East Carolina Elite wins AAU National Championship - Greenville, NC | News | Weather | Sports - WNCT.com

East Carolina Elite wins AAU National Championship

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When you talk July sports in East Carolina it's usually all about youth baseball or softball, but one special group of athletes has broke the norm and brought home a national championship in basketball. The East Carolina Elite have practiced together for years and finally all of that hard work paid off on Sunday.

The team of 10-year-olds, led by former ECU star receiver Troy Smith, won the prestigious Boo Williams AAU Tournament this past weekend. This win is about much more than just a trophy, its about a group of friends making the most of their limited opportunities.

"It almost brought me to tears to see the success that these boys have had," said Assistant Coach Curt Vanderhorst.

They've won a state title and now a national title and the players say the journey's been nothing but fun.

"It felt really good that we finished first in the whole nation," said forward Kevin Woodrow.

"It was very fun playing with my teammates and being around my coaches, friends and family," said guard Terquavion Smith.

A big reason for their success is the pedigree of their coaches. Curt Vanderhorst is a former ECU basketball player while Head Coach Troy Smith was a star wide-receiver for the Pirates.

"When the clock was at zero I think it was more of, 'we really did this', I couldn't believe but I was excited and it was a great feeling," said Coach Smith.

They've showcased their talents at almost every level. Now you have to look out for these young guns in a gym near you.

"We worked pretty hard trying to bring the trophy to Greenville," said guard Taylor Bell.








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