2021 Nebraska Target Chucky Hepburn Has a Big Summer Ahead
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2021 Nebraska Target Chucky Hepburn Has a Big Summer Ahead

May 27, 2019

This weekend, the CHI Health Center Omaha Convention Center played host to the annual Midwest Basketball Showcase, an AAU Tournament from boys and girls teams from third through 11th grade.

The tournament squeezed 20 courts under one roof and brought 273 teams from across the midwest to Omaha. One of those teams was Team Factory Gold 16U featuring 2021 Nebraska target Chucky Hepburn, the 6-foot-1 floor general from Bellevue West.

Factory capped off a 4-0 weekend with a 60-31 beatdown in the championship game against Team Nebraska Express on Sunday evening. They won their games by an average of 22.8 points. Hepburn has taken home the title in the Midwest Basketball Showcase four years in a row, winning last season with Team Factory and the previous two with Nebraska Hoops Elite.

“It feels good,” Hepburn told Hail Varsity. “This is the last tournament we’ll have here at the Midwest Showcase since we probably won’t play next year, but it feels good to get that belt and just show out for our city.”

Hepburn led Factory in scoring, assists and steals in the tournament, averaging 16.0 points on 55.8 percent from the field and 80 percent from the free-throw line, 6.0 assists, 5.3 rebounds and 4.5 steals. Hepburn is dunking every chance he gets on breakaways and all threw down this dunk in the halfcourt against South Dakota Network on Saturday,

Hepburn had 21 points on 7-of-9 from the field and 7-of-9 from the line, seven assists, six rebounds, five steals and just one turnover in that game, a 59-37 win for Factory.

Factory went 23-2 this spring with tournament titles at the Prep Hoops #Hrdwrkszn Kick Off in Council Bluffs and Battle of the Lakes in Minneapolis. They went 8-0 in the first two sessions of the Under Armour Association Rise, the second division of the UAA. Both losses came in the first weekend and Factory hasn’t lost since with Hepburn setting the tone.

“The first few games we had five new players, and I knew it was going to take some time for us to get set,” Hepburn said. “But once we started blowing teams out and playing with that confidence I knew we were going to be a tough team to beat.”

With May coming to a close, the AAU season will take a break in June as players head back to their high school teams to compete in tournaments and summer leagues. Hepburn has a busy month ahead of him. At this points, he is scheduled to take an unofficial visit to Wisconsin on June 7 then will participate in the Badgers’ elite camp on June 8.

He’ll take an unofficial visit to Nebraska on June 15. Hepburn had a great relationship with the previous coaching staff and assistant coach Michael Lewis — who just joined Mick Cronin’s staff at UCLA — and had to start over once Fred Hoiberg took over in Lincoln. Hoiberg retaining assistant coach Armon Gates — who has taken over for Lewis as the lead in-state recruiter — made things easier for Hepburn.

“I liked Coach Hoiberg when I first talked to him and I’ve always been a fan of Coach Gates, he’s been my guy since day one,” Hepburn said.

Hepburn said he’s looking forward to being around the team in Lincoln and is hoping to see “good spirits and good team chemistry.”

Hepburn will also head to Rockford, Illinois, the fourth weekend of June to participate in a team camp with Bellevue West, which is a live recruiting period event under the new recruiting calendar.

Hepburn said the Creighton Bluejays have started to pick up their recruitment of him recently. He’s also heard from Purdue, Iowa, Minnesota, TCU and Arizona State. Last summer, Hepburn participated in Purdue’s elite camp.

Hepburn’s profile is just starting to raise nationally, but he’s been a star locally for a long time. After the championship game, he took the time to take a picture with a younger player, a common occurrence for the 16-year-old.

“It feels good because it makes me feel that Omaha’s got my back throughout my path,” Hepburn said. “I’m just grateful for that and grateful that they know who I am.”

As of now, Nebraska is Hepburn’s only offer, but that will likely change come July. He has a big summer ahead of him.

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