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Another July has come and gone. Tons of games have been played, scholarship opportunities have been given and now it’s time for reflection  on what the we have learned. We started the travel ball season early in April with the Queen City Showcase, countless events along the way  and ended with the Southern Jam Fest, but one thing is clearly missing. We need a true “Champion Showcase.”

Champion Showcase/Carolina Cup 

There is no question the state of North Carolina is a hotbed for basketball. It may just be the state’s second most popular religion. With the state being the ninth most populated state in the country, not to mention the Big Four of Duke, UNC, NC State and Wake Forest. There is a reason why basketball is such a popular sport in the state and thus why our good friends at Ball Is Life has labelled North Carolina the #HoopState. Prior the start of the shoe circuit, AAU was the going thing and there was great pride in being crowned the best team in the state  and having the chance and opportunity to play at AAU Nationals in Orlando, Florida. The best part of the North Carolina AAU state championship was the ability of all teams coming together and playing each other. There were great rivalries created and more than anything, it created what fans wanted to see.

People liked the fact you could watch the best teams and players play against each other. Since the inception of the shoe circuit, many of these teams rarely get a chance to play each other, which is no fault of the teams. During the course of the season, Phenom Hoop Report has had a few events where the top shoe circuit teams would go head to head. Back in April, we had Team Charlotte going against Team United for the Queen City Showcase championship, not to mention some showcase games between CP3, Team Felton, and Team Wall. Early July at the Champion Showcase, we had the opportunity to have CP3 going against Team Charlotte and again having the likes of Team Felton, Garner Road, and Team Wall play in showcase games.

With the new NCAA rules changing the landscape of the July “Live Period,” now is the time we have a true Champion Showcase or Carolina Cup. We take the top travel ball teams in the Carolinas going against each other at the beginning of April and another sometime in July. We bring together teams like CP3 (Nike), Team United (Nike),  Team Felton (Under Armour), Team Charlotte (Under Armour), Team Loaded (Adidas), Team Wall (Adidas) and Garner Road (Adidas) along with the best non-shoe teams and pair them up for a true champion in each age group. We could do a straight bracket play format for the state’s bragging rights.

One thing we learned from the match ups from the Queen City Showcase and the Champion Showcase, coaches, fans and players love playing against each other. The atmosphere is off the charts and all the players enjoy the buzz, excitement and media attention, not to mention this is the way it should be. In the next several weeks, we hope to put together something at Phenom Hoop Report where we can see the above a reality. So stay tuned!