The squad outside the Peterson Events Center at the University of Pittsburgh. The Aces compiled a 6-1 record at Pittâ€™s team camp, competing against teams from Pennsylvania, Ohio, Maryland and New York.
The Aces have been making the team camp circuit this summer, with stops at St. Joseph’s University, the University of Pittsburgh and West Chester University. St. Joe’s is the current college home of former Aces star Garrett Williamson ’06 and Coach Phil Martelli and his staff always run a great camp. Pittsburgh was a new stop for the Aces this year; highlights included game play at the Peterson Events Center and a tour of the arena, locker room and campus. The West Chester camp is highly competitive and well-run by Coach Damien Blair and his staff; the Aces competed well and players and staff look forward to returning during the season to watch Harley Williamson ’09 in action for the Golden Rams. The final team camp stop is Saint Mary’s College in Moraga, CA in early August.
A number of the Aces’ younger players have been participating in the Ardmore Avenue Community Center Summer League and an Aces “rising stars” squad will be making the annual visit to the Alvernia University team camp.
Other highlights (team, individual and alumni) to date during the summer campaign:
- The Aces advanced to the finals of the Showdown at Havertown for the 3rd consecutive year, losing a heartbreaker to an impressive Pocono Mountain East squad.
- Greg Robbins ’09 was named MVP of the 2009 Narberth Summer League.
- Alon Seltzer ’10 and Mike Buchwald ’11 are competing for the U.S. national team at the 2009 Maccabi Games in Israel. Seltzer is a member of the 18U team coached by Princeton assistant Scott Greenman. Buchwald is playing for the 16U team.
- Harley Williamson ’09, Guy Mentel ’10, Billy Chimekas ’10, Aaron Staley ’10, Matt McKenna ’11, Darius Hall ’11, Mike Robbins ’12, and Mike Capkin '11 all participated in the Narberth Summer League All-Star games.
- Oliver Cohen ‘10, Luke Chambers ’11 and Mike Block ‘10 participated in the Williams Prospect Camp at Williams College in Massachusetts. Cohen competed in the All-Star game at the camp and has also made stops at Brown University Elite Camp and Hoop Mountain Academic Elite Camp this summer.
- Cohen, Chambers and Buchwald were named Honorable Mention All-Tournament Team at the Hoop Group 2009 Jam Fest as members of Narberth Knights AAU.
- Assistant Coach Doug Young ’95 served as commissioner of the Kobe Bryant Academy at Loyola Marymount University in July. He was assisted by Dan Capkin ’05 and Steve Meehan ’07. Sarah Lowe ’01, the Aces’ all-time female scoring leader, also served on staff. Kobe Bryant ’96 provided on-court instruction and insight each day of the five-day camp.
- While in California, Young, Capkin and Meehan met up with Matt Snider ’95, Jim Brogan ’76 and John Brogan ’74 in San Diego. Snider, who played in the NFL, is now a personal trainer living in San Diego. John was visiting brother Jim (a former NBA player and inaugural member of the Lower Merion Basketball Hall of Fame), who lives in La Jolla.
Former Aces assistant coach Mike Egan recently wrote in to share this “Aces Nation” summer story:
So there I was yesterday down in Charleston, South Carolina on business and I am speaking to a group of about 20 insurance agents. I introduce myself and talk a little about where I am from and that I went to St. Joe's…Thirty minutes later, my presentation is over and I am approached by a guy who tells me that he grew up near St. Joe's.â€¨â€¨
"Where did you go to high school" I asked.â€¨
"Lower Merion,” he said.â€¨
"I used to coach basketball there,” I said.â€¨
"I used to play basketball there!” he replied.â€¨â€¨
"I played on the State Championship team of 1941.”
â€¨â€¨I am doing the math in my head....He looks about 65 but it turns out he is 87 years old. His name is Bill Hackett and he is a legendary insurance agent on a little island south of Charleston, which explains why he is still working. He went to Duke after his LM days and played football there (and one year of hoops). Took a break to serve in WWII and went back and finished at Duke.â€¨â€¨He has no more family back in the area so he doesn't come back to Philadelphia. We had a great conversation.â€¨â€¨He was very sad when I told him about [the passing of] Harry Middleton. He raved about Harry ("even though Harry beat me out for a starting spot"), playing for Coach [Bill] Anderson, and his whole Lower Merion experience.