SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – In March, South Plainfield resident Carla Brogdon started the New Jersey (NJ) Dragons Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) Basketball Club because she believes that, with the right scheduling, children can have the opportunity to play two sports in a season. The basketball club has boys and girls teams ranging from 8U through 18U and runs throughout the year.  

The NJ Dragons AAU Basketball Club emphasizes four core principals: discipline, character, development, and physical fitness. “The goal of our basketball program is to educate youths on proper basketball techniques and fundamentals,” said Brogdon, who serves as the club's executive director. “Providing a learning basketball environment will allow the participants to excel and increase their ability to compete at a highly competitive level and enjoy the game of basketball.”

The AAU season is largely dormant during the typical basketball season of late November through February as most AAU players are playing on school, recreation, or travel programs. Most AAU teams are very active between March through June with some programs also playing July and August. Games are mostly played in tournaments – some AAU sanctioned, some not – that take place on weekends; some teams play locally, while others travel from east to west and north and south.

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“There may be a significant amount of money and time committed to participating in AAU,” said Brogdon, noting that costs vary but can range from $300 to $1,000 or more per year, not including travel, meals, and hotels.

According to Brogdon, there are various advantages to AAU basketball. “Youth Sports has changed and become more competitive. Growing up, many of us played a new sport each season. While some parents still prefer this approach, many of the best basketball players now play year-round and participate in AAU,” she said, adding that AAU also offers a more focused program.

“While AAU can seem intense, there are more important life lessons in focus and commitment. We live in a competitive world, and we want our children to be dedicated and strive for excellence,” Brogdon said. “Our basketball club and well-run AAU teams, will give your child a deeper, richer, sports experience than most recreation or travel league programs.”

For more information, contact Carla Brogdon at (908) 884-0020 or You can also follow the NJ Dragons AAU Basketball Club on Facebook at

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