Coach Derek Kurnitsky has his hands on some fine sixth-grade basketball players.
The Port St. Joe AAU Youth basketball team went 4-0 last week, winning every game by double digits, in taking the championship at the Big Shots Basketball Tournament at Tallahassee Maclay High School.
Port St. Joe played against several Tallahassee and Cairo, GA area teams.
“We won the championship game 43-11 and all but one game we won by more than 20 points,” said Kurnitsky. “We did a real good job.”
This is the fourth tournament title the team – which was missing two players last week – has won over the past year and the team.
“I often have to split them up during the summer, but when this team plays together, and I was missing two last week, they have not lost a game in more than a year, maybe 15 to 18 games,” Kurnitsky said. “It is a good group.”
The team, comprised of Jackel Yarrell, Davien Welch, Drew Jones, Jarrett Browning, Kendre Gant, Jasmine Thomas and Trey Sanders, reminds Kurnitsky of some of the former Port St. Joe teams of years past.
“They know how to run,” Kurnitsky said. “They look like the old Port St. Joe teams, playing defense and running.
“They really pass the ball around really well and they can really score. But mostly they play defense and they run, run.”
The AAU team, along with several other grade levels, are coached by Kurnitsky throughout the summer, part of a feeder program he has created for Port St. Joe Jr./Sr. High School.
Kurnitsky will also be conducting a basketball skills camp this summer. More information on the camp will be included in next week’s edition of The Star.