The 2016 Southern Stampede’s backcourt should be one to watch for in the EYBL circuit.
Based in Atlanta, Georgia, the Southern Stampede is a NIKE EYBL affiliate program founded, operated and coached by Aljami Durham Sr. The group was started in 2003 and has become a notable team in the circuit.
Leading the squad are guards Aljami Durham Jr. and Collin Sexton, two juniors ranked in ESPN’s Top 100.
Durham, who attends Berkmar High School in Lillburn, Georgia, has committed to Indiana.
“I felt like coach (Tom) Crean put the most effort into recruiting me,” Durham said regarding his decision.
Durham said he can play comfortably now that he is committed to Indiana. Although his future is secure, he plans to work hard and continue to stand out.
A talented ball-handler, the 6-foot-4 Durham uses his ambidexterity to throw off defenses while attacking the basket.
“I can do a little bit of everything,” Durham said.
He also hopes to get stronger, a goal he’d like to achieve before joining the Hoosiers.
As far as the EYBL season goes, Durham is excited to play with Sexton, a good friend who shares the same goal.
“Coming into the season, I feel like we are slept on, so we are coming in with a chip on our shoulder for our last AAU season,” Durham said about playing with Sexton, who attends Pebblebrook High School in Mableton, Georgia.
Sexton is uncommitted but has offers from as many as 15 programs, including Alabama, Florida, Iowa State, Texas and California.
A tough player to defend, the 6-foot-2 Sexton thrives in high-energy moments.
With a high basketball IQ, he requires little reaction time to make the right choices on the court. He often looks to remain aggressive and push the ball, and flourishes while finishing through contact.
Having learned from their AAU experiences that they must be ready to compete every time they step on the court, both players seem well prepared to compete in the EYBL, one of the country’s toughest high school leagues.
Durham’s father is not only the CEO of Southern Stampede but is the head coach of the 17U team.
Durham has the added stress of playing for his father as a member of the 17U team.
“It’s not weird at all, he is my No. 1 critic. He is hard on me but keeps me accountable,” Durham said.
Despite similar skill sets, Durham and Sexton see their talents meshing rather than clashing, and neither will feel the need to outshine the other.
“We are going to play off of each other and strive for success,” Sexton said.
The pair have developed a strong chemistry by playing together at various camps and in numerous leagues.
“We are an energetic, scoring pair and will be able to score from all around the court,” Durham said.
Collectively, Durham and Sexton want the team to remain highly ranked and do well in the best tournaments on the circuit. Individually, each hopes to be invited to Nike Elite camps and play in big events, such as the Jordan Brand Classic, Elite 24 and the McDonald’s All-American Game.
How are they going to get there?
“Showing (that) every game is important and playing hard every minute you are out there,” Sexton said.