This past weekend, IMG Academy hosted the third annual Beach Blast which involved 32 teams from 10 different states all throughout the Southeast. Including IMG Academy, numerous prestigious Academies attended the tournament to showcase their top unsigned prospects. The two day tournament had 360of the top prep players competing in 48 games at IMG Academy basketball program's world-class facilities in Bradenton, Fla. The showcase and the electric atmosphere surrounding it is discussed further in the Bradenton Herald:
âWe had more than 100 college coaches from Division I, II, III and junior college here for the event,â Loren Jackson, IMG's interim basketball director, said Sunday.
Coaches from Mississippi, Florida Gulf Coast, Toledo, Coastal Carolina and the University of Alabama Birmingham were all present Sunday to scout the talent, Jackson said.
Players who participated in IMG training recently include Glen âBig Babyâ Davis of the Orlando Magic and Tyrus Thomas of the Charlotte Bobcats, Jackson said.
The Bradenton Herald also features three of IMG Academy basketball program's own, Evan Davis, Cristian Jackson, and MaCio Teague; taking a deeper look at what these young standout athletes talk, think, and dream about in their down time.
A glimpse into a prep brain
So, what are those eighth and ninth grader IMG b-ballers thinking about between games?
In order to keep themselves trucking along through a grinding schedule of shoot-arounds, class, weight-lifting, basketball practice and homework, they like to dream of themselves in the Final Four championship game and, of course, that involves how they will make the final shot that wins it for their teams.
Evan Davis, 15, an IMG guard from Hamilton, Ohio,, sees himself wearing the Navy blue and white of Butler University in the 2016 Final Four championship game.
Cristian Jackson, 15, a guard from Chicago, sees himself in Connecticut Huskie red and blue in that same game.
MaCio Teague, 14, from Cincinnati, sees himself in the royal blue and white of the University of Kentucky in the same contest.
What makes this interesting is that the players see their buddies from IMG opposing them for the championship.
âWe go at each other like this every day in practice,â Cristian said.
In MaCio's dream, he is handling the ball with his Wildcats down by one in the 2016 Final Four championship with only Evan and the basket separating him from glory.
âI show no mercy,â MaCio says Sunday. âI get the first step, put a move on and dunk on Evan for the game winner.â