Brandon Johnson’s Dream Chasers Elite Basketball Organization 12-and-under AAU team is doing more than making its dreams come to fruition.
His troops appear to be racking up on championship hardware in the process.
“Our team has competed at high levels throughout the season,” Johnson told Sports Journalist Andre Johnson on Tuesday.
Much to the delight of the Dream Chasers’ faithful, this team formerly known as the Memphis Tigers undoubtedly has been nothing short of remarkable of late.
Last weekend, for instance, Johnson’s squad coasted to a championship win in the Blueprint Summer Jam Tournament then followed that up with the Legends Game AAU crown, proving once that this assortment of talented players will be forces to reckon with for some.
By and large, that the bulk of the Dream Chasers have been a close-knit bunch since the third grade, it would be hard pressed see Johnson and his staff breaking up this bunch, much less witnessing players scatter to other AAU programs.
Sorry, ain’t gone happen.
Just recently, the Dream Chasers claimed the Southeastern AAU state championship for a second consecutive year.
“The bond and the chemistry that this team has are unreal,” Johnson said. “It is more than I could ever imagine as a coach. It’s amazing to see 12 boys that consider themselves family. Their closeness is reflected on the court. Each of them is their brother’s keeper.”
And Johnson’s presence on the sideline, coupled with big-brother-like approach and compassion that includes getting the most out of his players is something by which this program’s strongest supporters don’t take lightly.
“Coach Brandon Johnson dedicates his time to coaching the class of 2022 for the Dream Chasers,” said Dream Chasers longtime supporter Andrea Dandridge. “He also develops student athletes across the city through his Operation Skills Training Academy.”
And, come this weekend in Memphis, Johnson will be clinging to lofty expectations that will include, among other things, his team proving yet again to be as good as advertised.
The Dream Chasers will be amongst over 100 teams throughout the region that will compete in this weekend’s Down By The Riverside Youth Basketball Tournament.
The event will take place June 10-12 and games will be played at Memphis University School, Lausanne Collegiate School, Highland Oaks, Lawrence School, Southwind High, and Emmanuel Methodist Church, according to spokesperson for the tournament.
DREAM CHASERS CURRENT ROSTER
Landen Armstrong, Center Hill
Cartier “Turtle” Beverly, Bellevue
Craig Cunningham, Christ the King
Bryce Dailey, Freeman
Philip Dotson, Arlington
Harold “HD3” Draper III, Freeman
Melvin Jackson, Schilling Farms
Armani McFadgon, Snowden
Darren Sharp, Houston
Zach Smith, Colonial
Eric Steward, Freeman
Dedrick Stone, Power Center
As usual, Johnson reiterated that he expects his players to demonstrate the same kind of poise and assertiveness that have given way to unyielding success as a unit and, most importantly, to fortify a countenance that suggests his troops will be destined to leave it all out on the floor.
“I expect for my boys to play aggressive defense and confidently execute the game plan,” Johnson said. “My expectation is that they will play together and be unselfish. But most of all, to have fun with (their) brothers.
“We are extremely blessed as an organization,” Johnson continued. “God saw fit to put us together and sustain us through adversity. We will always keep God first and give Him glory for all He has done for us.”
As Johnson was swift to acknowledge on Wednesday, he’s convinced that God has more in store for his team, which has been dubbed one of the finest in the nation in recent years.
Chances are, hoops-crazed fans around the country haven’t seen the last of these players.
“I enjoy watching these players grow and develop,” Johnson said. “I envision that each of them will someday receive a quality college education while playing D1 ball. My goal is to help each of them get there.”
Let alone, to enable them to continue chasing dreams in the process.
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Andre Johnson is a senior writer for MemphiSport. A 2000 graduate of the University of Memphis School of Journalism, Johnson covers the NBA Southwest Division from Dallas, Texas. To reach Johnson, send an email to email@example.com. Also, follow him on Twitter @AJ_Journalist.