Under Armour Association Showcases Top Eastern Conference Squads at Pitt Hoop Group Jam Fest

2013 UA Pitt Jam Fest
Kelly Kline | Under Armour

As Under Armour’s mission statement reads, the rising star in grassroots basketball strives to “make all athletes better through passion, design, and the relentless pursuit of innovation.” During the first NCAA Division I live recruiting period of 2013, the athletic apparel brand did just that as some of the nation’s most prominent AAU boys basketball teams took part in the Under Armour Association during the Pittsburgh Hoop Group Jam Fest.

“The last three years have been about establishing ourselves in the grassroots market,” Head of Under Armour Basketball Chris Hightower said during the event. “Now that we’ve accomplished that, it’s all about giving teams the opportunity to compete against some of the best talent in the country.”

The competitive nature and will to win amongst Under Armour’s top Eastern Conference teams became clear during the first game when Team Thad (Tennessee) and Atlanta Xpress (Georgia) went down to the wire in a fast paced and competitive game.

“We definitely feel like Under Armour is a family. It is great to feel like you’re an important part of something so big, not like just another team wearing a brand,” Team Thad’s Chris Chiozza (White Station HS/ Memphis TN) said.

“Their slogans ‘Protect This House’ and ‘Are you from here?’ are relatable,” Marcanvis Hymon (White Haven HS/ Memphis TN) said. “You always want to win and represent yourself and your team as best as you can, so it’s cool to be a part of this event.”

Teamwork and toughness, especially on the defensive end of the court, dominated the night’s game set as notable Under Armour squads DC Assault, Louisville Magic, Team Breakdown (Florida), and Sports U Izod (New Jersey) took the court. Both contests continued the trend of deciding games in the final seconds, as the Magic played smart and collected basketball against DC Assault despite being down 3 with 26.5 seconds remaining.

“Playing for an Under Armour team is playing for the best in the country,” DC Assault junior Hassan Hussein (Vermont Academy) said. “It’s a great opportunity, you have to go all out.”

Now that Under Armour has made a name for itself in the grassroots basketball circuit, the company is hoping to attract more of the country’s top programs.

Hightower knows what it takes. “Its all about progression. Not reinventing the wheel, but separating the brand and what it has to offer from its competitors.”

Under Armour’s grassroots tour continues this weekend with the Jayhawk Invitational in Olathe, Kansas. Be sure to follow @UABasketball for the latest news and event updates.

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