Wellington Wolves Send 19 Teams To Holiday Weekend Tourney

Coach Matt Colin and assistant coaches Phillip Peoples and Tony Stefano with the winning third-grade boys team. Photo by Chelsea Saint Juste/Blueprint Productions

The Wellington Wolves travel basketball program sent a contingent of 19 basketball teams to Lake Buena Vista for the AAU Memorial Day Classic (May 25-27), held at the ESPN Wide World of Sports. In all, more than 215 young basketball players, from third graders to 11th graders, represented the Wellington Wolves in the three-day tournament.

Teams in the tournament traveled from California, Georgia, Virginia, North Carolina, Puerto Rico and, of course, Florida to compete.

The three-day schedule included an opportunity for the basketball players, the coaches and family members to visit Universal Studios on Saturday night. Making the trip to Orlando for this tournament has become a regular event on the Wellington Wolves’ annual calendar.

Of the 19 teams from the Wellington Wolves, the most successful squad was one of its youngest teams, the third-grade boys team, which was coached by Wellington High School boys varsity basketball coach Matt Colin. His two assistant coaches were Tony Stefano and Phillip Peoples. During the weekend tournament, the team went undefeated (4-0). In their championship game on Monday, May 27, the Wellington Wolves’ third-grade boys team dominated Florida Hoop Dreams of America, 40-2.

Colin had strong words of praise for his young squad.

“I’m incredibly proud of this group of eight kids, who worked extremely hard and showed tremendous growth throughout the season,” said Colin, who also singled out A’Darren Calloway, Miles Herrick-Colin, Myles Peoples and Denny Ruiz for their big contributions to the team’s overall success.

“A’Darren consistently served as our top scorer throughout the weekend,” Colin said. “Even when he faced foul trouble and injury and wasn’t scoring during the championship game, he contributed in other crucial ways — defending, rebounding, making key passes — to help secure our victory.”

Herrick-Colin and Peoples were the top rebounders for the team. Herrick-Colin led in assists, and Ruiz came off the bench to make a number of key shots throughout the weekend.

Five other Wellington Wolves squads reached their respective finals. In the boys 11U/Fifth Grade Division 3 Silver Championship, the Wellington Wolves lost to the Lobos (Puerto Rico), 30-24. In the girls Sixth Grade/Division 3 Championship, the Wellington Wolves fell to Team Legit (Georgia), 25-20. In the girls Eighth Grade/Division 1/Division 2 Gold Championship, the Wellington Wolves were outlasted by the Florida Comets Gold, 60-33. In the boys 15U/Ninth Grade Division I Gold Championship, the Wellington Wolves were defeated by SCE UA Rise (Florida), 56-51. In the boys 17U/11th Grade Division I Gold Championship, the Wellington Wolves were outscored by TNBA South Select, 71-55.