By Renaldo Dorsett

AFTER an impressive series of AAU performances thus far, Bahamian DeAndre Ayton and some of the top high school recruits in America helped to raise the profile of the grassroots basketball for one of the elite shoe companies on the circuit.

Ayton wrapped up play at the Under Armour Association in the Finals Showcase hosted in Atlanta, Georgia with his “Supreme Court” team.

In his final game of the showcase, Ayton, the 7’0 foot tall, 235-pound centre and No.1 ranked player in the class of 2017, went head-to- head with Josh Jackson, the No.3 recruit in the class of 2016.

Jackson and his Michigan-based “1 Nation” team got the better of “Supreme Court” in the final score 63-56 to eliminate them from the tournament.

Ayton finished with 20 points and 10 rebounds and shot 8-15 from the field in 28 minutes while Jackson finished with 22 points and 14 rebounds.

Also at the finals showcase, he scored 14 points and grabbed 14 rebounds in a loss against “Team Breakdown.”

Ayton shot 10-10 from the free-throw line over the course of both games. He missed the first two weekends of the circuit in April hosted in New Orleans, Louisiana and Louisville, Kentucky.

At the third stop on the circuit in Ardsley, New York, he was dominant with 28 points and 12 rebounds in his return. He also posted games of 15 points and 15 rebounds and an 18-point, 19-rebound and five blocked shot performance during the series.

The Under Armour grassroots basketball circuit has quickly grown to establish a reputation as one of the premier spring AAU events on the prep basketball calendar.

The shoe company which boasts NBA MVP Stephen Curry as its signature athlete and made waves in the offseason with their pursuit of Kevin Durant, looks to have a similar impact on the grassroots basketball circuit.

“Our mission is to make all athletes better through passion, design, and the relentless pursuit of innovation. This is a mission that we take extremely seriously and are committed to bringing to life through our UA Association programmes and events,” said a release issued on the Under Armour Association website.

“This year we will ‘relentlessly pursue innovation’ by enhancing the format and structure of the UA Association and introducing new properties that will make all athletes better. In 2015, our UA Association league will give our programmes and players the much-deserved opportunity to pursue their passions and dreams through the game of basketball.”

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