Charlotte Country Day middle school coach Tijuan Griggs will coach a QCAA 7th grade basketball team this year, QCAA president Ed Addie announced.
"Adding another experienced, proven coach like coach Griggs only adds to what I feel is the best roster of coaches we've ever assembled at QCAA," Addie said. "Griggs is talented, energetic and kids are going to love him."
Griggs, married with two kids, hails from Cherryville, where he played four years of basketball at nearby Lawndale Burns High. He was Sun Drop player of the year at Burns twice, and Griggs was a four-time all-conference pick.
Griggs played one year at Clinton Junior College. He's been coaching for two years and training kids for three seasons, including spending one season working with QCAA Head Trainer Ricky Price at Game Ready Skills and Development.
Price, a former high school All-American and all-ACC player at Duke, said Griggs -- a former assistant coach on a QCAA 5th grade team -- is exactly the type coach the QCAA program needs.
"I'm super excited about Griggs coming onto be a QCAA coach," Price said. "He has some experience at the lower levels in the 4th and 5th grade. He's worked with me for a year at Game Ready and what stood out to me was how kids gravitated towards him. He was easily the most popular coach at my camp. Anytime you saw him, he had kids around him. He has a great knowledge of the game and he has way of teaching kids what he wants. He'll be a great asset to the QCAA program and I wouldn't be surprised if that 7th grade team he coaches is very successful."
Paul Swartz, an assistant coach of the QCAA Red 3rd Grade team this season, will coach in the 3rd grade age group again in the 2013-14 season, QCAA president Edward Addie announced.
Swartz will be the head coach of the 3rd Grade Red team next season.
Swartz was an all-conference basketball, football and track athlete at Bloomfield High School in Bloomfield, CT. He played two years of college basketball at Western New England (Mass)
After college, Swartz was head coach at Howell Cheney Technical School in Manchester, CT, for 12 seasons (1994-06). He's been head junior varsity coach at Sun Valley High in Union County since 2011.
His teams at Howell Cheney made nine straight Class M state tournament appearances in a row. The team also won five regular-season and four conference tournament championships under Swartz's direction, reaching three state quarterfinals and one state semifinal.
Swartz was also a junior varsity coach for four years at Bloomfield High in Bloomfield, CT and he coached AAU basketball in Connecticut for seven seasons.
For the past two years, he's been an assistant on AAU teams in North Carolina, including the current season with the QCAA 3rd Grade team, which has won 10 tournament championships, including an AAU state title.
"Paul has been a wonderful addition to QCAA as an assistant coach and has done yeoman's work with our young 9- and 10-year-old boys," Addie said. "We were very excited when he expressed an interest in being a 3rd grade head coach next season. Our rising second graders and new players to the program are absolutely getting a treat in having a coach with Paul's experience and pedigree introduce them to the game. I'm very excited about the future of this program with the talented roster of coaches we're assembling in our younger age groups."
Ending days of speculation, the Amateur Athletic Union has made a dramatic change to its eligibility rules for boys basketball. These rules take immediate effect.
AAU boys basketball is now age-based with no age or grade exceptions.
One of the largest youth basketball tournaments, the Maryland Invitational, has already said it will follow the new AAU rules, per a tweet from the tournament's official account.
QCAA president Ed Addie said he has not made a decision about eligibility rules for the organization's two big events -- the NCIT Feb. 20-22 and the Rumble May 15-17.
As of now, another one of the large governing bodies for youth boys basketball, the United States Basketball Association (USBA), still lists eligibility rules that would allow grade exceptions and age exceptions.
Here is the difference, for example, for a 7th grade player.
-- Under the new AAU rules, there is no more grade-based play. For many 7th graders, the age is 13-and-under. To play 13-and-under in AAU, an athlete can be no older than 13 on Aug. 31, 2015.
-- In USBA that same athlete must be in 7th grade as of Oct. 1, 2014 and cannot turn 15 prior to Sept. 1, 2015. Also 8th grade players can play down in the 7th grade, provided they don't turn 14 prior to Sept. 1.
Another large governing body, the National Travel Basketball Association (NTBA) says that player must be in 7th grade as of Oct. 1, 2014 and cannot turn 15 before Sept. 1. An 8th grader can play in the 7th grade division if he doesn't turn 14 prior to Sept. 1.
Via its official twitter account, the NTBA responded to this QCAA news report by saying it is "aware of eligibility changes of another organization & will make a decision in the coming weeks."
Here are the new AAU rules:
7 & Under: An athlete can be no older than 7 on August 31, 2015
8 & Under: An athlete can be no older than 8 on August 31, 2015
9 & Under: An athlete can be no older than 9 on August 31, 2015
10 & Under: An athlete can be no older than 10 on August 31, 2015
11 & Under: An athlete can be no older than 11 on August 31, 2015
12 & Under: An athlete can be no older than 12 on August 31, 2015
13 & Under: An athlete can be no older than 13 on August 31, 2015
14 & Under: An athlete can be no older than 14 on August 31, 2015
15U/9th Grade: An athlete can be no older than 15 on August 31, 2015. Grade Exception: An athlete who is in the 9th grade as of Oct 1, 2014 and who is no older than 16 on August 31, 2015 is eligible to play in the 15U/9th grade division
16U/10th Grade: An athlete can be no older than 16 on August 31, 2015. Grade Exception: An athlete who is in the 10th grade as of Oct 1, 2014 and who is no older than 17 on August 31, 2015 is eligible to play in the 16U/10th grade division
17U/11th Grade: An athlete can be no older than 17 on August 31, 2015. Grade Exception: An athlete who is in the 11th grade as of Oct 1, 2014and who is no older than 18 on August 31, 2015 is eligible to play in the 17U/11th grade division
19U/ 12th Grade: An athlete can be no older than 19 on August 31, 2015. Grade Exception: An athlete who is in the 12th grade as of Oct 1, 2014 and who is no older than 20 on August 31, 2015 is eligible to play in the 19U/12th grade division
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