West Orange AAU basketball team wins national championship

A West Orange youth basketball team is getting national recognition for winning a championship in Orlando last week.

News 12 Staff

Jul 24, 2019, 2:45 AM

Updated 1,764 days ago

Share:

A West Orange youth basketball team is getting national recognition for winning a championship in Orlando last week.
The West Orange Knights, part of the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) basketball league, just won the national championship in the 14 and under division. The players say that they worked hard for this opportunity.
“Our hard work and desire. We wanted to win this thing. We came to Florida to win and win only,” says forward Terry Copland.
Ten out of the 11 players on the team are from West Orange. They say that it is about time that athletes from Essex County get recognition.
“There’s a lot of talent in this area and this area doesn't really get a lot of attention,” says guard Jhensen Touze. “We brought a lot of attention to this area.”
The team had to advance through six games to get to the championship. But their coach is no stranger to adversity. He is former New Jersey governor and current state Sen. Richard Codey.
undefined
“It’s huge. I mean, how many people who play sports ever won a national title at any level? So for these kids and myself and my son, it's a lifetime memory and it stays with you the rest of your life,” Codey says.
With most of the players going to high school in the fall, the team will start to disband. Codey says that he is hopeful that his players will continue to excel both on and off the court.
“I consider myself a better life coach than a basketball coach and that's more important - that they conduct themselves the right way and be successful in life and have a good family and lead a good life,” Codey says.


More from News 12
1:36
State police: 2 dead in I-80 crash involving jackknifed tractor-trailer in Hackensack

State police: 2 dead in I-80 crash involving jackknifed tractor-trailer in Hackensack

1:35
STORM WATCH: Thunderstorms expected for Thursday morning in parts of New Jersey

STORM WATCH: Thunderstorms expected for Thursday morning in parts of New Jersey

0:40
Officials: American flags ‘stolen’ off veterans’ graves in Neptune likely taken by animals

Officials: American flags ‘stolen’ off veterans’ graves in Neptune likely taken by animals

2:28
What does the Biden administration tapping into gas reserves mean for NJ’s fuel supply?

What does the Biden administration tapping into gas reserves mean for NJ’s fuel supply?

0:21
Car bursts into flames outside Mount Olive nail salon

Car bursts into flames outside Mount Olive nail salon

0:30
GoFundMe campaign raises thousands for Morristown woman who lost leg after falling on train tracks

GoFundMe campaign raises thousands for Morristown woman who lost leg after falling on train tracks

0:29
Trial of Sen. Bob Menendez takes a weeklong break after jurors get stuck in elevator

Trial of Sen. Bob Menendez takes a weeklong break after jurors get stuck in elevator

1:30
Police: Man shot at Glen Rock’s Wilde Memorial Park

Police: Man shot at Glen Rock’s Wilde Memorial Park

0:33
Lauryn Hill's classic 'Miseducation' album tops list of best albums of all time

Lauryn Hill's classic 'Miseducation' album tops list of best albums of all time

0:23
Biden releasing 1 million barrels of gasoline from New Jersey, Main reserve in bid to lower prices at pump

Biden releasing 1 million barrels of gasoline from New Jersey, Main reserve in bid to lower prices at pump

0:22
Prosecutor: Remains found in Ridgefield Park creek identified as man who went missing in 1982

Prosecutor: Remains found in Ridgefield Park creek identified as man who went missing in 1982

New Jersey State Police 'never meaningfully grappled' with discriminatory practices, official finds

New Jersey State Police 'never meaningfully grappled' with discriminatory practices, official finds

0:24
Airbnb crackdown ahead of Memorial Day weekend to prevent ‘disruptive parties’

Airbnb crackdown ahead of Memorial Day weekend to prevent ‘disruptive parties’

0:43
36th Fleet Week kicks off in NYC with Salute to Ships at Fort Hamilton

36th Fleet Week kicks off in NYC with Salute to Ships at Fort Hamilton

1:31
What's Cooking: Uncle Giuseppe's Marketplace's spring frittata

What's Cooking: Uncle Giuseppe's Marketplace's spring frittata

1:21
Law allowing over-the-counter birth control now in effect in New Jersey

Law allowing over-the-counter birth control now in effect in New Jersey

0:39
DOT: Route 71 Bridge connecting Belmar to Avon-By-The-Sea expected to open May 31

DOT: Route 71 Bridge connecting Belmar to Avon-By-The-Sea expected to open May 31

1:31
Grill fire destroys Howell Township home; family escapes unharmed

Grill fire destroys Howell Township home; family escapes unharmed

0:44
Jersey Proud: Kinnelon woman cleans up cemetery ahead of Memorial Day

Jersey Proud: Kinnelon woman cleans up cemetery ahead of Memorial Day

0:45
Paterson holds special event to honor city’s senior citizen residents

Paterson holds special event to honor city’s senior citizen residents