Hoops Club Wins Tourney in Vegas

Courtesy Photo    Clutch City AAU hoops team celebrate winning the 16-and-under basketball tournament at the Jam On It tournament Sunday, July 22.

The Amateur Atheltic Union (AAU) basketball team Clutch City won the Jam On It Grand Finale AAU 16-and-under basketball tournament Sunday, July 22, in Las Vegas. The Alameda-based club won despite playing with just seven players. 

More than 250 boys’ and girls’ teams competed in more than 45 division tournaments at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Clutch City, which consists of athletes from Alameda, was one of eight teams in the 16-and-under division. 

The teams were split into two sections, an A and B section, of four teams apiece. Clutch City was in the A section. Each team played the other three teams in their section. The teams with the two best records advanced to the four-team single-elimination tournament to decide the division champion.

Clutch City went 2-1 in the qualifying round. The team began the qualifying round with a 43-28 victory over the Riverside Basketball Academy Wolfpack Frosh team on Friday, July 20. Clutch beat the Los Angeles Sharks, 59-57, in their second qualifying match the next day. The team lost to United Flex, 67-51, Saturday afternoon in their third and final qualifying game. United Flex won the A section with a 3-0 record. 

In the four-team single-elimination tournament the best team from each section faced the second-place team from the other section in the semifinal. Because Clutch City finished second in the A section they faced the B Section winner Team Flex. Clutch took down Team Flex, 68-57, late afternoon Saturday. The second-place team in the B Section, the Kona Stingrays, also advanced to the final. The Stingrays beat United Flex, 64-59. Both teams are based in Hawaii. Clutch City defeated Kona, 60-46, in the final Sunday. 

Clutch City practices at Alameda Point. They rely on non-profit fundraising to play costly AAU basketball games. Jam On It is the host of the largest basketball tournaments in the world. They host youth athletic tournaments at different locations throughout the United States.