AAU youth basketball now in Scott CountyBy JAMES PHILLIPS,
During his playing days Jeffery Johnson took up court at the Forest High School gymnasium where he, and his teamates enjoyed plenty of success. He has always loved the game of basketball and working with kids. Now he has turned to coaching Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) youth basketball to continue his love of the game.
After spending six years involved in coaching AAU youth basketball in Jackson, Johnson believed it was time for the kids of Scott County to have the opporutnity to participate in a nationwide basketball program. He founded an AAU team in the county and the team is working to get ready for their first season.
The AAU was founded in 1888. It was originally designed to prepare American amateur athletes to compete in the Olympics and other prominent international competitions. Today, AAU is a volunteer based program with a specific mission to offer amateur sports programs for all people to have the physical, mental, and moral development of amateur athletes and to promote good citizens and good sportsmanship.
The newly formed Forest team is named 3CG Elite and is comprised of basketball players from schools throughout Scott County. Johnson acts as the teams head coach and mentor to the players on the team. It was a lesson he learned long ago during his playing days at FHS that has instilled the foundation on which he basis his coaching.
“The subsequent name of the AAU team was derived from lessons from Forest native, Hall of Fame Coach, Durwood Smith,” Johnson said. “3CG is based on the lessons I learned from Coach Durwood - (C) Confidence (C) Control (C) Consistency and most importantly (G) God.”
“Confidence comes from working on your skill set and correcting your faults to become a great player. Control is to make your body stronger, quicker, faster and to make it through all kinds of pain on a higher level. Consistency is doing it every day when no one is watching. God is our anchor that hold us down and keeps us humble,” Johnson explained. “The main purpose at the end of the day is to make sure we are doing all of this in His honor. Through Christ 3CG’s mission is to inspire, build character, and empower at-risk young teens by helping young athletes develop to their highest athletic potential.”
The new team is still looking for a gym to hold practices as they are currently having to drive to Hickory for gym time to practice. “We are working hard to find a place here in Forest or Scott County so that we can practice without having to travel,” Johnson said. “Being a new organization and team in the area we will have to work through some of the start-up issues during this first season, but we look forward to being a long lasting part of the youth in our local area.”
There is no cost to participate in the AAU program. The current team is a 15U (15 years old and under), but Johnson hopes to expand to other age groups as soon as next season. “The support from the community and our sponsors has been tremendous and we can’t thank them enough, but the team still needs help to ensure this youth basketball program is a long lasting staple of Scott County.”
Persons interested in their child or children joining 3CG Elite, or that would like to help support the team should contact either Jeffery Johnson at 601-900-9803 or Fred Davis at 601-248-1312.