Sunday, April 15, 2012

OAKLAND SOLDIERS: Early Favorite for #1 AAU Team in the Country!!!


Written by: Prospect-Central

Tennnnnn-Huuuuuut!!!  The 2012 AAU basketball season is upon us and with that brings a number of teams getting ready to engage in battle.  Of all the elite squads throughout the country, there is one that might be taking NO prisoners this year...The Oakland Soldiers!!!

Five-Star Basketball has ranked the 17U Oakland Soldiers as the early favorite for the #1 AAU team in the country.  Since the 2012 AAU season is just underway, it would be a little premature to put too much stock into these rankings.  There are a lot of games to be played between now and the end of summer and as we all know anything can happen.  With that being said however, it appears these Oakland Soldiers are locked & loaded and ready to show the rest of the AAU circuit their War Face!!!

Aaron Gordon: Class of 2013
There is no question the 17U Oakland Soldiers are playing with a chip on their shoulder this year.  At the 2011 Nike EYBL Peach Jam last summer, they lost to the eventual champions BABC in the semi-finals. While the Soldiers should take solace in the fact they got beat by an excellent team who were led by one of the best players in the country Nerlens Noel, the crushing defeat has haunted them none the less and will no doubt serve as serious motivation for their 2012 season.

For the most part the 17U Oakland Soldiers are returning the same squad as last years. They did however lose two significant players in Arizona commit Brandon Ashley and Oregon commit Dominic Artis.  One of the top juniors in the country Isaac Hamilton is no longer on the team as well. With these three Soldiers receiving honorable discharges (lol), look for two Top 10 players in the Class of 2013 to fill the void.

The ultra-athletic 6-foot-8 Aaron Gordon is undoubtedly the General of the Soldiers and should continue to make his case for #1 player in the country.  While Aaron Gordon may be the General, Jabari Bird has to be the Colonel. The 6-foot 6 Bird is extremely explosive in transition and definitely one of the top scoring guards in the nation.  The combination of these two talented players is just one of the reasons the Oakland Soldiers will be a formidable force on the AAU circuit this year.

Jabari Bird: Class of 2013
The 17U Oakland Soldiers have some other solid baller's filling out the roster as well.  Look for a set of twins from the Class of 2013 Tyree & Tyrell Robinson to become Lieutenant's of these Soldiers and help them live up to the lofty expectations thrust upon the team. Tyree Robinson is considered by many to be one of the top combo-guards in the country and should help the Soldiers with his athleticism and scoring prowess. His brother Tyrell Robinson, while not as skilled, still has the ability to light it up as well as really get after it on the defensive side of the ball.

The Sergeant's of the Soldiers (only because of age) are two Top 30 players from the Class of 2014 Stanley Johnson and newly acquired Shaqquan Aaron.  One of the more dominant players in his class, Stanley Johnson is a physical specimen and should provide yet another way for the Oakland Soldiers to outscore their opponents.  On the flip side, the 6-foot 5 Shaqquan Aaron definitely needs to add some strength, but there is no question he has an enormous amount of potential and just might add another dimension to this already talented team.

There are some other solid players on the squad as well who will no doubt make their impact felt as they try and help the team accomplish the goals of an undefeated season & Peach Jam tittle.  Whether they're capable of running the tables or not is yet to be determined, but what is known however...these boys from Oakland are ready for war...they're Soldiers!!!

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