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Hataway, Vermeyen make AAU Basketball team

Crenshaw Christian Academy’s Jake Hataway and Jelle Vermeyen have been chosen to play for the Amateur Athletic Union Basketball League.

The two juniors, who were part of CCA’s Class 2A state basketball championship team this year, are playing for the team “Montgomery Challenge” and are being coached by former University of Alabama player Brian Williams.

“This gives players another opportunity to show their skills in front of college coaches, whereas they might not get as much exposure during the regular season,” Williams said in a phone interview. “Any kid interested in taking his game to the next level needs to work hard, and that’s what these kids are doing.”

CCA head basketball coach Michael Malpass said AAU Basketball has a “good network of kids” that will play other AAU teams in Montgomery and then play in different tournaments.

“College coaches and college scouts are there and are able to see several different players all at one time,” Malpass said. “It’s like an all-star team.”

For Hataway and Vermeyen, it’s more than just hard work.

“It’s pretty competitive just to get a spot on the team,” Hataway said. “They look at whether you had a good basketball season, they look at your stats, and you have to go through tryouts.”

The two players were among 13 team members chosen out of over 100 players to be on the team “Montgomery Challenge.”

The team will play in a tournament in Nashville on April 25.

“They start out in smaller tournaments, and you stay in according to how well you play,” Vermeyen said. “This is a really big opportunity for us to get more exposure.”