Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Video Profile: Jesse Pistokache (Texas Titans)

Name: Jesse Pistokache

AAU Team: Texas Titans

Position: Combo Guard

Class: 2015

Breakdown: Jesse can play either guard spot very comfortably and can really shoot the pill. He has taken his game to several camps and showcases around the country. Last summer Pistokache went to the Jr. All American and ripped it up. He finished as the #2 ranked player in his class. Right now he’s playing in Memphis at the 13U Nationals and we will keep you posted.

NJ Youngster Shines At Duke Camp

John Venturi and Mike Krzyzewski

John Venturi traveled to Durham, NC for the Duke University Basketball Camp. While at the camp John played both point guard and shooting guard position while earning the Rising Star Award as one of the top Class of 2016 players. The camp featured several current and former Duke University players and legendary Coach Mike Krzyzewski.

St. Benedicts Prep To Host J.E.M. All Star Classic

St. Benedicts Prep one of the top high school programs in the country will be hosting the Basketball Spotlight J.E.M. All Star Classic. This event will be held August 28th and bring together the Top 24 Class of 2014 players in the region. Basketball Spotlight will also use this event to honor the top teams and players from this past season. The player rosters will be released in August. This will be a can’t miss event so come out and see the top players get it on before going to high school.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

One On One Feat. Keenan "The Problem" Black (South Carolina, Ravens)

Keenan Black was one of the first young phenom’s with a nickname “The Problem”. He earned it for being a matchup problem for opponents last year at the DC Assault Classic. Much hasn’t changed as Black could be considered the top 6th Grader in America. We got a chance to talk to Keenan “The Problem” Black at the CB Spiders tournament in Concord, NC and here’s our One on One.

One On One

BS: What school do you attend?
KB: Concord Middle School.

BS: Who’s your favorite player?
KB: Kobe Bryant because his ability to take over the game.

BS: What’s the strongest part of your game?
KB: My jump shot.

BS: What part of your game needs the most work?
KB: My defense.

BS: Who’s the best player you ever faced?
KB: Tyus Battle (Team Battle).

BS: What’s your dream college?
KB: North Carolina, I love their entire organization.

BS: Who’s your favorite rapper?
KB: Lil Wayne he’s just the best?

BS: What do you think about the AAU Nationals this year?
KB: I think we can win it all down there.

In The Spotlight: Jared Wilson-Frame (CBC)

Name: Jared Wilson Frame

AAU Team: Connecticut Basketball Club

Position: Shooting Guard

Class: 2014

Breakdown: While others debate about who’s the best 8th Grader in Connecticut. My vote goes out to Jared Wilson-Frame. I got a chance to see the 13 year old on several occasions including the Atlantic City Showcase. Jared is an explosive combo guard that scores in a variety of ways and plays above the rim. He made All Tournament Team at the AC Showcase and numerous of other events around the region. Don’t be surprised if Jim Calhoun makes it hard for him to leave the state.

Diary Of A Baller: Jalen "Young One" Henriquez (New Jersey) Entry #24

Hello Basketball World,

As you can see I am off the crutches, but I’m wearing a brace keeping me out of uniform. Last weekend my team was out in Baltimore. We were at the Charm City tournament. I went out there on the crutches to support my team, and also my little brother that is now a gym rat. I had to go down there a little early because of my brothers game, he is turning 9 playing 10u so some games are more challenging for him. This was an elite tourney so all the games were tough. They opened up against a good team from Carolina and lost by 1 on a buzzer beater miss that rimed out by his team, this was a great game and a great learning experience for him. My team was very short this weekend; we only had 7 guys because of many different reasons. We didn’t have height but what we definitely did have was heart. My team played extremely hard all weekend long. The first day they went one and one, on day two they won two more, one being a tough semi final game, but they made it to the finals. When the championship game actually begun it was like a different team out there, I mean that in a negative way, they were playing as if they didn’t want to be there with no fire and lost big. This was a disappointing loss to end our season, which in all was not good. But hey, that’s the past and we just have to come back strong.

Since June 3rd when I tour ligaments in my ankle and I have been just thinking about everything, especially missing the game very much. I also think I have different perspective just in general on the game, after being out for this long. Its also hard being at home away from the game with all of my friends outside being that I can’t do anything. But some of my teammates have stopped my and hung out. This week Thursday was very tough for me, because it was June 24 the day that my dad and I were supposed to go to San Diego to the Adidas Phenom Camp. Even though we would have missed my sister’s birthday that camp would have been a great experience. On a positive note the NBA draft was Thursday, it’s cool so see all those guys who work so hard achieve their dreams, especially cause I share the same dreams and aspire to be where they are. Also the fact that every thing in life happens for a reason, this injury has help me understand just how much of a gift being able to play is, it has given me a chance to rest, and most important has made me hungrier in my work ethic. I want to say happy birthday to my little sister Lani that will be 2 on June 27th and a welcome to my other sister Nyla that came into this world June 17. I can’t wait to get back on to the hardwood and when I do it will be with my high school team, next week I will announce where I will be going to high school next year.

Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what's going to happen next. –Gilda Radner

Young One Out…

Monday, June 28, 2010

CB Spiders Tournament 11U Championship Recap: CB Spiders Hold On!

CB Spiders Protected Their Turf

Rechon Black scored 14 points and Jaylan Davis added 9 markers as CB Spiders defeated Cabara Stars 53-40 to win the CB Spiders tournament 11U championship. Jordan Rotan scored 14 points for Cabara Stars in the loss.

Championship Game Top Performers

Rechon Black Guard (CB Spiders)- Black saved his best game for the finals. The lanky point guard led his team in scoring but made a bigger impact setting up his teammates. His drive, draw and dish game was off the hook and seems to always make the right decision. There’s another Black on the horizon after Keenan and his name is Rechon.

Jaylan Davis Guard (CB Spiders)- Davis hit a few big treys and a couple of runners in the lane. As the game went on his confidence grew and his contribution increased. He’s a tough competitor.

Bryant Sims Forward (CB Spiders)- Sims is a developing forward for this squad. He benefitted from Black’s court vision by scoring close to the cup. His best basketball days are down the road but his size alone can help this squad now.

Eito Yuminami Guard (CB Spiders)- Eito entered the game and his defensive pressure sparked the team. This kid pressured the rock the full 94 feet and even moved well on help defense. He knew his roll and played it to the fullest.

Jairus Hamilton Forward (CB Spiders)- Hamilton also came of the pine and sparked the squad with some inside play. He snatched several rebounds and scored on put backs. He definitely plays bigger than his size.

Jordan Rotan Guard (Cabara Stars)- Rotan is a superb ball handler and will break your heart with a deep shot. The Spiders tried pressing him all game but the crafty floor general carved his way through the traffic. He’s something to watch.

Lavar Batts Guard (Cabara Stars)- Batts is a scoring machine for Cabara Stars. He looks his best when driving to the hole. He specializes in breaking down defenders and exploding. He will need to work on the release on his outside shot.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

CB Spiders Tournament 12U Championship Recap: South Carolina Ravens Roll!

South Carolina Ravens Were Too Much!

Keenan Black scored 16 points and Seven Woods added 12 markers as South Carolina Ravens ran past Team Felton 46-25 to win the 12U title at the CB Spiders Tournament. Jalek Hamilton finished with 10 points for Team Felton in the loss.

Championship Game Top Performers

Keenan Black Guard (SC Ravens)- We switched Black’s position to guard after watching him perform today. He really has developed his perimeter game and it flourished this weekend. In the finals Black played the top of the press and converted turnovers into easy buckets. He really impressed me this weekend.

Seven Woods Guard (SC Ravens)- It wasn’t a great shooting night for Woods but he made up for it by intercepting passes like a D back. Seven has physical attributes that helps him stand out on this level. This kid hasn’t scratched the surface of his potential.

Jarvis Johnson Guard (SC Ravens)- The point guard made his studs (Woods and Black) happy by feeding them with sweet dimes. He was a pest again on defense and excelled in transition during this blow out.

Jalek Hamilton Guard (Team Felton)- I owed Hamilton some love from the DC Assault tourney when he shoot the lights out. Today his load was heavy since Team Felton’s two studs Harry Giles and Mike Buckland were out because of injuries. He held off the Ravens as long as he could. He showed the toughness of his uncle Raymond Felton.

Cedarius Dockery Forward (Team Felton)- Dockery works hard on the blocks. He doesn’t have full control of his body yet so it affects his play. But in the future he might be something serious to handle.

Harry Giles Forward (Team Felton)- Giles looked impressive during the semifinals before injuring his knee. His length and improving ball handling will make a dandy for high school and college coaches very soon. This kid could be something special.

CB Spiders Tournament Top Performers Day 2: 11 And Under

Ty-Shon Alexander (CB Spiders)

On Day 2 of the CB Spiders Tournament we decided to take a look into the 11U Division for out Top Performers. Here’s a look at some of the top 5th Graders that impressed us today.

Top Performers Day 2

Ty-Shon Alexander Guard (CB Spiders)- Alexander put in work during the quarters and the semifinals. He has the ability to take over the game at any time by scoring in bunches from different spots on the floor. In the semifinals he nailed a big trey to help his team tie the game and go on to victory. He will hit the boards occasionally or score in traffic. He has a natural feel for the game.

Zachery Butler Guard (CB Spiders)- Butler had some tough luck in terms of converting but he played ball hawking defense. He got a hand full of steals and even looked good pushing the pill. I can see that this kid has good guard skills.

Jason Cascen Forward (Queen City Thunder)- Cascen is a load inside but moves well for his size. He led his team in scoring and probably would have topped 20 points if he didn’t miss a few chippies. His strong stature is definitely a factor on this level.

Tarique Stowe Guard (Queen City Thunder)- Stowe played solid defense and pushed the rock in transition. His team was behind big early and Tarique’s play helped them make it respectable. He goes hard buzzer to buzzer.

TJ Talley Guard (Queen City Thunder)- Talley got his offense going in the 4 quarter to close the gap a little. I like his high arching shots and his quickness when driving the lane. TJ is a guard that plays with a lot of passion.

Jordan Perkins Guard (Greensboro Warriors)- Perkins was one of the purest shooters in the tournament. He catches and shoots the rock with quickness while showing great accuracy. This kid’s range is when he walks in the gym.

Tim Baten Forward (CBA)- The big lefty played hard inside and even showed a little touch on his bank shot. He just started playing the sport but seems like a quick learner and hard worker.

Justin Freeman Guard (CBA)- Freeman left before I got a chance to get his photo but I remember his game. The point guard handles the pill strong with either hand and uses a variety of moves to shake defenders. He has some special talent.

Alex Reed Guard (NC Rising Prospects)- Reed used his strength to power his way to the bucket. He attacked along the baseline and used the glass to get money. Right now he plays a forward position for this squad but will eventually become a point guard.

Thomas Allen Guard (NC Rising Prospects)- Right now Allen runs the show for this bunch and does a good job. Thomas drove end to end in a blur and created opportunities for his squad. Down to the wire the CB Spiders had to fear his presence on the floor.

Thayer Thomas Guard (NC Rising Prospects)- Thomas is a good shooter and knows how protect the rock when dribbling. He made things close and stretched the defense with his outside shooting. He can hurt you in the midrange area or behind the arc.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

CB Spiders Tournament Top Performers Day 1: Evening Session

Seven Woods (SC Ravens)

The evening session of the CB Spiders Tournament gave us a chance to see some new talent. Here’s a look at some of the top talent that took the court during the evening session.

Top Performers (Evening Session)

Seven Woods Guard (SC Ravens)- Woods’s name was ringing bells before his arrival for his night game. I must say that the youngster handled his business. Woods grew several inches since he played in the MDC last year. Standing close to 6ft. Woods has a slicing style similar to Dexter Strickland but possess more of a point guard feel for the game. Tonight he gave the crowd a full view into his total package; shooting, rebounding, and dishing the rock. What’s even scarier is that Seven doesn’t turn 12 until the beginning of August!

Raekwon Long Center (QCAA)- Long’s team ran into a serious buzz saw against SC Ravens but I was impressed with the big fella. Long has trimmed down and improved his endurance significantly since I saw him in Ohio. He still has a long road ahead of but his progress seems tremendous.

Kentre Grier Guard (D1 Greyhounds)- Grier has serious range. He spotted up beyond NBA range and tickled the twine several times. He played hard despite fighting off knee injuries. Even when he missed the shots looked good.

Tavian Dunn-Martin (D1 Greyhounds)- Dunn-Martin runs the show and does a good job keeping the tempo high. He raced passed the defense and kicked the rock to their shooters. He also drained a couple big shots of his own in the deciding fourth quarter.

Quintin Baker Guard (D1 Greyhounds)- Baker is a solid guard that made some decent plays during their game against Carolina Flight. He has good body control and a thick frame that’s very effective on this level.

Kenneth Gorham Forward (Carolina Flight)- Gorham went to work early and often in this one. He’s still developing post moves but I like the way he fought for position and cleaned the glass for rebounds. This kid's work ethic, effort and developing skills will make him a good one in the future.

Cameron Woodyard Forward (Carolina Flight)- I can see that Cameron was a post player before and now is making his way to the wing. He makes a few plays on the perimeter and once he gets a little more comfortable he should explode. Remember this name.

Jeremy Spencer Forward (Carolina Flight)- Spencer is a Ben Wallace type player. He controlled the glass on both ends and didn’t look for his shot often. He brings a lot of toughness and hustle to this squad. Every team needs and energy player like him.

CB Spiders Tournament Top Performers Day 1: 12 And Under

Keenan "The Problem" Black

The CB Spiders tournament kicked off today in Concord, NC and as promised Basketball Spotlight was in the building. Here’s a breakdown of the players that impressed us this morning.

Top Performers 12U

Keenan Black Forward (SC Ravens)- I was anxious to see “The Problem” today and I must say I seen the improvements. He’s more perimeter oriented and handles the pill more often. What separates Black from most of his peers is the mixture of skills, size, strength and athleticism that allows him to finish off difficult plays on this level. Some other 6th Graders may have one or two of these attributes but possessing all 4 is very rare.

Ty Graves Guard (SC Ravens)- Shooting from the perimeter must run in the blood line for Graves because his cousin (Will Graves) stroked the 3 ball all year for UNC. I did see one difference in the two players; the younger Graves handles the rock and creates plays better. Graves has good court vision and loves using the now popular Euro-Step to shake defenders. He was one of the top guards I saw today.

Matt Cone Guard (SC Ravens)- Another Raven tough guard, Matt has skills similar to Graves in terms of shooting the pill and pushing the ball. I like his mid range pull up and the speed he shows pushing the rock end to end. Finally, if you back up off Cone he will drain the trey ball.

DJ Clark Forward (SC Ravens)- Clark is really a guard but plays the baseline and post for this squad. He has good hands and converted drop offs in the lane. He will need to pack on some mass in the near future and probably will find himself on the perimeter.

Jarvis Johnson Guard (SC Ravens)- Johnson rounds out the starting 5 and is a total pest on defense. He doesn’t shoot the outside as much as the other guards but instead enjoys finishing at the tin. We will check his progress and the tourney gets tougher.

William Miller Guard (BTYM)- The miniature point guard made some good plays despite his team lopsided loss. He got deep into the lane and used his pass first mentality to satisfy teammates. This kid never quit.

AJ Horne Guard (BTYM)- Horne is a flat out shooter. The southpaw usually spots up in the corner and lets it fly. His points came from a few deep shots and a couple of midrange floaters.

Josh Adison Guard (BTYM)- The husky ball handler attacks the lane like a fullback. He’s very nimble on his feet and has a good change of direction while handling the rock. We haven’t heard the last of him.

Malik Sam-Edwards Forward (BTYM)- Malik is still developing offensively but showed a great motor on the defensive end. We went after shots and worked hard on the glass. Once he gets stronger his game should come together even more.

CB Spiders Tournament Top Performers Day 1: 11 And Under

Joshua Howard (Carolina Flight)

The CB Spiders tournament kicked off today in Concord, NC and as promised Basketball Spotlight was in the building. Here’s a breakdown of the players that impressed us this morning.

Top Performers 11U

Joshua Howard Forward (Carolina Flight)- The son of former Michigan star and NBA player Juwan Howard did damage inside for Carolina Flight. He has the knack for rebounding and knows how to finish off plays. He’s still very young but you can see the pedigree in his game.

Mike Roberts Forward (Carolina Flight)- Roberts is a hustle player that can also scored the ball. Down the stretch he scored a tough bucket while getting fouled. This play gave his team heavy momentum and propelled them to victory.

Jamil Hornesby Guard (Carolina Flight)- The little man sees the floor well and knows when to deliver the rock. He has decent form on his shot and gets after it a bit on the defensive end. His basketball IQ also seems to be very high.

Mark Billups Guard (Carolina Flight)- Billups runs the show for the Flight and he did a good job helping them comeback. He understands that the first priority is to get the rock to Howard inside. I like this kid’s toughness on both ends of the floor.

Devin Garrett Forward (Bowie Magic)- Garrett gave Howard a hard time in the beginning of the contest. He charged the basket like a bull after catching the rock near the foul line. He definitely will be moving to the guard spot in a couple years.

Devin Baugh Guard (Bowie Magic)- Baugh did his usual damage scoring the pill. The strong combo guard can also create for his teammates when he needs to. He’s one of the toughest guards I’ve seen on this level.