Region Future

Shown, from left, in the back row are coach Bill Downs, Gavin Downs, Jalen Vander Woude, Gavin Van Kley, Tasso Tsagris, coach Eric Van Kley, and coach Scott MacLagan. Front row: Panayioti Tsagris, Adam Martinez, Cain Ochman, Cam Mowry, Aiden Walker, and Gabriel Bautista.

DEMOTTE — The Region Future AAU boy’s basketball team has only been playing together for less than a year, but it didn’t take long for them to gel.

With a squad of 2nd and 3rd graders playing up a division in The Courts 3rd/4th Grade Fall Session League and Tournament in Valparaiso, Region Future was able to win the league and tournament championship to qualify for the 2021 State Youth Basketball Championship. The team also won two one-day shootouts so far in their short history.

Region Future is made up of players from DeMotte (Gavin Van Kley and Jalen Vander Woude), Highland (Gavin Downs), Valparaiso (Cain Ochman, Tasso Tsagris, and Panayioti Tsagris), Dyer (Cam Mowry), Gary (Aiden Walker), and Hammond (Adam Martinez and Gabriel Bautista).

The team is coached by Bill Downs (Highland), Eric Van Kley (DeMotte), and Scott MacLagen (Valparaiso).

“It is amazing how the boys are all from different cities and towns of The Region, yet they all get along so very well on and off the court,” said coach Downs. “Some of the kids have played with or against each other over the last two years. Us coaches got the wheels going on forming an AAU team toward the end of the summer. We were able to put our ideas together and discuss our plans, as well, as our goals we wanted to help the kids achieve. We had an open tryout in October and have been together ever since.”

Region Future recently had its first team bonding event at the Van Kley’s residence in DeMotte.

“We believe in sticking together off the court as well,” added Downs. “It really helps build not only the relationships for the kids but helps the parents’ relationships too. It’s like we have become one big family.”

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