Team Breakdown won two major events in July and the guys from Florida were much more than the scoring punch in the backcourt. Power forward Keith Clanton stepped up and played a big role in his team's success.
The 6-foot-7, 210-pound power forward from Orlando (Fla.) Christian stepped up at the AAU Nationals and proved to be one of the difference makers in his team's national championship. His presence in the paint was impressive.
"It was real hard [to win the AAU Nationals and the Reebok Summer Championship] because we were tired and everyone didn't want to play but we had to stick it out," Clanton said.
"My legs were real tired. We had to stretch for like an hour or so just to be able to play. We always talk before each game and remind ourselves that we want to be the number one team in the nation and in order to do that, we had to just go and play and do what we know what to do."
Clanton, a three-star prospect, was good on the glass and was too much to handle down low for a number of teams. The big man said he felt like it was his time to step up and be a productive leader.
"I wanted to play harder because I feel like our guards – Kenny [Boynton] and Brandan [Knight] – carried us all along so I wanted to give a better effort since it was my last time playing AAU."
His efforts have attracted a number of coaches in the process. Clanton said South Florida, Miami, South Carolina, Central Florida, Bulter, Virginia and Auburn are interested in his service. All but Auburn has offered, he says.
Clanton is visiting South Carolina on Aug. 28 for an official visit. He has been to all of the Florida schools on his list unofficially and he said he plans on making a return trip to the local programs this fall.
"I'm pretty wide open still," he said. "I want to get a good education and play for a good coach in a good place to live. I want be able to earn my play when I get there."
Clanton said he hopes to make his decision before his senior season begins and will sign in November.