In the men’s final four of the March Madness tournament, 42 of the 59 players (71%) on all four rosters played AAU sometime in their basketball careers. Michigan State has the highest number of AAU recruits on their roster, with 13 out of their 16 players, followed closely by Wisconsin with 12. Kentucky has the third most with nine and Duke only has eight AAU alumni on their 11-man roster. Some of the notable AAU clubs that these players are coming from are Boston Amateur Basketball Club (BABC), Houston Defenders, Wisconsin Swing, Ray Allen Select, Each 1 Teach 1 Elite, Howard Pulley, All Ohio Summer Basketball Program and Houston Hoops, all of which regularly attend the AAU Basketball National Championships.
Duke’s Jahlil Okafor is a finalist in the AAU Sullivan Award this year and is slated to be the number one pick in the NBA draft. Fellow Duke player, Justise Winslow is expected to be taken ninth and Okafor’s teammate and best friend, Tyus Jones, just makes it into the top 30, at number 28. Kentucky’s Karl-Anthony Towns is projected to be picked second in the draft. Wisconsin’s Frank Kaminsky should be selected in the top 20 and he is also a finalist for the John Wooden Award. Kaminsky’s teammate Sam Dekker is another top 20 pick.
The Men’s Final Four kicks off on Saturday, April 4th with Michigan State vs. Duke at 6:09pm. Kentucky vs Wisconsin will follow at 8:49pm. The winners of those games will advance to the Championship Game on Monday, April 6th at 9pm.
In the NCAA Women’s Final Four, 92% of the players played AAU at one point in their basketball career. All four teams were the No. 1 seed in their respective conferences, and all of the teams have AAU players from around the country on their rosters. Notre Dame’s entire 13-man roster played AAU and South Carolina and UConn had all but one person on their rosters who played AAU Basketball. UConn’s only non-AAU member is from Ontario, Canada, which may explain why she didn’t play. Maryland had the least amount of AAU alumnae on their team, but they are still stacked with 10/12.
UConn also boasts two members of their team who has been nominated for the AAU Sullivan Award, Breanna Stewart (2012) and Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis (2014). UConn Guard Gabby Williams also had deep-seated roots in the AAU; her father is Matt Williams, former college basketball star, owner of Jam On It and current AAU 2nd Vice President.
The Women’s Final Four kicks off on Sunday, April 5th with Notre Dame vs South Carolina at 6:30pm. Connecticut vs Maryland will follow at 9pm. The winners of those games will advance to the Championship Game on Tuesday, April 7th at 8:30pm.
Congratulations to all of the Final Four teams and good luck in the NCAA tournament!
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