NAUGATUCK – While most teenagers are soaking up the summer sun, the boys of the Southern Express AAU Basketball team have been shooting some hoops.
Throughout the summer months Express AAU of Mingo County has been traveling near and far to compete in available tournaments.
The Southern Express AAU basketball club recently finished 3-1 in the 3 Stripes Alliance Memorial Day Cardinal Classic in Louisville, Ky. Before that they fell short in the quarterfinals of the National Hoopfest in Martinsburg, W.Va.
These local boys are showing they can compete with any in the country.
The Southern Express AAU team was started by Ed May and Brian Dillon back in 2009, to showcase area talent throughout the region. The boys needed a way to keep thier game sharp throughout the off-season.
Express is a Mingo based basketball-club comprised of players from Mingo Central, Tug Valley, Chapmanville and Logan. The team has lost and gained a few members since the beginning, but the core group stands strong. Tyler May, Jeremy Dillon, Colby Savage (not playing this year), Garrett Brown, Jonathan Blankenship, Keebo Cunningham have been there from the start. Newcomers include Levi Davis, Drew Williamson and Chase Warden, that round out the roster.
Coach Brian Hatfield was added to the coaching staff after Ed May was named Tug Valley’s head basketball coach. May can no longer coach since he became the Panther’s new mentor.
Tyler May and Jeremy Dillon were named Class A All-State after their freshman season with Tug Valley. May finished 17th and Dillon finished 13th in the state rankings.
Before school starts for another term the Express plans to travel to Indianapolis, Indiana to compete in the Midwest Youth Tournaments Boys High School Nationals on July 11-12, after that they will travel to Gatlinburg, Tennessee to compete in the Big Shots in Rocky Top Tournament on July 18-19.
In 2012 Express made it to the USBA National Championship game, but lost, finishing second in the nation.