Warner Robins All-Stars raising money for return to nationals

WARNER ROBINS, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Warner Robins All-Stars, an Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) and Youth Basketball of America (YBOA) affiliated club that started in 2012, plans to send five teams (4th, 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th grades) to Orlando July 5-11 to compete in the YBOA National Championship.

The week-long trip will cost each team about $8,000, so for the whole organization, the bill will be around $40,000.

41NBC spent some time Tuesday with the sixth grade boys team at a practice off Elberta Road.

“Warner Robins All-Stars is a great organization to be apart of,” AJ Grane says. “Trying to keep the kids out of the streets.”

The kids come from all over town.

“Northside Middle,” Tre Grane says.

“Warner Robins Middle,” Dmarion Sturn says.

They trade in school allegiances to be part of Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) teams like this one.

“We had problems at first,” assistant head coach Sean Lester says.

“We just didn’t know how each other played,” Tre Grane says. “We didn’t trust our players yet. We had to gain our chemistry.”

Four months later, these rivals turned teammates have meshed into a team bound for nationals.

“The Warner Robins All-Stars have sent other teams to nationals before,” AJ Grane says. “But the sixth graders are actually the first team to win a state championship, so we’ll be representing the state of Georgia.”

To fund their trip to Orlando, they’re reaching out to the community.

“Every little bit helps,” AJ Grane says.

After all, they won’t be playing basketball the whole time.

“We can still have fun on beaches and water parks and stuff like that,” Tre Grane says.

As for the tournament itself, the coaches are a bit nervous.

“Well I’ve heard that they have 16 courts, and they’re all going at one time,” Lester says.

The kids are as confident as any all-star should be.

“If we share the ball and make some good shots, we’ll probably win the whole thing,” Sturn says.

The kids and their parents will host a fundraiser breakfast Saturday from 8 to 10 a.m. at Fatz Cafe. A fish fry will follow at 10:30 at Advance Auto Parts.

Click here to donate to the sixth grade team’s GoFundMe page. If you’d like to help in some other way, like donating your facilities for practice, call (478) 714-0289.

Categories: Across Georgia Sports, Houston County, Sports

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