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Drummond using AAU program to develop Greer players

By Garrett Mitchell, Staff Reporter
Published on Thursday, January 7, 2016

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Greer girls coach Mazzie Drummond has benefitted with his players participating in AAU basketball during the summer.
 

Garrett Mitchell

Greer girls coach Mazzie Drummond has benefitted with his players participating in AAU basketball during the summer.

 

Mazzie Drummond's dream to turn Greer High School into a girls basketball powerhouse was already taking shape before he was named the team's head coach.

Through the establishment of an AAU (Amateur Athletic Union) basketball program in the Greer community, Drummond has been able to develop players that are now fueling a pipeline of talent into the Lady Yellow Jackets' program.

"We started five years ago doing just the Greer Sting team which is the Greer girls and we started just to keep up with other schools who play year round," Drummond said. "The reps that the girls get in the offseason carry over to the season."

Playing AAU, said Drummond, gives players an average of 50 additional games played during the high school offseason.

"My goal and my vision for Greer High School is to be able to expose our girls to the highest level of basketball," said Drummond.

Drummond was ready to go when he took over for Carlton Greene, who retired as coach after last season.

The fruits of Drummond’s labor are evident in Greer's start to this season. The Lady Yellow Jackets are 9-4 overall and ranked number nine in the state in 3A while averaging almost 68 points per game.

Drummond credits his team's success to facing high-level competition through the AAU program, which is operated through the Upward Star Center where Drummond is the girls basketball coordinator.

"Being able to expose them to the highest level of high school basketball makes it a lot easier when they come back (to Greer) and play," said Drummond.

Playing the AAU circuit, Drummond said, gives the advantage of having girls play, live, and socialize together throughout a long offseason schedule of games. That, he said, helps build continuity once the high school season gets underway.

"Although we don't have many seniors, our juniors and our sophomores have technically played together for four years," Drummond said. "When you count the travel seasons and the early eighth and ninth and tenth grade years they've played together almost five years."

"It's helped me become a better post player," said junior Marshea Murray. "I have better moves and a better jump shot than what I had before."

Murray is garnering attention from Armstrong State and North Carolina A&T from competing in AAU, she said.

Drummond said the players’ experience through AAU, individual improvement and a belief in the team’s system makes a run in the state playoffs a practical goal.

"Do we have the talent to do it? Yes," said Drummond. "I honestly believe that. If they put in the work and they stay together as a team we can win it, but we also make sure we do it one day at a time."

As for rankings and accolades, that means nothing.

"For us it's just a number," Drummond said.

Greer players who played on the summer AAU team;

Essence Ballenger

Destiny Dawson

Tori Henderson

Megan Jones

Caroline Littlefield

Lauren McMeekin

Marshea Murray

Diamon Shiflet

 

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