Friday, October 31, 2014

Baby Baller Bonanza Makes Return In February!

The new influx of young talent in the country has Basketball Spotlight very excited. Therefore we decided to bring back the Baby Baller Bonanza. This event for is AAU teams 9U thru 12U. This event allows the young ballers to take front stage and garner all of our attention. The information for this event is below. 

Event: Baby Baller Bonanza 
Date: February 7th and 8th 
Place: Neptune, NJ (All Games At Hoop Group Headquarters) 
Ages: 9U Thru 12U 
Price: $300 Per Team

Click Here To Register

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Hotel Unlimited Group To Host Tip Off Classic

The Hotel Unlimited Group has decided to host the Tip Off Classic. The group has several hotels under their umbrella with great deals. Below is a list of the hotels and the rate that have. Please register quickly because they will sell out soon especially with the rate. ASK For BBS Code!

Doubletree by Hilton Tinton Falls 
700 Hope Road Tinton Falls, NJ 07724  (732)-544-9300
Basketball Spotlight Team rate: $89 + tax including Hilton’s Hot Deluxe breakfast (up to four guests) Beautiful Full Service Hilton hotel featuring Aqua Restaurant and Lounge 

Holiday Inn Express & Suites West Long Branch 
294 Route 36 West Long Branch, NJ 07764  (732) 542-1234
Basketball Spotlight Team Rate: $79 + tax including Hot Express Start Breakfast Nice clean hotel with indoor pool and complimentary WiFi 

Holiday Inn Express & Suites Neptune 
3510 Route 66 Neptune, NJ 07753  (732)-922-9600
Basketball Spotlight Team Rate: $79 + tax including Hot Express Start Breakfast Newer, super clean hotel with indoor pool and complimentary WiFi

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Basketball Spotlight Exclusive Feature: Isaiah Briscoe (The Name That Changed The Game!)

Isaiah Briscoe At NBA Players Camp

A few days ago AAU dropped a bombshell on middle school basketball when they decided to eliminate grade exceptions from participating in their events. This historic decision has continued to cause debate around the country.

Basketball Spotlight would like to dig deeper and examine when this grade exception and reclassifying trend started to explode. For that we don’t have to look no further than highly touted high school senior guard Isaiah Briscoe who decided to reclassify his 8th grade year (2010-2011 season). His father George Briscoe felt the move was needed at the time, “After talking to many middle school scouts such as you, I felt that Isaiah needed to reclassify so his body could catch up to his game. Once he became more mature and worked hard he just took off” said George.

No, Briscoe wasn’t the first grammar school player to reclassify but he was the first that had a full media following (Basketball Spotlight) and went from a virtual unknown to the most talked about grammar school player in the country. Briscoe’s talk wasn’t just hype he totally dominated the Spotlight circuit (POY) and numerous camps around the country. This kid was stacking up MVP honors at every tournament he stopped through. His celebrity went to another level once the college offers started rolling in. Rumors of college's offering 8th graders surfaced before but Briscoe took it to another level. He had to be the most recruited 8th Grader not only in Spotlight history but in the AAU basketball history.
During this time because of Diary Of A Baller and Basketball Spotlight coverage the basketball world had an inside look into Isaiah Briscoe’s life and the trend was set. Beginning the next season a serious trend of players reclassifying begin to take effect. It was as if Isaiah Briscoe had taken a magical pill and others lined up to swallow. This trend snowballed for the next few years and became normal once many felt it was necessary in order to compete. On one hand Briscoe’s pattern was effective as more and more 8th Graders began garnering attention from colleges and making immediate impacts on the high school level once reaching 9th grade. On the other hand basketball and academic purest were outraged about the competitive advantage and non-academic stance the reclassifying epidemic insinuated.

Once Isaiah reached the high school level his move really proved to pay dividends as he became one of the top ranked guards in America. Most recently he led the Playaz Basketball Club to their first Nike EYBL Peach Jam Championship, won a Gold Medal with USA Basketball and was voted by many as the National Summer Player Of The Year. His play virtually guaranteed him to be a lock for the McDonalds All American Game and the Jordan Brand Classic. His college choices also became top notch as they have been narrowed down to Kentucky, St. John’s and Connecticut. When asked does he thinks the move paid off his father just smiles and says, “We wanted Isaiah to be in the upper echelon in his class and have a chance to get a good scholarship. This has been a wonderful experience but you can’t discount the work he also put in to get better. It worked out to be a win-win for us” he ended. 

Which brings us to the point of matter and an interesting question. Would we be facing this AAU situation if Isaiah Briscoe had decided to go straight to high school?

Monday, October 27, 2014

Basketball Spotlight Class Of 2020 Top 70 National Player Rankings

The Class Of 2020 has some intriguing talent especially in the top tier. Here’s the Basketball Spotlight Top 70 National Player Rankings. These rankings are just our opinion and should be taken as such. 

Basketball Spotlight Class Of 2020 Top 70 National Player Rankings 

1. Shemar Morrow 6’2 Guard (California) 
2. Terrence Williams 6’4 Forward (Maryland) 
3. Jason Harris 6’5 Forward (Arizona) 
4. Jaden Springer 6’1 Guard (North Carolina) 
5. Kyree Walker 6’4 Forward (California) 
6. Rashad McDaniels 5’9 Guard (Missouri) 
7. Benn Todd 6’10 Forward (California) 
8. Isaiah Todd 6’7 Forward (Maryland) 
9. Jordan Toles 6’1 Guard (Maryland) 
10. Donovan Billings 6’2 Forward (Wisconsin) 
11. Marcus Dumerville 6’6 Forward (Florida) 
12. Jalen Suggs 5’10 Guard (Wisconsin) 
13. Hunter Jackson 5’10 Guard (Indiana) 
14. Kieves Turner 6’1 Guard (Pennsylvania) 
15. AJ Hoggard 6'0 Guard (Pennsylvania) 
16. Matt Komen 6’10 Forward (Utah) 
17. Tyler Brelsford 5’7 Guard (Maryland) 
18. Elijah Everett 6’5 Forward (New Jersey) 
19. Cameron Byers 6’5 Forward (Maryland) 
20. Dwon Odom 6’0 Guard (Georgia) 
21. RJ Davis 5’6 Guard (New York) 
22. Tristan Maxwell 5’11 Guard (North Carolina) 
23. Dimingus Stephens 6’0 Guard (Maryland) 
24. Mike Saunders 5’5 Guard (Indiana) 
25. Ishmael Leggett 5’7 Guard (Maryland) 
26. Jeremy Roach 5’9 Guard (Virginia) 
27. Isaiah LeBlanc 6’0 Forward (Texas) 
28. Keyshawn Johnson 5’10 Guard (Maryland) 
29. RJ Hampton 5’10 Guard (Texas) 
30. Niels Lane 5’11 Guard (New Jersey) 
31. John Wilson 5’7 Guard (New York) 
32. Zion Bethea 6’0 Forward (New Jersey) 
33. Tarik Booker 6’2 Forward (Indiana) 
34. Davion Hobby Ross 5’9 Guard (North Carolina) 
35. Darius Miles 5’11 Guard (Maryland) 
36. Jalen Cone 5’10 Guard (North Carolina) 
37. Jack Pugh 6’2 Forward (Ohio) 
38. Nashaun Holmes 5’10 Guard (New Jersey) 
39. James Lameron 5’9 Guard (Maryland) 
40. Namari Burnett 5’9 Guard (Illinois) 
41. Montez McNeil 6’3 Forward (Maryland) 
42. Chase Ellis 6’3 Forward (Georgia) 
43. Justin Lykes 5’9 Guard (Maryland) 
44. Josiah Hardy 6’0 Guard (Virginia) 
45. Justin Lewis 6’1 Forward (Maryland) 
46. Shane Dezonie 5’10 Guard (New Jersey) 
47. Marcus Bagley 5’11 Guard (Arizona) 
48. Qaadir Maneri 5’10 Guard (New York) 
49. Isaiah Kennedy 5’10 Guard (Ohio) 
50. Hunter Dinkinson 6’6 Forward (Maryland) 
51. Ryan Conway 5’10 Guard (Maryland) 
52. Xavier Pina 5’11 Guard (Delaware) 
53. James Wilborn 6’4 Forward (Michigan) 
54. Zahree Harrison 5’6 Guard (Pennsylvania) 
55. Andrew King 6’5 Forward (Pennsylvania) 
56. Jordan McPhatter 5’3 Guard (North Carolina) 
57. Demon Clowney 6’4 Forward (Maryland) 
58. Chance Mott 6’3 Forward (Ohio) 
59. Chuck Harris 5’9 Guard (Virginia) 
60. Juwan Carpenter 5’8 Guard (Tennessee) 
61. DJ Bailey 5’4 Guard (New York) 
62. Charlie Gordiner 6’1 Forward (New Jersey) 
63. Canin Reynolds 5’0 Guard (Maryland) 
64. Darrion Henry 6’4 Forward (Ohio) 
65. CJ Robinson 5’8 Guard (New York) 
66. Richie Greaves 5’6 Guard (New Jersey) 
67. Jamal Barnes 6’0 Guard (Maryland) 
68. Garrott Ot Large 6’1 Forward (Indiana) 
69. Tommy Anderson 5’7 Guard (Nevada) 
70. William White 5’9 Guard (New Jersey)

Diary Of A Baller: Marquise Walker (Chicago, IL) Entry #7

Marquise In Between Is Little Brother And Sheron Collins

Hello Basketball Spotlight World, 

Monday, I woke up and ate some breakfast and got ready and went to school. I got all my homework done and turned it in to all my classes. My CSI class was very fun. We have to find out who was the murderer and how did they do it. That class is really expanding my wisdom. After school I went to the high school and my coach pulled me in the office before practice. I had gotten my first letter from a college. It was LSU. I didn’t know much about them but my dad said Shaq went there and this cold guard he liked named Chris Jackson. I was excited to receive the letter it had a bunch of questions for me to answer. We had practice afterwards and we had a good workout as a team but I was off, I dont know what it was but I was off. Then I went home took a shower, did my homework and went straight to bed. 

The next day I got ready to go to school and I was just thinking a lot of why I was off yesterday. I have been down lately because the people that have passed around me. And just thinking of everyone like my both of my great-grandmothers, my uncle Damion, and lastly my cousin Poon. I missed them a lot and I was frustrated about it and it affected how I was playing. I went to school and got all my work done. We had practice after school and it was the same as yesterday and after that I knew it was going to be a long week. Then I got home and went to bed. On 

Wednesday I woke up with the same feeling as the other two days of my week. I got ready and went to school. After school we had practice again and I was even worse. I was just so down and disappointed. The feeling was terrible and I hope no one has to go through it. My teammates were asking me what was wrong but I had no response. So afterwards I went home and took my shower and fell asleep. 

On Thursday I had an even worse day. School was fine but me in general was just so off. I can’t even explain the feeling. So in practice I had an ok session but I still was down and off. Afterwards I did a lot of homework including math and science. Then I fell asleep. 

On Friday I woke up and took my shower and was still a little worried about the situation because that made me even mad on the court and less patient. So I went to school and after school I had a bad practice again. This was not my week at all. Afterwards Coach Breeze asked me what’s wrong with me and why am I so moody. I answered I have no confidence and I’m not focused. I got to talk to my father and he told me to be confident because if you don’t have confidence you don’t have anything. He said that I have to patient and seeing that my dad would take to time and help me boosted my confidence quickly. Then later that night I played 2k all day and fell asleep on the phone. 

The next day I was on the phone all morning. And I was playing 2k15. Then I went to the gym worked out for a while and did the exact same thing I was doing in the morning which was on the phone and playing 2k until I fell asleep. 

The next day I thanked God for another day and I ate some breakfast and I got on the phone until we left. Then I headed to practice. Today I had A Fantastic practice. I did really well in the half court set and I played really hard and everyone saw the difference between Sunday and all of last week. My dad really helped my confidence. Then I went home, ate some food and spoke to my mother until I fell asleep. Then I woke up did my diary and then I talked to my dad and (Shoutout to my dad and Mother because they are in Hawaii I hope they turn up!) after that I talked to my boy Tyger Campbell, we were talking about how are season is going to go. Then I fell asleep. 

See you next week. 

Marquise Walker

Fan Poll Results: Fans Say Terrence Williams #1 In The Country!

Terrence Williams Was Voted #1 7th Grader 

It took a fierce battle all the way to the last as Terrence Williams of Slam City Elite was voted #1 7th Grade in the country by the fans. Jaden Springer tried to make a late run and ended with 1031 votes while Shemar Morrow from California came in 3rd with 136 votes. Basketball Spotlight would like to congratulate Williams and we will see if the fans were right in a few more hours when we release our Class of 2020 player rankings.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Basketball Spotlight Feature: The Impact Of The New Rules!

The AAU Rule change concerning no grade exceptions was the hot topic yesterday. Now Basketball Spotlight will give you a few ways this ruling will impact the game of grammar/middle school hoops.

Reason For Change! 
Several years ago AAU decided to change the three grade exception rule to unlimited grade exceptions. At first look the ruling looked to be a move in the right direction because it seemed to give them less reason to police the eligibility of players. They felt as though there would be no reason to cheat if you were allowed unlimited grade exceptions. But the ruling also caused an influx of players reclassifying which changed the level of competition at their national events. When the competition level got higher, most middle tier clubs decided to seek refuge in other organizations such as YBOA or USBA. Majority of the departing clubs pointed to the unlimited grade exception rule as their reason for leaving. AAU also took a hit publicly from purest that felt the rule went totally against academics because he seemed to promote players repeating grades to compete. I believe these two factors led to them abolishing the grade exception rule. 

Other Options Opened! 
 I think the rule change has opened options for teams that feel like they are on the elite level. Instead of busting up dynasties that teams took years to build I think most will opt to play on circuit such as Basketball Spotlight and NYBL. This way they are still competing against top level teams and keeping their troops together. Quite honesty most of the directors of the elite programs on the middle school level were looking for a reason to escape the huge cost of going to the AAU Nationals. Now they have it. 

Sneaker Influence! 
It is my feeling that as long as the sneaker circuits keep their current rules most of the top tier teams will also stay intact. Since majority of the top level sneaker teams have developed feeder systems on the grammar school level I can’t see them blowing it all up because of the rule change. They will still want to stock pile the best talent according to grade to give them the best chance to compete on the sneaker circuits once they reach high school. In fact they might even get stronger if they snatch the top grade exceptions from those teams that have chosen to conform to the new rules.

Choice Is Yours! 
Finally, I think the new rules have made travel teams have to choose the route in which they want to perform. Will they chase the national championship dreams or will they opt for the competition, bright lights, media coverage and sneaker deals giving to them by opposing circuits? We will find out soon because the season kicks off in no time. Basketball Spotlight will keep you posted.

Basketball Spotlight Statement Concerning AAU Rule Change!

Yesterday AAU Basketball dropped a bombshell while at their National Convention. According to their new standards as of now they no longer will allow grade exceptions to compete in their events. Now their team levels will be age based and the cut-off date will be September 1st. Basketball Spotlight has always been now as one of the most competitive circuits in the country and we will move forward with our current rules. Our Orange Division will invite and accept teams that have grade exceptions while our Blue Division will give teams the option of playing other teams on their level. Stay tuned as Basketball Spotlight will bring you an exclusive article detailing the impact of this historic ruling.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Basketball Spotlight Tip Off Classic Gets Early Interest Update!

The Basketball Spotlight Tip Off Classic has become the official start of the AAU season for many teams around the country. This year has not been any exception as many top teams have already showed interest for the December 6th and 7th event. This event is very limited in space therefore you need to register early. 

8th Grade Teams 
1. DC Premier 
2. Philly Triple Threat 
3. Slam City Elite 
4. Brooklyn Rens 
5. NYC Rens 
6. We R 1 
7. I 10 Celtics 
8. Playtime Panthers 
9. MJ Mavericks 
10. Bos Basketball 
11. Turbo/CTA 
12. NYC Gauchos 
13. Team Philly 
14. Team Twelve Watchmen
15. NJ Warriors 
16. New Heights
17. Hilltoppers Heat
18. St. Michaels 
19. Harlem United 
20. CMEK
21. Give and Go

7th Grade Teams 
1. Slam City Elite 
2. Team Final 
3. Havoc City (Red)
4. I 10 Celtics 
5. Playtime 
6. PSA Cardinals 
7. Bos Basketball 
8. Boston Spartans
9. Philly Triple Threat
10. Team Philly
11. Hilltoppers Heat
12. NY Rens 
13. St. Michaels 
14. Wiz Kids 
15. NJ Shore Shots
16. Playaz 
17. Havoc City (Blue)
18. Gym Rats Basketball 

6th Grade 
1. Rens 
2. Havoc City 
3. Glory Unlimited 
4. Playtime 
5. S Elite 
6. Hoops Nation
7. Riverside Hawks
8. Philly Triple Threat
9. Hilltoppers Heat
10. Gauchos

5th Grade 
1. Rens 
2. Havoc City 
3. Playtime Panthers 
4. Riverside Hawks
5. Philly Triple Threat
6. MJ Heat
7. Hilltoppers Heat
8. USA National Select 

4th Grade 
1. Rens 
2. Havoc City 
3. Playtime Panthers 
4. Riverside Hawks (National Champs)
5. Philly Triple Threat
6. Hilltoppers Heat 
7. New Heights 
8. USA National Select

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Basketball Spotlight Withdraws From Super Skillcase!

Due to circumstances beyond our control Basketball Spotlight Media has withdrawn from the Super Skillcase in Atlantic City in November. Basketball Spotlight would like to wish I’m Possible Training the best of luck with this event and would also like to thank them for the great memories of the last few years. We look forward to seeing everyone when our circuit kicks off December 6th and 7th. Thank you for your time.

In The Spotlight: Afamdi Achufusi (Havoc City)

Name: Afamdi Achufusi 

AAU Team: Havoc City 

Position: Forward 

Class: 2021 

Breakdown: A fresh face to the Basketball Spotlight scene, the straight A student truly impressed. The 5’9 6th grader can play any position from the 1-5. He grabbed rebounds and pushed the ball the length of the court with ease. He even has range beyond the arc. Achufusi had a game high 22 points and 9 rebounds in Havoc’s final game against Team Philly scoring from just about everywhere on the floor. We will keep our eye on this kid.