TNA Heat headed to National AAU tournament in Gatlinburg

Published 2:09 pm Thursday, July 18, 2019

The TNA Heat Basketball team closes out its season at an AAU National Tournament this weekend in Gaitlinburg, Tennessee.

The 12-and-under AAU team will compete in the national tournament Friday through Sunday. TNA is ranked No. 1 in the state and recently earned a national ranking.

TNA head coach and Wallace Community College-Selma Athletic Marcus Hannah thanked the WCCS for use of its facilities.

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“I would like to give thanks to WCCS, Dr. James Mitchell and Dr. Donitha Griffin for allowing AAU teams in Selma and Dallas County to practice and keeping young men and women off the streets and keeping them busy,” Hannah said.

Hannah said the TNA Heat squad is having one of its best seasons. The 11-member squad has won six of seven AAU tournaments played in the Queen City,  Montgomery, Tuscaloosa and New Orleans.

“All of the kids have done an outstanding job,” Hannah said. “There are several team members that have stood out this year.”

Hannah compared several members on the squad to current NBA All-Stars and future Basketball Hall of Famers.

“Janyga Rivers is one of our most mild mannered athletes,” Hannah said. “Football is his sport, but he gives us effort in basketball. Our most improved player is Myles Nix, he’s the  youngest on the team. Titus Lanier Jr. is our floor general. The young man keeps us all in line, including Coach Titus and myself.”

Hannah compared several members on the squad to current NBA All-Stars and future Basketball Hall of Famers.

“Tristan Walls is our Draymond Green, he’s the most athletic kid on our team,” Hannah said. “He leads our team in offensive rebounding and one of our best free throw shooters.  “Derrick Smith is our LeBron James. He can play the one all the way to the  five and can defend players one through five. He’s one of our explosive scorers and one of the best coachable kids I’ve ever seen.”

Hannah, a former basketball player at WCCS, continued on about the TNA Heat standouts.

“Joshua Davis is our Klay Thompson, we call him the sniper or our floor spacer,” Hannah said. “He lead our team in three pointers and is our most cerebral player. Eric Smith is our Anthony Davis. He’s our leading rebounder and leading shot blocker. He’s very quiet, but makes a loud sound on the floor.”

Hannah’s son, Miles Hannah, leads TNA Heat in scoring at 12.2 points, with a high of 28 during the season.  Hannah compares him to Stephen Curry and Kyrie Irving.

“Miles can score in many ways and has tremendous handles, which allows him to get anywhere on the floor,” Hannah said. “Even though Miles leads the team in steals, he has to work on his on-ball defense.”

Hannah also credited assistant coach Titus Ryan Sr. for the team’s success.

“Adjectives can’t describe what kind of person Coach Titus is,” Hannah said. “He’s humble and selfless, you don’t see those types of people in the world that often. If  more people in the world were like him,  we’d have little issues in the world. I want to thank him.”

Hannah said he was grateful to the player’s families for their support of the team throughout the season.

“The TNA Heat would like to say thanks to everyone,” Hannah said.

Hannah also sees a bright future for the players in Middle School this season.

We’re looking forward to to these young men going into middle school playing on the next level,” Hannah said. “Selma and Dallas County has a total of 14 AAU teams. You’ve got great athletes participating in football, basketball and track. I urge you to support these school with your time and money, they desperately need it.”

Here are the other TNA leading scorers: Erick Smith (10.2),  Joshua Davis (9.3), Derick Smith (8.1),  Tristan Walls (5.8) and Titus Lanier Jr. (5.3).