Hard lessons for County Upper squad in US collegiate system

LESSONS: Coach Darren Johnson talks to his players during the match against top Division Two side DMACC as they struggle to deal with the pace of the game
LESSONS: Coach Darren Johnson talks to his players during the match against top Division Two side DMACC as they struggle to deal with the pace of the game

County Upper Basketball Academy has taken its budding stars across the pond, to take part in an American college tournament.

The U19 Elite squad were competing in the Baymont Inn and Suites Classic Tournament, taking on the might of three American College teams.

They first took on DMACC (Des Moines Area Community College), the college former County Upper player Elliot DeFreitas developed at before turning professional.

DMACC are considered one of the best Division Two Junior Colleges and County Upper knew it would be a challenge for their young side.

But they found it even harder than expected as they struggled to adjust to the pace set by DMACC. Putting on a masterclass, DMACC stormed to a dominant 37 - 107 win.

Sam Kesinro scored 11 points, supported by Bradley Day and John Bourne with 10 points and four points respectively.

The side next took on Iowa Central Community College, playing a great first half before eventually succumbing to a 57-112 defeat.

The side again found it difficult to deal with the fast pace of the college team and ran out of steam. County Upper held on for most of the first half before the home side dominated.

Bradley Day scored 15 points while Sam Kesinro and John Bourne hit 12 and 10 points respectively.

“We knew it was going to be tough,” coach Darren Johnson said. “But this is why I put the tour together, so our players can see how physical and tough the style of play is out here and what they need to do to stand a chance of gaining a scholarship.

“The players we are playing against are on scholarships and the coaches could offer these scholarships to our players if they step up.

“The speed in which both teams play the game and the speed in which they move the ball is on another level compared to where our team currently are, but by being involved in such a tournament is priceless.”

n Meanwhile the U16 Girls fell agonisingly short of victory over the Hounslow Hawks on Saturday, losing 49-51 at home.They hope to go one better at the weekend away to Southend (4pm).

n The U14 boys recorded a strong 65-54 home win over West Hertfordshire Warriors II at the weekend and are prepared to host East Hertfordshire Royals on Saturday.