Last week, Under Armour kicked off its annual grassroots showcase event spotlighting the next generation of basketball elites – aptly named Elite 24.
Elite 24 is powered by UA Next – an ecosystem of programs geared towards young team sport athletes who are on a journey to unlock the best version of themselves. Focused on unlocking access at every level from entry to elite, UA Next provides world-class experiences through first class coaching and next level competition, which was on full display this past weekend in Atlanta, Georgia.
“The future of sports is dependent on how we nurture and support the next generation of athletes now. Elite 24 seeks to empower these young athletes to realize their full potential and feel inspired to follow their passions and pursue their athletic ambitions – whether that’s in the NBA, WNBA, or elsewhere.”
-Trey Evans, Director, Team Sports at Under Armour
This year’s event gathered 48 of the nation’s top high school basketball prospects – 24 girls and 24 boys – in Midtown Atlanta, where they were all challenged to Protect This House as they worked in teams over the course of the four days to get stronger together.
The all-star group had a jam-packed week full of dynamic on-court action in an electric outdoor setting, balanced with ample time for recovery and reflection.
On Wednesday, the group arrived at The Renaissance Atlanta Midtown where they participated in a uniform content shoot, followed by a rooftop welcome party and visit from world-renowned mentalist Max Major to hype them up for an exciting few days ahead.
On Thursday and Friday, the athletes got into the thick of training with hours of practice and scrimmages where their determination and competitive natures were put to the test. This was followed by recovery lounge time and focus groups, featuring manual therapists, recovery boots and Theragun massages. The athletes were also treated to a group outing to Bowlero, taking the competition from the courts to the bowling lanes.
In their final action-packed day, all the training, sweat and camaraderie that that went into their time at Elite 24 culminated in showcase games broadcasted on ESPNU, where they had the chance to put everything they learned into action alongside their teammates at the Atlantic Station Pinnacle Lot. The second annual Girls Game saw outstanding performances from [X team], who took home the title, while the [X team] dominated the Boys Game, putting up impressive numbers with high-flying dunks and killer crossovers.
Elite 24 has introduced some of the NBA’s best over the years. Since its start, six former Elite 24 players have been selected No. 1 overall in the NBA Draft (John Wall, 2010; Kyrie Irving, 2011; Anthony Bennett, 2013; Markelle Fultz, 2017; DeAndre Ayton, 2018; Zion Williamson, 2019), while 20 have been top five selections. In total, 106 players that have participated in Elite 24 have been drafted by NBA franchises.
Some of the NBA’s current top players, such as UA Athletes Nah’Shon “Bones” Hyland and Will Barton, made appearances at Elite 24 again this year, cheering on the group for their work on and off the court.
These UA Athletes have been in all these young players’ shoes and are well positioned to offer them tips and tricks for navigating the jump from high school to collegiate level basketball, and eventually reaching the pinnacle of their careers in the NBA and WNBA.
The group was outfitted in UA apparel from head to toe that fueled their style on and off the court, with a variety of looks that offered both performance and recovery benefits. Inspired by the suit that UA Athlete Stephen Curry wore on his own draft day, the athletes were given their own pairs of the Draft Day Curry 1 Low FloTro, alongside the Men’s Curry Draft Day Shorts and a Dreamathon tee.
Of course, the week wouldn’t have been complete without a tunnel walk. Inspired by the NBA teams and the runway that they’ve created through their own tunnel walks over the years, the athletes took turns showing off their best off-court ‘fits and unique personal styles in true Elite 24 fashion.
[Insert full list of Elite 24 participants or link to Elite 24 website once roster is up]
To learn more about Elite 24 and UA Next programming, check out: https://underarmournext.com/basketball/elite-24/