The purpose of AAU basketball is to allow players to continue to develop as well as to give players the opportunity to showcase themselves to college coaches throughout the country.
All types of players compete in these AAU tournaments, from 5-star players with dozens of offers to under-the-radar kids looking for their first.
Six-foot-four guard Jackson Blaufeld from Allderdice high school is highly skilled player who’s looking for that first offer and with the way he’s performing this summer, some could soon be on the way.
— Adam Finkelstein (@AdamFinkelstein) July 19, 2018
Blaufeld, who plays for the AAU team the Rytes Warriors, just completed a tournament in New York and will compete in Philadelphia this weekend.
This morning, PSN caught up with Blaufeld to talk to him about how his summer is going as well as his recruitment and talks he’s had with Duquesne head coach Keith Dambrot.
I asked Blaufeld what it’s like to play in these tournaments and in front of all these coaches. Is it hard to perform knowing the focus that’s on these games and a scholarship can potentially be earned?
“Our coaches do a good job of keeping us focused and we play to win,” said Blaufeld. “We know that if we win, we move on and play in the higher level games and against the top teams. It’s not really hard to keep focused and remember that it’s just a basketball game and whoever is watching, is watching.”
“It is neat though. Last year, we were playing in Vegas and it was hard not to notice that Roy Williams was sitting in the front row which was a pretty cool experience. Our team (Rytes Warriors) is doing really well. We had a strong performance the past few days in New York and we’ll be looking to do the same in Philly.”
After speaking so highly about his team, I asked Blaufeld to critique his own performance and tell me what he’s doing well and showing college coaches.
“Shooting the ball from all over the court, mid-range, being a scorer and just being a good overall player,” said Blaufeld. “I’m been working a lot on my ball-handling and passing which are getting better. Playing at Allderdice for Coach Valinsky, he stresses defense and if you’re not good at defense, you won’t play.”
Blaufeld tells PSN that he’s hearing from about a dozen schools right now including Navy, Dartmouth, Colgate, Boston, Air Force and Duquesne.
“Coach Dambrot has seen me play a few times against Westinghouse because he was there for James Ellis, who I think is going to be great for them. He then invited our team to Duquesne team camp and watched us play again,” said Blaufeld. “He told me some things that he likes about my game and also some things that he thinks I can improve on so I’ll definitely work to improve on those things. He told me that he liked my toughness as a player and told me some things to improve on which will translate better in college like quickness and ballhandling.”
“I think Coach Dambrot is obviously a great coach and also an intense, hardcore guy who’s going to demand you play 110 percent and that’s very similar to my current coach at Allderdice. He’s very defensive minded, I’ve watched a few things about Duquesne because you need to work on defense before you get to your offense game.”
The Allderdice star is looking for that first D-I offer. What would it mean to him to possibly get one from Duquesne?
“That would be an unbelievable opportunity. I mean, the first thing I think about would be it’s my hometown school. Also, I’ve played against James Ellis for years now and to chance to possibly play with him at the college level and two kids from the City League to play for Duquesne that would be unbelievable.”