Monday, May 20, 2013
Jaecee Martin has entertained us for the last four years with his superb ball handling, crisp passing and natural scoring ability. His play earned him the nickname “Mayweather” as pound for pound the best pg in the land. Now he will lead his troops to battle at the MDC in search for the Gold Ball. Check out his highlights from the Clash For The Cup.
Todd Quarles (Director) and Azar
What Up Diary, Today is Monday. It was hard for me to get up this morning after such a relaxing weekend. Today, I also had a baseball game. Surprisingly, I was excited for the game. I realized why baseball is fun to me now. It’s not because I love the game of baseball or that I am good at it, but because of the kids on my team. They humbled me over the course of this year’s baseball season. They have helped me recognize that I need to try things to fully understand if I like or dislike them. It has been a great season so far, and the transition into high school next year means leaving most of these kids. I will see a lot of them around but it probably won’t be the same as it is right now. It’s sad to think about it because I have learned so much from all of the middle school kids throughout the pass 2 years. I am going to miss them. Later Diary.
Friday, May 17, 2013
Nate “The Great” Pierre Louis will make his final Spotlight tournament performance with Metro Flyers. We have enjoyed 4 years of watching him become the most dominate scorer in Basketball Spotlight history. Take a look at his highlights from the Clash For The Cup back in February.
Damon Harge is known for his work ethic and he showed his hard work during this workout with Kenneth Bates of LAAB Work. Almost three years after YayAreasFinest introduced the world to Damon Harge he is still putting in work and considered amongst the top players in his class.
Thursday, May 16, 2013
The Basketball Spotlight Memorial Day Classic deadline has past. We are currently working on the final commitment list and then will move on to the schedule. Teams that are not fully registered will be in great danger of losing their spot. Stay tuned as we keep you updated on this event.
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
The 8th Grade Top 10 has a new #1. The 8th Grade rankings are listed below. Please remember these rankings are just our opinion and should be taken as such.
Basketball Spotlight 8th Grade Top 10 Presented By AGame Team Apparel
1. Team IZOD: TI takes over the #1 spot after winning the NJ AAU 8th Grade State crown. Now they will try to hold onto their new spot at the MDC.
2. CBC: The “Money Team” will be returning to the MDC very thirsty. They are out to prove they are still the best 8th Grade squad in the region.
3. Playaz: PBC lost to Team IZOD in the NJ State tournament. They also will be entering the dangerous MDC.
4. DC Assault: DCA will not be entering the MDC but we wish them luck the rest of the season.
5. Rens: Rens continue to be dominating at times. The MDC will be a huge test for these boys.
6. CIA Bounce: CIA Bounce recently won the Playaz tournament. We will try to monitor their movement.
7. Milbank: After making it to the finals of the AC Showcase. “The Bank” recently won a tournament in NYC.
8. Expressions: The new look Expressions will be bringing the noise to the MDC. We will really see what they are made of.
9. Team Final: TF moves up one spot after winning the MA Regionals in impressive fashion. Now they will be trying to play the spoiler at the MDC.
10. MCB Elite: Yes they made the Top 10. After going to the final four of the AC Showcase they made it to the finals of the Mid Atlantic AAU Regionals.
The 7th Grade Top 10 had some movement and a new member. Please remember these rankings are just our opinion and should be taken as such.
Basketball Spotlight 7th Grade Top 10 Presented By AGame Team Apparel
1. Metro Sixers: MS remains #1 and are in a good position to win the Grand Finale Championship. The really showed their strength this year.
2. Team IZOD: The Supreme Team won the NJ AAU 8th Grade Div. 2 title. Now they will head to New Orleans during the Memorial Day weekend. We will probably see them again at the Grand Finale.
3. DC Assault: DCA had a rough time at a recent tournament in NY. I hope they are regrouping for their event this upcoming weekend.
4. CIA Bounce: Word is that Bounce is the best team in the country. They might qualify for the Grand Finale. If so we hope they return to NJ.
5. New Rens: This is really the tale of two teams. First they win King James Classic then they have a bad weekend in NY. Let’s see which team shows up for the MDC.
6. Mass Shooting Stars: MSS recently won a tournament in NY but came up short in their own state tournament.
7. Playaz: PBC jumps into the Top 10 and something tells me they will continue to climb. Can’t wait to see them at the MDC.
8. Wall 2 Wall: A player movement might have dealt a blow to this squad. But we will see what they have once they enter the MDC.
9. Team Takeover: TT fought hard this year and we wish them luck in the AAU Nationals and the rest of the season.
10. ECE: The Delaware boys return to the Top 10 after a remarkable showing at the MID Atlantic AAU Regionals.
The 6th Grade Top 10 has a new #1. The rankings are listed below and please remember this is just our opinion and should be taken as such.
Basketball Spotlight 6th Grade Top 10 Presented By AGame Team Apparel
1. Team Nelson: TN takes over the #1 spot after defeating Team IZOD in the Mid Atlantic AAU Championship. These two teams are on another collision course at the MDC. Should be a thriller.
2. Team IZOD: TI lost to Team Nelson on Sunday and will be looking for a rematch at the MDC. Don’t count this team out of the Grand Finale Championship race.
3. Metro Flyers: MF won the NJ State crown and will have a chance to jump into the two 2 when the MDC rolls around. They are a virtual lock for the Grand Finale.
4. ETU Select: ETU will enter the MDC and chase their first Spotlight crown. The tourney is jammed packed so they will definitely get tested.
5. CIA Bounce: Now things get very interesting as CIA will make an appearance at the MDC. Can the Canada boys snatch another title? We shall see.
6. 6th Man Warriors: The Warriors recently won the VA State crown. Now they will be working to get to that Spotlight banner.
7. Team Takeover: We probably saw the last of this group this season. They gave us some good memories. We wish them luck the rest of the way.
8. MJ Mavericks: The Cinderella squad might be seating out the MDC. They were a joy to watch this season.
9. Team RIO: RIO will be sporting their new threads at the MDC. Hopefully they will give them some good fortune in these troubled waters.
10. RJS: The RJS will have to fight hard at the MDC to remain in the Top 10. Good luck.
The 5th Grade Top 10 Rankings had some shake ups and a few new names. The rankings are listed below and please remember this is just our opinion and should be taken as such.
Basketball Spotlight 5th Grade Top 10 Presented By AGame Team Apparel
1. Gauchos: The Choz remain on top and are the favorite to win the Metropolitan AAU crown. They will be absent from the MDC but should have a slot in the Grand Finale Final Four.
2. Team Glory: TG also should have a spot in the Grand Finale Final Four. It would be great to see them and the Gauchos bang out once more.
3. RIP City: RC showed their dominance this weekend while running through the Mid Atlantic AAU Regionals. They are well oiled machine once they get going.
4. Team Takeover: TT will try to get keep their hot play going deep into the summer. I like some of their pieces and look forward to seeing them next season.
5. CJ Hawks: The Hawks lost to KSK in the NJ State finals. Next up for them is the MDC where they will chase the Gold Ball.
6. Leesburg Basketball: LB recently won the VA State title and should be a threat to make some noise at the AAU Nationals in Cocoa Beach.
7. King Street Kings: KSK moved up one spot after winning the NJ AAU state crown. They will have a chance to increase their ranking at the MDC.
8. Nation Basketball Academy: NBA are trying to make a name for themselves on the circuit. Now they will clash with the big boys at the MDC.
9. Team Phenom: TP will have to wait for next year to win that elusive Spotlight crown. We wish them well the rest of the season.
10. Team DEMI: DEMI will try to rebound at the MDC. They will come out with something to prove.
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
Prentiss Hubb (DC Assault)
Prentiss Hubb shot the lights out at the 2013 Atlantic City Showcase for the 7th grade DC Assault Team. Prentiss Hubb is a 7th grader who showed his great three point range and surprising shot blocking ability. The member of the Class of 2018 prospect has a very bright future.
Team Final Mid Atlantic Champs
Manny Stokes scored 29 points while leading Team Final to a 76-58 victory over MCB Elite in the Mid Atlantic AAU 8th Grade Championship. Congrats to Team Final for getting things done. Now we look forward to seeing them at the MDC in two weeks.
Team Nelson Keeps Rolling
Team Nelson defeated Team IZOD 58-53 to win the Mid Atlantic AAU 6th Grade Regional Championship. Congrats to Team Nelson for winning the title and we look forward to seeing them at the Memorial Day Classic in two weeks.
Monday, May 13, 2013
Manny Stokes (Team Final)
RIP City Wins Crown
RIP City defeated Kingdom Elite 54-11 to win the Middle Atlantic AAU 5th Grade Regional Championship. Congrats to Coach Hicks and the rest of the RIP City for winning the title. Good luck the rest of the season.
Supreme Team Adds Hardware
Tyrek Chambers had 19 points and Luther Muhammad added 13 markers as Team IZOD 7th Grade defeated Nation Basketball Academy 52-48 to win the NJ AAU Div. 2 8th Grade Championship. Congrats to the Supreme Team and good luck the rest of the year.
Deondre Bourne And Coach Lucas
ECE (Mid Atlantic Champs)
Chris Cropper and Jamal Whittlesey scored 20 points apiece as ECE defeated Team Rebels 71-54 to win the Mid Atlantic AAU 7th Grade Regional Championship. Congrats to ECE for winning the championship and we wish them good luck at the AAU Nationals.
Azar and Mr. Paluseo
What Up Diary, Today I want to talk about how everyone plays different, and how when you are out on the floor, you have to have confidence in the way you play. People are always compared to other people who play the same position, but that doesn’t matter. No matter what people say, stay confident in yourself. The income is outcome. This means, that whatever you put into achieving your goals is the same thing that you will get in return. If you are a shooter, then shoot. If you are a good rebounder, then rebound. If you are a scorer, then score. If you can pass and can handle the ball, then do it. Be yourself, and play your game. Sometimes we listen to too many people and try to be like everyone else instead of us just wanting to be like ourselves. There are more players than just LeBron James in the NBA and we like a lot of them. I guess I’ll just be one of those other players that people like. Later Diary.
Sunday, May 12, 2013
The John Lucas International Middle School Combine jumped off yesterday and the highlights are already rolling in check out some of the top talent that is on display in Houston. Check back because we should have more to come from this exclusive event.
USA Basketball U16 Coach Don Showalter and Deondre Bourne
Guess who's back!!! It’s me again Bballspotlight, Deondre Bourne and let me start off by saying what a day. I started my day off anxious because I couldn't wait to play ball and get myself evaluated. I really want to see where I stand nationally.
After breakfast my dad and I hopped in the shuttle van towards St. John School and I couldn't wait. As soon as we got to the gym I got my jersey, changed up and found out who's on my team and went right to work. We did one hour of warm up stations just so they can see where our skill set stood. When the hour was up we all sat in the bleachers then Coach John Lucas came out to introduce his self and some of his staff which consist of former NBA & WNBA players, former NBA coaches, college coaches and over sea players plus. Then Coach Lucas brought out the USA Basketball 16U team head coach Don Showalter. Coach Showalter explained to us that not only were we there to get evaluated and learn new things but we are also there to get a chance to get invited to the USA Basketball 16u tryouts in Colorado. After a little lecture we went straight into drill for about 3 1/2 to 4 hours. We did ball handing drills which I did extremely well on thanks to my trainer Jerry Powell. We did post up drills, defensive drills, we worked on passing, we did yoga we ran track and my favorite drill "shooting" which I hardly missed in. We also did the 1 on 1 drill which everyone in the gym was kind of waiting to see. I did pretty well against Quade Green until the coaches switched us because we played great defense on each other. Midway through the station Coach Lucas had to scream on a bunch kids because they were BADLY out of shape. I'm thankful I wasn't in that out of shape category, my dad makes me jump rope a run everyday. Thanks DAD.
We had a hour break to relax and eat lunch before our games so I took that time to go walk around and introduce myself to a few scouts. It was funny when I went to go shake hands with Clark Francis from Hoop Scoop he stopped me in my tracks and said "what is your real name because my friends and I call you the kid with braids from Brooklyn" he said the reason was a few websites on the internet spells my name wrong so he didn't know which spelling is the correct way.
Now it’s game time and I was ready, sad to say that everyone including some of my teammates swore they were superstars and felt there was no need to pass the ball it was so bad that Mr. Van Coleman from hot 100 hoops had to stop the whole camp to tell everyone to stop playing selfish. The selfishness kind of bothered me a little because I didn't get to the ball besides taking it out of bounds (LOL). When I finally got the ball I came down court and shot a stupid frustrated three pointer which I missed and my coach looked at me like I was crazy. I had to sit down for a second just to get my mind right then I thought about what Mr. Paul Biancardi from ESPN said to us earlier "Don't prove to us Improve to us". That was all it took before I was doing everything... I was double teaming, setting traps, cutting hard to the basket etc etc, basically doing all the little things. I was scoring off the put backs and steals. Since I started grabbing rebounds I was controlling the ball more and I got my teammates involve. The second game was different I was on fire, I was knocking down mid range shots like I was making lay ups, EASY. My team was happier now because we were all scoring. After the game a few parents and coaches told me I was a smooth guard and great shooter they also said they like the way I was passing and how I lead my team.
Well it’s getting late now and I have to be back at camp at 6:30. God willing I will be back tomorrow with my final day at the John Lucas Camp.
D'Andre Vilmer (Team Final)
The Mid Atlantic AAU 8th Grade Final Four semifinals gave us the best games of the day. Both games were exciting and came down to the wire. Here are the scores and top performers from yesterday.
Team Final 59 RIP City 56
MCB Elite 55 SJ Jazz 52
D’Andre Vilmer Forward (Team Final)- Team Final was in deep trouble in the second half until Vilmer took over. The slashing forward went on a personal scoring spree that brought his team back from a 16 point deficit. He reached into his bag of tricks and saved the team yesterday.
Manny Stokes Forward (Team Final)- Stokes has good size for the his position while producing both inside and outside. He’s still a little raw and timid at times but this is his first year playing AAU on this level. His best days are definitely ahead of him.
Devin Hill Guard (RIP City)- As a former Team Final player Hill came to the game with a chip on his shoulders. He came out in attack mode while hitting runners and pull-ups in the lane. His played helped RIP City storm out to an early big lead.
Damon Tobler Forward (RIP City)- While Hill did work on the perimeter, Tobler was a monster inside. The lefty exploded for many rebounds and strong put backs. He’s a combo guard size but his leaping ability helped him destroy the inside defenders. He had a great day.
Mark Webb Guard (MCB Elite)- Webb was likely the top performer of the day as he punished SJ Jazz with 29 points. The Jazz had no answer for Webb’s breakdown ability and craftiness to finish at the rim. This kid never stops attacking the defense and has a scorer’s mentality. He heated up quickly.
Darrien Mackay Guard (SJ Jazz)- Mackay steady play fits great into his coaches system. He plays the game under control and hit the outside shot when left open. I like his poise and production in this heated contest.
Chris Cropper (ECE)
The Mid Atlantic AAU 7th Grade Final Four semifinals had a few surprises and new faces. Here are the scores and top performers from yesterday.
ECE 52 Team Final 44
Team Rebels 53 Team Philly Legends 52
Chris Cropper Forward (ECE)- Cropper athleticism proved to be too much as they powered past Team Final. He crashed the boards hard, blocked shots and played good interior defense. On offense he raced out in transition while filling the lane. If his skills catch up with his athleticism if could be a good prospect down the road.
Darius Kinnell Guard (ECE)- Kinnell was a pleasant surprised. He attacked the basket relentlessly and scored after absorbing contact. He made a few crucial plays which helped ECE pull away from Team Final for good. We will be keeping an eye on his progress.
Cameron Reddish Guard (Team Final)- This kid was probably the best prospect on the building on the grammar school level. His basketball instincts make him throw the extra pass and get teammates involved no matter the score. As he matures he will realize that at times he must enforce his will to win the game. Mark my words Reddish has the goods.
Cole McCabe Guard (Team Final)- McCabe is a hard nose guard that made some good plays in the semifinal. He hit the midrange pull up and scored deep inside. He has the skills to be a good backcourt mate for Reddish from this point forward.
Za’eem Garrett Guard (Team Rebels)- The Rebels have been known to produced aggressive guards and Garrett is next in line. He charged defenders like a running back and scored after climbing the chest of shotblockers. His strength and tenacity are his biggest assets.
Kiyon Johnson Guard (Team Rebels)-I haven’t seen the lefty in a couple of years but he still has game. He’s a big guard so he was able to see over defenders in terms of passing and shooting. He can play either guard spot effectively.
Jacob Hunt Guard (Team Rebels)- Hunt used his speed to penetrate and dish. He could also stretch the defense while launching deep shots. His smartness makes up for his lack of size on the floor.
Adam Henderson Guard (Philly Legends)- The pint size point guard put tremendous pressure on the defense. He squirted down the lane and dropped off some good baggage. One of the quickest guards in the building.
Tim Powidsk Guard (Philly Legends)- Tim gave Team Rebels the fits with his outside shooting. He knocked down four treys while keeping the game tight. I do think he needs to put the rock on the floor a little more.
Ronin Higgins Forward (Philly Legends)- The versatile forward was a problem from the outside and inside. He has touch from the mid-range and deep. He can also post up inside.
Kasim Tolliver (Team Nelson)
The Mid Atlantic AAU 6th Grade Final Four semifinals went as predicted as Team IZOD and Team Nelson cruised to victories. Here are the scores and top performers that we saw in Chi-Chester, PA.
Team Nelson 67 Philly Triple Threat 35
Team IZOD 54 Team Philly 23
Kasim Toliver Guard (Team Nelson)- This kid seems to look better every time I see him play. He has an old soul on the basketball court which means he plays like a throwback. He doesn’t care about flash but instead kills the opposition with crisp passes and accurate floaters in the lane.
Dontae Scott Forward (Team Nelson)- Scott has dropped the baby chubbiness and it has helped his game tremendously. He now runs the floor better and gets up higher off the ground. If he continues in this direction he could help Team Nelson win another Grand Finale crown.
Chris Allen Guard (Team Nelson)- The smooth shooter plays well alongside Toliver. He also understands the game and will quickly drift to the perimeter even in transition. His stroke stretches the defense.
Jordan McKoy Guard (Team IZOD)- “The Real” McKoy came out on fire to help put Team Philly away early. He had bruising drives to the basket with soft finishes. When he’s aggressive and successful like this he’s a joy to watch.
AJ Hoggard Guard (Team IZOD)- Hoggard continues to show how you can dominate a game without scoring the ball. In this contest he really enjoyed pushing the pill and dishing the rock to teammates for easy buckets.
Jalen Gaffney Guard (Team IZOD)- Gaffney got things going on both ends. On defense he pressured the rock which helped cause several turnovers and on offense he scored the rock with easy drives and fast break buckets.
Rahdir Hicks (RIP City)
The Mid Atlantic 5th Grade Final Four semifinals gave us a chance to see some of the upcoming talent on the horizon. Here’s a breakdown of the score and top performers from yesterday.
RIP City 57 ESYC Elite 37
Kingdom Elite 54 Team Philly Legends 43
Rahdir Hicks Guard (RIP City)- Hicks was one of the top producers yesterday. Not only can he play the point guard role be he also can get things going in the scoring column. His confidence and poise lets you know he loves being that floor general on the court.
Malik Edwards Guard (RIP City)- Edwards can play a little point but loves attacking from the wing when scoring opportunities arise. He will knock down the outside or beat the first defender while using the floater.
Justice Williams Guard (RIP City)- Justice came off the bench and the team didn’t skip a beat. He’s a transition demon and a hawk on pressure defense. He also looks like he will develop into a good point guard down the road.
Shane Dezonie Guard (ESYC Elite)- The big guard picked up his play which helped his boys get back into the game. His big frame and smooth ball handling makes him tough to handle on the grade level. Keep an eye on him.
Nick Filchner Guard (ESYC Elite)- Nick has a lot of pop in his game and will be even better when he gets stronger. He has a nice jump shot and some slick dribbling moves to get around defenders.
Julian Thomas Forward (ESYC Elite)- The lefty loves cradling the rock and scoring in traffic. He rebounds hard and is a tough defender in the paint. He will eventually become a perimeter guard.
Ahmad Fair Guard (Philly Legends)- Fair was the most talented guard I saw on this grade level yesterday. He has a natural feel for the point guard position and has a ratchet that he can pull from very deep. Mark his name down as the next in line as the Philly guard tradition continues.
Travon Camper Forward (Kingdom Elite)- Camper was effective yesterday while helping his team make the comeback and eventually get the victory. The lanky forward finished off plays from rebounds and in transition. He could be something special when he reaches his potential.
Khylei Neal Guard (Kingdom Elite)- The smallest guard on this level plays with the heart of a lion. He scored with a southpaw floater and made some good passes. He also barked out instructions to his bigger teammates.
Brandon Perkins Forward (Kingdom Elite)- The strong, compact forward also scored the ball to help Kingdom Elite get the victory. He has good touch around the basket and takes up a lot of space in the paint.