Middle school girls AAU dominated by Northern Kentucky

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    Middle school girls AAU dominated by Northern Kentucky

    With Holy Cross winning northern Kentucky's first girls state championship this year, when you look at the dominance of northern Kentucky AAU teams winning the state Division 1 championships over the past several years, are we seeing a shift in girls basketball power to the north? For example, the Class of 2018 has always been dominated by Legacy, 2019 by the Shining Stars, and 2020 by the Kentucky Royals, all predominately northern Kentucky teams. Do northern Kentucky girls' teams just play more AAU than other parts of the state, or is this a trend that will see more northern Kentucky high schools competing for state championships over the next 5-6 years?
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    Interesting for sure.

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    The biggest problem we are facing now is that AAU on the girls side is dying a slow death! The 2019 & 2020 girls Division 1 tourney only had 4 teams in each age division. If the numbers don't increase we will have to start looking to play in other events. Almost all of the teams there this weekend were Northern Kentucky teams. Where are all of the other teams that usually attend? Louisville? Lexington? Eastern Kentucky?

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    The best players/teams in the state don't normally play in this event.

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    Quote Originally Posted by magicfan217 View Post
    The best players/teams in the state don't normally play in this event.
    I assume you are referring to the AAU Division 1 State tournament, and, because the statement sounds like more of a generalization based not based on specifics, I will ask if you are aware of any really good teams or players in the 7th grade who have not played for the Louisville Focus, the Kentucky Royals, the Shining Stars, Legacy, Kentucky Premier or out of state teams Indiana Blizzard or the West Virginia Thunder. For that matter, can you identify any girls or teams that have chosen not to participate in the AAU state tournaments currently in grades 6-8 that would make up "the best players/teams"? I don't mean that to sound argumentative; I would really be interested in hearing who the really good girls are in those classes that don't play AAU because we've been to a LOT of tournaments around the state and region and we always see the same girls at the highest levels of competition.... would be interested to hear who is flying under the radar....

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    I was making more of a generalized statement that most of the top talent doesn't play in the actual AAU sponsored events anymore....at least in Kentucky. In fairness, that's probably more true as they get older and start playing in the premier exposure events.

    It's hard to make any sweeping revelations about different classes of girls until they start actually competing at the high school level...simply because participation in these events seems limited to pockets of the same kids from around the same area. That's not to say there aren't several of those girls who are going to become great players....just that it's hard to compare until they actually start competing at the high school level.

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    I would agree with this. A couple other things that we saw as well was if you are really good at your age group, a lot of times you played up on a team older than you at the state tournament. So there were girls that we never saw because they played up and we had no idea they were our age. There are also others that just choose not to play in the state. I know the current group at Etown (including Erin Boley) only played one year in the state. They were our age group and won it in the 6th grade and never came back. And the other thing that can happen is multiple teams from an Org. We always had a KY premier team in our state, but come to find out, it wasn't their top team. Now with more showcase events and more options than AAU, there are a lot of teams and players you just don't see. The way I see it, no matter how good you think you are, there is ALWAYS someone better out there!

    However, I will say that I do feel NKY has started to "catch up" in girls bball across the state for sure.

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    Jesse James's Avatar
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    The Elite Kentucky Premier teams will never be at a AAU state tourney......

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jesse James View Post
    The Elite Kentucky Premier teams will never be at a AAU state tourney......
    Recognizing that we are talking about middle school age girls, what's the reason for the strong "kentucky premier teams will never be at a AAU state tourney" statement? Is there an issue with kba or AAU rules?

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    Kentucky Premier has a really nice program and do a great job. I know in the past couple years they have added younger teams also. They play an elite schedule for sure. With that being said, I would still love to see them compete at every age level for the State AAU tournament if it doesn't conflict with another elite tournament. I think it would be nice to have all the elite teams competing for a true elite state tournament champion. There's a lot of talent across the state. It would be nice to see it all in the gym competing. Just my thought, to each their own. Each program is going to do what they feel is in their best interest.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jesse James View Post
    The Elite Kentucky Premier teams will never be at a AAU state tourney......

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    Not really a strong statement( maybe I worded it wrong that was not my intention) but we sent some teams there a few years ago in the 15U state and there was not any competition. Each game was won by a large margin. Now granted we took a 15U exposure team but the coaches came away feeling like maybe not the place to be with those groups.

    We do send our younger teams there all the time. Love the guys at the KBA and truthfully we never deal with the AAU rules with the exposure teams only the NCAA. With that being said we have no issue with any rules.

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    Lack of competition at the 7th grade level isn't a problem for kentucky premiere teams... with the exception of a premier team at that level that the royals played in louisville (that the coaches told me was a tennessee team that would be playing in the tennessee AAU state tourney) I have never seen a competitive premier team - I know the premier have aggressively recruited players from the royals and shining stars, but the premier teams in that age group are not at the level of the royals, shining stars, or louisville focus....

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    I can tell you I personally have never recruited a kid from those programs. Our AAU teams are just that, AAU teams that give young kids a chance to play and learn the game. We are approached everyday by organizations to do something. We are not trying to win at the AAU level nor trying to rule the state in AAU. We are in the business to help kids get scholarships and get in the right fit. Our emphasis is on Exposure basketball. Im sure all these programs do a great job with kids and I applaud them. Our list of players( its not all the way updated yet) that have signed to play in college can be found here:

    Kentucky Premier Alumni

    Feel free to post all your AAU state championships.

    Our record on the exposure circuit stands for itself.

    Plus its spelled "Premier".

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    Also to clarify for alot of middle school parents( its been brought to our attention several times there is a certain program who touts this in Northern Kentucky) of who is really what in AAU or exposure basketball in regards to Nike here is a list of the 32 Nike teams in America.

    TEAMS ? NIKE GIRLS EYBL

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    if your daughter is good enough to play division one basketball you would be crazy not to look at getting her involved with Kentucky Premier. The exposure they get to college coaches is 2nd to nobody.

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