STrib: Minnesota's top AAU basketball teams savoring summer green light

BleedGopher

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The AAU basketball scene was where Minnehaha Academy’s Chet Holmgren skyrocketed in the recruiting rankings last summer, positioning him to become the nation’s current No. 1 recruit in the 2021 class.

For a long time, it looked as if AAU basketball this year would be lost to the pandemic. Holmgren and other elite prospects with little to gain still might opt out of playing. But states lifting restrictions on athletic competition last month had some teams jumping at the chance to return.

“It felt good to get back on the court and start playing,” said Tamin Lipsey, a 6-foot-2 guard from Ames, Iowa, who plays for D1 Minnesota and has scholarship offers from the Gophers, Arizona, and Iowa State.

AAU basketball is back, but it looks markedly different with uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus. Players and fans will see changes, and the NCAA has prohibited coaches from attending these games through Aug. 31.

D1 Minnesota and Howard Pulley are among Minnesota’s shoe-company sponsored programs who waited for the reopening last month and a chance to make waves on the national AAU scene.

Holmgren’s Grassroots Sizzle AAU team is taking a more cautious approach. Its 17U team is holding tryouts this month, but some parents have said they’re not comfortable with their kids playing during the coronavirus crisis. If those games aren’t held, Holmgren’s AAU days could be over.

“Kids want to play,” Rivals.com recruiting analyst Eric Bossi said. “People are working to try to find a way where it’s not totally a lost summer.”


Go Gophers!!
 
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