Las Vegas: Day Five-Championship Day

Coach Reggie Bostic’s 2013 group of Texas D1 Ambassadors chose to play in the 17u division at the Las Vegas Live event.  It’s not about winning for the D1 Nation’s younger groups.  It’s about development, learning to compete at a high level and getting ready mentally and physically for the following summer when they are 17 year olds.

Las Vegas Live-17U Silver Division Championship
After going 1-2 in Pool Play, the Texas D1 Ambassadors-Bostic squad won it’s first 3 bracket games and faced the Oklahoma Attack.  After falling behind by 9 against the bigger Oklahoma squad in the first half Texas D1’s relentless running style began to wear their opponent down.  They ended up winning going away, including hitting 10 straight free throws to finish out the game. Pflugerville’s Justin Moss went off for 25 points while his high school team mate Napoleon Onyeje chipped in with 17 as Texas D1 won the ‘Ship going away 74-64.

Texas D1 Ambassadors 2013-Bostic    Las Vegas Live 17u Silver Champions
From left to right:  Coach Reggie Bostic, Wesley Brown (Pflugerville), Darian Bostic (Pflugerville), Pierce Greisbaum (Kerrville Tivy), Sled Allen (Austin St. Michael’s), Napoleon Onyeje (Pflugerville), Rasmus Bach (Austin Anderson), Justin Moss (Pflugerville) and Coach Brown
Las Vegas Live: 17U Platinum Semi Final
In the early morning encounter, Texas D1 locked horns with Louisiana Future an athletic group from Baton Rouge led by 2013 G 6’4″ Darrious Johnson.  At the half, Texas D1 trailed 23-20. They were kept in the game by 2012 G Matt Gramling’s shooting. Nobody else’s shot was falling though and they had more unforced turnovers than usual (very rare).  The second half saw them get going and a big disparity on the boards saw the trio of Connor Lammert (10, 6 rebounds), Uche Ofoegbu (11, 7 rebounds) and Jeffrey Rodewald (3 points, 11 rebounds) control the glass.  Gramling finished with a game high 13 points.
Las Vegas Live: 17U Platinum Championship
It’s always a heck of a game when the Texas D1 Ambassadors get it on with the Houston Hoops.  The core of the Hoops and their families are very dear to me as they were the key parts of the Texas D1 Ambassadors teams who lost in the Final Four of two straight AAU Championships a few years back.  Rasheed Sulaimon (Duke commit), L.J. Rose and J. Mychal Reese are three of the toughest guards in the country.  Unfortunately, Reese was unable to go as he suffered a knee injury.  We wish him the best and hope he’s healthy enough to compete for the USA in the Global Games.
On the other side of the ball, the only current member of the Texas D1 Ambassadors-San Antonio that were part of those great young teams was Uche Ofoegbu.  The high major recruit had a phenomenal Great American Shootout event in Dallas earlier in the month, but to this point in Las Vegas he’d been quiet offensively.  As I walked into the gym at 7:50 AM the day before the championships Uche and his brother John(former Texas Tech star and overseas pro) were walking out.  Uche had been in the gym for an hour histing up shots.  Now that’s how a player gets out of a slump!
Texas D1 got out of the gate early as Connor Lammert and Jeffrey Rodewald controlled the boards. At the half, the score was 37-23.  The Hoops made a modest run at one point in the second half but could never cut it below 10.  Texas D1 led by 18 points going into the last minute of the game until they gave up a couple of meaningful threes to win easily, 65-53.
Ofoegbu capped off a great game, getting to the rack at will and finishing with 18 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 assists.  Connor Lammert had 16 points and aal rebounds and Jeffrey Rodewald had 15 and added 12 boards.  The D1 Ambassadors-San Antonio now head to Long Beach, California for the GBOA Tournament of Champions July 28-29th.
Texas D1 Ambassadors-San Antonio became the first team from the Alamo City to ever win Las Vegas’ Top Summer Prize. They did it with class and distinction under Coach Paul Josephs.

From left to right:  Coach Paul Josephs, Carter Josephs (San Antonio Clark), Uche Ofoegbu (San Antonio Stevens), Shelby Lane (San Antonio Alamo Heights), Adam Perez (San Antonio Clark), Aaron Ramirez (Santa Rosa), Connor Lammert (San Antonio Churchill), Niko Maxwell (San Antonio Clark, Jeffrey Rodewald (San Antonio Alamo Heights) and Matt Gramling (San Antonio MacArthur.

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