AAU players learned to expect the unexpected over the course of this month.
Lyons sophomore guard Victoria Swift started her second AAU season last week as a member of the River Forest-based Chicago Hoops Express.
Swift played for Hoops Express last season, but made her debut this season with dozens of other Hoops Express players at the one-day Adidas Jamboree at Hidden Cove Sportsplex in Bourbonnais. Each team played three games featuring a running clock.
It was one of the first major tournaments for college recruiters to attend. Among the attendees were DePaul women’s coach Doug Bruno and coaches from Michigan State, Wisconsin, Notre Dame and Marquette.
Swift played on a team made up of random players from the club. Her team included a wide range of players from two seniors to one incoming freshman and even an eighth-grader.
But Swift will be assigned to a whole new team this weekend when she competes on one of two Hoops Express III teams in the fourth annual Midwest Summer Challenge Saturday and Sunday at the Bartlett Community Center.
Swift will play with Benet’s Kathleen Doyle and Trinity incoming freshman Maryam Wilcher. Other players on the temporary team include Erin Sinnott and Amri Wilder of Oswego, Nadia Miller of North Lawndale and Autumn Goodrum-Davis of Kenwood.
“I always look forward to it,” Swift said. “There is so much basketball for the month of July, but it’s fun being with the team. Our coaches say, ‘In July, you play to win.’”
Swift is one of two Lyons players competing for Hoops Express, but incoming freshman Frannie Corrigan did not play in Bourbonnais due to a previous commitment, Corrigan will return this weekend to play for another Hoops Express team, the 13U Jerald, which will feature Trinity incoming freshmen twins Amber and Arielle Reese and Montini’s Tiara Wallace.
After previously playing softball, Swift quit that sport last season after focusing on her first summer with Hoops Express. Before arriving at Lyons, Swift played AAU club basketball with Lisle-based Bulls Academy.
“I was looking for an even more intense, top-of-the-line program,” Swift said about the switch.
At least three of Swift’s Lyons teammates did not compete in Bourbonnais, starting with top returning scorer Ashanti Davis and Sara Beck (both with X-citement), and Kayla Morrissey (Illinois Connection).
After the tournament at Bartlett, Swift will return to her normally assigned Hoops Express III team for a tournament in Indianapolis. That team also includes Patricia Stritzel, the daughter of Trinity coach Ed Stritzel, who will miss the Bartlett tournament due to an injury.
The Reese twins and Wilcher also were assigned to that team accounting for four Blazers on that Hoops Express roster.
“I have been spending time working on my driving and getting to the basket,” Swift said. “And I’ve worked on my shooting.”