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Sunday 29 May, 2016

LakePoint opens indoor facility with Adidas Memorial Day Classic

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The LakePoint Indoor facility hosted its first day of team-sport activity with the Adidas Atlanta Memorial Day Classic. For those who have visited LakePoint and driven by the facilities to get to the baseball park, it is difficult not to notice the magnitude of the construction and wonder what the park will look like when finished. On Saturday, LakePoint came a little closer to realizing its potential when the indoor facility was opened for its first day of team-sport activity with the Adidas Atlanta Memorial Day Classic. The tournament is part of the Adidas Gauntlet Series, which is a three-tournament event taking place in Atlanta, Los Angeles and Chicago for ages 14U through 17U. The tournament is not affiliated with the Amateur Athletic Union, but among the 120-plus teams, some of the top AAU programs from around the East are participating Saturday through Monday. “Memorial day weekend is a huge weekend for LakePoint, so we have been planning for this weekend for months,” Director of Marketing Amanda Hammons said of opening the new indoor facility with the Adidas Atlanta Memorial Day Classic. “Obviously, Adidas is an amazing partner and they cultivate amazing events throughout the country. Atlanta is one stop for this tournament. It is a large team number, 120 teams that came in throughout the Southeast, and we are grateful to have them.” Those who were present at the tournament, including two-time NBA all-star, NCAA all-American and current Toronto Raptors assistant coach Jerry Stackhouse, were impressed by the LakePoint facility. Stackhouse was in attendance Saturday to watch his Stackhouse Elite team take on Team Magic Elite out of Memphis. “The only one that I’ve seen that even comes close to it is maybe the [Grand Park] in Indiana. It looks like it’s going to be a hell of a sports complex,” Stackhouse said of LakePoint Indoor. “They have baseball and everything. It looks like it’s going to be a first-class facility. ... Each court has it’s own feel. You’re not hearing whistles on the other courts, and you stop play because you hear the whistle from another court. Each court has space and it’s open. It’s going to prove to be one of the best facilities in the country, I think.” Several of the nation’s top AAU teams played Saturday, including the New England Playaz, Atlanta Celtics, New York Gauchos and Arkansas Hawks. Ethan Henderson, the No. 11 prospect in the Class of 2018 according to ESPN, was on the courts Saturday, as was teammate Reggie Perry, who is the No. 34-ranked player in the Class of 2018, according to 247 Sports. There was plenty of action on the 12 courts in the gym, and the first game played saw a buzzer beater by Clarence Jackson of the Atlanta Celtics. Brandon Mason was one of the standouts on this day as his Magic Elite, which was the AAU team of 2015 NBA draft lottery pick Cameron Payne, topped Stackhouse Elite. Mason put in two dunks as well as a late floater in the paint to give his team the win. “I’ve seen a lot of nice players from different teams. There’s a lot of courts, so you can see everybody play,” Mason said of the competition at the tournament. “It’s a nice gym. The rims, the courts. I like it a lot.” The winners of the 16U and 17U tournament will go on to compete in the Adidas Gauntlet Finale in South Carolina. The tournament’s director, Corey Smith, has been around many different tournament venues, and was impressed by the new facility. “It’s amazing. It’s one of the nicest facilities I’ve been in,” he said. “The wood flooring, scoreboard on every court, shot clock on every court, the way it’s set up, it’s just nice.”

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