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Busy summer a boon for Bolingbrook boys basketball players

Raiders have success as a team; three players win AAU national title

Published: Thursday, Aug. 8, 2013 10:30 a.m. CDT
Joshua Dillingham (right) was one of three Bolingbrook boys basketball players to win an AAU national title with Dickey Simpkins' Next Level Performance 17U team this summer. Mark Busch — mbusch@shawmedia.com

BOLINGBROOK – The big season for high school basketball players is from November to March.

But running a close second are the months of June and July, when players get plenty of experience as high school and AAU teams pack in the games. With the summer schedule wrapped up, Bolingbrook boys basketball coach Rob Brost has an early scouting report on what his team will look like this winter.

“I saw glimpses of us playing really well,” Brost said. “Overall I was pleased with how we played minus a couple things like rebounding and taking care of the basketball.”

Brost had his players with him for a busy June that included participating in shootout tournaments at Oswego East, Stagg and Morris and playing additional games at Lockport and Bolingbrook. The Raiders went 6-0 at Stagg and made the semifinals at Oswego East and Morris. In the latter tournament, they took 2012-13 Class 4A runner-up Stevenson to the limit before falling on a buzzer-beater in the semis.

“It was a good barometer for us, but then again it’s the summer,” Brost said. “It doesn’t mean as much as it does in March, but you would much rather win than lose, there’s no doubt about it.”

After the Raiders capped their summer together, most went on to play for AAU teams.

The AAU circuit was especially fruitful for incoming seniors Gage Davis, Josh Dillingham and Shakur Triplett, who won the 17U title at the AAU National Championships with Dickey Simpkins’ Next Level Performance squad.

Other players stayed busy with AAU teams. Prentiss Nixon and Kenny Williams played for the Illinois Wolves, Julian Torres, Devon Sams and Nate Webb played for Illinois Celtics, and Brodric Thomas and CJ Redmond played for the Illinois Attack. Brost was pleased to see so many of his players hit the court, even if not all of them had as much success as Davis, Dillingham and Triplett.

“I think the more you play, the better,” Brost said. “Sometimes AAU gets a bad rap, but with the right group of players and the right coaches, I think AAU can be effective. It makes you a better player, No. 1, and No. 2, it gives you another avenue and another opportunity to play and play against really good competition.”

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