Former Gonzaga High School guard Myles Dread was in tears after Team Takeover’s 70-63 loss to the Oakland Soldiers in the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League Championship last summer.
“We fought back in the game,” Dread said. “It wasn’t enough, we shouldn’t have dug the hole that we did but we fought.”
Team Takeover 17u head coach Keith Stevens gave a speech to his team after the heartbreaking defeat, telling them that this wasn’t going to be easy in the EYBL league and you have to seize your opportunity when you get this far.
Takeover 17u came back this summer as the top team in the EYBL with a 16-0 record. Takeover is now looking to seize a Nike EYBL Peach Jam Championship after qualifying for the tournament, which will be held in July.
In fact, not only has Takeover 17u qualified for the Finals but their 15u, 16u, and girls program qualified for the tournament.
Although all the older age groups for Team Takeover have qualified for Peach Jam. 16u EYBL head coach Doug Martin said a lot of people think it’s about winning games. However, his biggest concern is making kids better in the program.
“If you can get your kids better on the court then winning the games is the easy part,” Martin said.
Takeover’s 17u team is the first team in EYBL history to finish league play with an undefeated record twice. Takeover went 16-0 in league play back in 2012 with Oklahoma City Thunder forward and DeMatha alumnus Jerami Grant.
“It’s definitely a major accomplishment,” Takeover’s leading rebounder Hunter Dickinson said. “I expected us to be the best team in the country. It’s always good to be a part of history but, we aren’t done yet. We still have our eyes set on Peach Jam.”
Takeover was dominating the league, winning 10 games by double digits. Takeover 17u is led by Villanova commit Justin Moore and University of Virginia commit Casey Morsell, who both average 12 points per game in league play.
Takeover is loaded with more talented division one players like Anthony Harris, Armando Bacot, and former 16u USA gold medalist Jeremy Roach.
Moore, who came to play for Takeover in the 7th grade said it’s truly a blessing to play for this organization.
“Im honored to play for this team,” Moore said. “Since I got the [Team] Takeover uniform, it has been special. Coaches teach us it’s not about ourselves but, it’s a team and that really prepared me for life and as a leader.”