Slam Dunk Fun: AAU basketball national championships begin in June

As the summer heats up, so does amateur basketball around the country. And nowhere is the competition hotter than at Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex. The nation's top high school basketball players will compete in The Milk House at the country's No. 1 venue for amateur and professional sporting events for the right to call themselves national champions during the Amateur Athletic Union Boys' and Girls' Basketball National Championships, June 23-Aug. 13.

The AAU, one of the largest non-profit, volunteer organizations in the country, annually showcases the top prep basketball talent from coast to coast at its national championship events. Among the NBA stars to compete at Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex as AAU stars are Houston Rockets center Yao Ming, Phoenix Suns forward Amare Stoudemire and New Jersey Nets forward Richard Jefferson. In all, more than 30 current NBA players have battled for championship titles at The Milk House during their AAU heydays.

The AAU Basketball National Championships have also established themselves as the most popular basketball events for scouting top high school talent. Hundreds of NCAA Division I college basketball coaches crowd the baselines of each of the six Milk House courts, previewing future NCAA standouts.

This summer's marquee boys events include the 17-under AAU Boys Super Showcase (July 22-26), 16U AAU Boys Super Showcase (July 19-22) and both the AAU Boys Junior and Senior National Championships (July 27-Aug. 1). The girls take the floor July 6-12 for the U17, U18 and U19 AAU Girls National Championships.

In 1996, upon completion of the new sports complex, Walt Disney World Resort partnered with the AAU to host the organization's amateur events. Later that year, AAU headquarters were relocated to the Orlando area -- just a few miles from Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex.

For more information on the AAU Basketball National Championships at Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex, call 407/934-7200 or visit disneyworldsports.com and aausports.org.