Fifth grader Evan May holds the ball in triple threat on the right wing. In the waning minutes of a close championship game at a BigTimeHoops tournament, the young hooper is calm and collected as he pass-fakes, hits the low post, and sprints to set an off-ball screen for a teammate, who curls to the rim for an easy bucket. The unselfish play sparks a 12-2 run to deliver a championship for PPA Premier 5th Green Boys, one of several for Premier Hoops this winter season.
“I’m so proud of how the players executed down the stretch,” 5th Green head coach Ken Lau said. “When we found ourselves in a bit of a hole, the boys stayed positive and stayed connected as a team.”
PPA Premier Hoops is on the rise. Premier Hoops just wrapped up its biggest winter season to date, and collectively, the program captured 5 championships over the winter 2022-23 campaign. In addition to 5th Green’s BigTimeHoops victory, the program also saw championships from 4th Green Girls, 4th Green Boys, 3rd Green Boys and 6th Green Girls.
We spoke with 4th Green Girls head coach Raven Gerald after her team’s big win at the Charm City March Madness Splash tournament in Manassas, VA, in March. “The girls competed hard the entire weekend – there wasn’t much of a letdown from game to game,” Gerald said. “I’m so excited to see how far this team can go in the spring season. The sky's the limit!”
Meanwhile, the 8th Green Boys team, led by Coach Michael McClain, made it to the championship session at the Marquee Select Circuit, a high-level independent AAU circuit which showcases the best talent from the East Coast. Although 8th Green Boys fell short in the championship session, Coach McClain couldn’t have been prouder of his young ballers. “To make it to the championship weekend in our first-ever travel circuit is an accomplishment, to say the least. All the credit goes to the players, who worked hard at every single practice and executed day in, day out.”
This spring, the PPA Premier Hoops program looks to add more trophies to the mantle and continue to build on the winter season’s success. The 17-team travel club will compete in dozens of tournaments and leagues across April, May and June, and will be playing its best basketball of the academic year by the end of the spring season.
Despite PPA Premier Hoops’ recent success, program director Eli Schwadron told us that player development is still a major priority, and reinforced that coaches will not sacrifice player development solely for wins and trophies. “Obviously, we want all of our teams to win and have results-based success,” Schwadron said. “However, as coaches, our main focus is still on player development, and helping to inspire confidence in each of our players to continue to love the game and grow.”
Premier 5th Green Boys won the 11U Gold Division at the Big Time Hoops Kickoff Challenge in March 2023. In a tough and physical championship game, the boys overcame a late 3 point deficit to finish the game on a 12-2 run to secure the title. With the win, the team earned an automatic bid to the Big Time Hoops National Championship for Summer 2023.
PPA Premier 4th Green Girls won the Charm City March Madness Splash tournament in Manassas, VA in March 2023!
PPA Premier 8th Green Boys made it to the championship session of the Winter 2022-23 Marquee Select Circuit!
Premier 6th Green Girls took home the championship in the Charm City Holiday Explosion tournament in Sterling VA in December 2022!