Part 2: ‘The AAU Life’ – MVP mom
LA CROSSE, Wis (WKBT) — Last week turned out to be typical for Julie Platten. On Tuesday she said goodbye to her 16-year old son at the airport in La Crosse and Friday, and said a hello from the stands in Milwaukee.
“I always say we do not get family vacations, our vacations are AAU tournaments,” said Platten.
2015 marks year five in Platen and her son Kobe King’s adventures on the Wisconsin Playground Warriors. And for those who keep an interest in the team, the single mother of three is known as the official Wisconsin Playground “Road Warrior.”
“I do not know how she does it because I sometimes get tired just listening to the stories of where they have been and the travel that they have had,” said Central Boys Basketball head coach Todd Fergot. “What a great lady, Julie has done a wonderful job raising her family. She never complains and always has a smile on her face.”
“I think she has been that bridge for him to get across to the next path, and just making sure he is getting to all those opportunities that are there for him,” said Central assistant coach Quartell Roberson.
Outside of the time commitment, playing with an AAU club is not cheap. An annual team fee often approaches 1,000. Add in travel costs for 10 tournament weekends a year and basketball suddenly is a serious financial commitment.
“When I did not go, just sending him money was not a big deal,” said Julie Platten. “But when I go, of course there is the hotel, the gas, when we go to Vegas, the flight. This year there were more flights then we are used to.”
The AAU model is based around earning a college scholarship. In the case of Kobe King however, earning the scholarship is not the hard part. Trying to find the works to thank mom is.
“There is honestly so much to say,” said King. “I just keep working for it and let her know that all the time she puts into AAU and high school basketball will pay off.”