Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Grand Finale 08 13U Recap: Team Nelson Wins 13U Crown!

Another Trophy For Team Nelson

In the highly contested 13U Championship, Team Nelson used extreme ball pressure and made some tough buckets to defeat Team Scan 57-51. This was the second Team Nelson team to take home a title as their 14U group also won the championship.

Championship Top Performers

Kyle Coleman Guard (Team Nelson)- Coleman is a smooth wing guard that scores from various areas on the floor. He has the size and ability to be a big time two guard. He has a capable outside and handles the rock enough to get past defenders. His scoring gave his team breathing room to take home the crown.

Mahir Johnson Guard (Team Nelson)- Johnson is a combo guard that some might view as a point but he has a shoot first mentality. He’s capable of creating his own shot off the bounce and can score in bunches. His game carried over from last year.

Dion Linton Forward (Team Nelson)- Linton got busy inside and was scoring threat on the baseline. He’s long wiry forward with a multitude of moves but also gets rugged when hitting the glass. When the ball came off the glass Linton seemed to always be in the area.

Tyrell Sturdivant Forward (Team Nelson)- Team Nelson also got inside help from Sturdivant. He’s a little on the slim side but his wing span makes him a viable option on both ends of the floor. Once he beefs up he should become a top prospect in a few years.

Jalen Henriquez Guard (Team Scan)- Jalen had his outside dropping most of the tourney especially behind the arc. I also like his smoothness when putting the rock on the floor. I’ve watched him in several settings and he’s up to the challenge each time out.

Naim Thomas Guard (Team Scan)- Brown was one of the top guards in the event. He breaks down defenders with a slick handle and can convert in traffic with a nice floater or pull up. He might be one of the best up-coming guards from the NYC.

Inside The Grand Finale, All Tournament Team and Video Hihlights Coming! Soon!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Grand Finale 08 11U Championship Recap: Gauchos Take Title To NY

Gauchos Win Grand Finale Title!

George Pena and Jared Rivers scored 16 points apiece and Shamorie Pond added 13 markers as the NYC Gauchos defeated F.A.C.E.S 56-42 to win the Grand Finale 11 and Under title. F.A.C.E.S. got 8 points apiece from RJ Cole, Shaquan Gibbs, Ray Montilous and Javon Reis Wilson.

Championship Game Top Performers

George Pena Guard (Gauchos)- The lefty showed tremendous swagger during the tourney and played with extreme toughness. He got out on the break and converted when possible. He always seems to be involved in the play and his presence usually brings good results.

Jared Rivers Guard (Gauchos)- Rivers is a bruising guard that uses his strength to get buckets in traffic. He can handle the pill but looks more effective on this level attacking from the wing. His body control almost guarantees him a bucket or trip to the charity stripe.

Shamorie Pond Guard (Gauchos)- Pond has blended in with his new team great. The scoring southpaw has the dribble moves to get anywhere he wants and can score in a variety of ways. This is a name you will hear for some time. He has serious work.

Brandon Randolph Guard (Gauchos)- Randolph’s play early in the tourney helped the Choz get to the chip. The lead guard excels in transition by scoring buckets in spurts. He has a slick handle and a scorer’s mentality that helps his team become a tough squad to beat.

RJ Cole Guard (F.A.C.E.S.)- Cole’s scoring outburst in the against Team Underrated helped his squad advance to the semifinals. The southpaw has a ton of experience and isn’t afraid to jack it from the cheap seats. He can heat up quickly.

Ray Montilous Forward (F.A.C.E.S.)- Ray gets it done inside for this team. He’s good at getting put backs and giving his team second opportunities. His play on defense also helps his team makeup for dribble penetration. He plays hard and leaves it on the floor.

Shyquan Gibbs Guard (F.A.C.E.S.)- Gibbs is a veteran with this team and his experience showed. He gets after it on both ends and isn’t afraid to drive into the land of shot blockers. This lefty had a good showing.

Javon Reis Wilson Guard (F.A.C.E.S.)- Wilson is another scoring guard with this group. He gets buckets in several ways and also plays aggressive defense. He’s an important part of this team’s success.

Inside The Grand Finale, All Tournament and Video Highlights Coming Soon!

Grand Finale 08 14U Championship Recap: Team Nelson Gets It Done

Team Nelson Returns To Its Winning Ways!

Dajuan Drennon scored 16 points and Lewis Hayes added 12 markers as Team Nelson held off a late rally to defeat the NY Panthers 59-56 to the Grand Finale 14 and Under crown. John Severe scored 20 points for the Panthers in the loss.

Championship Game Top Performers

Dajuan Drennon Forward (Team Nelson)- Drennon made an huge impact on the game. His inside strength and athleticism caused problems for everyone during this event. He runs the floor like a deer and finishes above the rim if given the opportunity. On defense he anchors the squad and challenges anything in sight. I also like the way he eats the glass for rebounds.

Lewis Hayes Guard (Team Nelson)- Hayes blended in well with this squad. He appears to be more aggressive and plays harder on defense. In this game he was able to make plays off the dribble and used his slashing skills. I saw a tougher side of him this weekend.

Rondee Jefferson Forward (Team Nelson)- Jefferson had the job of guarding John Severe and I must say he gave the NY product all he could handle. His long arms allow him to challenge shots and retreat on defense. Rondee also knows how to get out on the break and fill the lane when he isn’t rebounding.

Darrell Nicholson Guard (Team Nelson)- This was my first look at Nicholson and the bulldog style point guard brings tremendous pressure on both ends of the floor. He gets into the lane at will using both his speed and stockiness to get past defenders. Once he got into the lane is court vision allowed him to hit teammates right on time.

John Severe Guard (NY Panthers)- Severe struggled to finish at first but as the game progressed he picked up his offensive production. John enjoys the dribble drive and uses his body to initiate contact while trying to score. He virtually tried to carry the squad to the crown. He does need to improve his outside shot and get his teammates more involved. At times they were just standing around watching him.

Kenny Lee Guard (NY Panthers)- Lee is a lanky swing man that can score from anywhere. In the finals he helped his squad get back into the game by banging treys. He has a nice stroke and used it very well. I like his size for the position he plays.

Master Coleman Forward (NY Panthers)- Coleman is a bit undersized for the power forward spot but he’s a hard worker and knows how to maneuver around the basket to get points. He’s a tough competitor.

Inside The Grand Finale, All Tournament and Video Highlights Coming Soon!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Grand Finale 08 12U Championship Recap: Playtime Basketball Prevails

Playtime Basketball Got It Done!

Corey Brown had 24 points and Deshawn Washington added 10 markers as Playtime Basketball defeated NYC Gauchos 65-55 to win the Grand Finale 12 and Under Championship. Kai Mitchell led the Gauchos with 13 points in the loss.

Championship Top Performers

Corey Brown Guard (Playtime Basketball)- Brown was outstanding for the entire tourney. The combo guard’s feel for the game, ball handling and shooting made him the talk of this age bracket. In the finals he nailed 3 treys and made a host of big plays. This was my first time checking him out and I was very impressed with his poise and effectiveness. He gets anywhere he wants on the court and makes it looks easy.

Deshawn Washington Guard (Playtime Basketball)- Washington was another impressive guard with this squad. He can shoot the jumper or get to the hole where he loves to cuff the rock in traffic. I like his instincts and body control when finishing.

Ray Kim Forward (Playtime Basketball)- Kim was very efficient during this event. He’s not huge in size but he has good technique and knows how to finish inside. He went up against some good inside players and showed his worth especially in money time.

Phillip Hammond Forward (Playtime Basketball)- Hammond is a long athletic forward that did damage on the glass and altering shots on defense. He used his long arms for second chance opportunities and helped his team advance. He has a nose for the ball.

Kaseem Coston Forward (Playtime Basketball)- Coston is another quick guard from Playtime. He beats defenders with dribble drives and makes pretty good decisions with the pill. His speed plays a huge role in his game.

Kai Mitchell Forward (Gauchos)- Mitchell grew some inches since the last time I saw him and his game has also improved. He has more quickness inside and still can score on anybody on the blocks. He had a good showing.

Jaquan McKennon Guard (Gauchos)- The southpaw has a lot of flash in his game but does possess substance. He can score the rock from anywhere including 3 point land where he we launch it in a heartbeat. He loves the stage and usually performs well on it.

Davonte Green Forward (Gauchos)- Even at this age you can tell Green has some good potential. He has a forward size but can handle the pill like a true guard. On several occasions he got the rebound and pushed the rock up the floor himself. I like his court presence and versatility.

Calvin Riley Forward (Gauchos)- Riley also sprouted up a few inches since last year. He’s an athletic finisher that excels when slashing and in transition. Defensively he’s long enough to cause problems in the passing lane and helping out on the glass.

Inside the Grand Finale, All Tournament Team and Video Highlights Coming Soon.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Elite 80 Expo Highlights Part 2

The Basketball Spotlight Elite 80 Expo took place December 6th and 7th. We are proud to present highlights from this event. Here’s a video breakdown of some of the young ballers that got busy at this event. This is a 4 part video series and here’s Part 2.

Team Duke and Team North Carolina Highlights

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Elite 80 Expo Video Highlights Part 1

The Basketball Spotlight Elite 80 Expo took place December 6th and 7th. We are proud to present highlights from this event. Here’s a video breakdown of some of the young ballers that got busy at this event. This is a 4 part video series and here’s Part 1.

Team Arizona vs. Team Georgetown Highlights

Diary Of A Baller: Jason Boswell Entry #12

Hey wassup basketball world,

My week was wonderful. I'm out of school on Christmas break and I ended it on a good note by passing all my test for the week. We also had a school game against our rivals Santa Maria the score was 42 to 2 at the end of the first quarter so you already know how that went. After that I also had a fun Lightning practice. It’s always fun and competitive thanks to our great coach Shandue McNeil. Later that night, I went to the Gauchos to watch some high school games with my NY Patriots Elliott Rosado and my dad. My Lightning teammate Severio Ford was playing with his school team St. John the Baptist. He ended the game with 16 and 7ast. and a lost to Wings Academy.

Sunday was my best day of the weekend. To start my day off I went to Fordham University to workout with my dad and Daniel Dingle. After we worked out me and Daniel had a dunk contest, he won off of luck. LOL. Then Funsport I went early to catch a little bit of the 7th grade all star game but I really went early to watch my boy Jordan Washington Play in that Championship game. They beat New Heights. Jordan played very well. I've been waiting for the Funsport 8th Grade all star game. My team won the game. I played very well and I showed my passing skills by throwing a couple alley-opps to Shaq Davis and Jordan Washington. I ended the game with 27 and 7rbs 3ast. I got the MVP of the game. I received MVP award from the game and my old Lightning teammate Zeek (Isaiah) Lewis received sportsmanship award. Congrats to Zeek Zeek. To Dana Dingle and the coaches of St. Raymond HS, thanks for the support on coming out to the game.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Grand Finale 08 Preview: 14U Division

The Canes Are One Of The Favorites

The 14U Division should be good as it features some of the talented squads in the region. The pools are tight and it should be some interesting results. Here’s a breakdown of the top players and teams that will be in the building.

14U Grand Finale 08 Previews

Trenton Hurricanes: The Canes enter the Grand Finale as the reigning MDC Champs and are looking to show that they are a force to be reckoned with. Their guard play is in place with high scoring southpaw Nate King, Charles Cooke and point guard Nazier Chew. They are ready to add another piece to the trophy.

NY Panthers: The NY Panthers finished 2nd at the MDC and ended the season as one of the top teams in the region. Coach Kat has some interesting pieces including Maynard Grant and Dalique Mingo. They recently won the talent filled Funsport League in NY thus they should be ready.

Team Nelson: Formerly Educated Athletes, the Chester, PA boys are anxious to rebound from their early exit at the MDC. Super guard trio Jaquan Johnson, Comrad Chambers and Darius Robinson should provide the needed punch for them to make a dent into the competition.

JS Fliers: The Fliers seem to have reunited at the right time as the 14U season can be the most rewarding. The nucleus of Trevis Wyche, Darrian Collins and Evan Hubbard are present as well some talented newcomers. In our last real look at them was when they fell to Team Nelson at the MDC 07 in the finals.

Hoop Heaven: I didn’t watch Hoop Heaven play last year but I know the backcourt of Jaren Sina and Jordan Forehand will be tough to stop. Expect some serious play and big time competition when this group hits the floor. Should be very exciting.

PPY Pirates Elite: The Pirates also have a talented bunch. Will Joyce, Rakwan Kelly and Denzel Wilcher control the paint, while Stephen McNair and Jared Hall should have the perimeter on smash. They might be the surprise team of the event.

Other Teams To Look Out For
BCH Bearcats
Shooting Stars
Keystone Blazers
Delaware’s Finest
Asbury Park Rec.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Grand Finale 08 Preview: 13U Division

Team Underrated Is Back Again

The 13U Bracket is the smallest in the tourney but does feature some of the top teams in the region. Here’s a look at the teams that will be making the trip to Lakewood High School.

13U Grand Finale of 08 Previews

Team Underrated: The MDC Champs have some new faces but Chris Davis remains in the fold and proved at the Elite 80 Expo that he’s one of the top guards in the region. Coming out the gate this should be an interesting test for the Long Island based crew.

PYO All Stars: Don’t be surprised if this group makes a serious run for the crown. They have tremendous size including developing big man Kamari Peel. I’m looking forward to watching them rock especially if Amir Maddred and Ryan Bland are suiting up for them.

Team Nelson: Team Nelson also has made some changes. High scoring guard Shep Gardner is no longer with the group but this Chester, PA squad should be still capable of making noise. Mahir Johnson is ready to take over the scoring duties so everything should be a go. We will see!

NJ Pirates: The NJ Pirates have a miniature guard trio of Corey Tate, Kamron Williams and Al Jahaad Bradford. All three can shoot the rock and handle the pill effectively. Look out as their quickness can change the outcome of the game.

JSL Hoops: Kyle Carrington and Maurice Diawara might form the best duo in the Shore area for this age group. Carrington is a silky smooth southpaw that can score from anywhere while Diawara is a punishing forward that also knows how to put the ball in the hole.

Other Teams Too Look Out For
Team Scan
Delaware’s Finest
Linden Ballers

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Grand Finale 08 Preview: 12U Division

Can Anyone Dethrone Harvest Knights?

The 12U Division at the Holiday Classic has some big time teams and should bring some interesting matchups. Here’s a breakdown of the top teams and players that will be making their way down to Lakewood for the Grand Finale.

12U Grand Finale of 08 Previews

Harvest Knights: The Big dogs return ready to get back the work. They won the MDC crown in awesome fashion and still possess some of the top talent in the region. The 1-2 punch of Malik Ellison and Trevaughn Wilkerson might be the best combo in the region. Many competitors are ready to knock them off the pedestal and here’s the opportunity but it won’t be easy.

F.A.C.E.S: Yes, they have this age group also. Brian Brown and Austin Goodluck form a formable front line and they should do a lot of damage inside. Word also has it that few new players will be taking the floor for Rob Cole’s crew including former Team MVP standout Trey Lowe. Wow!

The Gauchos: When you have Jaquan “Shake and Bake” McKennon and forward Kai Mitchell you are in position to win any tourney. The Gauchos are here to revenge their early MDC exit and should be hungry. The Boys from the Bronx will have everybody watching.

Bayshore Bulldogs: When you think of consistency think of the Bulldogs. The inside play of Jack Laffy and Jack Byrnes is complimented by the perimeter skills of Nick Lubisher. They are going to take care of the rock and make the right plays most of the game. They are always a scary game for anyone.

Linden Ballers: Isiah Still is one of the most talented players in the region and when you throw in the point guard play of Kyle Phipps or steady guard play of Jason peoples things could get interesting. One thing is for certain they will leave it all on the floor.

Philly Aztecs: Stevie Jordan has improved and is ready to make his move as one of the elite players in the region. Jahmil Harris is a strong southpaw that also makes a lot of things happen with the rock in his hands. Philly is in the building.

NJ Pirates: Malcolm Manning is one of the most talented guards in the region and now he will have to show it in the fire. Zachery Torres is Manning’s backcourt mate is also coming on strong lately. Don’t sleep on them.

The City: The City is one of the new teams on the scene and is coming into the tourney with a lot of hype. They come from the Big Apple and are out to represent to the fullest. Good Luck!

Other Teams To Watch

Playtime Basketball
Jameson Basketball
Team Underrated
Mid Jersey Heat