I generally consider AAU basketball as the devil’s plaything: exercises in ego for frustrated coaches who jettison fundamentals in favor of collecting talent and putting winning above everything. But when a group of kids show a social conscious like this, it’s hard not to take notice and say, nicely played.
At AAU game here in Vegas, Game Elite players don "I Am Trayvon" shirts pic.twitter.com/RrUg7FrOUl
— Matt Norlander (@MattNorlander) July 25, 2013
Beginning on Wednesday, the players wore the shirts during warmups and didn’t take them off until tipoff.
“We all wanted to wear the shirts because, even though the right thing didn’t turn out in court we wanted everyone to know we haven’t forgotten about this,” Avery Patterson said.
Team director Ryan Falker, 38, said it was the idea of the players to make the shirts and wear them. Coaches and spectators alike noticed immediately on Thursday — and Wednesday as well.
“We have to respect Trayvon in his death,” John-Carlos Reyes, 17, said. “He died for no reason. I don’t like the way it turned out to be, and we’re trying to represent him as a team.”
“This is out of respect purely for Trayvon and his family,” teammate Antonio Lang added. “Justice didn’t [come] in his trial, but it’s important for us as a group to show support for his family.”
The one white player on the team is Alex Bearup, 17, of Alpharetta, Ga.
“If they want to support it, I support the cause with them,” Bearup said. “We talked in that hotel room, we were shocked and discussed how we really felt about it. It could be anyone.”