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Jammin4Jerseys (Bigger than basketball)

By Ricky Wilson, 04/09/19, 8:30AM CDT

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Year 7 of Jammin4Jerseys has proved again that this game is bigger than basketball. This tournament employs the community, gives back in several ways, and bring elite talent into the area to compete against some of the local talent.  He also had a $500 donation for the team who had the most participation in the blood pressure drive, promoting health awareness. Jammin also brought out all the up and coming stars to support the new wave of talent that came up through the same pipeline as them. It’s extra motivation when the kids can look on the sidelines and see future division 1 prospects like 2020 Moses Moody (top 50), 2022 Derrian Ford (Top 25), 2022 Nick Smith (top 40). You even had kids like 2023 Bryson Warren (top 25) come check out some of the top talent in his class since he wasn’t playing this weekend. This tournament truly represents Arkansas to the fullest. Friday night there was a memorial game to honor man that was a leader in his community, Chris Strahan. He loss his life this year and deserved to be highlighted because of his willingness to give to his community. His family was in attendance and were presented with framed uniforms with his name. We came together to honor a man who loved his family and his community and basketball.

This tournament had some high level talent kick off early Saturday in pool play. In the 2026 class we had some of the top teams in Buchanan Mentality, Next Page Force, Stl. Knights, to name a few. All of them are ranked in the top 15 in the country. With all that heat, the surprise team MTI from Memphis came in a took the championship. MTI had Elite size, guard play and that Memphis mentality always is a plus. Over the weekend the only loss they saw was to Next Page Force in pool play. Next Force is the epitome of scrappy. They have small guards who take pride in defense and can break you down on offense. They got their revenge Sunday in the championship game. Even though their teams didn’t make it to the finals Martechio Hayes and George Lewis Greer Jr. are easily 2 of the top players in the 2026 class. Hayes is one of the more special talents I’ve saw at this young age. He can play the 1-4 on both sides and dominate with finesse, skill or heart.

The 2023 class had the high profile match up on Saturday with TN Dreamchasers vs Woodz Elite. In a competuback and forth game the Woodz Elite will to win was just too much for the Dreamchasers. In that game we saw the bigs put on big time performances, R,Chaun King showing skill and Rashaud Marshall with athleticism. Both of these kids have the a chance to be at the top of their class the older they get. The top ranked Arkansas Rising Stars decided to play up this weekend, and rightfully so, they won the 2022 division with their consistency and discipline. The Arkansas Rising Stars Tucker went 2-0 in pool play, but ultimately came up short against the Dreamchasers. I really enjoyed watching them play. Arkansas Rising Stars Tucker had really good guard play and they compete very hard. Dreamchasers and Woodz ended up meeting in the championship in a even better game than before. This time the Dreamchasers pulled it out with a clutch performance from Curtis Givens III. “Lil Curtis” made clutch plays down the stretch to secure the win, but just like before the bigs were very solid.

The baby ballers championship even caught my attention. Watching 2nd graders is very hard because of the chaos, Dixon Select vs Arkansas Flight was literally a battle from beginning to end with some talented little guys. Dixon select ended up finishing part of the game with 4 players and it took a dagger three with less than a minute to go for Arkansas Flight to seal the deal. Both teams were talented and I’m sure this match will spark a friendly rivalry for years to come. Memphis 2024 class represented very well with two teams in the final four with Memphis Wildcats and Team Hudson. The Wildcats made it to the championship game with a dagger 3 to put them up by 2 from point guard Braxton Jumper. He and big man Khylan Payne were the standouts against a tough BTR squad. BTR was led by the super quick, athletic guard Jordan Warrior and the beast under the basket David Stone. All are high level talents for their class.

BTR 2025 has a two headed mosntor in CJ Nixon and Carlsheon Young. Both have big time size and can hurt you in multiple ways. Carlsheon is the Lebron James of the 2025 class. He can put it on the floor and dominate inside or out. Nixon is just simply a beast under the basket with soft touch and great footwork for his age. They beat in SEMO Blazers in pool play pretty good. Then we say them matchup with in city rival AET. The game was very intense but BTR ended up pulling away with excellent shooting from guards Joseph Hartman and Antonio Brown. The championship game ended up being SEMO Blazers vs BTR and this time it ended a little different with SEMO taking the championship. SEMO has a solid team that can play with and beat anybody in the country. They won’t overwhelm you with size or talent but when they play with poise and run their stuff they are really good. Bobo is a rare talent. He and he’s a mixture of CJ Nixon and Carlsheon Young. He can rebound, block shots, score in the paint, has a solid jumper, handle the ball. The lead guard Patrick Farmer is a beast. He’s athletic and relentless while attacking the basket. When his shot is falling he’s hard to stop.

Overall this was another great event put on by Jay Lanier. This tournament is growing every year and slowly becoming a must see event for teams all over the country. This tournament represents a man that puts other before himself and want everyone in the community and of the culture to come together for a bigger purpose than just basketball.  This tournament has tremendous talent, but the impact was bigger than that.

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