Monday, June 29, 2015
The Basketball Spotlight Future Phenom takes place August 22nd and 23rd in Boyds, Maryland. This event will be kicked off Friday Night with the Middle School All American Game. This event will bring together to top middle school players for the Classes of 2022, 2021 and 2020. Several media outlets have got involved in the selection process. Many of the top players in the country have already been nominated. Check out the link to see a few of the players nominated for this event. Don't forget to click the load more button at the bottom of the Instagram page.
Basketball Spotlight will be headed to the 13U AAU National Championship in Greensboro, NC. Some of the top teams in America are registered and we are excited to be bringing you coverage from this event. We will have daily recaps and updates on our social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Stay tuned and check back to get the news from Greensboro.
Friday, June 26, 2015
New World Unlimited
The 6th Grade division of the Basketball Spotlight circuit produced a load of new players. Here is a look at the 6th Grade post season award winners.
Basketball Spotlight 6th Grade Post Season Awards
A different 6th Grade squads won each Basketball Spotlight event therefore we gave New World Unlimited the nod after winning the NYBL. They have a balanced squad and with some scoring explosiveness. If they get going they were able to put teams away quickly. Congratulations to them for getting it done.
Player Of The Year: Jaylen Hall (New World Unlimited)
Hall is a strong combo guard that was difficult to stop this season. Once he gets his momentum going towards the defense he arrived at the cup at will. He was even more dangerous in the open floor because of his combined power and speed. His breakout season made things easier for New World.
Most Outstanding Player: Zion Harmon (Team Melo)
Harmon spent most of his season getting busy with different teams around the country. Regardless of where he rocked Harmon got the job done. He can score on anyone on the country and possesses unlimited range. When “The Lion” is in the lineup he gives any squad a great chance of winning.
Coach Of The Year: Ramont Hawkins (New World Unlimited)
Hawkins did a great job with this first year program. They won the Clash For The Cup and made deep runs in every Spotlight event they entered. He capped off his season while also leading them to the NYBL championship.
Best Prospect: Trey Patterson (Team IZOD)
Standing close to 6’5 Patterson played all five positions on the floor this season. His decision making at the point position has improved along with his aggressiveness and motor. In terms of projection there’s currently no one in the country that seems to have the same ceiling. The road is long but Patterson seems to have a good start.
Best Playmaker: Justice Williams (Team IZOD)
Williams made his presence felt by scoring the rock and setting up teammates. He’s smart and smooth enough to get around most opponents while also possessing court vision and the ability to score the rock. He has poise beyond his years.
Best Versatility: Trevor Keels (Team Takeover)
Keels had a big year by scoring and doing all the other things to help his team win. He helps out on the glass and sees the floor very well. He could definitely be considered a stat stuffer.
Best Floor General: Bray Freeman (New World Unlimited) Freeman did his job to make sure New World reached their destiny. He was dynamic in the open floor and usually made his job look easy. He had to battle some of the top guards in the country and did more than hold his own.
Newcomer Of The Year: Zaakir Williamson (Philly Triple Threat) Williamson was totally dominant this season especially at Winter Warz. Once he got deep in the paint it was curtains for the opposition. He has the size and soft hands to be a force for years to come.
Best Scorer: Malachi Smith (Gauchos)
This kid was one of the best shooters in this class and scores the ball with ease at times. If he gets hot on you from deep he will definitely stretch the defense. The high scoring Big Apple product knows how to fill it up.
Best Defender: Rayaan Lane (B’More Finest)
Good luck trying to bring the rock up against this kid. He pressures the ball the full 94 feet. He does a great job turning ball handlers and forcing turnovers. He’s a total ball hawk.
Best Finisher: Ariel Goddot (New World Unlimited)
Goddot was the inside force for New World Unlimited. When he got the rock inside he used good footwork and touch to finish off plays. He can score through contact and over shot blockers.
Wednesday, June 24, 2015
Basketball Spotlight 7th Grade Post Seasons Awards
They might have switched names a few times but they were still known as the Terror Squad. The name fits this group as they caused harm to many of the teams they faced. They won the Basketball Spotlight Tip Off Classic, Clash For The Cup and AC Showcase. They also finished runner-up in the loaded NYBL. They have some serious talent with this group and should be a force to reckon with years to come.
Toles came into his own this season while playing with a high level of determination. The high flyer was often seen finishing off plays and leading the charge on pressure defense. His style of play and relentless effort helped the Terror Squad get over the hump a few times. His consistent play wire to wire this year earned him this award.
No matter what lineup he had Francis found a way to make sure his boys made it deep in every event. They only tournament in which his team didn’t make it to the finals was Winter Warz where they lost in the semi-finals by a buzzer beater. He did all this while juggling sponsorship, egos and defections. You can say what you want about this guy but numbers don’t lie.
Best Floor General: CJ Robinson (Gauchos)
Robinson put on a show each time he stepped on the floor at a Spotlight event. He carved his way through the defense with ease and had the ability to hit teammates on the move. His strength and ball handling make it very difficult for defenders to strip the rock or disrupt his flow. The Gauchos have had a history of producing guards and Robinson seems to be next in line.
Best Playmaker: AJ Hoggard (Terror Squad)
Whether it was scoring himself or setting the table, Hoggard handled these duties for the Team Of The Year. He used his size to see over the defenders and score around shot blockers. This season he also showed an improved outside shot and became more of an all-around leader. He helped them collect several championships and make a deep run at the NYBL.
Best Scorer: Jaylen Murray (PSA Cardinals)
The Cardinals were known for getting buckets quickly and Murray was the lead catalyst. The combo guard had quickness and scored the rock from all three levels. His ability allowed him to score against man to man or zone defenses. He has a quick release on his shot and knows how to find the tiny gaps in the defense.
Newcomer Of The Year: Nate Tabor (I 10 Celtics)
The big time forward came to the East Coast from Cali to represent. He was a dominant force at the Clash For The Cup and Memorial Day Classic. He has soft hands and good footwork on the blocks. He’s developing his ball handling and play making ability which will make him even more dangerous on the floor. He has enormous potential.
Most Improved Player: Elijah Everett (King Street Kings) Known previously as a defensive force Everett offensive skills to a leap this year. He was the go to guy and best player on the floor at Winter Warz. He has more confidence in his offensive moves and has added a face up jumper to his game. If he continues to grow and develop he might turn into the next big prospect coming from the Garden State.
Best Prospect: BJ Hall (NY Lightning)
In the layup line Hall automatically passes the look test standing close to 6’6. But once you watch him perform you begin to wonder if the NY Lighting might have a budding super star on their hands. He’s a natural wing but showed he could play on the blocks during the MDC. I also like his motor which is very important. Connecticut has a gem in this kid.
Defensive Player Of The Year: Isaiah Todd (Terror Squad) Todd anchored the defense with his length and shot blocking. He also saved this group a couple of times with big plays down the stretch. None was bigger than when RIP City had them on the ropes at the AC Showcase and Todd made an end to end block that turned the momentum of the game. His presence allowed the guards to play the passing lanes and take chances.
Tuesday, June 23, 2015
This year the 8th Grade Division of the Basketball Spotlight circuit was a truly a treat to watch. They gave us some exciting action and break out performances by some top talent. We will be sad to see the Class of 2019 go and they will be missed. Here’s our farewell awards for the Class of 2019.
Basketball Spotlight 8th Grade Post Season Awards
Team Of The Year: Team RIO National
This squad dominated throughout the country all season. They won the Basketball Spotlight Winter Warz, AC Showcase and Memorial Day Classic. They also added numerous high school level championships to their trophy shelf. Basketball Spotlight has had many teams that were dominant on the 8th Grade circuit and now this group can throw their name in among the best.
Player Of The Year: Bryan Antoine (Team RIO National) Many predicted a breakout year for the combo guard and Antoine delivered. The silky smooth guard displayed all facets of his game against the top players in the country. He can score the ball with the best of them while his improved play making and aggressiveness has taken his game to new heights. He’s now has entered the national stage and is regarded as one of the top guards in America.
Most Outstanding Player: Cole Anthony (NY Rens & Team RIO National) Anthony started the year out carrying the torch for the NY Rens. The scoring guard proved that he could put up big numbers against any type of competition. He had big outings at Tip Off Classic, Winter Warz and Clash For The Cup. He then switched over to national power Team Rio and helped them win the MDC among other events.
Coach Of The Year: A.D. Gaffney (Team RIO National)
Many skeptics will try to point at the talent that he possessed by many that know basketball understands how tough it is to keep those ego’s in check and motivated talented players throughout the season. Gaffney led this group as they buzz sawed through many major events and rarely played down to the competition level. If they were favorite to get you out of there, they got you out of there.
Newcomer Of The Year: Adeleye Oyekanium (Harlem Jets) This kid was a walking double-double this year on our circuit. As the season went on he displayed more versatility in terms of stretching his game to the perimeter. But don’t think that he forgot where his bread was buttered because he still went inside and crashed the boards when needed. He was one of the main reasons for the Harlem Jets success.
Best Scorer: James Bishop (B’More Finest)
They say some players can score like we breathe and you can add Bishop to this category. Teams knew he was the go to man and designed defenses to slow him down to no avail. The southpaw catches fire quickly and will drop buckets from all three levels. He has added his name to the list of pure scorers that came through Basketball Spotlight.
Best Playmaker: Eligah Wenn (Harlem Jets)
While Oyekanium did the dirty work inside Wenn handle the guard duties. The strong point guard gave opponents fits be driving the lane at will and either scoring or dishing the rock. When he showed up the Jets always made deep runs in the tournament including winning the Tip Off Classic.
Defensive Player Of The Year: Scottie Lewis (Team RIO National) This award usually goes to a big man but Lewis gets the kudos because of his play and versatility. He played the passing lanes like Deion Sanders while also leading the squad in blocks shot. His presence on the trapping defense made it difficult for any squad to bring the rock up the floor. He also turned himself into a rebounding machine at times.
Sportsmanship Award: Dontae Scott (Philly Triple Threat) Scott’s squad didn’t achieve the success they did in the past but he still brought his lunch pail every game. The wing forward played hard buzzer to buzzer and continued to show improvements in his game. He had a successful Spotlight career and this should carry over into high school.
Best Floor General: Jalen Gaffney (Team RIO National)
As stated in our feature Gaffney stepped up on the scene this year to run the show for the powerful Team Rio National. He made sure the rock with distributed and knockdown the open shot when left alone. As Gaffney confidence grew it raised the level of his teammates and their success on the floor.
Most Versatile: Marvin Price (DC Premier)
Price showed the ability to dominate a game inside for years but this season his improved perimeter skills stood out. His drives the lane like a true wing and now has extended his range to the three point line. His strength makes him very tough to defend because he can bully past smaller forwards or use quickness to dance around big men.
Best Prospect: Mahki Mitchell (DC Premier)
Standing 6’8 Mitchell wing skills make coaches on the next level salivate. When he’s creating off the dribble and his jump shot is falling he’s looking like one of the best players in America. He’s a matchup nightmare and has proved this all around the country.
Most Improved: Papie Roberts (Newark Pharaohs)
Roberts came out this season and made a name for himself by going to war with some of the top guards in the country. He put up tremendous numbers as being relied on to carry the scoring load for his squad. His pit bull style of play gave him that needed edge.
Monday, June 22, 2015
We have reached the conclusion of the Basketball Spotlight circuit. We had such an exciting season and would like to thank everyone that participated. The 6th Annual J.E.M. All Star Classic will take place Saturday August 16th at Trenton Catholic High School and the 2nd Annual Future Phenom Camp will take place August 23rd and 24th in Maryland.
Starting tomorrow we will announce our award winners for this season including Team Of Year, Coach of The Year, Player Of The Year and Most Outstanding Player to name a few. To be considered for a Spotlight circuit award the player or team must have participated in two or more events. Stay tuned because this should be very exciting.
Friday, June 19, 2015
On Saturday August 16th, Basketball Spotlight will be hosting the 6th Annual J.E.M. All Star Classic. This event will bring together the top boys and girls rising 9th Graders in the region. Some of the top players in the country have participated in this event including potential NBA #1 Pick Karl Anthony Towns, Isaiah Briscoe, Isaiah Whitehead, Tyus Battle and many more. This year’s event should carry on this great trend. We will be releasing the list very soon.
JEM ALL STAR CLASSIC VIDEO PAGE
Thursday, June 18, 2015
Gaffney Player Of The Year
In August 2012, Jalen Gaffney was named Basketball Spotlight 5th Grade Player Of The Year after dominating the Spotlight circuit and finishing as one of the top rank guards in America. During his 6th Grade season Gaffney had a snag in his physical growth which affected his game and caused him to dip in the national player rankings. His father A.D. Gaffney was front and center during this time. “Jalen has always been a gym rat. When you have early success it’s tough to maintain and it comes with a lot of pressure. We just needed to get back in the gym and work on the basics and fundamentals. Jalen also needed to play on the ball more as opposed to off the ball” said his father.
During his 7th Grade season Gaffney joined Team Rio National and began developing his point guard skills. His father was appreciative of joining this new group and developing his game with I’m Possible Training. “A lot of the training that we do comes from I'm Possible. I needed Jalen to also hear a different voice but still have the same message. So I need to thank Micah, Bryce , Brian and DJ for taking the time to work with him. Also we opened up the training HQ in Colts Neck, which allowed him to get shots up with the gun whenever we needed. He still needs to get stronger as we prepare for high school but that will come as he continues to grow and fill out” said AD Gaffney.
“I constantly say to him that "This journey is a marathon not a sprint!" We were also fortunate to play with some very talented players (Scottie, Bryan, Tariq and now Cole), so there is not as much pressure. Now he is having fun and smiling more. And so am I. The key is to always be in the conversation. There was an adjustment period but I think he is finally feeling comfortable. Jalen is still learning every day and needs to be a leader on both sides of the ball” finished Gaffney.