The AAU Caribbean Tournament, also known as the Puerto Rico District Championship, will take place at the Pedrin Zorrilla Basketball Court and will be exclusively for 7th, 8th and 9th graders. Event coordinator, Albert Lebron, says hosting this tournament is a great way to spread the word about the AAU in Puerto Rico.
“Actually, what we try to do is create AAU awareness in the Caribbean because even though AAU is very big in the United States, a lot of people don’t know too much about AAU in Puerto Rico,” explained Lebron. “A lot of people don’t have the money to be traveling to the States so having AAU in Puerto Rico allows more groups to join AAU and at the same time be able to go through that experience of playing AAU in Puerto Rico.”
The entry fee for this tournament is only $495 per team and those that register multiple teams can receive a discount. The entry deadline to register is February 28th and the entry fee must be paid in full three weeks prior to the event. The entry fee guarantees each team a three game minimum and there will be first and second place team trophies, along with individual medals.
The championship games on Friday will be available online nationwide, which Lebron said is great for these athletes.
“In Puerto Rico, there’s not a lot of visibility for these kids,” said Lebron. “They don’t have the funding or they don’t have the chance to promote themselves in the States so this actually gives them an opportunity to show what they can do nationwide.”
Not only will athletes have the chance to get exposure and recognition nationwide, but they are also donating to a great cause. Popps Sports Management Group, a non-profit company that will be presenting the tournament, will collect all the money generated from this event and donate it to the Make-A-Wish foundation in Puerto Rico and the San Jorge Children’s Hospital, which specializes in treating children with cancer.
Lebron thinks this tournament is different than many others in Puerto Rico and will help grow the AAU in Puerto Rico.
“Puerto Rico does a lot of local tournaments where they come in and you can play six or eight games and profit from it and that’s the end of it,” explained Lebron. “Our organization is mostly targeted toward showcasing at the international level how the AAU works.”
For more information on the AAU Caribbean Tournament, CLICK HERE.
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