By MARCUS HELTON
BOWIE – Chris Lawson saw a void that needed filling.
After travelling to amateur showcase basketball tournaments throughout the country, the long-time basketball coach discovered a disappointing common thread in the media coverage.
“You’d see the video cameras or you’d see the reporters,” Lawson recalled, “But at the end of the day, when you go back to those websites and check on things, it was really – in my personal opinion – somewhat biased in that it was just a select few teams that were getting the attention.”
With DMVelite.com, Lawson hopes to rectify that. Launched this summer, DMV Elite aims to promote boys’ and girls’ AAU, Travel Team, Middle School and High School events in the D.C., Maryland and Virginia (DMV) area, helping players gain exposure while facing off against top-quality competition.
“You know, this is a hope and a dream scenario, anyway, for most kids and coaches,” Lawson said of showcase basketball. “So, what better way to help them become more motivated to reach that hope and that dream than to show them themselves and give them some feedback on themselves, while at the same time giving them exposure among college coaches and high school coaches that may want to recruit them? So, we’re really about trying to help the youth market – especially the AAU, travel teams and amateur teams market – to raise the awareness for as many kids as possible.”
Although it is an AAU-recognized organization, DMV Elite will not sponsor a team. Instead, it will focus solely on providing promotion to area teams and players. Lawson – who founded the Bowie Xpress AAU program – is stepping away from coaching to focus on the company.
The organization held its first event in August at the Bowie City Gymnasium.
“Everything we do, we’re showcasing talent,” Lawson said. “So, what we’re trying to do is put together quality events: quality officiating, quality facilities, quality business dealings and administration or getting teams registered through our web site and loading up rosters with automated technology, having the media coverage through photography and video of kids and games. We also want to eventually kind of come up with our own DMV rankings. We want to be able to push out what’s happening in the DMV for DMV kids and for teams that come to the area to challenge DMV kids. So, we want to be a promotions company, basically.”