Sunday, May 31, 2009
Sorry it's been a couple weeks since I have written. I have been very focused on Basketball. We finished out the Spring League in Seattle 12-0 and we won the championship. In the championship game I hit a half court shot at the buzzer to put us up by 12. But more importantly we closed out the half with a bang. It gave us momentum to finish the game strong and win by 35.
Just last weekend we won the North West Championship. I was MVP of the tournament and averaged 26 points a game. We only had 5 players that tournament and we beat the top team from Oregon (I.C.P.) in the Semi final, and Rotary Style Black in the championship by 22 points. Half of our team was in California at a National Track Meet. Having 5 players was tough, but we executed and played hard.
I have been working out every day as usual. My dad got a call from ABC news and they are coming out to film me next week at practice. They are doing a news special and want to feature me. It's the same guy who did the Erics Little hero's special when I was 10 yrs old. When my team won the Spring League Championship, the ref came to me after the game and told me that I remind him of Isaiah Thomas when he was my age. It's funny he say that, because Isaiah is my mentor and we talk all the time. I'm proud my big bro won Pac 10 Freshman of the year honors.
Our next tournament is the Rose City Classic in Oregon. We are practicing 3 days a week to prepare for it. With no games over the next couple weekends, I will try to keep everyone updated.
Agosto Championship Game Highlights
Saturday, May 30, 2009
Basketball Spotlight spent the day in Springfield, Massachusetts at the Best Of The Best Hall Of Fame Classic. We got a chance to check out some new talent on the horizon. We concentrated on the 12U and 13U Divisions. The 13U bracket was loaded with top teams and players. Here’s a look at who stood out today.
13U Top Performers Day 1
Tyree Robinson Forward (BABC)- Wow, Robinson was a true force in his first game. He stands about 6’2 but his wingspan allows him to dominate a game on both ends. On offense he attacks the rim from the baseline or in the lane. Tyree has great leaping ability which means he will flush it on your head if you’re not careful. On defense his long arms help him block everything insight and control the boards. Talent is oozing out of his veins.
Jeremy Miller Forward (BABC)- Miller is about 6’6 and can be effective on this level but will have to pack on some mass soon. The lanky post player does have good hands and will score from drop offs. Right now his lack of strength causes him to bring the ball down before going up for a basket. This makes life easier for guards trying to strip the rock.
John Joseph Guard (BABC)- Speaking of guards BABC has a good one in Joseph. This point guard has some serious tools. He’s like a bullet with the rock and will cross defenders on a dime. John loves to drive, draw and dish to his big men but also can take over the scoring load when needed.
Jalen Adams Guard (BABC)- Adams had the hottest haircut in the building lol and his game also stood out. Adams provided some perimeter punch for this team with a mean pull up jumper and a couple of deep bombs. He has a scorers mentality and isn’t afraid to use it.
Isiah Buck-Lowman Forward (DC Assault 12’s)- I love this kids package of goods. He has size, can shoot it and put the rock on the floor. Isiah is difficult to guard because his soft touch allows him to fade away and still kiss the rock off the glass. This kid has some special talent and with hard work should get even better.
Franklin Howard Guard (DC Assault 12’s)- I love Howards posture and his guard skills on the floor. He can either score from the perimeter or cake a defender into submission. Franklin can play both guard spots but looks like he might be a true point when it’s said and done.
Terrell Allen Guard (DC Assaults 12’s)- Allen currently runs the show for this squad. He uses his smartness to set the tempo and loves getting out into transition. He has a wealth of talent around him and uses it to the fullest.
Luis Rodriquez Forward (SECC All Stars)- Luis is an athletic finisher that gets off the floor in a hurry. He drove the lane on several plays and used his leaping ability to soar over defenders before converting. He does need to work on his perimeter skills in terms of ball handling and shooting before he moves to the next level.
Nelson Zayas Guard (SECC All Stars)- This kid has a nice stroke and a sneaky handle that can leave a defender falling backwards. Nelson is very crafty and picks his spots well before attacking. He knows how to put the ball in the hole.
Amari Brown Forward (SECC All Stars)- Brown is also a hard working player on the glass. He’s a quick leaper and will play the passing lanes on defense. He too will need to develop his ball handling because will we be a guard in a few years.
Basketball Spotlight spent the day in Springfield, Massachusetts at the Best Of The Best Hall Of Fame Classic. We got a chance to check out some new talent on the horizon. We concentrated on the 12U and 13U Divisions. Here’s a breakdown of the players that impressed us today. First we will look at the 12U Bracket.
12U Top Performers Day 1
Chris Baldwin Forward (SECC All Stars)- Baldwin towered over the competition in his first game. The big guy stands about 6’5 and uses it to his advantage. Chris took his time once he received the rock on the blocks and scored with ease. On defense he alters shots with his mere presence and gets more than his share of rebounds.
Charles Davis Forward (SECC All Stars)- Davis cleaned up the glass playing alongside Baldwin. The attention was focused on Baldwin so Davis made living scoring and rebounding on the weak side. He’s a power player that runs the floor well.
Zavia Williams Guard (SECC All Stars)- I got a glimpse of Williams handling the rock and throwing a couple of look away passes. He looked very well in transition while pushing the rock down the throat of the defense.
Donovan Mitchell Guard (The City)- I haven’t seen Mitchell in a while but he showed me some good things this afternoon. His court vision still stands out and he used his size to score over the smaller guards. He’s a constant matchup problem for any of the opposition.
Boz Bernstein Guard (The City)- His squad seemed to be sleep walking before Bernstein stepped on the floor. Boz went right into attack mode by knocking down a few shots and creating opportunities. He gave his team instant energy once he entered the game.
Emmanuel Taylor Forward (The City)- The City has a new face and his name is Emmanuel Taylor. Taylor is still developing his skills but he sure can move a couple of bodies on the blocks. He made his presence felt early by clearing space for teammates and grabbing rebounds.
Elijah Small Guard (MABC)- Small seemed to be nursing a leg injury but still managed to chip in a few buckets during his game. He got out early in transition and used his body to shield defenders when scoring.
Ceasar Adam Forward (MABC)- Adam controlled the inside for MABC and plays with a good motor. He got a few put backs and was very active on both ends of the floor. He’s very long for this age group and seems like he a few more inches in him.
Shawn Fontes Forward (MABC)- The southpaw is a bit undersized for the power forward but you can’t knock his hustle and his contribution in the scoring column. Fontes made a living receiving feeds for the guards and converting inside.
The 13U Division at the MDC had some special moments. Team Nelson won the Triple Crown, another Team Final team emerged and a youngster got the first dunk of his young career. Here’s an in depth look into this age bracket.
Team Nelson Wins Triple Crown
The stage was set and the pressure was on Team Nelson to win the “Triple Crown”. The Chester, PA based squad showed their grit and answered the bell. Their third title wasn’t easy as they pulled out a 1 point victory in the semi’s to rival Team Underrated and got past Team Final by 1 in the finals. This squad gets it done the old fashion way with defense and team basketball. We would like to congratulate Coach Malik, his staff and players for winning the Grand Finale, AC Showcase and MDC. They have now set the Basketball Spotlight standard for years to come.
Another Team Final Squad?
Team Final has been known for having a serious high school AAU program and of course they have the #1 12U team in the region but now you can add their 13’s to this mix. They made their MDC debut and knocked off some quality squads on their way to a runner up finish. They have a rugged style combined with some established scorers and will be making some noise for a long time. We will definitely keep our eye on them.
Send It In Terrell!
It’s always a special moment when a player gets his first dunk and Terrell Sturdivant accomplished this feat at the MDC. The lanky forward threw down a serious flush during TN’s pool play game and it was the talk of the building. Terrell has good potential and should be a name to know in the coming years. Good job youngster.
Brown Just Gets Buckets
Some players are just born to score and Corey Brown of Playtime might be one of those players. As you might remember he torched the nets at the Grand Finale and when he returned for the MDC it was much of the same. During his 3 pool play games Brown buried the opposition for the perimeter while leading his team in scoring. He’s worth the price of admission.
Basketball Spotlight MDC All Tournament Team
Kyle Coleman (Team Nelson)- Mr. Memorial Day
Mahir Johnson (Team Nelson)
Terrell Sturdivant (Team Nelson)
Nazier Chew (Team Nelson)
Christian Irons (Team Nelson)
Matt Risse (Team Final)
Tavaris Headen (Team Final)
Cole Moody (Team Final)
Chris Davis (Team Underrated)
Akil Spruill (Team Underrated)
Adeyinka Adams (Team Scan)
Shavar Newkirk (Team Scan)
Kevin Seymour (Team Scan)
Corey Brown (Playtime)
Friday, May 29, 2009
The 14 and Under division at the MDC was very serious. This bracket also contained some of the top players in the country. Here’s a breakdown of what happened and how performed well.
Who’s Really #1?
The Basketball Spotlight rankings are due soon and we might have a traffic jam for the 14U top spot. Team Nelson defeated LI Lightning in AC and won the Grand Finale. Peacemakers defeated Team Nelson in AC in route to winning the Showcase and LI Lightning just defeated the Peacemakers to win the MDC. I guess it will really come down to the Peacemakers and the Lightning because both teams recently won their respective AAU Regional Championships.
DC Assault Coach Applies Discipline
Early reports at the MDC had DC Assault 14’s smacking teams in pool play. They won their first two games by 30 points or more. Then on Saturday night that had an alleged in-house incident which caused the coach to bench a few of his better players for the last pool game. DC Assault ended up losing their final game and didn’t make the semifinals but more importantly these kids were taught a life lesson by their coach. During this time when winning is everything it was good to see someone still has some morals in this game.
Basketball Spotlight MDC All Tournament Team
Joshua Doughty (LI Lightning)- Mr. Memorial Day
Jason Boswell (LI Lightning)
John Severe (LI Lightning)
Semaj Reed (Peacemakers)
Jabril Chandler (Peacemakers)
Shafeek Taylor (Peacemakers)
Aaron McGlawn (Peacemakers)
Fuquan McDonald (KBR Fliers)
Rasoul Holland (KBR Fliers)
Evan Hubbard (KBR Fliers)
Thursday, May 28, 2009
During my tenure of covering basketball I have come across several players that I have given “The Stamp”. “The Stamp” is an approval that I give to a player that I feel has some serious potential and at least is a High Major Division 1 prospect. This weekend Perry Dozier Jr. has received “The Stamp” from Basketball Spotlight. Other players that received “The Stamp” during their elementary years include Tyreke Evans (8Th), Dexter Strickland (8th) and Mike Gilchrist (7th). Dozier got the nod after showing the capacity crowd all facets of his game. Special players have the enact ability to make others better, get a clean look anytime they want and just impact a game with their mere presence. This kid has all those tools. Anybody in attendance that watched this kid play and understands the game knows actually what I’m talking about. He has the size, skill level and basketball IQ to go as far as he wants in this game. Young Fella, just keep working hard because you are just getting started.
U-Turn Makes Impressive Debut
Not many teams can say they took home a Basketball Spotlight crown their first time out but the boys from Richmond, Virginia can. This squad ran through some tough teams to take home the Gold Ball! Now they feel they want a shot at Team Final. I think this would be a great match up and wished it could have happened at the MDC. Maybe I will write the AAU Nationals and request for them to be in the same pool.
Gauchos Thriving Through Science!
After the Basketball Spotlight Grand Finale Jaquan McKennon left the squad and many felt the Gauchos couldn’t rebound from this loss. This is no knock on the kid because I love his game but Coach Science weathered the storm and has led his team to some impressive victories. Since then they have won the “Show Me” Invitational, finished runner up at the MDC and won the Metropolitan AAU 12U crown. Keep up the good work Science!
When Perry Dozier Jr. fouled out with 3 minutes remaining against the Linden Ballers the future looked bleak for the Columbia Slammers. Then Seventh Woods decided it was his time to shine. The 10 year old went on a scoring streak dropping 8 points in the final 2 minutes to help his get the win and advance to the semifinals.
Hawkins Breaks Record
Brad Hawkins of Team Final used the MDC as his coming out party by shattering the tournament scoring record of 31 points held by Dion Waiters. Hawkins lit up Team Underrated for 35 markers including 3 treys in their pool victory. On this day Hawkins was feeling it and was virtually unstoppable. Way to go Brad!
Basketball Spotlight MDC All Tournament Team
Rick Deberry- (U-Turn)- Mr. Memorial Day
Malik Johnson (U-Turn)
Jonathan Williams (U-Turn)
Curt Jones (U-Turn)
Kai Mitchell (Gauchos)
Calvin Riley (Gauchos)
Davonte Green (Gauchos)
Trey Lowe (F.A.C.E.S.)
Brian Brown (F.A.C.E.S.)
Samir Tayloy (F.A.C.E.S.)
Perry Dozier Jr. (Columbia Slammers)
Seventh Woods (Columbia Slammers)
Brad Hawkins (Team Final)
Myles Powell (SJ Blitz)
Mekhi Bryant (SJ Blitz)
Taquin Mott (Peacemakers)
Abdulai Saccoh (Team Rebels)
Team Battle Is Ready For Cocoa Beach
The 11 and Under Division at the MDC was packed with some fresh talent. We got a chance to see a lot of basketball including some new talent along with some familiar faces dropping numbers. Here’s an inside look into this age group.
Team Battle Ready National Run!
Team Battle’s dominant performance at the MDC has me thinking that they are ready for a run at the 11U AAU National Title. They totally ran through this age group with a winning margin of 22.1 points per game including an 18 point victory over national power DC Assault. This squad has the size and talent to make a deep in Cocoa Beach this summer. They also can boast to the fact of being the only team to repeat as MDC Champs.
DC Assault Getting Close!
DC Assault made a semifinal run in Atlantic City and made to the finals at the MDC. Winning a Basketball Spotlight tourney is a tough job but this Potomac Valley squad seems to getting closer to getting the job done. This is very impressive considering this is only their second Spotlight event. They have serious talent.
Getting It Done!
Shamorie Ponds Guard (Gauchos)- Ponds went off against KBR in the quarterfinals. The southpaw drained 4 treys on his way to 26 points in the loss. This youngster can fill it up quickly and has unlimited range from behind the arc.
Malik Dow Forward (Hoop Dreams)- Dow has improved a lot since I saw him in KY this past summer. He knows how to get post position and had decent footwork for a player of this age. On defense he’s a true shot blocker.
Jordan Perry Guard (Hoop Dreams)- Not many teams apply the pressure that F.A.C.E.S. bring on this age level and Perry fought them off as long as he could. He has a quick handle and changed direction several times to help his squad get the ball up the floor. It was a hostile environment and he stood tall.
Javon Reis Wilson Guard (F.A.C.E.S.)- Wilson gave the Newark boys some serious minutes this weekend. On defense we was flying to the rock and on offense he finished off some tough plays. He really stepped up at the MDC.
Basketball Spotlight MDC All Tournament Team
Darious Gillon – Mr. Memorial Day (Team Battle)
Tyus Battle (Team Battle)
Jamir Harris (Team Battle)
Anthony Cowan (DC Assault)
Jayson Johnson (DC Assault)
Jamar Watson (DC Assault)
Saeed Nelson (F.A.C.E.S.)
RJ Cole (F.A.C.E.S.)
Javon Reis-Wilson (F.A.C.E.S.)
Brandon Anderson (F.A.C.E.S.)
Shamorie Ponds (Gauchos)
Brandon Randolph (Gauchos)
Jordan Perry (Hoop Dreams)
Nicholas Reed (Hoop Dreams)
Rakym Selder (New Heights)
Friday night Basketball Spotlight will be traveling to Springfield, Massachusetts for the Best Of The Best Hall Of Fame Classic. This event will bring together some of the top teams on the East Coast and we will be bringing you written coverage Saturday and Sunday night. Check out the schedule below.
Best Of The Best Schedule
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
If you are entering 9th Grade or below this is the place for you! Hoop Group Skills Camp JR ELITE WEEKENDS returns June 6-7. Join us at our camp group in the Poconos located right across the NJ border in PA. This weekend will feature the best rising 6th-9th graders from across the east coast. Players will compete in games where they can showcase their talent to the Hoop Group and National Recruiting Report to try and get recognized early. Write ups from the weekend will be up on hoopgroup.com and each player will get a written evaluation from Steve Keller of the National Recruiting Report (over 350 colleges subscribe to his service).
The weekend will also feature high level instruction as the players will be learning the same drills that have led former Hoop Group alums Kobe Bryant, Chris Paul, Dwight Howard, and many more to success at every level. This camp is $220 and there are discounts for coming with multiple players. Please contact Adam Turner immediately for more info at (908) 670-0839 or visit
Hoop Group Site
It's your boy Jay smooth coming at you with an update regarding happenings in my world.
This week has been a great week for me in terms of school and basketball. We are reviewing materials for our final exams next week. My teachers are very please with my performance. My mom and dad wouldn't have any other way. We are also preparing
for our graduation on June 12th.
In my basketball world, we had a very good weekend. We won the Basketball Spotlight MDC by defeating several high profile teams such as DC. Assault, KBR and The Peacemakers. Our success was because of great coaching and great players playing together as one. If you know Coach Shandue McNeill, he teaches basketball. His players think the game, which makes it easier for him to coach them which also sets them up to succeed on any level as a coach our an elite player. After the championship, I was interviewed by MiKe Melton. Your boy handled himself like a true professional. Yo, check it out. On Monday, We also competed in our Regional Championship game. We defeated Westchester Hawks and won the chip. Next weekend will be a quiet weekend that means I will be putting in some time on my individual skill with Coach Elliott Rosado and Coach Chris.
Much love to my boys: Jequan, John John, Poppa, Jiggy Josh, Conner, Jay Why, Scoochie, Pep, Nolio, Lil Dee, and Coach Shan.
John Severe scored a game high 23 points and Joshua Doughty chipped in 12 markers as Long Island Lightning defeated Peacemakers 54-51 to win the Basketball Spotlight MDC 14 and Under Crown. Semaj Reed finished with 19 points for the Peacemakers in the loss.
Mr. Memorial Day
Joshua Doughty Guard (Long Island Lightning)- This game had many kids with heavy reps on the floor and Doughty walked away with the Mr. MDC. Joshua’s wet jump shot and NY style handle kept the Bullies at bay.
John Severe Guard (Long Island Lightning)- Severe gave “The Bullies” a taste of their own medicine with bruising drives and tough finishes. He plays with a super motor on both ends of the floor and has the body mass of a high school junior. He reminds of a young Paul Harris before he went to Syracuse.
Jason Boswell Guard (Long Island Lightning)- Boswell has a few haters but only a blind man couldn’t see his potential. The 6’5 wing player has the size and creativity that would make any college coach salivate. Some people question his intensity but I remember when they questioned a similar player’s intensity and his name was Earl Clark. Yes, Earl Clark the possible NBA Lottery pick.
Semaj Reed Forward (Peacemakers)- The big guy wasn’t spectacular but his play did help the Philly boys dig out of an early hole. He takes up an enormous amount of space in the middle and alters shots on a regular. Once he gets his conditioning under his belt his production should increase even more.
Shafeek Taylor Guard (Peacemakers)- Taylor’s scoring production wasn’t high in the finals but he put the team on his back in a tough semifinal win over Team Nelson. His ability to score in traffic or create free throw opportunities makes him tough to contain.
Aaron McGlawn Guard (Peacemakers)- Aaron has stepped up in the backcourt for the Peacemakers. He’s very difficult to guard off the bounce while his strong frame allows him to absorb contact when driving or scoring over giants in the lane.
Stay Tuned For Inside The MDC 14 and Under Including All Tournament Team
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Curt Jones scored 11 points including 3 treys as U-Turn Warriors defeated the Gauchos 47-38 to win the Basketball Spotlight MDC 12 and Under title. Kai Mitchell chipped in 14 points for the Choz in the loss.
Mr. Memorial Day
Ricky DeBerry Forward (U-Turn)- DeBerry was impressive just like he was at the MIT. The athletic forward is very dominant because he’s a constant match-up problem. Most forwards his size don’t possess the foot speed to guard him and then he’s too big for any guard to think about keeping him away from the glass.
Malik Johnson Guard (U-Turn)- The miniature sparkplug gave the crowd a treat the entire weekend. He got into the teeth of the defense at will by placing defenders on their heels with speed combined with a slick crossover.
Jonathan Williams Guard (U-Turn)- Williams might be the heart and soul for this squad. The strong guard can score in bunches but it’s his rugged style and intensity that has become the face of this squad. He plays extremely hard.
Curt Jones Guard (U-Turn)- Jones was sparkling from behind the arc nailing 3 treys and stretching the Gauchos defense. He has a quick trigger and the accuracy that makes a team pay for missing a defensive assignment.
Kai Mitchell Forward (Gauchos)- Mitchell was huge in the semifinals and the finals. The gentle giant was very active inside while hitting the boards and scoring on the blocks. He has improved his post moves and conditioning on the floor.
Calvin Riley Forward (Gauchos)- Riley used his length to score big. He also has the speed to beat most post players to the rack from rebounds. Finally, I like his versatility and potential at his position.
Stay Tuned For Inside The MDC 12 and Under Including All Tournament Team