LAWRENCE, KS: KC Prodigy and Drive5 Power Elite will represent the Central this August at the Jr. NBA World Championship in Orlando. Both teams won their respective brackets to take home the Central Regional title in Lawrence, Kansas on Sunday.
KC Prodigy took down Wheat State Elite to claim the Central title, 75-15. Each of KC Prodigy’s Cierra Smith, Sania Copeland, and Tasia Johnson finished with at least 12 points as their scoring ability and potent offense was too overwhelming for Wheat State Elite. Copeland finished with a team high 18 points. Brooklyn Rhodes finished just shy of a double-double, with nine points and ten rebounds.
Drive5 Power Elite were led to their decisive 76-27 victory by the exceptional play of Mark Mitchell Jr. Mitchell finished the game with 20 points, his lowest scoring total of the tournament. Mitchell put on an exceptional defensive and athletic display by racking up five steals in the game, as well.
After the action ended, former NBA player and Kansas Jayhawks legend, Sherron Collins presented awards and trophies to the teams and standout players from the tournament. Collins also presented players with some wisdom about the importance of being quality students on their journey through basketball. “The most important part of being a student athlete, is being a student,” Collins said.
Collins was on hand to honor players that exuded the Jr. NBA core values Teamwork, Determination, Respect and Community. These core values are key to success both on and off the court.
The Determination Award is given to players for their relentless effort during the tournament. KC Prodigy’s Johnson and Drive5 Power Elite’s Mitchell received the Determination Award.
Langston Reynolds of Give Sports and Sania Copeland got the nod for the Teamwork Award, as they each showed their leadership abilities while facilitating team success throughout the weekend.
Harper Schriner, of Wheat State Elite, and Taj Manning, of Drive5 Power Elite, were honored with the Respect Award for their exceptional sportsmanship throughout the weekend.
U.S. Regional play moves to Frisco, Texas and Westfield, Indiana next weekend to determine representatives for the South and Midwest Regions.