10/17/2016 7:00 AM
The Nike Texas grassroots basketball scene just got better.
Nike D1 Premier and Nike RM5 (Mo Williams) have come together to create an Elite powerhouse for the best players in North Texas.
Based in Dallas-Fort Worth, Nike D1 Premier is the Elite boys arm of the D1 Basketball program. Nike RM5 Director of Elite Basketball Josh Woodson is excited about the opportunity that the programs kids will have combining with the Mo Williams run Nike RM5 EYBL program.
- D1 Premier was one of the most successful programs at PrimeTime's NBC in 2016
Mo Williams, recently retired from winning the 2016 NBA Championship, is focused on delivering the best Nike experience for Elite kids in Texas.
“As part of my retirement plan from the NBA, I wanted to focus on creating an environment in North Texas that included bringing the best people together on the grassroots side, as well as the educational side of basketball,” Williams said. “I feel like we have done that with what we have created with the combination of Nike RM5 Elite and Nike D1 Premier, as well as my commitment to Universal Academy on the educational side.”
“I have young children who love the game, we have made Dallas our home, and I want to provide a structure of mentors and leaders that can impact their lives and the lives of players in our community,” Williams added. “We have set all ego aside to create a new brand of Elite basketball in Texas. People think I have retired. I’m actually just getting started.”
“I feel as though we've always been in AAU basketball for all the right reasons and this is just another example of putting kids first,” Woodson said. “I have high expectations for Nike RM5 Elite and what we will be putting on the court this year. Coming together was a natural fit when you look at the pieces and the resources we both have. It fits perfectly."
Nike RM5 Elite will be joined by the 9U-14U Nike D1 Premier teams, and the 15U-17U Nike D1 Premier squads, which will compete on the Nike EYBL circuit for seasons to come.
CEO of Nike RM5 Elite, Tracey Bingham, spoke to the impact this merger will have on the national grassroots scene.
"We are excited to have the opportunity to join forces with the Nike D1 Premier guys and bringing their Elite groups under the umbrella. This just made everyone stronger and is a game changer in youth basketball in presenting an opportunity for the best players in North Texas to play with each other, be mentored by each other and to learn from each other,” Bingham said.
“It will not only impact Dallas, but all of Texas as this union has National implications in bringing in Top10 ranked teams at 14U, 13U, 12U and below and bringing in the defending 16U Nike Peach Invitational and GASO Champions from 2016, as well as the defending 15U BigFoot Las Vegas Champs.”
Nike RM5 Elite competed on Nike’s EYBL circuit in 2016 with players like recent Oregon commit VJ Bailey and LSU commit Galen Alexander. Before that, their teams featured players like Terrance Ferguson (Pro-Australia), Billy Preston (#20 ESPN Top 300) and Mark Vital (Baylor).
The combination of Nike RM5 Elite and Nike D1 Premier creates a powerhouse program that will compete both regionally and nationally. Nike D1 Premier was the most successful program to compete in PrimeTime’s 2016 National Basketball Championship, taking home trophies in six different boys’ divisions — including three Championships in the 5th, 6th and Varsity divisions.
"Elite basketball is very hard and to create a top-down synergy where families can see a pathway to play on the very best circuit in the world, the Nike EYBL, we felt this was a meeting of the minds and a disarming of all egos,” said Director of College Recruitment and CMO, Matt Steffe
“It’s always been about the kids and the opportunities that they can have in their futures, and from Josh to Tracey to Mo to Horace to Terrelle to Nike, we are all excited. I can truly say this is what we all felt would be the best situation for the kids to continue to get the exposure and notoriety that they are so deserving of. To see what the Nike EYBL has meant for the kids who played in it with us last year was amazing. It’s the best there is. I'm excited and looking forward to 2017 and beyond.”
Joining the Nike RM5 Elite team alongside Woodson and Steffe will be former NCAA D1 coach Terrelle Woody as Directory of Player Development and Bob Miller as the Director of Select Basketball. Horace Pope, who was a big addition last year, will continue to be the Nike RM5 Elite Program Director.
To follow all of the happenings with Nike RM5 Elite, follow them on Twitter and Instagram at @RM5Nike
Nike RM5 Elite will be one of many talented programs to be competing in the Southwest Elite Basketball League.
Starting this winter, the SWEBL will bring together the top programs in the southwest region to compete in a 12-game, 3-tournament league that focuses on getting players in the 5th-8th grade divisions as much exposure as possible.
For more on the Southwest Elite Basketball League, including registration deadlines, rules and dates, click here.