Men's Basketball enhances both community involvement and recruiting efforts with it's 2009 Team Tournament.
Keeping on track with the plans for laying the foundation for success, Florida Atlantic University played host to a highschool men's basketball Team Tournament this past weekend which featured an impressive field consisting of twenty solid teams from state programs. Perhaps most impressive was the fact that is was the first ever since the program's founding.
Amongst the local high school teams represented were Dillard, American Heritage, Flannigan, Miami Springs, Parkway, Coral Springs, Olympic Heights, and Spanish River.
The FAU staff's goals for the tournament were not only to do it right the first go round, but also to attract some of the best programs in South Florida. They accomplished both, and then some.
FAU positions itself well across the Sun Belt Conference as only some programs currently receive the benefits that hosting a team tournament can bring. "With our facility we're able to run three courts, which is huge. You've got six teams playing at one time", said Assistant Coach Matt McCall.
The economy has put the damper on team travel - especially high school team travel during the summer. Given FAU's location in the south florida area, alot of teams that would be shut out of summer tournaments have benefited by the new offering of being able to play locally. "From the community standpoint, especially the local schools, their excited. Because this has never been done at FAU before", said McCall.
Hosting a summer team tournament pays big long run dividends in recruiting as well considering it provides an opportunity to evaluate players early. Coaches can then hit the road with poised specifics in mind when the official recruiting period begins. It also opens doors with local coaches, establishes communication lines, and exposes the prospects to the university's lanscape - a big part of which is the facilities.
Participating highschools have shown appreciation for being able to participate in this year's innagural event, and hope that FAU continues the tournament into the future. As a result, McCall said that FAU will continue to build it's offering, while possibly expanding into fall practice/learning sessions as well. They also hope to see the tournament grow to as many as forty teams next year.
Dillard High School claimed the prize this year with a 41-30 win over Fort Lauderdale High on Sunday afternoon in the championship game at FAU Arena.[caption id="attachment_1445" align="aligncenter" width="600" caption="Dillard High School Players and Coaches with FAU Coaches"][/caption]