor. With the score standing at 39 – 25 the Rockies took a strategic time out of their own and began working the clock to limit BC Denver’s opportunities. The ensuing foul processional produced no results and the Colorado Rockies grabbed the coveted title as well as some bragging rights back home in Colorado.
For a list of all the participating teams, pool All Stars, college programs in attendance and more, follow the link below to the USJN post event page:
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