Monday, August 31, 2009

Diary Of A Baller: Jordan Forehand Final Entry

Hello Basketball World!

It's your boy Jordan. This is my final diary and I just wanted to say that it has been a great experience and that I enjoyed every minute of it.

I wanted to begin by thanking some important folks in my life this past year. My first thanks go to God for giving me the ability play basketball and to my parents for working with me both educationally and athletically. My mom will always make sure that I get the best academically. She always quotes "The key to academic success is parental involvement. My dad for working with me in basketball for all of these years and always letting me know that books come before basketball. His phrase is "Basketball will get you to the door but it's an education that will open it."

A special thank you goes out to Mike Melton for creating Basketball Spotlight and giving us all and opportunity to be exposed and recognized in the basketball world. Many of us would not have known each other or about each other if it was not for Basketball Spotlight. If there is anything that I could ever do for Basketball Spotlight, please let me know. Thanks again Mike for choosing me to do the spotlight. It was truly an honor! Keep up the great work!

I would also like to thank all of my teachers and school coaches, with a special thanks to Mrs. Christina Roach. Don't know what I would have done without you! I also want to thank Tina Gregory who helped my family gather a lot of information on the high schools that I was considering.

I would also like to thank two of my biggest fans, my grand parents, Cyril and Barbara DeRosa.

I would also like to thank all of those connected with HoopGroup: Adam Turner, Mike Farrelly, Rob Kennedy, Tiny Green, Dan Rose, Chris Zupko, Joe Stein, Yonah Greenstein and Matt Horwitz

People who have worked with me one on one in basketball and conditioning:
Ted Black, Valentine Barnaby, Frank Burno, Skip Fuller, William (Pop's) Beckford and Herb Magee. And a special thanks to Dave, who helps get me back on my feet!

My AAU coaches 2008-2009:
Sports University: Frank Burno, Brian Coleman, Ed Bright
NJ Shoreshots: Adam Turner, Yonah Greenstein, Matt Horwitz
Greenburgh Kings: Michael Forehand, Chris Forehand and Terry Williams
Hoop Heaven Fall League: Coach Sina
Playaz: (Eight is Enough League): Coach Slappy

There so many other people that I would like to thank, but I am keeping it to the people who I have worked with over the past year.

And now what many people have been asking me all summer. My high school choice will be Saint Anthony's. A former coach and someone who I respect greatly said to me early in the year "No matter what school you choose, make sure that it is a place that you will be happy". Since March, I have been involved with many people who are a part of Saint Anthony's and who also made me feel like I was a part of Saint Anthony's. I like the fact that the school is small and I love the classes that they offer. It will be a great experience and I look forward to being a part of the school and its basketball legacy. I AM A FRIAR!!!!!

I would also like to thank all of the other schools who showed interest in me.

Though this will be my last diary, you can still check me out on

Once again, I have enjoyed talking to you each week. To the younger guy's as well as my peers, remember that the books are just as important as the basketball. Without the grades, you cannot get into college. With the grades and the basketball, you can write your own ticket! And even with the grades and the basketball, remember to be the best person you can be.



Saturday, August 29, 2009

Basketball Spotlight Searching For New Diary Of A Baller!

Sunday will be the final Diary Of A Baller entry featuring Jordan Forehand. We would like to thank Jordan and his family for taking the time to give us some insight into his life. It was truly a pleasure. Now Basketball Spotlight will search for (4) new Diary Of A Baller participants. We will choose one player from each of the following states; New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware. The qualifications are listed below. If you feel you have what it takes then send us an email at

Diary Of A Baller Qualifications:

 Class Of 2014 (Must Be Entering 8th Grade)
 Very Responsible and Committed To The Project (It’s a long year)
 Must Be Interesting (On and Off The Court)
 Must Be Able To Send Diary Weekly (That’s Only 4 A Month)

In your email please write a paragraph introducing yourself and explain why you think you should be our Diary Of A Baller participant.

Diary Of A Baller Participants Will Be Announced By The End Of September.

Sina and Stewart Shine At Five Star Camp

Jaren Sina Took Home MVP Honors

The Five Star Sixers Camp Recently took place and they sent us over the report. It seems that two Class of 2013 players came in and crashed the party.

For the first time ever two players from the class of 2013 played in this years All-Star game. 5"10 Freshman Kavon Stewart-Paterson Catholic and 6"0 Freshman Jaren Sina -Gill St.Bernards.

Freshman Jaren Sina broke an All Star game record with 14 Assists and scored 22 points! Out of all these players Jaren Sina was named MVP of the game and was the youngest player to ever win Most Valuable Player.Jaren Sina is considered to be one of the best players in the class of 2013 and will play varsity action, so will other Freshman Kavon Stewart.

Five Star Basketball

Friday, August 28, 2009

Gym Rat Midnight Madness Flashback!

Tracy McGrady and Kobe Bryant At Gym Rat Midnight Madness. Are You Next?

The Gym Rat Midnight Madness will be returning again this fall. The Ultimate Showcase has featured some of the top players in the world. The alumni include Kobe Bryant, Tracy McGrady and most recently Tyreke Evans to name a few. Over 50 NBA players have participated in this event when they were younger.

This year Basketball Spotlight will once again kick off its coverage season with a trip to this event. Don’t miss your chance to register and get discovered. The young divisions include 5th Grade Thru 8th Grade.

Date: Saturday (September 26, 2009)

Place: Eastern High School (Voorhees, NJ)

Time: 12:00 PM To Midnight

Cost: $75 (Includes Full Uniform)

To Register Contact

Vince Jackson at or (856)-383-2798

For Information visit

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

St. Pats Reloads With "The Super Class"

St. Patrick’s is regarded as one of the top high school programs in the country. They currently boast the NJ’s #1 player in both the Class of 2010 (Kyrie Irving) and Class of 2011 (Mike Gilchrist) but they are not done. The Celtics hit the Class of 2013 hard by bringing in the “Super Class” featuring 8 of the top 100 players in the region. “Talent wise this is the best group in our schools history” said assistant coach Rae Miller. Here’s a breakdown of "The Super Class".

Austin Colbert looks like he could be the jewel of this class with a good package of size and athleticism. He has the posture and eagerness of a Mike Gilchrist or Al Harrington. If he continues to work hard and develop college coaches will be flocking.

Jason Boswell has the chance to be a special player and St. Pats might the place for him. The Celtics specialize in making players increase their intensity level and Boswell needs a boost sometimes. Look for him to buy into the program and blossom.

Will Joyce is another player that has a chance to explode if he develops a killer’s instinct. He passes the look test with his size and length but he does need to develop his skill set and perimeter ball handling. Keep an eye on him.

Amir Maddred was a surprise for me. Coming from Camden I didn’t know he was on their radar. He does fit their prototype player in terms of being 6’6 with a wiry frame. He’s another player we could be calling special in a few years.

Jared Nickens has grown to 6’5 but continues to have a wet jumper. He must develop his ball handling and ability to help out on the boards. His size on the perimeter and ability to stretch the defense might get him on the floor early and often.

Iverson Fleming is a very quick combo guard. He has the ability to create opportunities off the bounce including scoring the rock himself. The Celtics will probably use his defensive prowess to help the squad succeed. This kid is a blur.

Trevis Wyche will quarterback this crew when his time comes. He has a high basketball IQ and will serve as another coach for Boyle on the floor. He understands the importance of taking care of the rock and running a ball club.

Darrian Collins will serve as the spot up shooter/point guard similar to Jason Patterson as few years ago. Collins will have to step up his defensive presence to see significant minutes like Patterson.

Wow, what a class!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Basketball Spotlight Top 100 Class 2013 Rankings Coming Soon!

In a week Basketball Spotlight will be posting our Goodbye Top 100 rankings for the Class Of 2013. Through all my years of doing rankings this was one of the most difficult. It was difficult because the talent levels among many of the players are very similar. Please understand we stress the fact of being unbiased are just expressing our opinion.

Gym Rat Midnight Madness Is Coming!

The Gym Rat Midnight Madness will be returning again this fall. The Ultimate Showcase has featured some of the top players in the world. The alumni include Kobe Bryant, Tracy McGrady and most recently Tyreke Evans to name a few. Over 50 NBA players have participated in this event when they were younger.

This year Basketball Spotlight will once again kick off its coverage season with a trip to this event. Don’t miss your chance to register and get discovered. The young divisions include 5th Grade Thru 8th Grade.

Date: Saturday (September 26, 2009)

Place: Eastern High School (Voorhees, NJ)

Time: 12:00 PM To Midnight

Cost: $75 (Includes Full Uniform)

To Register Contact

Vince Jackson at or (856)-383-2798

For Information visit

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Ponds Deserves Honors

My Bad Shamorie!

Sometimes as a write or evaluator of talent you can forget some important information. When I completed the 11U award winners I simply forgot to add Shamorie Ponds to the list as one of the top scorers. Ponds play was one of the major reasons the Gauchos had a great start to the season. The southpaw is one of the purest scorers in the region and loves to have the rock in his hands when the game is on the line.

I want to give a personal shout out to this kid because he earned his props and should have received them. I also appreciate the fact that no one from the Gauchos or Ponds immediate family complained to me concerning this matter. They gave us the chance to figure it out on our own. We will add Ponds name alongside Rakym Felders as one of the top scorers.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Basketball Spotlight 14U Award Winners

Shafeek Taylor 2009 Player Of The Year

The 14U Division had a tight race all the way to the end. Four teams had a legit shot at taking home Team Of The Year. Basketball Spotlight has chosen its awards winners and would like to congratulate all of them. Here’s the final breakdown of the season for this age group.

Player Of The Year

Shafeek Taylor: Mr. Taylor used his size and sweet moves to put in work all season. He started by scoring at will during the Elite 80 Expo while capturing the title. During the Atlantic City Showcase his game opened up as his team raised the trophy. Taylor was finally very influential in the Peacemakers winning their region and finishing #13 in the country.

Team Of The Year

Philly Peacemakers: The Peacemakers won the Atlantic City Showcase, Mid Atlantic Regionals and finished #13 in the country. They also finished runner up in several big tournaments throughout the region. Their physical style and will to win helped them get over the hump.

Coach Of The Year

Hassan Muhammad: Muhammad coached his boys to a Grand Finale crown and the runner up in the Atlantic City Showcase. His coaching style and mentorship has been the trademark of this program for years. As he moves along to high school he should be remembered as one of the top grammar school coaches and teachers.

Sportsmanship Award

John Severe: John Severe competes with tremendous passion and leaves everything on the floor. I saw another side of John while watching the CNN documentary “Black In America” as he joined several other kids from Brooklyn on a quest to Africa. This segment told me a lot about his character. If you get a chance check it out.

Scholar-Athlete Of The Year

Jordan Forehand: Forehand held down the diary during the year and managed to keep a great GPA at prestigious Rutgers Prep. Jordan is a great kid while conducting himself like a true gentleman on and off the floor. Some high school coach will be receiving a treat.

Best Playmaker

Kavon Stewart: When Stewart touches the rock something good always seems to happen. The southpaw has great court vision and is always in attack mode. Stay tune as he takes his game and swagger to Paterson Catholic next year.

Best Scorer

Ramone Gibbons: “The Boston Strangler” knows how to get buckets and does it on a regular basis. His stocky frame and scoring touch helps him find the bottom of the net frequently. The Boston area will have a good one for years to come.

Most Athletic

Britton Lee: This kid plays with a great motor and will sneak a dunk in on you if you’re not careful. Lee gets after it on both ends and is a very passionate player. Next season he will be rocking with Philly Powerhouse Roman Catholic.

Best Shooter

Reggie Cameron: Cameron has been stroking it for years and nothing has changed. If he gets a clean look he usually knocks it down. Defenses have been designed to keep Cameron away from the perimeter.

Best Backcourt

Jaquan Johnson, Conrad Chambers and Darius Robinson: These guys play lock down defense and provided instant offense for Team Nelson. Every time they stepped on the floor opponents knew it was a war going down.

Most Improved

John Davis: Davis came back this year chiseled up and ready to go. He had improved post moves and even began putting the rock on the floor. His improved play helped his squad win several tournaments and win Team Of The Year Award.

Best Defender

Rondee Jefferson: His versatility allows him to guard the post and perimeter. Injuries caused Jefferson to play a lot of the center spot and the youngster responded. Chester High might be getting another good one to add to their legacy.

Best Prospect

Austin Colbert: Colbert stands 6’8, runs the floor and handles the rock. When you throw in the fact that he can shoot the trey ball you now have a scary prospect. The right kind of development at St. Patrick’s could sky- rocket this kid’s stock.

Camp Or Showcase Award

Howard Sellers: Sellers lit up the Elite 80 Expo, Philly USA Showcase and The Basketball Spotlight All Star Classic. Sellers scoring style and eagerness to get buckets stands out in these types of events. He knows how to put the ball in the hole.

14U Final Rankings

1. Philly Peacemakers
2. Playaz Basketball Club
3. Team Nelson
4. Long Island Lightning
5. Boston Select Formerly Boston Saintz
6. Higher Ground Warriors
7. PPY Elite
8. Westchester Hawks
9. Team Delaware
10. KBR Fliers

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Basketball Spotlight 13U Award Winners

Youth Interlock Finihsed #9 In The Country

The 13U AAU division had some interesting stories and action. Basketball Spotlight has chosen its awards winners and would like to congratulate all of them. Here’s the final breakdown of the season for this age group.

Team Of The Year

Youth Interlock: This team was assembled to win it all. They came up a little short but ran through many squads in their quest. They conquered several tournaments including the Mid Atlantic Regionals in dominating fashion. They finished #9 in the country.

Player Of The Year

Shepard Garner: Few youngsters brought the intensity, focus and production like Garner. Having talent is one thing but Shepard’s will to win is special. On several occasions I witnessed his demeanor lift the spirit of his teammates which is the sign of a star. Keep working hard young man.

Coach Of The Year

Malik Walker: After losing a talent like Garner many programs would be on the verge of folding but Walker rallied his troops. His Team Nelson crew won the Triple Crown and finished 3rd in their competitive region. He did a great job.

Sportsmanship Award

Matt Reiss: After playing the entire MDC tourney with a cracked rib Reiss was a no-brainer for this award. During that tourney he helped his crew get all the way to the finals. He showed true guts.

Best Play Maker

Nazier Chew: Chew gave Team Nelson a shot in the arm once he joined the squad. His ability to push the rock and create opportunities propelled them to a few pieces of hardware.

Best Defender

Austin Tilghman: This kid tries to use his power and smartness to lock down the top player from the other squad. Tilghman is willing to dig down deep while also moving his feet to get the job done.

Best Shooter

Jake Dadika: This kid has tremendous range and great accuracy once he lets it go. He led his team to a solid season while not backing down from any opposing guards. Keep an eye on this kid.

Best Scorer

Adeyinka Adams: This combo guard always finds away to fill it up. His mid range game and ability to finish at the cup makes him a dangerous player at all times. He scores the rock quickly and in bunches.

Best Backcourt:

Shaquan Worthy, Isiah Powell and Wade Baldwin: Team NJ ABC was one of the smallest teams in the region but their backcourt play brought them a NJ State title. Any team that faced them can attest to this.

Best 1st Year Program

Team Scan: Coach Williams’s crew came out of nowhere and took home several titles. They traveled the East Coast and represented to the fullest. They are a dangerous program.

Most Improved

Isiah Powell: Powell came out this season and lit up the scoreboards. His shooting ability and improved dribble drive game stood out. Once again he should be considered one of the top guards in the region.

13U Final Rankings

1. Youth Interlock
2. Juice All Stars
3. Gauchos
4. Team Nelson
5. Team Kobe
6. Team Scan
7. Team Final
8. Team NJ ABC
9. Philly Select
10. Team Underrated

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Basketball Spotlight 12U Award Winners

Team Final Takes Top Prize

The 12U Division this year was very competitive. I got a chance to watch some serious talent and terrific games. Basketball Spotlight has chosen its awards winners and would like to congratulate all of them. Here’s the final breakdown of the season for this age group.

Team Of The Year

Team Final: This Mid Atlantic Powerhouse won the Clash For The Cup, Atlantic City Showcase and the Mid Atlantic AAU Regionals. During the 12U Nationals they made a run to the Sweet 16 before getting clipped by the #3 team in the country.

Player Of The Year

Trevaughn Wilkerson: Wilkerson was the most dominant player in the region period. On the offensive end his improved footwork and touch made him impossible to defend. Then on the defensive end he was a human fly swatter. He blocked and altered shots on a regular basis.

Coach Of The Year

Science Mapp: Mapp faced some early changes with his squad but still guided them to win the Metropolitan AAU crown and runner up finishes at the Grand Finale and MDC. He made sure the Gauchos always had a shot to win it all.

Sportsmanship Award

Mike Williams: Williams is a tough competitor and was one of the biggest reasons The City were so successful. He scored the rock, made passes and played good defense. Mike did whatever his squad needed to get victories. Finally, I like his demeanor on the floor and the way he conducted himself.

Best Play Maker

Malik Ellison: Ellison moved to more of a point guard role and concentrated on running the squad. When things got serious Malik was capable of switching gears and turning up his scoring effort. Ellison’s future looks bright and we will be watching for the next few years.

Best Scorer

Myles Powell: This kid from the Blitz just can flat out get buckets. He has a natural knack for scoring and will pull the trigger against any squad or from anywhere in the gym. When his shots are falling it’s like he’s in a zone.

Best Backcourt

Ray Lawry, Malik Ellison and Lamar Kimble: The Team Final backcourt set the stage on both ends of the floor. They forced many teams into turnovers and then punished them by pushing the rock down their throats.

Most Improved

Jack Laffy: Laffy had the skill set last season but this year his improved intensity was apparent. While playing with F.A.C.E.S. Laffy was a true warrior on the post and played the game with great passion.

Best Defender

Ray Lawry: Lawry used his strength and speed to hound ball handlers while also roaming the passing lanes. Most guards at this level weren’t physically ready for his onslaught so turnovers were frequent. This kid was a pest.

Best Shooter

Justin Salem: This kid has accurate range from anywhere in the gym. Once he sets his feet you can count it the books. Salem showed his outside shooting ability all season especially during the NJ State tourney.

Best 1st Year Program

The City: These guys went out and captured some hardware including the MLK Classic, Never Nervous Invitational and most recently the AAU Nationals Classic title. Excellent job guys.

Showcase or Camp Award

Perry Dozier Jr.: Hey the kid went two both All American Camps and walked away as the #1 player each time. His talent was on full display and many regard him as the top player in this class. We look forward to seeing at Spotlight events next season.

12U Final Rankings

1. Team Final
2. U Turn Warriors
3. DC Assault
4. The City
5. Team Takeover
6. Gauchos
7. King Street Kings
8. F.A.C.E.S.
9. Linden Ballers
10. SJ Blitz