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2014 Player/Parent Meeting
Co Founder Lu Jones: Buckeye Prep Report
Co-Founder Ed McCants
Youth Director Marcus McCants
Hidden Gems Hoopfest in Marion, Ohio!
Hidden Gems Now In Marion Area & Surrounding Communities
Marion Star 2013
2014 AAU Tournament Schedule & Fees
Hidden Gems Recent Placement
Hidden Gems Magazine
Ohio Hidden Gems

Home of the  2014 National Club Challenge Champions


 16U National Runner Up 

6 Freshman 4 Sophs! We're Here NW Ohio!

Click Tourney logo for overall standings and results


1. Hidden Gems

2. Indiana Elite Swish

3. Who got Game

4. River Valley Hoops

5. Indiana Legends

6. Indiana Blizzard

7. Garden Sparks Magic

8. Nu Vision Ballers

9. Hoosier Hoops

10. Souther Indiana Select

11. Southern Indiana Stars

12. Ohio Legacy

13. New Albany

14. Ohio Ballers

15. Illinois Raptors

16. SE  Indiana Extreme

17. So. Indiana Stars

18. So. Indiana Heat

19. Indiana Pulse

20. Kentucky Elite

21. Central Ohio

22. Columbus Boomers

23. E. Indiana Travelers

24. Hurricane Select

25. Kimbrough Ballers

26. Rebel Dawgs



Full Swing
Hidden Gems Documentary Spring 2014

2014 Spring Hidden Gems Showcase Highlights:


To Northwest Ohio's newest Hidden Gems All Star teams. Our goal is to assist in the improvement of every aspect of the athlete's game through varied drills and methods. Individual work in the areas of cardiovascular work, fast-twitch muscle fiber increasing plyometric work, varied levels and types of ball handling work, and shooting drills of all shapes and sizes.

With over 120 college placement stories, Ohio Hidden Gems has secured the top talent all over the area. I Edward T. McCants, Co-Founder of Hidden Gems and Bruce Pearl disciple, I emphasize a high octane offensive and defensive prowess. The philosophies I bring to the area kids has proved to be a top in the country in the recent years for NCAA I success & assisted me in becoming A Division I NCAA All American. Most importantly our Hidden Gems will learn the value of a Division I work ethic, mental toughness & the educational opportunites that is required.

Thank you to the area local business' that are supporting our program. Best of Luck to all the Hidden Gems in tourney play! Focus, play hard & shock the basketball world is what we are about! This is the home of the Cinderella Slipper! 


Coming Soon... 

Upcoming Events:



Congrats to the Ohio Hidden Gems 16U for their National Club Challenge Runner Up placement over the weekend. We know where we should be and will be hungry to claim our Championship at the end of the summer on the National Stage. All Hidden Gems teams contributed to the overall Club Championships. We proved that we were the #1 Club while representing Ohio against top prestige programs in Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio & Illinois. Proud Moment for the Hidden Gems Program.


Buckeye Prep Featured the premiere AAU programs from around the state that compete for state supremacy. Our players were able to play against the top players from around the state and competed on the highest level. As the Co-Founder of Hidden Gems I am proud at the group of kids for their efforts, this was a wake up call for our area kids. Although they were able to compete and win and placed them selves in positions to win several games, this is only the start. I want my guys hungry, I want my guys to starve as it only adds to the realization of the work ethic needed for our kids to live their dreams. We have the best talent in the Northwest Ohio area, and we will not run from competition to say we are winners. We will be champions in time, but it comes with a cost, a cost that all champions must endure at some point in their career.


This summer is serious!

No Practice Tuesday

Please Call your coach for Individual workouts & Thursday agenda.


If players are unable to make it to their scheduled practice you either should come to another session or make arrangements with your coach. Individual workouts will be issued based on the combine performances & the 1st weeks games.


The workout log has been updated to log your progress. 



2014 OYB Hidden Gems Hoop Fest, April 25th-27th "Marions 1st AAU Basketball Tournament"


MRB Point Guard Camp coming 2nd week in June 2014 (guest speakers Scoonie Penn & Shawn Dyer)


MRB Big Man Camp coming in July


Ohio Hidden Gems Youth Basketball League (grades 1-6) Marion Ohio, 2014 coming this spring & summer.




Congratulations to Hidden Gem Shawn & Shawnta Dyer: The Dyer's will be inducted into the Hidden Gems Hall of Fame & will soon join the long list of professional ranks either NBA, WNBA or Europe. With their Senior years ahead of them these Gems are no longer hidden! Diamond Status. Click Link to see full article from Shawn Dyer scored 31 points to lead his squad to the National Championship while twin sister Shawnta had her first Sweet Sixteen appearance. Shawn will be a guest speaker this summer at the point guard camp, and will be assisting with coaching through out the summer!





Looking abroad for a chance


 Ohio players share different experiences playing overseas


 Mar. 21, 2014   |




 Wisconsin-Milwaukee's Ed McCants, of Marion, pic shown warming up before an NCAA Tournament game in 2005. After four years of college ball, he went to Europe to play profesionally overseas. / AP
Ohio State's William Buford played four yaers at Ohio State before taking his game overseas. He recently moved back to the United States to play for the Canton Charge with the NBADL. / Paul Vernon/AP

The nation is filled with NBA hopefuls. But for those playing Division I college basketball, a spot in the pros is a longshot. Fortunately, many have the option to take their talents to the European professional leagues.

Marion Catholic graduate Ed McCants, Toledo Libbey product William Buford and Chillicothe’s Anthony “Humpty” Hitchens all have stories to tell of being a stranger in a strange land where the game is the only familiar element.

The dreamer

After leading Chillicothe to a Division II state title in 2008 against Buford’s and his team, Hitchens — the Cavaliers’ all-time leading scorer — split his college career between Akron and James Madison. In his senior season, Hitchens hired an agent who asked if he was interested in broadening his interests to include Europe. Hitchens said the idea intrigued him and soon found himself in Germany.

Hitchens currently is playing for BG Göttingen, a team that picked him up late in the season to try and win enough games to prevent getting kicked out of the league. Hitchens said the league is a tier down from where he played in 2013, but he is far from being discouraged at his career choice.

“It’s truly a blessing,” Hitchens said. “I never wanted an actual job. It’s definitely hard being over here without family and friends. It’s a totally different culture. You have to change who you are to fit in. Not everybody is built for it — sometimes I feel I’m not built for it — but I’m here playing basketball for a check.

“When payday comes, you like this.”

Before teams fly any American over to play, they often ask numerous questions hoping to weed out the uncommitted players so the team avoids sending a homesick player back after only two weeks.

Solitude is the hardest aspect of living overseas.

“When I’m home, I’m never in the house,” Hitchens said. “When I’m here, I’m in the house by myself. That’s a challenge. Other guys on the team, they have a job or maybe are still in school. Some have a wife and kids.”

There’s no timetable for Hitchens as to when enough will be enough, but he said he would love to return to playing in the states. After BG Göttingen’s season concludes in a couple weeks, Hitchens will begin training for a showcase in Las Vegas.

“I just have to go full force this year and when I go home not give up,” Hitchens said. “I need to get ready for that showcase in Vegas and see what happens. Whatever I want to put in to this I’m going to get out of it.”

Sharing the dream

McCants spent four years playing in Bulgaria, Uruguay, Italy, Hungary and Germany’s upper tiers, but he never got to the highest level, the Euroleague Team. A Euroleague Team is made up of the country’s best players competing against other European countries’ best.

After leaving his daughter to attend college out of state, McCants was motivated to play overseas and improve his game with the intent to impress scouts at an NBA training camp and provide a luxurious lifestyle for his daughter. Unfortunately, McCants was greeted by some harsh reality.

“I had gotten several workouts and performed well, but there are only 400 jobs for the best league in the world,” McCants said in an email. “It was an accomplishment I did not realize initially. Upon traveling overseas and seeing how big basketball was across the world did I truly realize how lucky I was to have gotten considered for draft camps and developmental leagues.”

However, McCants isn’t bitter. Basketball allowed him to see many parts of the world and, more importantly, make connections with Lu Jones after McCants was featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated in 2005. After retiring from playing basketball in 2009, McCants co-founded Hidden Gems with Jones. McCants gives Jones credit for being the visionary behind a program that started by assisting young players only in Ohio and expanding to programs in Pittsburgh, West Virginia, Michigan and Indiana.

“I never got the opportunity to play in the NBA, but I was right there in the thick of it and I can say I was invited to play amongst the world’s best,” McCants said. “The hard work and dedication (provided me) some amazing journeys across the world, and shockingly, the NCAA scene was the time of my life. I was able to graduate college as an African-American where only one in five who start college actually graduate.

“So I feel good about what I was able to accomplish while following the NBA dream. I currently live my dream by using my experience to motivate and inspire the young basketball players of Ohio.”

Living the dream

Buford was one who quickly saw his decision to play overseas pay off.

After starting all four years at Ohio State and being a game away his senior year from playing in the 2012 national championship, Buford went undrafted in the NBA draft.

He weighed his options and decided to take his talents to Club Obradoiro in Spain’s Liga ACB, the highest-tiered professional basketball league in that country. Buford considered the league second in talent only to the NBA.

The 2009 Mr. Basketball used his one season overseas to improve and mature his game enough to be drafted by the Santa Cruz Warriors in California in the 2013 D-League draft.

The 6-foot-5 guard’s playing career then came full circle March 8 when he was traded back to his home state to Canton.

Buford said he did not have any issues overseas other than struggling to adjust to the different style of basketball in Europe.

“It was just being away from home,” Buford said. “It’s like going to college. It’s the same difference. Learning to adjust took some time, but basketball is basketball. You just have to adjust to the different rules and learn what style your coaches like.”

Buford said he was fortunate to play overseas because it helped him get one step closer to his dream of becoming an NBA player. With everything developing so quickly, Buford is sure his phone call will come, but he is not concerned with how soon or how far away that might be.

“It’s a marathon, it’s not a sprint,” Buford said. “It’s bound to happen. It’s going to happen. I’m not thinking by this age, I need to be at this stage. I’m just playing basketball and having fun.”




Thank's Moe for the new song. We are editing the 1st 2 week highlights into it after this weekend.




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