Saturday, July 30, 2011

14U Summer Slam Preview: One Last Dance

Will Team Scan Win The Grand Championship?

This is the last hurrah for the 14U teams and I will be sad to see them go. On Sunday one team will get to have the chance to retire on top. Here is a breakdown of the 4 team that will be in the building.

14U Summer Slam Preview

Team Scan: TS had a successful year finishing #10 in the country while also winning the MIT and MDC. Now they will be looking to ride off into the sunset with the big trophy. They face arch rival Team Final in the semifinal.

F.A.C.E.S.: The Boys in Black will need some big victories to come away with the championship. They are a blue collared group that frustrates opponents with hard nose defense. Don’t sleep on these boys.

Expressions: The X stormed down to the Spotlight and earned a bid to Summer Slam. Their size and athleticism gives them a shot to win it all. They are searching for their first Spotlight championship. The X is in the building baby.

Team Final: TF held on the #4 seed while only winning the Grand Finale. They are a little wounded while losing the best shooter in the region to a knee injury. But this group is accustomed to playing with a thin roster.

It’s Now Or Never Baby.

13U Summer Slam Preview: Everything Is Up For Grabs

Can The Killer Bees Pull Off The Hat Trick With A Third Crown?

The 13U age group will finally have a new Grand Champion. I truly believe any one of the 4 teams can leave Hoop Group Headquarters with the big trophy. Now here’s a preview of the teams that will be traveling to Neptune, NJ.

13U Summer Slam Preview

F.A.C.E.S.: The Killer Bees finished #7 in the country while also winning the Clash For The Cup, NJ State Crown and MDC. Right now they have to be the favorites to win it all Sunday. You know Sergeant Cole will have his troops focused.

Gauchos: The Choz recently won the AAU West Coast National Crown. But they still haven’t held a Spotlight banner but this might be their weekend. Their frontline will have to step up for them to claim the crown.

CT Elite: CT Elite held their own all year which earned them a trip to this event. They have some good pieces and can knock off any of these teams listed. They are also searching for their first Spotlight crown.

Team Scan: TS won the AC Showcase Blue Division which propelled them into this event. Now they are out to prove they belong up there with the big boys. They would love to come in a crash the party.

A New Champion Will Be Crowned.

Friday, July 29, 2011

12U Summer Slam Preview: It's Time To Settle The Score

Does The Big Red Machine Have Any Gas Left In The Tank?

Some of the region’s biggest rivalries are in the 12U Division. Now we are down to the final four teams and it should be a dandy. Here’s a look at what we expect from this age group on Sunday.

Summer Slam 12U Preview

Team IZOD: Sports University has put together a tremendous year while finishing #12 in the country at the AAU Nationals. Now their sights are set on taking home the Grand Championship on Sunday. Does the Big Red Machine have another championship run in them?

CBC: The Bad Boys advanced to the Sweet 16 in Hampton and are still seeking their first Spotlight crown. First they must get past a semifinal challenge from the Juice All Stars. Then we might have another showdown with Team IZOD to decide it all.

Juice All Stars: The Coney Island crew had the highest ranking in the region at the AAU Nationals (#7). This confident bunch has the swagger and the game to run the table on Sunday. Their national run has this club soaring with confidence.

Team Final: TF was a pleasant surprise at the 12U Nationals. They have made strong strides since the season started and are capable of defeating any of these teams Sunday. Don’t sleep on this squad.

12U There's No More Talking It's Time To Get It On!

11U Summer Slam Preview: Baby Ballers Ready To Clash

Can Riverside Grab Another Banner?

The 11U Division was entertaining and unpredictable all year. We had a different champion for every event. It’s only fitting that we have one last dash for the Grand Championship.

Summer Slam 11U Preview

Riverside Hawks: RH is riding high off of their Final Four appearance. Now they will definitely be the hunted. Coach Lawrence is used to the pressure and should have his boys prepared and focused. Will they wrap the year up with the big trophy and the bragging rights?

We Run: The Bulldogs are anxious to hold that Spotlight banner and this is their last shot of the season. They had a very eventful AAU National experience including a few games live on the internet. All eyes will be on them as they take the floor against the Gauchos in the semifinals.

Gauchos: Speaking of the Gauchos they are hungry after having a tough time in Florida. Now they are looking to return to the form that won them the Metropolitan crown. Things should heat up very early on Sunday.

Maryland Spartans: The last entry to this event earned big points by winning the AC Showcase. Now they have reloaded with a few extra kids so they might be even more dangerous. They are looking to take the big trophy I-95 South.

11U Squads Let’s Get Ready To Rumble!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Is Thon Maker The Next Kevin Durant?

Thon Maker is a 6’11 14 year old from Australia that put in heavy work at the John Lucas Camp. The combo forward has a good motor and a skill set that have many comparing him to a young Kevin Durant. Maker will be entering the 8th Grade in the fall therefore I know we will be hearing more from this young upcoming stud. For Thon the sky is the limit in terms of potential.

Summer Slam Player Participation Rules

The Basketball Spotlight Summer Slam will take place Sunday, July 31st at Hoop Group Headquarters. There seems to be some confusion about what players are eligible to play in this event. We decided to lay a few ground rules before the teams arrive on Sunday.

1. Teams are only allowed to use players that are listed on their AAU National Championship Roster. All teams must bring their AAU National roster to this event.
2. Teams that didn’t participate in the AAU Nationals are allowed to add three players but the players could not have played in a Basketball Spotlight event with another team.
3. This is a single game elimination event.
4. Please report to the gym at least 30 minutes before your first game.
5. Please make sure you have all your paperwork including report cards and birth certificates.

All Other Player Participation Issues Will Be Handled By The Tournament Director.

Basketball Spotlight Player Rankings Coming In September

Basketball Spotlight will enter the player ranking world in September 2011. Our ranking system will be a little different than others. We are determined to make sure the top players are discovered before they reach high school therefore each class will have regional rankings until September 1st of their 9th grade year. At that point we will release our Elite 50 National ranking to the best of our ability.

Coming September 2011

Class 2015 Elite 50 (National Rankings)

Class 2016 Elite Regional Rankings
Northeast Top 30 (Massachusetts to NJ)
Mid Atlantic Top 30 (Pennsylvania to Virginia)
Southeast Top 30 (NC to Florida)

Class 2017 Elite Regional Rankings
Northeast Top 20 (Massachusetts to NJ)
Mid Atlantic Top 20 (Pennsylvania to Virginia)
Southeast Top 20 (NC to Florida)

Class 2018 Elite Regional Rankings
Northeast Top 15 (Massachusetts to NJ)
Mid Atlantic Top 15 (Pennsylvania to Virginia)
Southeast Top 15 (NC to Florida)

Class 2019 Elite Regional Rankings
Northeast Top 10 (Massachusetts to NJ)
Mid Atlantic Top 10 (Pennsylvania to Virginia)
Southeast Top 10 (NC to Florida)

As our coverage spreads we intend to include detail breakdowns of other regions.

Introducing AJ "Mc Buckets" Hoggard

AJ Hoggard has put together a great season. The rising 5th Grader has led his team to the Baby Baller Bonanza title, MDC Championship, Mid Atlantic AAU crown and a #9 finish at the 10U AAU National Championship. Here’s your chance to get to know AJ “Mc Buckets” Hoggard before he brings his game to the Baby Baller Super Showcase.

AJ Favorites

Favorite School Subject: Math

Favorite College: University Of North Carolina

Favorite Sneaker: Nike

Favorite Rapper: Young Jeezy

Favorite Current NBA Player: Lebron James

Favorite All-time NBA Player: Michael Jordan

Favorite Website: Facebook

Favorite TV Show: Family Guy

Biggest Influence: My Father

Career Goal: To play in the NBA

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Super Showcase Player Preview: Jamir Harris

Name: Jamir Harris

AAU Team: NJ Got Game

Position: Shooting Guard

Class: 2016

Harris started the season with Team Final but later moved over to NJ Got Game. The power guard will be looking to make a good follow up showing from the work he put in at last season’s Super Showcase. Once he has his mind made up in attacking the tin there’s not many players on this level that can slow him down.

DC Assault Wins Adidas Super 64

DC Assault Takes Adidas Tourney

DC Assault 13U defeated DC Assault 14U 63-47 to win the Adidas Super 64 Championship. Congrats to DC Assault’s staff and players for this major accomplishment.

Jamar Watson
Jamir Moultrie
Mickey Bell
Anthony Cowan
Blake Francis
Sam Green
Ako Adams
Sean Strittmatter
Reggie Gardner
Alani Moore
Joe Hampton
Arehon Harrison

Coach: Zach Suber
Asst. Coach: Reggie Gardner

Basketball Spotlight Summer Slam Schedule

The Basketball Spotlight Summer Slam Grand Championship will take place Sunday, July 31st at Hoop Group Headquarters. This event will determine the Grand Champion for each age group. The schedule for this event is listed below.

Summer Slam Schedule

11U Semifinals
11:00 AM Riverside Hawks vs. Maryland Spartans (CT 1)
11:00 AM We Run vs. Gauchos (CT 2)

12U Semifinals
11:00 AM Team IZOD vs. Team Final (CT 3)
11:00 AM CBC vs. Juice All Stars (CT 4)

13U Semifinals
12:10 PM F.A.C.E.S. vs. Team Scan (CT 1)
12:10 PM Gauchos vs. CT Elite (CT 2)

14U Semifinals
12:10 PM Team Final vs. Team Scan (CT 3)
12:10 PM F.A.C.E.S. vs. Expressions (CT 4)

Championship Games
1:20 PM 11U Championship (CT 4)
1:20 PM 12U Championship (CT 3)
2:30 PM 13U Championship (CT 4)
2:30 PM 14U Championship (CT 3)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Gauchos Win West Coast National Championship

Gauchos Roll Through Las Vegas

The NYC Gauchos defeated Dallas Select 64-41 to win the West Coast AAU 13U National Championship. The Gauchos are scheduled for Summer Slam this Sunday where they will face CT Elite in the semifinals at 12:10 PM. Congrats to the Gauchos staff and players for this major accomplishment.

NyRhique Smith
Amanie Craddock
Mustapha Heron
Nacho Nwanna
Sayon Charles
Darius Inzar
Matt Johnson
Lu Lu Chisolm
Brandon Randolph
Jordan Haywood
Coach Paul Suber
Coach Sterling Inzar
Coach Tyrone Smith

Texas Titans Wins Another National Championship

Texas Titans defeated Team Texas 40-38 to win their 3rd National Championship in a row. They have to go down as the most dominant grammar school program in AAU history. Congrats to Texas Titans, their staff and players for their success.

Team Nelson Finishes 9th In America

Regions #1 Team Nelson Represented At 10U Nationals

The 4th grade Team Nelson boys basketball team went 5-1and finished in 9th place in the AAU National Championships held in Charlotte, NC. The team defeated some of the top teams in the country including the former champions Detroit Elite. Team Nelson defeated DC Assault in the 9th and 11th place championships. The team earned 9th place and is one of the top 10 teams in the nation.

The team consists of three local Delco players Mark Bradshaw, John Dinkins and Jalen Hudson. The other players on the team include Anthony Hoggard, Donta Scott. Mikeal Jones, Jalen Gaffney, Kieves Turner, Chris Allen, Amin Dandridge.

Team Nelson is sponsored by Chester High and Orlando Magic star Jameer Nelson

The coaches include:
Howard Hudson, Head
John Dinkins, Assistant
Anthony Hoggard, Assistant

Riverside Hawks Made Final Four March

#1 Riverside Hawks Finished #4 Nationally In Cocoa Beach

Making the AAU Final Four is a coach’s dream and Lawrence Fauntleroy of Riverside Hawks dream became a reality at the 11U Division 1 National Championship. The #1 team in the Basketball Spotlight Top 10 made it to the final four in Cocoa Beach, Florida. Riverside finished #4 in the country. Congrats to Riverside coaches and players for this great accomplishment. Stay tune as we bring you more national results from area teams.

Head Coach Lawrence Fauntleroy
Asst. Coach Al Gowan
Zedrek Farrell
Jarett Haines
Jared Maharaj
Matthew Mitrakos
Jahbril Price-Noel
Jake Runyon
Alston Tarry
Lucas Warhaftig
Camren Wynter

New Heights Finish #2 At 11U D2 Nationals

New Heights Made A Championship Run

New Heights formerly Fastbreak Basketball represented NY to the fullest with a runner up finish at AAU 11U Division 2 National Championships. Congrats to New Heights coaches and players for this great accomplishment.

Head Coach Billy Council
Asst. Coach Everton McIntyre
Asst. Coach Michael Robinson
13 Cole Anthony
32 Tyrek Chambers
2 Jack Frankel
1 Kevin Greene
10 Antoine Hernton
42 Edmund Kelly III
5 Sam Klores
3 Daniel Klosk
4 Judah Mcintyre
12 Jayson Robinson
21 Sahdique Watkins
14 Makhel Wilson
11 Garieth Manessah Harvey

Monday, July 25, 2011

12U Nationals Day 5 Recap: Top Performers

Christian Nelson (Atlanta Knicks)

Basketball Spotlight spent our final day at the 12U Nationals checking out the Sweet 16 battles. Here are some of the players that caught our eye before we left Hampton.

Day 5 Top Performers

Christian Nelson Forward (Atlanta Knicks)- Nelson played big in their overtime loss to Cali Styles. He attacked the huge squad with Charles Barkley type of style. He had the face up jumper working and showed some versatility before severely injuring his ankle at the end of regulation. I love how this kid attacks slow but smoothly off the dribble.

Zach Cooks Guard (Atlanta Knicks)- One of the top floor generals in the land proved his worth in front of the capacity crowd. He zipped through the defense while finishing or distributing the pill to teammates. As mentioned before Cooks is an extension of the coach on the floor. This kid is a gamer.

Al Durham Guard (Atlanta Knicks)- The slick lefty broke down defenders with his quickness and ability to change direction. He gets to the rim at will and I love the fact that he wants the ball in crucial situations. He has big time scoring ability.

Nogel Eastern Guard (AI9)-Eastern came up big down the stretch to knock out CBC. The strong scoring guard attacked along the baseline and either scored or traveled to the charity stripe. He stepped his game up when it mattered.

Reggie Crawford Forward (AI9)- Crawford is too quick for most post defenders. He plays with is back to the basket and demonstrates a strong spin move. He has long limbs which indicate he should have more inches to grow in the future. Either way he will be good for him to work on his wing game.

Jared Simmons Guard (CBC)- Simmons is a confident shooter that will launch it as soon as the ball touches his hands. He stretched the defense with his range but also showed some heart by attempting some floaters in the lane. He can get a little too trigger happy at times.

Baby Baller Super Showcase Is Almost Here

The Basketball Spotlight Baby Baller Super Showcase registration is ready to go. We have an online registration for those that want to use credit or debit cards and mail-in registration for cashier checks or money orders. Players interested in registering who name doesn’t appear on the invite list need to contact Mike Melton at or 609-532-5122 before completing registration. Registration deadline for this event is July 25, 2011.

Date: August 6, 2011

Place: Life Center Academy (Burlington, NJ)

Class: 2018 and 2019 (Rising 5th and 6th Graders)

Online Registration

Mail-in Registration

Saturday, July 23, 2011

12U Nationals Day 4 Recap: Top Performers Part 2

Jeffrey Prophete (Lauderill Lions)

Championship Bracket play kicked off today and so some fresh faces and top notch talent. Here’s part 2 of our day 4 report.

Day 4 Top Performers Part 2

Jeffrey Prophete Guard (Lauderhill Lions)- I have been in search of that prospect that separates himself from the pack and this might be the kid. This kid stands about 6’3 and has the total package. He has scoring ability, athleticism, court vision, basketball instincts and can shoot a jumper. When he’s not dazzling the crowd on the perimeter he hammers the boards on the blocks. Right now he’s the most dominant player I’ve seen in Hampton bar none.

Abule Abadi Forward (Lauderhill Lions)- Abadi controls the paint very seriously. There’s nothing pretty about his game but when you are standing 6’5 with a solid frame there’s nothing to talk about. He intimidated the CB Spiders players when they drove the lane. He was just too big and strong inside.

Brendon Oliver Guard (Lauderhill Lions)- Oliver was the 3 point threat for the Florida squad. While the Spiders had to double down he stayed behind the 3 point and launched away. He finished with double figures in points.

JJ Watson Guard (CB Spiders)- Foul trouble crippled this guard early but he did comeback with some aggressive play against the Lions. He attempting and converted some strong finishes in transition. Once he got going to game was already decided.

DJ Mitchell Forward (Team Takeover)- His length gave Team Final major problems. He collected several steals in the passing lanes and was a major matchup problem on the perimeter. He’s a natural scorer on this level.

Nate Pierre Louis (Team IZOD)- I know you are tired of reading about this kid but his play today carried the squad to the Sweet 16. Foul trouble caused him to play only 3 quarters but he still posted 28 points and even ran the point for a spell. Tomorrow they will face Lauderhill Lions which should be a dandy.

Ismail Charles Forward (CBC)- Charles was definitely in charge against Southeast Elite of Alabama. He was a beast on the blocks with strong spin moves and a soft touch. His A Game brought them a Sweet 16 birth.

Sweet 16 Matchups
Indiana Hoosiers vs. Kentucky Elite 9:00 AM
Juice All Stars vs. Cabarrus Stars 9:00 AM
Lauderhill Lions vs. Team IZOD 10:20 AM
LA Primetime Select vs. NC Gaters 10:20 AM
West Coast Elite vs. Memphis War Eagles 11:40 AM
AI9 Elite vs. CBC 11:40 AM
Cali Styles vs. Atlanta Knicks 1:00 PM
Seven Cities Elite vs. Team Takeover 1:00 PM

12U Nationals Day 4 Recap: Top Performers Part1

Chance Melton (Kentucky Elite)

Championship Bracket play kicked off today and so some fresh faces and top notch talent. Here’s part 1 of our day 4 report.

Day 4 Top Performers

Chance Melton Forward (Kentucky Elite)- Melton’s versatile game was too much for Delaware PAL. He showed off his footwork as he danced inside for some easy buckets. But what really impressed me was the way he pushed the rock up the floor like a wing guard.

Tyler Bourne Guard (Juice All Stars)- The feisty little floor general woke up in the second half to carry his team to the win. He controlled the tempo while making timely passes to teammates after penetration. He also didn’t hesitate to take a big trey or use his deadly floater.

Michael Johnson Guard (Juice All Stars)- Johnson makes a living driving the lane and attempting shots over the interior post defenders. His strength is one of his best weapons that he uses in transition.

Michal Bowry Forward (Juice All Stars)- Bowry was very active around the basket on both ends. He runs the floor well for a player his size and has decent hands. He stepped up his game on the boards and that helped them get over the top.

Kel Stotts Guard (Kentucky Elite)- Kel caught fire from behind the arc while draining 4 treys. The defense tried to pack in on Melton which gave Stotts several wide open opportunities.

Malik Velmar Guard (Team Final)- Velmar stroked the rock with confidence which helped TF get back into the game. He can either shoot it from the spot up position or off the bounce. Team Final needed to sparkplug guard to step up.

JP Sanders Guard (Team Final)- Sanders showed flashes of good play. He ran the point for the most and used his size to get where he wanted on the floor. He needs to show this type of aggression for TF to be successful.

Ahrod Carter Guard (Team Final)- Carter is also playing with high confidence. He’s big enough to shoot over most defenders and has a smoothness too his game that you have to respect.