325 high school all-star basketball teams have come to the Grand Strand for the AAU Big Shots Tournaments. The six day hoops frenzy has 46 of the top 100 recruits from all over North America. Sunday night at Socastee High, the Atlantic Slam Championship in the under-17 division was won by Florida's Team breakdown in a 68-52 win over the South Carolina Ravens.
Team Breakdown was led by 6'6" guard A.J. Astroth who scored 21 points and was named tournament MVP. Astroth, out of Wharton High in Tampa, Florida set the tone early with some long 3's and brought the house down with a steal and dunk for Team Breakdown. He's not rated in the top 100, but his stock likely improved with dozens of college coaches watching his performance at the Big Shots Tournament.
6'11" Nigerian Tonye Jekiri was also impressive in the post for the Florida squad. He's been in the United States for less than a year but is already a blossoming dunk artist and shot blocker who runs the floor well for a man his size. 6'2" shooting guard Richard Lee is another Team Breakdown player who has more than a dozen divison one offers.
The tournament was a smorgasbord for both college coaches and players. This massive event is being held at nine different sites along the Grand Strand. The tournament helps recruiters cut down on travel, according to Clemson head coach Brad Brownell, "Because we don't go out in April anymore because of NCAA rules, this is really our first time to see kids since their high school seasons. So now we're evaluating kids to see how much they've improved from their high school seasons. An event like this is really good because we can see so many kids in a nice location."
The South Carolina Ravens had several stars including 6'5" junior Travis Hammonds out of Richland Northeast. He is interested in both Virginia Tech and Miami. Both schools scouted him during Sunday night's game. Hammonds also has offers from Boston College, Virginia Commonwealth, Oklahoma State and the College of Charleston.
Hartsville point guard Jaylen Shaw was the only player from the Pee Dee or Grand Strand on the Ravens roster. ESPN's recruiting website reports that Shaw is a top guard in the state of South Carolina for the class of 2013.
Big Shots Vice President and Director of Recruiting Kevin Schneider says,"There are probably about 500 or more division one players at this event."