06/15/2015 3:26 PM
Within the Gulf Coast Blue Chips program of 10 teams there is an abundance of talent.
Perhaps no three teams have more natural gifts than the third-, fourth-, and fifth-grade groups being developed by Clyde Jackson and his Houston-based coaching staff.
Headlined by LeBron James, Jr. the fourth-grade team may be the best of the trio.
“GCBC is special because we teach fundamentals and learning the game of basketball,” Jackson said. “All kids are taught at a high level. We recruit all over the country. Usually the kids will fly in and practice the day before the tournament.”
Alongside James, the fourth-grade top players are Wesley Yates III, Jared Harris, Durway Dual, and Orlando Horton.
The fifth-grade group is lead by Camron Amboree, Anthony Cruz Davis, Tre Turner, Jonathan Massie, Kevin Garcia, and Chris Marshall.
With third-grad stars Dre’lon Miller, Jmar Franklin, Montana Wheeler, and Tray Johnson the trio of teams could all be churning out future talent.
“These third graders are tough and are simply on another level and can really play.” Jackson said.
The excitement is not limited to the youngest group.
“All the players are top players, though.” Jackson added. “Cameron Amboree is the next Stephen Curry and had eight three pointers in one game. Christian Barrett is a 6-foot-7 kid who jumps out the gym. Chad Bowie dad is Anthony Bowie from the Rockets. Wesley Yates III is probably the top-ranked fourth-grade player in the country.”
With so much great talent, GCBC recruits all over the country and is willing to bring on anyone that is willing to work hard.
Jackson said that the goal is to develop basketball by developing a brotherhood mentality.
Simply working hard in practices results in more playing time in games, but ensuring everyone get the same amount of playing time is not the mission for Gulf Coast Blue Chips basketball.
Preparing players – even young ones – to be ready for college and professional ball is more in focus for GCBC prospects.
“Gulf Coast Blue Chips gives players to give kids the opportunity to play at the highest level,” Jackson said. “Develop skill and brotherhood. We try to make sure each kid can reach the talent ceiling by between being competitive in tournaments.”
GCBC will compete in the Juneteenth Shootout on June 20th-21 in Channelview, TX.
Following that tournament, the grassroots season will culminate with the group making an appearance at the 2015 PrimeTime Sportz Nationals tournament July 22-26 in Dallas, TX. (Sign your team up for the PrimeTime Sportz National Basketball Championship
Winning is not the motivation for GCBC.
The kids competing at a high level and using maximum effort is the metric of the coaching staff. They believe that if each player is giving his all the results should come as a byproduct.
“Our goal is to continue to grow and continue to expand to be competitive on the circuit,” Jackson said. “And give kids the opportunity to play at the next level.”
Teaching skills and the fundamentals of the game of basketball is what GCBC strives for through practices and the tournaments that they compete in.
Jackson started GCBC in 2005 with kids playing youth basketball in the rec leagues.
His early successes pushed the group to a higher level of competition.
“We won several state championships and decided to step them up into primetime basketball,” Jackson said.
With the coaches that played high school and college basketball, the kids has no reason for success with the skills that are taught by an experienced staff.
The competitive nature within the organization comes through the practice. It helps facilitate the brotherhood mentality that is taught at the beginning.
“We play a pressure style and focus on defense,” Jackson said. “Defense is our trademark. We run a lot of motion offense and triangle. We like to run the 2-2-1 and the diamond press with a lot of man to man defense. The half courts sets we run are pick and roll and five out.”
Through brotherhood, this organization has only seen success since being established and continues to grow as a team.
“The success has been very well with God covering us and blessing our players with confidence,” Jackson said. “We have had several teams from 2011 championships but we hope to get the kids better and play against the top kids in the country. Win or lose.”
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