Last summer the Riverside Hawks 3rd Grade Squad won the AAU National Championship. This year they decided to start their season off at the Tip Off Classic and once again took home the championship. We reached out to their head coach Daniel Colon and here’s what he had to say:
One On One Feat: Daniel Colon
BS: How did it feel for you guys to win the National Championship?
DC: Winning the national championship was an amazing feeling. Our team went through a lot of adversity during the season. Sometimes it was even frustrating just trying to get through a practice. But our coaching staff kept working, our boys kept fighting, our parents kept believing and we were able to put a National championship run together. It was an even better feeling winning a Championship for our Historic Program and for our city!!
BS: Who are some of your top players returning from the National Championship team?
DC: Some of our top players returning are Caleb Crawford (PG), Brandon McCreesh (F), Christian Bliss (F) and Jack Guevara (F). We also added some Key pieces Jeremiah Dorsey (PG) Ian Abreu (F) and Josh Thigpen (C)who have helped our team tremendously. But the biggest thing is that we pretty much have our entire nationally championship roster back. On our team 1-12 can ball so our strength really comes in #s.
BS: What attracts you to the Basketball Spotlight circuit?
DC: We love the spotlight circuit, it’s one of the toughest circuits around. We get to play quality competition while also having the ability to get our boys some exposure.
BS: You guys are off to a great start to the season, how many championships to you think you can win this season?
DC: We really don’t look that far, in terms of counting championships before we get them. We just want our boys to compete at a high level whenever they take the floor and when we do that we are extremely hard to beat!!! We have racked up 4 championships and we honestly think if we play our style of ball we can win every tournament we enter.
BS: What teams out there are you looking forward to play against?
DC: We would love to play ASA out of Atlanta and Washington Evolution.
BS: How do you feel about the new AAU rules and how will it impact your program?
DC: We like new AAU rules, we feel it does level the playing field. Just wish they didn’t drop the bomb out of nowhere. Rules don’t affect our team much. Lost a couple players but still have 90% of our roster returning.
BS: If you could change one thing about the climate of AAU basketball, what would it be?
DC: I would change the age cut off for nationals!! Don’t like that Sept 1st date.
BS: Give me one word to describe your 4th Grade bunch.