Maryland 3D and Mid-Atlantic Select have established themselves as two of the top travel programs in the DMV in the past decade, helping to send a host of players on to the collegiate and professional ranks.
Now, they’re joining forcesunder a new banner: 3D Select.
Both sides said the merger will improve their ability to develop players from the elementary school level and up, as well as reach a wider pool of players geographically. Typically, MAS pulled its players from Montgomery and Prince George’s County, while 3D’s recruiting base usually includes the Baltimore area.
“We can learn a lot from them and they can learn a lot from us,” Maryland 3D Director Dave Thurston said this week. “We think it’s going to be perfect.”
3D and MAS are the second significant AAU merger since the end of the summer. In August, Bump N Run announced it would be joining up with DC Blue Devils and playing on the Under Armour Association circuit.
MAS Director James Lee said the two programs initially broached the subject back in the spring after 3D was awarded a Nike sponsorship – a potential sponsor for the new program has yet to be determined – but chose to hold off until after the AAU season.
“We started having more conversations in August,” Lee said, “and then we just agreed that we thought it was something that needed to be done on both ends. We thought we would balance each other; we all bring professionalism and have the same mission and same mindset as far as the kids and dealing with the parents and trying to help the community.”
Prominent MAS alumni include Malcolm Miller (Holy Cross/Boston Celtics), Jamal Olasawere (LIU/Virtus Roma [Italy]), Rodney Glasgow (VMI/Monthey [Switzerland]), Zaid Hurst (Quinnipiac), Garland Owens (Boston College), Zach Thomas (Bucknell) and Emmanuel Omogbo (Colorado State). Maryland 3D has recently produced the likes of Michael Campanaro (Wake Forest Football/Baltimore Ravens), Four McGlynn (Towson), Matt Miller (New Hampshire), Ryan Luther (Pitt), Drew Edwards (Providence), Evan Phoenix (Central Connecticut State), Nico Clareth (Siena) and Bryce Thurston (Mount St. Mary’s), among others.
3D also had four of its coaches obtain Division I college jobs this offseason: Emmit Davis (Navy), Jansen McMillan (Coppin State), Matt Miller (New Hampshire) and Trevor Quinn (Loyola).
Both sides agree that their respective credentials will enhance their ability to attract players.
“We can get college coaches to watch us play,” Thurston said. “James Lee has the connections and the track record of getting so many talented players to the next level, that he can call a college coach and say, ‘Come watch us play, we have these seven or eight players and they fit what you do.’”
Both Lee and Thurston emphasized the importance of being able to start working with players at a younger age and bring them up through the 3D Select pipeline.
“For me, the merger is more for having a situation where everybody has the same mindset and more manpower,” Lee said. “We’ve always had pretty solid teams at 15U, 16 and 17, but we haven’t always had the manpower to have 9 through 14-and-Under.”
Said Thurston: “[Lee’s] got a stable of young, confident, passionate coaches, which really helps us, because we really want to refocus on the elementary and middle school programs. We’ve had much more success when we’ve been able to take a team from third grade, fourth grade through and been able to keep a core group of kids together and bring them all the way through. Those are not only the most enjoyable teams to coach, but they’ve been the teams that have performed the best.”
3D Select will host its first joint event on September 26 – a showcase for Division II and Division III prospects at Leadership Through Athletics in Landsdowne, Md.