If you enjoyed watching the San Antonio Spurs roll to their fifth NBA championship last spring, you would no doubt be a fan of the Tri-Cities’ own Subway Select team.
Subway Select is a 16-and-under Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) club boys basketball team made up mostly of players from around the Tri-Cities — as well as a few from Ellensburg, Spokane and Zillah — that has made some big strides lately thanks to their team-oriented play, including the 16U championship at the Northwest Premier Spring Showcase and a runner-up finish at the NW Premier Summer Showcase.
Last weekend, they defeated the 12th-ranked 16U team in the nation — Seattle Rotary — 50-43 en route to a second-place finish at the NW Premier Summer Oregon Showcase tournament in Salem, Ore.
Subway Select is doing so well, in fact, that they were ranked No. 4 on the west coast in the latest indihoops.com poll as well as No. 22 nationally. That kind of attention was good enough for officials to place them in one of the 16U “Super Pools” at the Adidas Super 64 tournament running today through Sunday in Las Vegas.
“People call us the Spurs because we all play as a team. We don’t really care about points,” point guard Cayden Cazier, a junior-to-be at Chiawana High School, said. “We play so well together that we can beat more athletic teams.”
Cazier, who is back to full health after missing last high school season with a torn ACL, said the team is comfortable with a fast pace but doesn’t mind slowing it down, either.
“There are times when we’ll work the ball around for a minute. We’ll get teams tired and then hit wide-open 3s, which all of us can hit,” Cazier said. “
Our goal this year was to win a big tournament and get recognized as a good team. We’ve already done that.”
“I really think our strength is working hard and willingness to share the basketball,” said Doug Burge, the Zillah head coach who coaches the team along with Doug Crandall. “If somebody has a hot hand, we’ll find him.”
That depth will be critical this weekend with the team’s top scorer, Steven Beo, out with a broken hand. Beo averages nearly 25 points a game for Subway, but Burge believes his team can compensate for Beo’s loss.
“We’re pretty hard to defend. You can’t key on one guy, because there’s another guy in the corner who can hit,” Burge said.
Subway Select will open play with two games Thursday. The first, at 10:50 a.m., will be against Billups Elite, a team out of Colorado sponsored by NBA star Chauncey Billups. Later that day, at 4:40 p.m., Subway will take on the Las Vegas Prospects. On Friday, Subway will face Team Superstars out of California at 8:10 p.m.
“I don’t know if we have expectations. We have a little bit to prove every time we play,” Burge said. “People know a little bit about us, because we’ve beaten some pretty good teams. I’m hoping we can do pretty well.”
Subway Select 16U roster
PG Logan Adams, 6-3 (Gonzaga Prep); G Steven Beo, 6-3 (Richland); G Scott Burge, 5-11 (Zillah); PG Cayden Cazier, 5-11 (Chiawana); PG Jason Crandall, 6-0 (Issaquah); F Brecken Galliher, 6-3 (Richland); F Chandler Hanson, 6-5 (Chiawana); G Tre Joseph, 6-1 (Kamiakin); G Landon Radliff, 5-10 (Richland); F Coleman Sparling, 6-7 (Ellensburg); G Gabe Voorheis, 6-3 (Southridge); F Aarek Walters, 6-1 (Richland). Coaches: Doug Burge, Doug Crandall.