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City of Little Rock Public Relations
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Contact(s):Ben Beaumont
LR Convention and Visitors Bureau
(501) 370-3291

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE :
Thursday, December 1, 2005

Little Rock to host two major AAU basketball tournaments

The 2006 Amateur Athletic Union Division I 16-and-under National Basketball Tournament, originally slated for New Orleans, has been relocated to Little Rock. To be held in conjunction with the previously-scheduled AAU Division II 16:U National Tournament during the week of July 9-16, 2006, the Division I contest is expected to draw the nation’s top high school basketball players along with college coaches and recruiters from across the country to Little Rock.

“This will be one of the largest AAU tournaments in the nation this summer,” said Henry Forrest, tournament chairman. “We will be welcoming some of the most talented players and teams from across the country. It will be a treat for Little Rock basketball fans to see these players, as well as major college coaches in town to scout them.”

This past summer, Little Rock hosted the 2005 AAU Division II 15:U and 16:U national tournaments, the success of which has allowed the city to host a larger event in 2006. The 2006 tournaments will be the largest in Arkansas history, doubling the size of last year’s contests.

“It’s a tremendous honor for our city to host these players, coaches and scouts,” said Dan O’Byrne, chief executive officer of the Little Rock Convention and Visitors Bureau. “This will be a major event in our city next summer as teams and fans visit us from all parts of the country. It’s just another opportunity for visitors to experience what our city has to offer, and it’s a chance for the people of Little Rock to welcome them and enjoy some great youth basketball.”

The Division I tournament will be the third largest of its kind in AAU history, featuring last year’s champions, the D1 Greyhounds from Ohio and runner-ups, the P-Miller Ballers from California and coached by renowned rapper Percy “Master-P” Miller. Miller’s star player is his son, rapper “Lil-Romeo.”

“These kids are the future of college and pro basketball,” Forrest said. “AAU gives them a chance to compete and hone their skills and showcase themselves and their teams on a national stage.”

Tournament officials expect over 150 AAU teams to be in Little Rock for the two tournaments. Games will be played in venues across the city. Game schedules and other details will be announced in the near future.

For more information on the Amateur Athletic Union, visit www.arkansasaauboysbasketball.org.

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