Bender selected for AAU nationals team

Edited by Chris Graham

Burke Bender of Waynesboro was one of 10 players recently selected to play for the Cave Spring 12U Nationals Team in Roanoke.

Only four players were invited from outside Roanoke; others are from Beckley, W.Va., Princeton, W.Va., and Radford. Bender and his teammates had their first training camp over this past weekend in Roanoke.

“I am honored to have been chosen for this team. I have some great teammates who can really play. I like them both on and off the court. I am learning a lot,” Bender said.

The team is coached by Ron Clary of Roanoke. This will be Coach Clary’s sixth trip to national championship tournaments. He has trained or coached 34 basketball players who have received scholarships during his coaching career. “Burke is a super athlete and brings a host of skills to the court,” Clary said. “He has the versatility to play either inside or outside. Burke is a hustler and has a great attitude. We are very fortunate to have him on our team.”

The team played in a warmup tournament on June 19 in Roanoke versus older age 13 teams and came away with the championship plaque.

They will travel to Hampton July 1-4 to battle for the 12U AAU DIII National Championships. Bender and his teammates will also compete at the 12U USBA National Championships in Myrtle Beach July 12-17.

Bender is the son of Bill and Lori Bender of Waynesboro. He will attend Kate Collins Middle School this year. He also excels on the soccer field as a player for powerhouse SOCA Travel Soccer Club out of Charlottesville.

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