Okeechobee Nation basketball wins National Championship

OKEECHOBEE — Okeechobee won the USSSA 17-and-under tournament in Atlanta, Ga., as they swept through teams from Georgia, North Carolina and Florida.

Coach Demetre Riles had four Brahman players on the roster which included two starters, all-state performer Shaquoy Ferrol and shooting guard Demetrius Clark. Both averaged nearly 20 points per game at the tournament.

The Okeechobee Nation basketball won the USSSA 17-and-under tournament in Atlanta, Ga. as they swept through teams from Georgia, North Carolina and Florida. The Okeechobee Nation team includes (back row, left to right)  Demetrius Clark, James Greer, Shaquoy Ferrol, Kysell Richardson, Lou Geurson Fleurine, Mico Gayman, Malik Durden, (front)  Demetri Webster, Andravious Stallworth. Kneeling coach Demetre Riles. Special to the Okeechobee News.

The Okeechobee Nation team includes (back row, left to right) Demetrius Clark, James Greer, Shaquoy Ferrol, Kysell Richardson, Lou Geurson Fleurine, Mico Gayman, Malik Durden, (front) Demetri Webster, Andravious Stallworth. Kneeling coach Demetre Riles. Special to the Okeechobee News.

“They really stepped up their game. Shaq, by far, was the best player in the gymnasium,” he noted.

Ferrol has started to gain some notice from college recruiters since he was named all-state by the Florida Athletic Coaches Association. Palm Beach Atlantic, Eckerd College, and Bethune Cookman have contacted Ferrol, an incoming senior this year.

“The tournament felt great, it was kind of a challenge for us,” Riles added.
He noted it also helped him to grow as a coach because he had to get used to high stakes and pressure.

“When you coach at the highest level, you must trust your guys. You have to be cool in those situations,” he explained.

The team played pool play for the first three days of the tournament and then went on to win three playoff games, 71-56 over Treasure Coast Legacy, 64-52 over the Middle Georgia Supersonics, and 71-56 over the Atlanta Warriors in the championship.

Kysell Richardson and Andravious Stallworth also made the trip for Chobee Nation.

The tournament invited over 100 teams from across the nation in a variety of age divisions. Chobee Nation sent the one squad.

“There was a lot of talent in the tournament. We trailed by nine points with three minutes left against Flight Express and were able to win. The Atlanta Warriors led us in our pool play game for most of the game before we rallied,” Riles added.

Other players on the squad included Demetrius Webster of Port St. Lucie, Baron Newland of Jensen Beach, Mico Gayman of Lincoln Park Academy, and Lou Geurson Fleurine of Port St. Lucie.

Riles said his team had a busy schedule this spring with numerous tournaments and have now earned a rest before the high school season.

“It was a pretty good year. We won a national title, you can’t beat that.”

Chobee Nation also had 135 kids attend youth basketball camps in June hosted by Okeechobee High School. The kids were treated to refreshments, instruction, games, fundamentals and tournament play. A grant from the Children’s Services Council assisted the program this year. McQueen Tax and Finance and the Okeechobee Livestock Market also assisted the program financially.

“We are just glad to bring home the National Championship trophy to Okeechobee. We worked hard, played hard, and got a lot of praise on the way we conducted ourselves,” Riles added.

 

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