Las Vegas 2015 with the 16U Boys
We took the 16U Seattle Pride boys to Las Vegas for 7 days and we played in 2 tournaments. We rented a mansion that had 10 bedrooms, 5 bathrooms, a basketball court, putting green, swimming pool, game room, movie theatre, pool table, etc. It was a great trip and renting the house was great as it was generally located 5 minutes off the strip as well as all the game locations which gave us an advantage I feel over other teams as between games we were allowed to come home and relax as opposed to fighting Vegas traffic, dealing with parking, going to hotel room, trying to fight lines and gather everybody to eat, etc.
We made a costco run at the beginning of the week and loaded the house with everything we could possibly need for 7 days. We had breakfasts in the morning, the kids packed lunches if their was no time to come back to the house between games, and we BBQ’d daily. On the days we could come home between games we made sure to have meals ready so they could eat as soon as they came home.
We rented 2 vans just in case 1 group wanted to go 1 place while the other wanted to go somewhere else. Throughout the week when we had time we did numerous activities as you can see in the pictures above. Tuesday night we ant go cart racing, Wednesday we made a trip to the strip, and on Thursday we stayed in as we had a 8am game Friday morning. On Friday night we took them to see the #1 team in the nation for the 17U boys the Georgia Stars which was a great experience as the kids got to see Gary Payton, CP3, Coach K, Bill Self, Shaka Smart, and numerous other big time college coaches and players. After the game we took them to Old Vegas and Fremont street followed by a run to In & Out. On Saturday we had 2 games so we didn’t have time to go out so we hung around the house and played cards, video games, pool, etc in the game room, and then on our last day in Vegas on Sunday we spent the day at the Las Vegas Cowabunga water park where we rented a cabana and the kids went on slides and in the wave pool all day before coming back to the house and showering as that night we made 1 last trip to the strip before coming home and leaving on Monday morning.
As far as basketball went it was an amazing week of basketball. In the 1st tournament we played in the jam on it all under 1 roof “Las Vegas Classic” which is held in the Las Vegas convention center. They had 36 courts all under 1 roof being played all at once. It was pretty cool for the kids as they got to play on the old Washington Wizards and the old Golden State Warriors floor throughout the week. We started out with 3 consecutive wins over Hawaii, Canada, and a California team and won by 50, 60, and 50 consecutively to earn a trip to the championship on Thursday morning. On Thursday we played a very good team from Canada who was also 3-0 and we beat them by 13 to win the championship!
There was no time to celebrate as in 1 hour later after winning the championship we had our 1st game in pool play in the Big Foot Hoops “Las Vegas Classic” which is a NCAA event with 160 of the top programs from around the nation. Our 1st game was against a very good team the Houston Lynx but we shot lights out hitting 15-16 3’s that game and we won by 30. On Friday we had a early morning 8am game which is always tough and we played seaside’s finest from California which we beat by 45. That put us 3-0 in pool play and we had a tough Utah UBC team who was also 2-0. The winner would move on to the Platinum Elite bracket with the final top 32 teams left out of 160. It was a very tough hard fought game which saw Utah up 5 with 5 minutes to play. The kids persevered in playing their 1st close game of the week and won by 4. That put us 3-0 and moving onto the final 32 where we were the only and last Washington 16U team standing in the top Premier Elite bracket.
On Saturday in the round of 32 we played NW Ohio. It wasn’t a pretty game by any means and was just a 1 point game at the half. In the 2nd half we woke up a little bit and ended up winning by 20 to put us in the sweet 16 versus a monster Team Melo from Maryland who was also 4-0 with 4 30 point blowout wins. We had the opportunity to see them play after our game versus NW Ohio and knew we were going to have our hands full.
The sweet 16 game versus Team Melo was a late 7:45 tip off. It was an incredible game from start to finish that you can see here at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ICL5RgCCY0E . It was back in forth with both teams going up by 5 at a few times in the game and probably saw 10 lead changes. The game was tied at the end of regulation and went into OT. Unfortunately our run came to an end as we did not score in overtime and lost 65-59. We finished 4-1 in the Big Foot Tournament.
It was a great run in Vegas which saw us go 8-1 and we won 1 championship. Living, eating, and sleeping under 1 roof for 7 days you would think people were ready to go home or there would be issues that would come up but we didn’t want it to end. It was a great & super fun 7 days where we came in a team and left a family. Seattle Pride will learn from this and be back in 2016 stronger than ever! Til next year Vegas!