by Jim Harris
Posted 7/30/2012 02:45 pm
Updated 1 year ago
Arkansas Razorbacks commitment Bobby Portis had 16 points and 10 rebounds, helping lead the Arkansas Wings Elite to the AAU 11th Grade National Championship at Walt Disney World in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., on Monday.
Portis, a 6-foot-10 center at Little Rock Hall, and Razorback recruit Moses Kingsley, a 6-10 forward from New Albany, Miss., proved too formidable on the inside for the undersized Chicago-based Team NLP. The Wings were in command beginning late in the first quarter, spurted to a 28-12 lead late in the first half and went on to wallop Team NLP 53-29. The Wings went 9-0 in the tournament.
As for Portis, who stood out in both the semifinal and final at Walt Disney World, "He's A1, and an A1 kid. He's a nice kid on and off the court," said his Wings coach, Leighton McCrary.
The Wings outrebounded Team NLP 30-13 and took advantage of its free-throw opportunities, hitting 11 of 14. The Arkansas Wings defense typically limited Team NLP to one shot per trip and also forced 10 turnovers with its perimeter quickness. Guard Dayshawn Watkins had a solid defensive game and also ran the offense well for the Wings.
The Arkansas Wings program, created and operated by Little Rock businessman Ron Crawford, has won 11th grade national championships in 1993, 1995 and 2010. McCrary, who played for one of Crawford's earlier Wings teams and was a college assistant coach for a number of years, was thrilled afterward.
"I never got a ring when I played. Now I've got one," he said.
A replay of the game can be viewed all day Monday at ESPN3.com.