“I knew we had won [the National Championship] when I walked on the floor with eight seconds left to play,” says Jeremy Roach easily. Leesburg Basketball Club led the entire game; they outscored their opponent by seventeen (17), points. The final score was 69 – 52.
“It was only close for the first few minutes of the game,” Jeremy’s mom, Carole Roach, enthusiastically adds. After LBC’s top shooters began to score, they never looked back. Their victory was made sweeter by defeating their 2011 rival, Puerto Rican team, the BUCAPLAA Pumas, who defeated them in last year’s Division II playoff contest.
LBC did not lose any of their games throughout pool play and the bracket playoff eliminations. The team dominated the entire 2012 Division II 4th grade tournament held in Charlotte, NC which culminated their season on July 21st. Lead by their coaches, Leesburg Basketball Club founder, director and head coach Charles “Chick” Bushrod and his Assistant and Son-in-Law, Willie Paige. The coaches say they look to their team leaders, Will Paige, the Assistant coach’s son, Matthew Anderson and Jeremy Roach. “Those guys set a standard for the other kids. Just the fire and desire they have is incredible.”
The key, however, is the defense explains, Coach B, as he’s known to the Championship team members. The defense was all over their opponents. “They never had a chance; as soon as the opponents got the ball, LBC was all over them quickly changing possession. We pressure and run the break, and that’s what most teams can’t handle,” Bushrod said.
The LBC team accomplished their well-deserved championship after a grueling season of sixty-five (65) games, racking-up and impressive sixty (60) wins with only five (5) losses, most of those coming from games against eleven year olds (playing-up). Parents and friends were surprised that there was surprisingly little fanfare and hoopla among the boys. These Rising 5th grade D2 National Champions simply and decisively played hard and won games.
As impressive as these young men are on the court, even more remarkable is their demeanor off-the-court. The parents of the boys have bonded calling themselves” LBC family”. Among this close-knit group of families, one will only hear positive comments from the stands. Not the usual loud, caustic voices from the coaches on the sidelines. No need for the familiar frowns and furtive looks from the team toward their coaches, as can be seen with other teams.
By the end of the week it was clear that this was more than a victory of numbers and a show of winning scores. These young men had demonstrated a champion attitude, behavior, as well as play. Opposing team coaches and parents wondered aloud, “what kind of boys are these that you don’t have to yell at them?” The genius and value of Coach Bushrod is his focus on the basic foundations of the game and character development.
“We teach them what they need to know along the way.” Coach B. admonishes, by the time they get on the court, we expect them to know what to do.
Upon their triumphant return to Leesburg, VA, the team received an award from the Mayor and Town Council of the Town of Leesburg.
LBC has earned quite an impressive record of wins:
Champions in AAU National Division II – 10U played in Charlotte, NC on Sat., July 21, 2012 UNDEFEATED in Metro Sixers National Tune-up Round Robin UNDEFEATED in MD Invitational Tournament (MIT) – 10U Champions in Baltimore Stars Coalition Tournament – 10U Final Four in Mother’s Day Madness – 11U Final Four in Battle of Balls Bluff – 11U UNDEFEATED in Freedom Challenge Tournament – 11U UNDEFEATED in Oxon Hill Village Challenge Round Robin – 10U