Thursday, September 30, 2010

Who's The Best 8th Grader In The Region? Let's Take It To The Message Board!

Who’s the best 8th Grader In The Region? Here’s a chance for you to debate for your best player. Click below and join the hottest grammar school message board in the country. Feel free to begin speaking your mind once you register.

Click Here To Register

Hoop Group Columbus Weekend Showdown Almost Here!

The Hoop Group Columbus Weekend Showdown is lining up to be a hot event. Basketball Spotlight will be roaming through the building for some coverage.

Event: Hoop Group Columbus Weekend Showdown

Date: October 16th and 17th

Place: Hoop Group Headquarters

Ages: 10U Thru 17U

Cost: $375

Click Here To Register

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Demetrius Walker Book To Be Released October 5th

In Play Their Hearts Out, George Dohrmann offers an up-close and unforgettable look inside the maw of that machine. He shares what he learned from his years spent embedded with a group of talented young recruits from Southern California as they traveled the country playing in elite Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) events. It’s a cutthroat world where boys as young as eight or nine are subjected to a dizzying torrent of scrutiny and exploitation. Coaches vie to have them on their teams. Sneaker companies ply them with free shoes and gear. “All-star camps” are glorified cattle auctions, providing make-or-break opportunities to secure the promise of an elusive college scholarship.

At the book’s heart are the personal stories of two compelling figures: Joe Keller, an ambitious AAU coach with a master plan to find and promote “the next LeBron”—thereby paving his own path to power and riches; and Demetrius Walker, a fatherless latchkey kid who falls under Keller’s sway and struggles to live up to the unrealistic expectations his supposed benefactor has set for him. As their fortunes take shape and the pressure mounts—Demetrius finds himself profiled in Sports Illustrated at age fourteen, while Keller cultivates his business empire—Dohrmann weaves in the stories of numerous other parents, coaches, and players. Some of them see their prospects evaporate as a result of poor decisions and worse luck. Others learn how to thrive in a corrupt system by playing the right angles.

Written with incomparable detail and insight, Play Their Hearts Out is a thoroughly unique narrative that reveals the inner workings of an American game, exposing the gritty reality that lies beneath so many dreams of fame and glory.

The Education Of Demetrius Walker (A MUST READ)

Demetrius Walker (Actually Photo From The MLK Classic)

This piece about Demetrius Walker is one of the best articles I ever read. Sports Illustrated did a great job. The article gives you an inside look into the world of grammar school basketball years ago. It talks about analyst ranking and raving about players they haven’t seen (I Told You)and the pressures of being labeled as the Next Great One!

They also talk about the MLK Classic in this article and though some of the facts can be disputed because I was actually there (Writing For Metro Hoops) it’s still an amazing piece. The article is 10 pages but it’s worth the time and I heard that this is actually segments from an upcoming book about Walker’s basketball journey. Wow this article brings back so many memories.

Click Here For The Article

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Diary Of A Baller: Otis "The General" Livingston (NJ Got Game) Entry #3

Hey, what’s up?

Just checkin’ in. This week I spent a lot of time on the court. I had my first workout with Coach Vinnie last Wednesday. We did a lot of dribbling and shooting drills. We also worked on creating space and using my body to shield the ball from the defender. It was a hard couple of hours. What I like about Coach Vinny is that he not only has great drills, but he also takes the time to talk to me about the mental part of the game. He knows a lot and wants me to learn from his experiences.

Sunday was my first game in the Zoo Crew fall league. I hadn’t seen my Got Game teammates since I fractured my wrist in the St. Anthony’s summer league. It was fun to play with them and see my coaches again. We got to run our plays and get back into a groove. Science Park played hard but we were able to pull away and win. This game will stick in my mind because my 8 year old brother, Marquis, got a chance to get in. We played at the top of the zone side by side. My mother was cheesin'. Kiki got about 4 shots up, drawing a foul on one. He banked his first free throw in and swished the second. He was SOUPED! Everybody was cheering.

Last week I said I would tell you how I did on my Math quiz. I was a little disappointed, I got an 89. It’s not a terrible grade, but I know I can do better. I know what I did wrong and I shouldn’t make those mistakes again. I have a Social Studies test this Wednesday. I’ll let you know how I do on that one next time.

Check ya next week,
Otis “The General” Livingston Jr.

The Hot Seat Featuring Rob Cole (F.A.C.E.S.)

Being a former AAU coach and director, I understand some frustrations that might enter the mind of a head man. Therefore we have developed a forum for coaches to get out how they feel respectfully. This column is called the “Hot Seat”. Next on the Hot Seat will be none other than Rob Cole (Director and Head Coach) of F.A.C.E.S. Basketball Program.

Welcome To The Hot Seat

BS: What are your thoughts about last season?

RC: We had a great season! 16 tournaments (8 championships, 2 runner-ups, 4 Final Four, and 3rd place AAU National “Classic Bracket” Champions). WOW! Who could ask for more?

BS: What did you think about our final top 10?

RC: Nothing, just one perspective on an entire season of basketball.

BS: How do you feel about the new grade exception rule?

RC: Legalized cheating at the AAU level; AAU will get more teams competing at D2 and D3 level; disadvantage to those D1 teams and athletes that have competed against 3 grade exceptions at any given time, because they are now forced to play against unlimited 14-15 year olds that are bigger and stronger. I also think it will promote parents to hold their child back for the sake of dominating a particular age group just because the rules say they can.

BS: How will this rule affect your team?

RC: As a coach it’s a non-factor for me because I will continue to prepare my team to play the game of basketball. My players have always been undersized and under aged compared to many of our opponents, like David and Goliath. This year we may not win or have many runner-ups during high-profiled tournaments, but they will know we are in the building. As you know Mike we never back down, therefore with this new rule in effect we will get on the hardwood and do what we do best, PLAY BALL….BTA!

BS: What’s the first thing come to mind when you hear these words?

BS: King Street Kings?
RC:2010 12U NJ AAU District Champs

BS: Team Battle?
RC:2010 AAU National 5th place champions.

BS: AAU Basketball?
RC:Experience and exposure.

BS: Basketball Spotlight?
RC: Michael Melton.

BS:What your response to critics of your coaching style and forms of discipline?

RC: Mike and critics, “I’m not a politician! I develop the student athlete and prepare them for the game of basketball which I love. Those that appreciate and desire what I have to offer are in my corner and those that don’t are not. I judge the outcomes of my teaching/coaching by the many parents and athletes (old and new) that come to me and say “thank you for everything that you have done”. In life you agree to disagree. My coaching style and discipline will prepare them for life and future basketball endeavors. Pride, discipline, respect, and hard work are our motto and it works, evidenced by what you see on/off the court from my players and parents.

BS: If you left basketball today how do you think Rob Cole should be remembered?
RC: My accolades as a player and coach speak for itself. I got the job done on/off the court (player/coach). I don’t think but I know that I will be remembered as one of the best athletes and coach to ever have a hand in the game of basketball.

Anyone Ready For The Hot Seat Email Me Your Reasons at

Diary Of A Baller: Malachi "Shoota" Richardson (Trenton, NJ) Entry #3

What's Up Everybody!

This week of school was good; during back to school night held on Thursday, the PTA had the annual super 50/50 raffle, first prize was a little over $9000. When they announced the winning ticket the lady that won just sat there all quiet; if that was me I would have been jumping around like crazy. My mom said maybe she was in shock. Come on now winning $9 grand at least show some kind of emotion.

Basketball....This week was a great week for me. I Got My First Dunk.....well sort boy Naz Chew said it look like you don't know what you're doing once it's time to put it down. I was above the rim; but the ball slipped out of my hand, it did to in As far as my workouts; I worked out at TCA (Trenton Catholic Academy) and LCA (Life Center Academy). We worked on strength, conditioning, dribble drills and shooting drills. I also had my personal workout (lower body) this was the first time I've really been able to work on my legs without being nervous about hurting my groin. There was no soreness, stiffness or pain afterwards. I've been holding back for months and now that I'm
100% healthy, I'm ready to take my lower body workout to the next level. One of my goals is to dunk in a game this year (2010).

Saturday, I was suppose to watch two local high schools Hamilton and Nottingham go at it in football which is a huge rivalry; but I decided to stay home and get a jump on this novel that we have to read by next Friday. Waking up late played a part in my decision also. I heard it was a very good game Nottingham pulled it out in double OT 27-24. I'm good friends with a lot of the Hamilton guys it's going to be interesting to hear their play by play of the game. Saturday night I watched my boy Tyleer play football, he was a beast out there. I think if they gave him the ball more they could have pulled it out. On Sunday I watched my favorite team play (Eagles). Vick is the Man! I was hoping the Cowboys lost again so I can talk junk to my Dad, those bums pulled it out, oh well!

Until Next Week......PEACE
Malachi "Shoota" Richardson

Monday, September 27, 2010

Diary Of A Baller: Lamarr "Fresh" Kimble (Team Final) Entry #3

Hello Basketball World. It’s me Lamarr "Fresh" Kimble. This week was kind of laid back for me. I injured my ankle at the Hoop Group Fall Jam Fest last week. So I had to fall back and take it easy. Monday I didn't practice but, Tuesday I did and that's when I realized my ankle wasn't ready yet. Wednesday I skipped my personal workout and Thursday I just watched Team Final practice, it killed me to just watch. Missing one Team Final practice is like not touching a ball for a week. The weekend came and since I didn't practice during the week. I wasn't allowed to go hard over the weekend like I usually do with the old heads. Instead I chilled with my second family.... Shout out to Rex and Ms. Meka who always welcome me into their home and treat me as one of their own.

Friday, we played Madden 11 I went in hard. Saturday, we went to a cookout and two high school football games West Catholic vs. Haverford and The Wood vs. St. Joes Prep. Sunday, Rex took Tyheem (his son) and I to work out with a personal trainer. We worked on ball handling, conditioning, and hand/eye coordination. Time in the gym and staying in shape are important parts of my game. For me the games are easy, making it through practice is the hard part. My mom makes sure I take a multi-vitamin with a glass of orange juice everyday to keep up my metabolism and immune system. This also helps me avoid unnecessary injuries. My dad stays on me about being unpredictable on the court for many reasons but one is to avoid injuries in the post with the trees. I like getting 2pts. the hard way and that’s how I injured my ankle so I guess I better listen more... Til next week Basketball World, remember basketball starts way before the game. "Oh" and thank you Hoop Group for choosing me and my teammate Sam for the 15u All Tournament Team.

Stay tuned for more from Lamarr "Fresh" Kimble

Basketball Spotlight Super Showcase Profile: Joshua Malone (Springfield, MA)

Name: Joshua Malone

Hometown: Springfield, MA

Position: Shooting Guard

Class: 2015

Showcase Report: Malone is a strong wing guard with good scoring instincts. During the showcase he found the cup on numerous occasions while demonstrating good body control. His position on the high school level will depend on how much he grows. Right now to be on the safe side he should work on his point guard skills which will help his game translate to the next level.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Basketball Spotlight Exclusive: Karl Towns Jr. Returns

A few years ago Karl Towns Jr. was ranked as one of the top 5th Graders in the country according to Hoop Scoop Online. A short time later he seemed to vanish from the grammar school scene. The 8th Grader recently sparked interest at the Hoop Group Fall Jam Fest in the 15U Division. He starred throughout the event and finished with All Tournament Honors. I had a chance to talk to his father and coach Karl Towns Sr. Here’s what he had to say.

BS: Where has Karl been the last few years?
KT: Well we decided it was best for him to play on the high school during the AAU season.

BS: After being ranked so high as a 5th Grader by Hoop Scoop why would you walk away from that type of attention?
KT: Well Mike the rankings don’t really matter until you reach high school. We thought it would be more important for him to get ready for high school and that type of competition.

BS: So what are the whispers I’m hearing about him playing 14U this season?
KT: Mostly he will play 16’s and 17’s but for a few big time events he will play 14U. We feel now is the time for him to show how dominant he is on his age level. We got a couple nice opportunities that we are looking into on this age level. A few top teams have been in contact with us.

BS: He has been away from this level for a while so where do you think he rates among the best.
KT: I think he has to be at least Top 5 in the country. He’s 6’6 and 190 pounds. He has proven himself on the high school level. I can’t see many 8th Graders being able to handle him right now.

BS: What are some of the things he needs to work on?
KT: He needs to work on his defense and get a little quicker on the perimeter.

BS: What high school programs are showing interest?
KT: Well since Karl plays baseball also we are looking at Pennington Prep, Rutgers Prep, Hun School and Seton Hall Prep to name a few.

BS: Okay Karl when you decide on the 14U team you are running with let me know?
KT: No doubt Mike.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Basketball Spotlight 2010-11 Season Preview 14U: Our Time To Shine!

Devin Liggeons Should Be Ready To Become A National Name.

Every year there’s a group of players that are ready for a breakout season. Basketball Spotlight has compiled a list of players that should come out of the shadows into the forefront.

Coming Out Party

Devin Liggeons (Philly Aztecs)- Devin showed strides last season and should be able to build upon that this time around. During the Showcase he showed big time ability and now plays the game with tremendous swagger. He has a chance to become a household name in the region.

Bryce Aiken (Team Scan)- Aiken showed me another side of his game at the showcase and I saw this confidence carry over at the Hoop Fall Jam Fest. Bryce now has shown the ability of being more of a true point guard especially making moves north/south. This will help him as he prepares himself for high school.

Isiah Stills (NJ Got Game)- I thought last year was Stills’s chance and he showed flashes at times. This time around he should have got accustomed to being “The Man” and will be ready to take over. The physical attributes are in place it’s just a matter of him going hard mentally.

Jaquan Hickman (Abyssinian Church)- We probably will see more of Hickman this year. He has all the tools to be a heavy hitter in this region. He has take over the game ability and some point guard instincts. We will be keeping our eye on him.

Tim Delaney (Team Final)- Playing alongside Trevaughn Wilkerson has allowed Delaney to take his time and get better. But expect an explosion from this kid during this campaign. He already has shown good fundamentals and footwork but once his confidence grows his game will skyrocket.

Bryant Crawford (Team Takeover)- A minor injury slowed down Crawford last season but I expect him to return to form this time around. He has the complete package and should be ready to unleash his arsenal. We will get our first look during the Grand Finale.

Tavon White (Team Rebels)- White was very dominant at times and was consistent when he controlled his emotions. He has some AAU National experience under his belt therefore he should be ready to go. He has the natural talent to go far therefore it’s all up to him.

Sam Foreman (Team Final)- This season Foreman will be seen on the circuit a lot more running with Team Final. This kid has some special talent especially when he is in attack mode. Don’t be surprised if he makes a run at Player Of The Year honors. He already made the All Tournament Team at the Hoop Fall Jam Fest Playing 15U Division.

Bobby Martin Jr. (Team Scan)- Martin impressed me last season and he wasn’t the go to man. This season expect him to demand the rock a little more and dominate in the paint. He has potential oozing from his veins. This kid will be a household name one day.

Friday, September 24, 2010

NJ Nets Open Season With Basketball Spotlight

The New Jersey Nets will be playing in Newark, NJ at the Prudential Center. They want to bring in the new season the correct way so they have teamed with Basketball Spotlight to bring you a special promotion. They have Super Savings for their first two home games against the Detroit Pistons and the Sacramento Kings featuring reigning ROY Tyreke Evans. Click the Link Below to get this great deal. Don’t miss the chance to watch Evans as he makes his only trip to the Garden State the entire season. The prices are unbelievable!

Click Here For The Ticket Deals

Melton's Mailbag

As you know through our polls we at Basketball Spotlight like to have the fan input. We decided to take it to another level. We have developed the Melton’s Mailbag. The Melton Mailbag will contain 4 questions from you the fans that we will post and answer on our page. We will pick the four questions we feel are the best.

William From NJ:
Mike what do you think about the new grade exception rule?

MM: William I was totally caught by surprise. When I heard it was a new rule about grade exception initially I thought they did away with the rule all together. I think it will be totally unfair for most of the players that are the regular age/grade kids. So a player that’s actually 12 and in the 6th Grade will have to be phenomenal to standout on the Div. 1 level. There are more in depth conversations on this topic on our message board.

Stacy From Landover, MD:
Mike, I love the site but what happened to the rankings of the young players (5th, 6th and 7th Graders)?

MM: Well Stacy after talking it over with my staff we decided against rankings the players before reaching high school. We try to be precise as possible in terms of rankings players. Therefore we feel after completing their 8th Grade year we will have a better read of their ability and potential. There’s nothing worse than ranking a player #5 in the country as a rising 8th Grader. Then when he reaches 10th Grade Rivals or ESPN has him ranked #250. This makes the player seem like he fell off and the evaluator look foolish.

Chad From Bronx, NY:
Mike who is the top point guard of the Class of 2015 in the region?

MM: It’s a little early right now especially with the new rule in place because I don’t know everyone that has reclassified. But right now you have to look at Marcus Floyd from Delaware, Sam Foreman from Philly, Malik Ellison from S. Jersey, Otis Livingston from N. Jersey and Chris Atkinson from NYC. But remember it’s early and others will emerge.

Tim From Texas:
Mike it seems like the All Star Camps have lost their luster?

MM: I can see your point Tim but the reality is that it was a good gimmick early on because grammar school players weren’t receiving media coverage. Therefore parents felt that had to attend these camps to get seen. Now with young player websites popping up weekly and the bad economy parents are looking for other outlets. Some parents feel that if their child already has a national name on a website there’s no need for me to travel across the country for a camp.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Hoop Group Fall Jamfest Mini Recap: Team Scan Doubles Up!

This past weekend Team Scan traveled to Hoop Group Headquarters and took home both championships for the Fall Jam Fest. It was a good weekend for TS as they tried to make an early statement for the upcoming season.

Team Scan 14U Defeated LI Lightning behind a balanced attack and the big play inside of Manny Taylor who took home MVP honors. This is a dangerous team that will cause some ruckus this season.

Team Scan 13U Defeated SI Ironmen for the title. The Ironmen were in it the entire game but wore down when their big man got into foul trouble. Team Scan’s Omari Spellman took over and brought home the MVP Hardware.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Baby Baller Video Profile: Jaheim Tanksley (Natural Ballers)

Name: Jaheim Tanksley

AAU Team: Natural Ballers

Position: Point Guard

Class: 2019

Breakdown: Tanksley has become one of the quickest guards in the region. He gets up and down the floor in a hurry and has unique dribbling moves to also get him over. We have a few more years to watch him develop.

Basketball Spotlight Super Showcase Profile: Keith Washington Jr. (Sicklerville, NJ)

Name: Keith Washington Jr.

Hometown: Sicklerville, NJ

Position: Combo Guard

Class: 2016

Showcase Report: Washington proved to be a scoring machine at times. I like his toughness on the defensive end of the floor. His mid-range game is mean and he’s capable of pulling up anywhere off the dribble. As he develops he needs to work on being a pass first point guard.

Basketball Spotlight Super Showcase Profile: Ronshad Allen-Shabazz (Showtime All Stars)

Name: Ronshad Allen-Shabazz

Hometown: Raleigh, NC

Position: Shooting Guard

Class: 2015

Showcase Report: Ronshad showed the promise of being a high level shooting guard in the future. The lefty filled up the score books at the Super Showcase and should see some varsity minutes this year as an 8th Grader. Look for Allen-Shabazz to have a breakout year and make a run at Player Of The Year. He gets buckets in a big way.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Diary Of A Baller: Otis "The General" Livingston Entry #2

It’s me again,

Since the last time I wrote I’ve been pretty busy. Between working out and school, days go really fast. I feel like I kept a good balance between school and hoops.
My oldest sister Alex was home for the weekend from college. She’s a Freshman, is number 1 singles and won her first tennis match so me and my brothers didn’t mess with her too much. We’re kinda proud of her.

On Friday, I worked out with my friend Azzur Taylor from F.A.C.E.S. We got up around 500 shots, worked on ball handling, and played one on one. Azzur is a tough player so it’s good to play with and against him. On Saturday morning I worked out with my Dad. He teaches me a lot and helps design my game. He gives me advice and I thank him for that.

The highlight of the weekend was the Hoop Group tournament at Seton Hall University. I went to watch my friend Austin White of the Playaz 15U. We’ve been buddies since we were 9 years old and I was happy that he played really well. When I wasn’t at Austin’s games, I got to see some of the top ballaz around: Austin Colbert, Kyle Anderson, Hallice Cooke, Will Joyce, and Taylor Plummer to name a few. I kept my eye on Dallas Anglin (Playaz 16U) and Kaseem Chandler (Team Izod 17U). I study them because they are both guards that handle the ball well. I especially like to watch Kaseem because he’s small like me so I can relate. He’s tough and hit some big shots and won the championship. So did Dallas’s team. After both days, I went home and got up a lot of shots and worked on my ball handling. Those guys inspire me to get better.

As far as school goes, I was really surprised to get a lot of work this early in the school year. But I guess as a “BIG” 8th grader that’s to be expected, LOL. I had a quiz on Monday in Math. It was the first quiz of the year and I studied hard for it. I think I did well. I’ll tell you next week.

Until then,
Otis Jr.
The General

The Hot Seat Featuring Dave Gates (Team Scan)

Being a former AAU coach and director, I understand some frustrations that might enter the mind of a head man. Therefore we have developed a forum for coaches to get out how they feel respectfully. This column is called the “Hot Seat”. Our first person on the Hot Seat will be no other than Dave Gates of Team Scan.

Welcome To The Hot Seat

BS: Dave, are you ready to speak your mind?
DG: Yes let’s go Mike.

BS: What do you think about our final Top 10 rankings?
DG: I didn’t respect them because we were left out. I understood the Top 5 but the bottom 5 I felt we were better than.

BS: Who’s the best 13U team in NY?
DG: Team Scan because we are the most consistent and no one works harder than us.

BS: Who’s the best player in the region?
DG: I like Rakym Felder, Gilberto Cue and Tyus Battle. I also got love for my little soldier George Pena.

BS: What do you think about the new grade exception rule?
DG: I feel like now everyone has an even playing field. People have been taking advantage of the rule for a long time now everyone has the same opportunity. The rules are the rules so everyone needs to suck it up.

BS: What do you think about Team Battle going to Team Final?
DG: I think he did what he had to do. Once you get to high school the big umbrellas are coming to takeover your program. So basically it’s get down or lay down.

BS: You are scheduled for the Grand Finale, calling anyone out?
DG: I’m gunning for anyone in the Top 10. We are out to prove a point so I want anyone that was ranked over us.

BS: What will be your end result this season?
DG: We are out to make all our kids better and help them get into school.

Anyone Ready For The Hot Seat Email Me Your Reasons at

One On One Feat. Shaun Belbey (Lincroft, NJ)

I got a chance to see Shaun Belbey play for his AAU squad and at the Super Showcase. His fundamentals and ability to stroke the rock stands out. Since he hails from Lincroft, NJ he’s probably a lock to attend Jersey Shore Power CBA (Just Guessing). We had a chance to talk to Shaun and here’s our One on One.

One On One

BS: What school do you attend?
SB: St. Leo The Great (Lincroft, NJ).

BS: Who’s your favorite player?
SB: Kobe Bryant because he’s a great leader and all around player.

BS: What’s your dream college?
SB: Syracuse, my brother goes there and I love the new Carmelo Anthony Center. I just love the atmosphere up there.

BS: What’s the strongest part of your game?
SB: I would have to say my shooting.

BS: What part of your game needs the most work?
SB: Probably my defense.

BS: How was your experience at the Super Showcase?
SB: It was a great event, the talent was great and the games provided good competition.

BS: What’s your greatest basketball experience?
SB: Last school season my St. Leo’s team went undefeated (32-0). It was a great season.

BS: Who’s your favorite rapper?
SB: Drake, I think he’s the best upcoming artist.

BS: What is your career goal?
SB: To play in the NBA.

Right Bounce 8th Grade Recap


Over the years the first game of the event is usually the game that shows the jitters but this group went against the grain and played a very organized and high level game. Overall it was the coaching that really shined early. Both Coach Adams (Metro Hawks) and Mapp (Gauchos) worked the game the way you're accustomed to seeing them operate and the players responded immediately. Strong man-to-man full court pressure, good strong rebounding and solid offensive execution made it appear as if there were a few practices but that wasn't the case. This one came down to the last shot which rimmed out by the red team.

Blue 77 Red 76

Head Coaches: Blue: Sean Adams (Metro Hawks) & Red: Coach Mapp (Gauchos)

6'3" Austrian Robinson (NY) - St. Angela Mericil School - 14pts, 15reb, 4blks, 2stls

All-Right Bounce Selections
6'0" Irving Lerenzo (NY) - New Rochelle MS - 8pts., 4reb, 8ast
6'5" Manny Taylor (PA) - St. Benedict's, NJ - 16pts., 3reb., 2ast
5'11" Davante Green (LI) - North Babylon - 20pts., 2reb., 3blks., 2stls., 1ast
6'0" Mikequon Campbell (NY) - IS 291 - 15pts., 5reb
5'11" Jaquan Hickman (NY) - 27pts 4reb.,1blk., 3stls., 2ast

Diary Of A Baller: Malachi "Shoota" Richardson Entry #2

What's Up Everybody!

Back in school.....This year I'm attending a new school (St. Raphael Academy), so as you can guess, I was way more nervous than usual on the first day of school. But once I got there and met my classmates and teachers everything was good. The major difference between this school year and years past is the bus schedule; my bus comes at not Instead of sleeping until sometimes, this
year I'm up at getting to my bus stop on time this year is very important. My bus stop is about a ten minute walk from my house, and the last thing I want to do is miss the bus. If I miss my bus that means my mom has to drive me to school, and I don't want to hear her(being responsible lecture) that early in the It's all good though; I'm looking forward to having a great school year!

Basketball....On Monday, Wednesday, and one hour on Friday I worked out at TCA (Trenton Catholic Academy). The workouts were for strength and conditioning. On Tuesday, Thursday and two hours on Friday I worked out at Life Center Academy. We did a lot of drills and skill work during those workouts.

The past weekend I rocked with Team Final U14 at the Hoop Group Fall Jam Fest. This was my first tournament with this crew and my first tournament since July. Because of the long layoff my timing wasn't there at first, but the more games we played the better I felt. We played two games on Saturday, we won both games. Sunday morning we won our final pool play game. Our next game was the Championship game. Yo, we were down 31 - 7 in the first half, and came back and won 68 - 61. We got back into the game as a team and pulled it out as a team.

Once we get used to playing with each other and build some chemistry....Yo I'm real time together, first championship together. What a way to end the weekend!!!

Also I want to send a shoutout to my big brother Corey (U.S. Army). For going over to Iraq and making it back safely.

Malachi "Shoota" Richardson....Peace!!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Basketball Spotlight Alum Shine at Hoop Group Fall Jam Fest: According To ESPN

Shacore Edwards Continues To Shine!

By Adam Finkelstein
ESPN Recruiting

SOUTH ORANGE, N.J. -- The Hoop Group held its annual Fall Jam Fest last weekend, welcoming many of the top programs in the Northeast. The story of this year's event was the tremendous underclassmen talent on hand. Several players stood out from the Class of 2013 and one dominant big man emerged in the 2014 class.

Standout players

Shacore Edwards (Irvington, N.J./Irvington)
2013, SF, 6-foot-4 Team: Playaz Basketball Club
Edwards is a strong, athletic swing man who puts immediate pressure on the defense. He has a quick first step, goes hard to the basket and has the physical tools to go either through or around contact. Edwards' jumper is still his Achilles heel, but he has developed more consistency with his mid-range pull-up, and can get to that shot either by stepping back or elevating above the defense. From deeper ranges, he is capable, but he is inconsistent with his mechanics and results. Defensively, he has the physical package to eventually develop into a dominant on-ball presence.

Jaren Sina (Gladstone, N.J./Gill St. Bernard's)
2013, PG, 6-1 Team: Hoop Heaven Heat Elite
Sina is a super skilled point guard with a high basketball IQ. Not an explosive athlete, he has the full gambit of ball skills at his disposal and can consequently attack the defense in a number of ways. He is a high-level shooter that needs little space to get his shot off, and is equally effective off the catch or the dribble. Sina came off ball screens and flair screens well this weekend, scoring or hitting the role man. He uses a soft floater and perfected shot fake, and demonstrated the ability to make big shots down the stretch of games.

Rondee Jefferson (Chester, Pa./Chester)
2013, SF, 6-6 Team: Team Final
A long and athletic forward that put up big numbers throughout the weekend, Jefferson uses his plethora of physical tools to get the ball to the basket and score at the rim. With the body of a power forward and the game of a slashing wing, Jefferson makes plays off the dribble going north to south and east to west. He will bring smaller defenders to the low post with good results, too. Defensively, he can match up with multiple positions, block shots from the weak side of the floor and get his hands on balls in full court pressure situations. He is a consistent jump shot away from being a big-time prospect.

Basketball Spotlight would like to congratulate our alumnus and wish them the best down the road. TOLD YOU THEY WERE NICE!

AAU Changes Rules: Lets Talk About On The Message Board!

The AAU Boys Basketball Rules Committee has allegedly dropped a bombshell with a new rule. The new age rule gives teams the option to have unlimited grade exceptions. Wow, this season will be crazy. Join the message board to voice your opinion.

Click Here To Join Message Board

Basketball Spotlight Video Profile: Damon Harge

I got a call from a reliable source on the West Coast about this phenomenal point guard named Damon Harge. Hoop Scoop had him ranked as the #1 6th Grader at Adidas Jr. Phenom. After watching his highlights he seems like a special player. Basketball Spotlight will make it our business to check Harge out in person. If not during the regular season we will definitely look for him at the 12U AAU Nationals in Hampton, VA.

Diary Of A Baller: Lamar "Fresh" Kimble Entry #2

Hello basketball world. I had practice this week on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. I had the opportunity to work out in front of college coaches from Iowa, St. Joes and Pitt. Even though they weren't there for me it kept me on top of my game. Wednesday I had a private workout at the neighborhood recreation center for 3 hours. I worked on my shooting, ball handling and explosiveness.

Saturday Team Final played in the Hoop Group Fall Jam Fest. We played two games we won both. Sunday we returned playing our first game at 9:30 which we won. Second game started out hard we were down 31-7. But once we came together as a team and played team ball we were able to come back and take home the trophy for 15u. This was a great experience for me because it was the first time these players played together and we were able to go home undefeated. Basketball world Team Final is back with even more talent than before.

Stay tuned with more to come from Lamarr "Fresh" Kimble.

Jaquan "Shake and Bake" McKennon: Still Going Hard!

Jaquan “Shake and Bake” McKennon was a crowd favorite for years at the Basketball Spotlight events. The lefty made the All Tournament several times while displaying his high skill level. McKennon is still getting it in on the underground circuit in NYC. Here’s a video of his recent work. Keep getting it in youngster.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Hoop Group Fall Jamfest Mini Recap

Anthony Gibbs (SI Ironmen)

Saturday I took a trip to Hoop Group Headquarters and caught some of the Fall Jam Fest. I got a chance to check out the game featuring the Staten Island Ironmen vs. Team Elite. Here are the players that caught my eye.

Top Performers

Anthony Gibbs Guard (SI Ironmen)- Wow, I love watching Gibbs play. The miniature play maker simply gets it done. He has a pass first mentality while loving to drive, draw and dish. He also will knock down the trey ball with total confidence. He’s something to watch.

Romello Ford Guard (SI Ironmen)- Ford is Gibbs’s backcourt mate and delivered on some big shots. The southpaw isn’t afraid to pull the ratchet from deep. He nailed a long trey at the end of the half which gave his team the momentum.

Anthony Munson Guard (SI Ironmen)- Munson is a physical guard with good size and explosive moves. In transition he punished the opposition by driving down the gut of the defense. He finished off one play big switching the rock to his off hand in mid air.

Nakye Sanders Forward (SI Ironmen)- Sanders didn’t light the score board up offensively but he made other plays that helped his team win. He was an intimidating force inside and does play with a high motor. His upside seems to be very bright.

KeAndre Augustine Guard (Team Elite)- Augustine showed me a lot of promise while balling with his AAU squad. He got into the lane whenever he wanted and has the court vision that keeps teammates happy. He has good poise and potential.

Wayne White Guard (Team Elite)- I can see that White is the go to man for this group. He has good size and bounce in is game. It wasn’t his best game shooting wise but you could see that he has some goods. We expect big things from him.

Shane Gatling Guard (Team Elite)- I like the way Gatling shoots the rock. He squares his body well for someone his age. He also has a step back move in his arsenal. He should be a zone buster for this group.