John Paye’s 7th grade girls’ basketball team is heading back to the AAU National Championship Tournament for the third year in a row. After placing 9th last year in Virginia, Paye’s Undisputed TNT is hoping to go all the way to number one this year.
The team is made up of top players from many local schools including Hillview Middle School, La Entrada, Menlo School and St. Raymond School. Team members include John’s daughter, Georgia Paye from La Entrada, the team’s leading scorer; Danielle McNair and Porsche Trinidad from St. Raymond School; Maeia Makoni and Rachel Benedick from Hillview Middle School; Tejal Gupta from Menlo School; Marley Langi of Redeemer Lutheran School (Redwood City); Jacqueline Kurland and Caitlin Dulsky from Central Middle School (San Carlos); Sharon Nejad from Monroe Middle School (San Jose), and Rain Sheh of West Portal Lutheran (San Francisco).
The weeklong AAU national tournament begins with pool play on July 3, 2016, and then moves into bracket play. Pools are expected to be announced next week. Daily practices begin this week at Menlo School.
“I have taken many teams to Nationals in the past,” said Coach Paye, “but the talent and chemistry of this team is second to none. I am confident that we can make it to the final four and beyond.”
That talent lead to five championships and one second place in 2016: NJB All-Net 7th grade national championship (Anaheim) – 1st place; CA Ballaz Top of the Hill Tournament (Oakland) – 7th grade champions; Pacific AAU Spring Shootout (Sacramento) – 7th grade champions; Pacific AAU District Championships (Reno) – 2nd place; Darrell Hirashima Classic (San Mateo) – 7th grade champions; North Peninsula Force 16th Annual Spring Classic – 7th grade champions.
Also of interest, exactly 10 years ago in 2006, Paye took a 12-and-under girls’ team to AAU Nationals in Tennessee. Paye’s Place finished 28th under the play of Hailie Eackles, Caitlin Ciardella and Taylor Pierce.
Photo taken at NJB All Net Championship in Anaheim where the team won first place courtesy Kim McNair