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GCBA Session 1 Recap / Part 1


GCBA Session One Recap, December 27-29 2013

Written by Aaron Villeda

Twitter @AV_PhenomBB

Website: http://lacircuit.blogspot.com/?view=classic

A packed house looks up at the clock to see 1.4 seconds left in the game, Vegas Elite 11u is down by three points. Coach Pops calls a timeout to draw up a play for one of his shooters on the team. Seconds later the shot goes up and Gabriel Howe, 5th grader, takes his team to OT in an up and down battle with Inland Force 11u. One of many nail-biting finishes at GCBA session one.

In the Los Angeles 11u circuit section, MAP Sports Facility hosted session one of the first annual Global Club Basketball Association (GCBA) league at Garden Grove for three days this past weekend. It was the main attraction for elite travel basketball programs and top tier talent in the western states.

Session one started on Friday night with Las Vegas Elite 11u losing a speed and stamina battle against the currently ranked number two team, according to WCE25.com, West Coast All Stars 11u, 45-36. West Coast All Stars took that win and never looked back, led by the athletic and power plays of Ricardo Sarmiento (#22) and Elijah Beverly (#24). Coach Morris mixes these two forwards with speedy and tenacious guards to keep an uptempo, nonstop pressure on the defensive side. West Coast All Stars 11u finished session one on an undefeated note.

Seattle Rotary was the other team who finished session one on an undefeated note. Seatle Rotary started their undefeated strike on Friday night against the wounded and young LA Bobcats 11u with a 20 point blowout, 43-23. Seattle Rotary won all five games with a 15.4 point margin average.

The much and improved Team Dream played fairly well under coach Jimmy in their first five games at GCBA, 3-2. Team Dream looked to take early leads in every single game they played, led by the aggressive guard play of John Belardi who scored the majority of the team’s points in their first session of play.

Probably the best shooting performance by an individual player of the entire session came from the Coach Pops’ Las Vegas Elite 11u sharp shooter, Ryan Abelman (#0). Ryan scored seven 3’s against LA Bobcats, ending the game with a game high 25 points. Ryan also led Las Vegas Elite to a win against Inland Force scoring a 3 pointer in overtime, along with Gabriel Howe’s (#10) remarkable buzzer-beater to send Vegas to overtime. Coach Pops ended session one on a 2-3 record.

No team, parent, coach, or specator from LA was more shocked in the performance of Inland Force 11u than any team, ending session one with 1-4 record. Inland force 11u enters session one in their second action as an 11u team, as the organization usually takes the fall season off for their multi-talented athletes in their program. Inland Force also welcomes their new additions to the team in Barry (Team Dream), Cobe (West Coast Rebels), Jai (YMCA), Payton (Slam n Jam), and a couple more players.

Oakland MVP Flight Elite 11u a renown program in the travel basketball circuit, played against some of the grittiest and toughest competition out here in GCBA session one, 1-4. MVP Flight took only one win back to Oakland against the LA Bobcats, 52-49.

Coach Jon of the LA Bobcats 11u coached extremely hard games at GCBA, ending session one the only winless 11u team, 0-5. LA Bobcats short-handed as 5″ 7 center, Jalen Cole (#13), and gritty guard, Ernest (#8), out of action for the weekend. Coach Jon led in many of the games during the first half, including West Coast All Stars and Team Dream, but stamina would hit each of players as the Bobcats only had one bench player.

GCBA Session I was not only stacked with prized players and programs, but it also contained notable people who promote good vibes and viral recognition in the Los Angeles circuit section: Gary Franklin (CAL Supreme), John Fisher (Hoopmasters/Compton Magic), Julio “WCE25”, Julius Hanzlik (P.Miller/national trainer), Prince “ACES” Cassell, etc.

The storm has settled now that GCBA session one is in the books. Coaches and players know the adjustments and improvements they have to make for GCBA session two at Next Level Sports Complex in March 2014. GCBA session two and ACES MLK Tournament will host the highly anticipated and newly formed i10 Celtics 11u in their first tournament-play in Southern California.

Gabriel Howe #10, Las Vegas Elite 11u, hits game-tying 3 pointer to go to OT.


West Coast All Stars 11u trailing by one in the second half.


Inland Force 11u sport a baby blue uniform for session one.


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