So Arkansas doesn't have a Nike EYBL team

anymore.

This is really sad to me. After Ron Crawford gave up the Wings it has never been the same for AAU basketball in Arkansas.

He handed it over to some guy and that fizzled out. Bobby Portis tried to sponsor them and that didn’t work. Now I don’t think there is a Wings team at all.

Then you have the Arkansas Hawks who a few years ago made a big announcement that they were merging with Joe Johnson and calling the adventure the Joe Johnson Hawks. Well now it seems that has folded and they are back to just the Arkansas Hawks.

I see some younger teams called “Iso Joe” with Joe Johnson pictured with them.

Now our best players in Arkansas are going to play with Bradley Beal Elite and other out of state teams because they play in the EYBL. We have plenty of talent in Arkansas to field an EYBL team but the greed of all the different programs in Arkansas has ruined that.

I never had the sponsors or the talent to play in these circuit leagues but we traveled everywhere and played in some great tournaments. I had two teams with all the same boys for 9 years. Mostly all from Hot Springs. I doubt anything like that ever happens again. Other coach’s tried to steal my kids every tournament by offering them shoes, gym bags and other b.s. Luckily my boys and parents were very loyal to me and our program. There is no more loyalty in travel ball anymore.

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I hate to hear this. I went to 5 or 6 of the Wings Elite’s stops in Hampton, VA when I lived in VA Beach. The last team I saw, before moving back to Arkansas in mid-2013 to care for my Mother, was the team that had Portis and Kingsley. A really good AAU team.

I noticed a few years ago, that Nike dropped Hampton, VA from their circuit. That surprised me, as the Hampton location was a really good set up. They had a huge complex with 8 courts under one roof and lots of seating for fans and college coaches. I got to meet both Bobby and Moses. Such great kids.

I also got to meet Dusty Hannah’s dad, Gerald for both years Dusty played. In the 2nd year, I commented to his dad that there was a remarkable physical transformation between his Soph and Junior years. He said, yes, he had worked with a personal trainer between those years.

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