Twenty-four teams from seven states and Canada took to the basketball courts of IMG Academy for the 2014 Beach Blast, Feb. 14-16, competing for titles in the Post-graduate and Varsity divisions. Facing elite level competition, IMG Academy was able to keep two of the three titles at home, as the Post-graduate Blue squad won the Post-graduate Gold division title, and the Varsity team was victorious in the High School Varsity division.
The Post-graduates, led by standouts players including Syracuse signee Chris McCullough, Nevada signee Eric Cooper, Jr. and Kerem Kanter, the younger brother of Utah Jazz forward Enes Kanter, the team was nigh unstoppable through the event. In their first game of the event, the Post-graduate Blue team crushed South Carolina Sports Academy, 103-75, behind the lights out shooting of McCullough, who put up 30 points on the day. In the final, Cooper and Cecil Williams caught fire, scoring 24 and 23 points, respectively, as they downed Mt. Zion Prep, 83-68. The team, ranked No. 6 in the nation by Next Up Recruits, improved to 24-2 on the season with their wins, and it marked their second national tournament title of the year after winning the January's Southwest Prep Showcase in Arizona.
The Varsity team (pictured, left), meanwhile, found their rhythm early in the event, thrashing Athlete's Insitute from Toronto, Canada, 63-37. They followed up on Saturday by taking down Raleigh's Finest out of Oklahoma, 84-74. In the final with a total team effort that saw four starters score in the double digits, the Varsity team knocked off Impact Academy, 73-62. In the final, Dante Scott led the scoring with 18 points on the day. He was joined by guard Austin Pauga with 16 points, forward Tysean Powell with 14 and center Satnam Singh with 10.