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West Virginia Reign Head To AAU Nationals

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FAIRMONT -

The NBA season may be in the books, but for some basketball players the season is never over.

A 12U team in Fairmont has its eyes set on Virginia, for the AAU National Championships.

"At an early age I think a lot of these kids tend to make a choice," said head coach Deon Dobbs. "These kids are committed to basketball. They don't put in on the shelf at the end of March. They continue to play and we have a good response, good numbers, and great parents."

Former Marshall standout Deon Dobbs coaches a group of 6th graders known as the West Virginia Reign. The team is good, how good? Ask the 8th graders they beat Saturday.

But don't think it comes easy for the team, the Reign works hard, and its efforts have paid off.

"This is a good group of players, they're young boys with a great GPA, 3.5 average among the kids," said parent Phil Nason. "They have fun and work. It's rewarding for them and their parents to go to nationals."

In April the Reign placed third at a district tournament in Charleston, W.Va., booking a trip to the AAU Division II Nationals in Hampton, VA.

"It's an honor to play with some of the top ranked teams in the country," said Jalen Bridges, number 6 for the Reign.

The team leaves for Virginia July 15, but Saturday the Fairmont based team hosted a shootout, raising money for the trip and tuning up their game.

Parents said its exciting watching their kids' hard work pay off.

"The kids really do have basketball in their blood, they have it on their mind," said Nason. "They want to be good. their is some competition on leisure time and free time, but don't forget, the kids have fun here too."