Team Concept rolls in Vegas


LAS VEGAS - Team Concept Heat, a Portland-based AAU girls basketball team, won the Bigfoot Tournament played July 22-24.

The seven-player Oregon squad went 6-0 and captured the tourney finale by 30 points over BNL Stars Red, an Indiana team.

'The teams were certainly not the caliber we faced in the prior tournaments,' Heat coach Todd Abraham said. 'But, considering the extreme (hot) weather there, and the overall commotion of Las Vegas, I thought the girls played extremely hard and remained very focused.'

Abraham noted that several opposing players, spectators and even officials asked his players for photos and autographs after many of the games.

'It's very flattering,' said guard Rachel Mendelsohn of Jesuit High. 'It says a lot about the quality of our team and our program. It provides us extra motivation to play hard on every play, regardless of the score.'

Pat Summitt, legendary coach at Tennessee, was among the college coaches who attended many of the games. Summitt posed for a photo with the team.

'Winning the Vegas tournament was exciting, and we had a lot of fun,' Westview guard Jaime Nared said.

Other Team Concept players were Central Catholic's Jordan Reynolds and Kaillee Johnson, Mercedes Russell of Springfield, Jordyn Peacock of Southridge and Anjenae Torregano of St. Mary's Academy.

Russell was recently named the USA Athlete of the Month for her contributions on the 16-under national team.

The Heat was set to complete its summer by participating in a much more competitive event at Berkeley, Calif.

'I believe this next tournament will be a really big test for our teams.'