Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Clash For The Cup 13U Blue Division Championship Recap: Florida Shines In New Jersey

The Sharks Took A Bite At The Clash

Shimoore Stern scored 19 points as Broward Sharks defeated Team Melo 48-47 to win the Clash For The Cup 13U Blue Division Championship. The Sharks Director David Lopez loved his experience in New Jersey, “Talent wins games but teamwork, hard work and remaining humble wins championships”.

MVP: Shimoore Stern (Broward Sharks)
The long wiry forward used his length to score in the rock in transition and in the half court set. His length played a major part in his team’s championship game success. The Sunshine State will have a prospect to worry about a few years down the road.

Clash For The Cup Blue Division: Mass Shooting Stars Are Champions

Mass Shooting Stars Win The Crown

Devandre Edmonds scored 15 points as Mass Shooting Stars defeated NWK 47-44 to win the Clash For The Cup 12U Blue Division Championship. Congratulations to Mass Shooting Stars for winning the crown.

MVP: Devandre Edmonds (Mass Shooting Stars)
Edmonds played the post and made the most of his time at this event by scoring and grabbing boards. He has a soft touch and good footwork for a youngster. We look forward to watching in action in future Basketball Spotlight events.

Clash For The Cup 14U Orange Championship Recap: "The MOBB" Gets Revenge

DC Assault Wins Clash!

Alani Moore scored 21 points and Joe Hampton added 12 markers as DC Assault defeated Team Scan 69-63 to win the Clash For The Cup 14U Orange Division Championship. Devonte Green led all scorers with 29 points for Team Scan in the loss.

MVP: Alani “Showtime” Moore (DC Assault)
In front of a capacity crowd Moore made big plays and hit clutch buckets. He’s been known throughout his career to step up during the biggest moments and he really showed his talent during the “Game Of The Year”. I guess that’s why we call him “Showtime”.

Clash For The Cup 14U Blue Division Championship Recap: St. Michaels Answers The Bell

St. Michaels Gains The Blue Title

Patrick Strazala scored 20 points as St. Michaels defeated Mass Shooting Stars 44-to 30 to win the 14U Blue Division Championship. Congrats to St. Michaels and Mass Shooting Stars for a hard fought tournament. St. Michaels Director Luis Delgado felt his team used this tournament as inspirtation, "We were a little dissapointed to be in the Blue Division but we deserved because of our performance at the Tip Off Classic. So we took the opportunity to get better and prove we can compete with the best teams on the East Coast and my kids did that".

MVP: Patrick Strazala (St. Michaels)-Strazala is accustomed to winning MVP crowns and the forward added another one after the Clash For The Cup. He’s fundamentally sound and has good footwork on the post. He has the ability to go inside or out. Watch out for him in the future.

Baby Baller Bonanza Set For March

The #1 Baby Baller tournament in the country will return March 10th and 11th. Last year the Baby Baller Bonanza rocked Lakewood, NJ and this year we are ready to go again. It’s time to let the young ballers and we will be giving serious coverage for this event.

Event: Baby Baller Bonanaza
Date: March 10th and 11th
Ages: 10U Thru 12U
Cost: $350 ($325 Multi team discount)
Place: Lakewood, NJ (Georgian Court University)
Deadline: March 1st or until sold out.

Click Here To Register

Clash For The Cup 13U Orange Championship Recap: Team Takeover Outlast CBC

Team Takeover Grab The Banner

Andre Boykin and Chris Lykes scored 16 points apiece as Team Takeover defeated CBC 55-53 to win the Clash For The Cup 13U Orange crown. Jaecee Martin scored 21 points for CBC in the loss. After the victory Coach Tony Thompson was happy with his Spotlight experience, "We got just what we were looking for at the Clash... some good bump! Even though we won we know we have a lot of work to do to be considered one of the top teams in the country".

MVP: Andre Boykins (Team Takeover)
The former Mr. Memorial Day switched teams but still dominated when it mattered. He’s still an imposing force on the blocks but now runs the floor better and even handles the pill with more confidence. He charged the lane like freight train.

Clash For The Cup 12U Orange Championship Recap: Kings Get Crowned

King Street Kings Wear The Clash For The Cup Crown

Atiba Taylor scored 20 points and Luther Muhammad added 15 markers as King Street Kings defeated Team IZOD 57-52 to win the Clash For The Cup 12U Orange Championship. Marquise Nowell finished 20 points for Team IZOD in the loss. Coach Francis Nicolas was happy with his teams success. "I would to congratulate my squad on a great weekend of basketball. We faced some great teams and hostile crowds. But when the dust cleared we all saw the face of the true Tyrant. Thanks to the Spotlight staff for a great event and allowing us to participate. Until the next time we will keep you watching and definitely keep you talking. Special thanks to Jahvon Quinerly aka Rookie a true definition of a teammate".

MVP: Luther Muhammad (KSK)
It was huge weekend for the power guard. He dropped 25 points on the #4 team in the country Riverside while averaging close to 20 markers a contest. He seemed to be very determined this weekend while handling his business. He had is entire arsenal on display.

Basketball Spotlight Player Of The Week: Alani "Showtime" Moore (DC Assault)

Alani "Showtime" Moore (DC Assault)

The Basketball Spotlight Player Of The Week goes to Alani “Showtime” Moore. Moore scored 21 points, hit some clutch free throws and made some key steals to help DC Assault defeat Team Scan 69-63 to win the Clash For The Cup 14U crown. Congratulations to Moore and his DC Assault teammates for getting their big win.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Basketball Spotlight Texas Report: 2nd Annual Texas Celtics Winter Classic 14U Top Performers (By Paul Miranda)

Dallas Mustangs Won The Crown

This tournament provided a great look at several of the DFW’s Metroplex top teams with the winner having to learn from some mistakes in Pool Play and then turn it around in the championship to get by a strong Flower Mound Rebels squad that was trying to get their first championship of the season. However the championship game was a great heavyweight classic that saw several momentum changes and then finally, the Mustangs, behind the newly acquired phenom, Demarcus “Slim” Randle willed his team to victory lane, winning 57-53.

DeMarcus “Slim” Randle #15 Dallas Mustangs
The 6’4” megatron of B’ball took over in the big time moments for his squad throughout the tournament. Clutch baskets, rebounds, block shots, dunks, interior passes for assists were visible every game. Kid runs the floor better than most guards. My choice for Tournament MVP!!!

DeVontae Patterson #25 Flower Mound Rebels
The 6’5” big man was a man on a mission, outplaying almost every Big man in the tournament by using his athleticism, quickness and strength. Playing hard on both ends of the court was maddening for opposing coaches . Another ‘do-it-all’ player that made sure to be a factor every game, showing signs of being like his dad, former NBA stud, Michael Finley.

Vernon Scott#33 HEROES
This 6’3 small forward played BIG throughout the tournament, showing great skills in the paint and on the perimeter. Young man displayed a nice feathery touch from all over the court. Could slash and dash to the cup with ease, had an array of post moves and could handle the rock in the open floor very well. This young man rebounded the rock, had several blocks and his defensive instincts were incredible.

Terrance Ferguson #1 Flower Mound Rebels
This 6’3” small forward did his thing despite playing half the tournament on ‘gimpy’ ankle suffered in one of the pool play games, however, he still found ways to contribute on both ends of the court. This young man can fill the cup up with many shots from anywhere and he did nothing to dispute that in this tournament. Showing amazing courage and toughness, this youngsta’ continued to tote the note for his squad.

Steven Sullivan #32 Irving B.I.G. D.O.G.S.
This 6’5 big fella’ went to work on his opponents from the very jump. Rebounding and defending the paint were a must for this guy in every game. Showed amazing body control on several ‘and-one’ finishes on the break throughout the tournament. He displayed a great shooting touch 8-10 feet on in.

Nate Morris #32 Dallas Mustangs
The 6’8” Giant was rumbling through his opponents with improved footwork and agility never before displayed. He found ways to contribute in the paint with several put-backs, rebounds, block shots, and low post maneuvers that stunned a lot of us that have been watching this young man for sometime grow into someone that will have to be reckoned with. This mountain is hard to move and plays hard every game.

Jarrett Jenkins #13 B.I.G. D.O.G.S.
At 5’9” Point Guard was artistic at almost every moment of the tournament. His length and strength gave opposing PG’s problems. He was able to dribble through any defense, he scored at will and dished out several assists to compliment his all-around game. His defense was very strong and he was able to help rebound and take pressure off of his BIGS’… Smooth ball handler but knows how to run his team’s offense.

Keenan Holdman #31 Flower Mound Rebels
The 5’9” Point Guard was a beast on both ends of the floor. His speed burst was turbo-like and when he hit that button, he left people in a cloud of dust. His strength and relentlessness to get to the cup was crazy. Kid is real physical on both ends of the floor, he uses his body very effectively. Knows how to move through traffic very effectively.

Dee Dee Henry #1 Team Bizness
The 5’7” Point Guard was absolutely tenacious on both ends of the court. His defense stifled several players, he didn’t care who what your name or your position was, if you could score it was his job to change that thought and he did game in and game out. His high energy, in your face, style of play was breathtaking. He handled the ball and ran his team with precision. He scored inside and outside. I just loved watching this young man work effortlessly.

Malik MacLemore #14 Team Bizness
This 5’10” long , lanky and athletic player brought his baller mode for this tournament that surprised everyone in the building. He had several wild shots that hit from many different angles. He’s starting to remind me of Stacey Augmon, formerly of the UNLV Rebels from back in the day. Just like Plastic Man’, he can stretch from many different body angles and still deliver offensively.

Bradley Chastine #23 Flower Mound Rebels
At 6’0”, this young man was not hard to find, he displayed a great set of skills, handling the ball in the open court, knocking down clutch outside shots, penetrated the zones to get easy layups, rebounded with the big boys, and even defended the floor as if his life depended upon it. Young man has great body control and knows how to use it. Very fundamental and wasn’t afraid to go at anyone that stood in front of him.

Miles Thompson #21 Heroes
Bringing a big package of athleticism, speed, power, agility, and an amazing set of defensive instincts, this youngsta’ was more than noticeable on both ends of the floor. He slashed and dashed to the cup with no problem. His defensive skills were more than just polished, he erased his opponents from the scoring column each game. He had to be one of the biggest huslters’ in the tournament. Loved this guy’s enthusiasm and energy.

Ryan Evans #33 Team Bizness
Standing every bit of 6’10” and still growing, this giant was hard to overlook. He showed a great shooter’s touch around the paint. His foot work has improved tremendously and assured us that he is working even harder to keep up. He’s still light in the weight category, but he still held his own on the boards and defensive side. He blocked several shots each game. He also showed a nice set of post moves in the paint.

Ethan Chapman #13 Flower Mound Rebels
This young man is a classic throwback from the woods of Hoosier Nation, his jumper’ is definitely reminding people down here of Larry Bird. As accurate as they come from the three point arch, this kid wasn’t shy about letting them go either. But he did show great patience in getting his shots off. IQ was awesome too. Very good on the defensive end.

Diary Of A Baller: Tyus "Kid Mamba" Battle (Edison, NJ) Entry #22

Tyus and Magic Johnson

What’s up basketball world, it’s been a long, tiring and stressful week for me and other family members.

Monday I went to the gym with my dad and little brother to work on my shot and to get a little bit of a running in. We only stayed for about an hour, but we used the time in the gym wisely and got shots up from all around the court, in addition we were able to a lot of sprints in. The problem I was having with my shot was my feet were too close together when I was shooting and I was not following threw as well as I need to be a consistent shooter. My dad always taught me it takes about 1200 reps to break a bad habit and haven’t arrived at 1200 as of yet but I’m on my way.

Wednesday I went to school practice and we prepared for our game on Saturday. It is a huge game for my team and I because we are playing for first place. We really are focused on executing plays and finishing shots because a lot of the kids still don’t know all the plays and still have a bit of trouble finishing lay-ups. I am feel really confident about the school game on Saturday.

Thursday my grandmother Queenie died at age 92. Although we are all very sad we were happy at the same time because she is in a better place. She was suffering for a long time and that and that makes me sad. My mom took the loss very rough which made it harder for me because she did so much for my mom and taught her many life lessons. Her funeral will be this week and a lot of my family members will be coming down from Georgia, South Carolina and other far way places. We will miss you her a lot!

Saturday we played in the Clash for the Cup, which is a Basketball Spotlight tournament in Neptune, New Jersey. We played King Street Kings for our first game, ETU our second, and Team Takeover our third. We only won the first game against King Street by 7. The entire tournament was very challenging for me and I played and shot the ball poorly the second game, however 1st game I was okay and the third game was better than the second game. I should say that I was doubled a lot and I did not handle that well. As a team we weren’t executing, we had a lot of turnovers, and we were just not playing with our heads. We have a lot of things that we need to improve on and we will need to stay in the gym to work on them. As for as my game, well it needs a lot of work! My mom and dad say that is a good thing considering how much time I have and hard I work. My dad says that my work ethic is what makes me a good young player, and I promise I will never lose that!

This is Tyus battle signing out


Sunday, January 29, 2012

Clash For The Cup Day 1 Recap: Class 2017 Top Performers And Notes By DunkDog

Andre Boykin (Team Takeover)

NEPTUNE, NEW JERSEY – Basketball Spotlight’s Clash For The Cup is one of the premier youth basketball events in the northeast United States. In addition to drawing the best grassroots hoops teams from the region, the Clash has attracted squads from as far away as Canada and Florida for the 2012 event. With pool play action tipping Saturday morning across three age groups, games extended late into the evening, setting the stage for championship bracket play on Sunday. DunkDog.com was in the gym to catch all the action and has the exclusive Day 1 recap!


As his peers continue to close the gap and surpass him with regard to height and athletic ability, Boykin remains an extremely tough guard at the seventh grade level. His move from the Maryland Panthers to Team Takeover has him paired with a more talented cast and Boykin has elevated his play and intensity to match his new teammates. Now given more freedom to roam, Boykin still primarily defends the post and does the majority of his offensive damage on the block, but his improvements laterally are noticeable as is his touch from midrange. Whether he’s classified as a post or a wing, when Boykin competes he’s still capable of dominant stretches and should only continue to improve.

Another promising prospect on the Florida squad’s roster, Stern didn’t have an exceptional outing, but his talent and upside cannot go unnoticed. A wiry and bouncy forward, he’s a willing rebounder and capable finisher around the rim, and also demonstrated nice flashes of explosiveness when slashing from the wing. The quicker he becomes aware of his defensive tools, the more of an asset Stern will be, as he alters a ton of shots near the rim and has length to disrupt opponents on the perimeter. Similar to his teammate Bonitto, he’s a great athlete, but must continue to work on his skill set, particularly his ball-handling and jump shot.

Walker opened many eyes on Saturday, logging major minutes against nationally competitive teams, while playing ‘up’ an age and grade division. The Maryland-native is new to the regional radar but is certainly a name to remember. With natural strength and body control, Walker made plays in traffic, asserted himself defensively, and pursued rebounds on both ends of the floor. Experience and confidence will be major factors in his development and his physical growth will dictate which guard position becomes his primary role. For now, Walker appears comfortable playing a fast pace and is learning to be a playmaker in the half-court.

Polley is an impressive prospect and had some memorable moments in his Basketball Spotlight debut on Saturday. Similar to other quality middle school players, Polley is nowhere near a finished product, but still manages to find ways to impact the game despite his lacking a complete skill package. He has impressive range on his jumper and uses his length to defend and rebound from the perimeter. Polley seems to truly enjoy playing but the next step will be for him to demonstrate the maturity necessary to make a commitment to improve. The young guard certainly showed enough promise that his progress will be monitored.

An extremely versatile prospect with tremendous potential, Bonitto wasted little time making an impression at Basketball Spotlight’s Clash For The Cup. The south Florida native can conceivably play any position on the floor in his age/grade division, but appears best suited as an active and athletic forward when playing ‘up’ like he is on this particular weekend. Bonitto is extremely composed for a young player, not bothered by contact, and not deterred when calls aren’t made in his favor. The next step is for him to continue his on-court production while making improvements with regard to his ball-handling ability and jumper.


• Y.A.A.A.C.E. is known in Canada as one of the nation’s prominent grassroots basketball programs. They attract numerous prospects from around the Toronto-metro area each year and boast one of the country’s best in recent memory in forward Justin Jackson. However, it was Jackson’s teammate Marcus Ottey, who made the most impressive play on Saturday. A six-foot scoring guard, Ottey elevated up and literally over a defender for a dunk that had Hoop Group Headquarters buzzing for hours. The real question is, did anyone get it on film?!

• Nearly 1,300 miles away from home, head coach Alex Ordoqui and his Broward Sharks squad didn’t have their best showing on Saturday but still made an impression at the Clash For The Cup. They’ll be a competitive group regionally as the year moves forward and may even have the talent to make noise on the national level by the season’s end.

• New Renaissance brought in 6-foot-11 center Raekwon Long and six-foot super-scoring guard Rakym Felder for the Clash but the reinforcements weren’t enough as the Rens were eliminated on Saturday afternoon before picking up a consolation win later in the evening. Currently eighth graders, Long and Felder are both currently enrolled at Evelyn Mack Academy in Charlotte, North Carolina but could be on the move again next year as high school freshmen.

Clash For The Cup Day 1 Recap: Class 2016 Top Performers By DunkDog

NyRhique Smith (Playaz)

NEPTUNE, NEW JERSEY – Basketball Spotlight’s Clash For The Cup is one of the premier youth basketball events in the northeast United States. In addition to drawing the best grassroots hoops teams from the region, the Clash has attracted squads from as far away as Canada and Florida for the 2012 event. With pool play action tipping Saturday morning across three age groups, games extended late into the evening, setting the stage for championship bracket play on Sunday. DunkDog.com was in the gym to catch all the action and has the exclusive Day 1 recap!


Capable of playing either guard position, Smith is a smooth prospect with deceptive athleticism, and makes his presence felt in a major way on the offensive end. He can get to the rim at will but is also quickly gaining confidence with his jumper as his range continues to improve. His teammates also benefit from his ability to penetrate, as Smith has excellent vision, and is a creative passer in the lane. More silky than explosive, there is a hint of effortless efficiency found in Smith’s game that many elite prospects seem to possess. His stock is definitely on the rise and he’ll have the opportunity to prove himself as one of the headliners in the 2016 class this spring and summer.

ANTHONY CARR ‘Tony’ – 5’8/150 PG – PHILLY TRIPLE THREAT – CLASS OF 2016 Carr’s poised and inspired play has continued to turn heads in the Northeast and he has easily solidified his place among the region’s top floor generals. Still trying to lead his team into the winner’s circle consistently, Carr and his Philly Triple Threat teammates picked up a huge win against Team SCAN during the first day at Clash For The Cup. While undersized, Carr is a leader, knows how to play, and isn’t afraid to be vocal with teammates when needed. His stock is certainly on the rise and it’s time he’s recognized among the elite eighth grade prospects from the Philadelphia-metro area.

JOSEPH HAMPTON ‘Joe’ – 6’6/230 PF – D.C. ASSAULT – CLASS OF 2016
He started slow, but Hampton responded nicely in his match-up against Canada’s Justin Jackson. He’s involved on the offensive end, competing for touches on the block, and has a great pair of hands and feet. Known as a powerful finisher who doesn’t shy away from contact, new to Hampton’s game was his willingness to step out and knock down the occasional perimeter jumper. Ironically, a reasonable comparison is to D.C. Assault class of 2013 forward Kris Jenkins, as Hampton is similarly considered an elite prospect because of his current production, but should be monitored closely with regard to his ultimate ceiling as a prospect.

JUSTIN JACKSON – 6’6/210 WF – Y.A.A.A.C.E. – CLASS OF 2016
In his second trip to the States in three months, Jackson once again impressed with his play, and overall ability. Still very much a ‘tweener’ at the forward position, his skill set and tendencies continue leaning more in the direction of him ultimately settling on the perimeter. However, Jackson has natural rebounding tools, and it will be important that he use his length and quick lift to continue asserting himself on the boards. A capable shooter out to the stripe, when he tightens his handle and begins playing with a greater sense of urgency, we’re talking about yet another Canadian prospect that could potentially rise to elite status on the recruiting radar.

A powerful and aggressive guard, Moore is a compact floor general with a great feel and mature approach. Not exceptionally gifted physically, Moore is still a capable defender and adequately pressures opponents in the half-court. Comfortable and confident as a primary ball-handler, he is a great set-up man, always looking for an opening in the defense where he can make a scoring move or an accurate pass. Moore can also finish plays at a surprisingly high rate, whether he’s absorbing contact at the rim or knocking down the open jumper. While is sometimes struggles against lengthier and more athletic guards, he’s a dominant playmaker at the eighth grade level.


A well-built forward who roams the paint and perimeter, Barnes’ game has taken major strides in the last year. Always a dominant athlete (his emphatic tip-dunk against Team Final is evidence), his skill set is rounding into form, as he is putting on the floor from the high post, and made some nice passes in transition. He’s a physical rebounder and defender, and should definitely be classified as a competitor, as his emotional balance swings not only with wins and losses but also his touches from possession to possession. A physical specimen, Barnes must continue to sharpen his skills, but he’s simply a force on the eighth grade level.

Scanlon has spurted a few more inches since last year and his second stint on the eighth grade circuit has him playing with a newfound confidence. A reliable catch-and-shoot sniper on the perimeter, Scanlon is beginning to attempt some moves off the bounce, and had his positive moments in the open court on Saturday at the Clash. His strength and toughness with the ball, combined with his improved decision-making and passing ability on the wing are an impressive package for a young prospect but he’ll still need to continue developing his handle.

A strong and compact lead guard with ample confidence and a stroke from deep, Cue is also capable of making some explosive plays off the dribble. He has a knack for finding openings in the defense and can explode through those gaps to create for himself and others. He has quick feet and a powerful lower body which allows him to absorb contact and be a crushing defender. His feel for the point guard position is steadily improving and he’s a fearless competitor. Cue has a tendency to be streaky good or streaky bad and as he finds a consistent balance of positive productivity he’ll attract even more attention on the recruiting radar.

Teaming with 6-foot-6 Khalir Johnson to form the new East Coast Elite frontcourt, Kemp made his presence felt during the first day at the Clash For The Cup. A big-bodied forward with developing skills, Kemp surprised as he transitioned end-to-end, and finished his attempts around the basket. While several of his teammates have received more ink, Kemp is a prospect in his own right, and will only improve. Though he’ll need to improve his conditioning and athleticism, typical strength training should provide Kemp an imposing physique, which will also help his confidence on the hardwood. His expanding role on his competitive squad is a sign of things to come.

The owner of an impressive motor, Cohen brings great energy to both ends of the floor, and is a capable rebounder and finisher at the rim. The lefty has a well-rounded game, making effort plays on offense, and snatching up fifty-fifty balls defensively. He’s developing confidence with his handle and made some impressive passes from the perimeter on Saturday at the Clash. Cohen anticipates nicely away from the ball, therefore he’s reliable in pressure defenses, and his length and tenacity frustrated opponents when he defended on the ball. As he finds consistency with his jumper, expect Cohen to become an intriguing prospect moving forward.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Clash For The Cup Preview: No Where To Hide!

Can "The Bank" Crash The Party At The Clash?

Team IZOD took this weekend off and Cali Styles pulled out but we still have the “Money Team”, “The Bank” and a host of other top squads. Here’s a breakdown of the 13U Division.

Clash For The Cup 13U Preview

CBC: They cashed in during the Tip Off Classic and will need a repeat performance to capture the cup. They are loaded from top to bottom so they will be a tough out.

Milbank: Self titled “The Bank” this NY crew came within a couple of points of winning the Tip Off Classic. Now they are looking to grab their first banner. Will they be able snatched the cash from the “Money Team”?

Team Final: If TF wouldn’t have loss a key player during the playoffs they might have won the Tip Off Classic. Now they should be fully loaded and ready to win their first Orange Division crown.

Team Takeover: The talk about this super squad now will be put to the test. But before you think they are overrated just remember they finished Top 10 in the country before adding these new additions.

DC Assault: I’m anxious to see this group. I heard they added some pieces so hopefully they will be able to make a deep run. They also haven’t held a Spotlight banner to this point.

ECE: This Delaware group has some talented players and just picked up a stud at the guard spot. Therefore their expectations will be high and they should be looking to at least make it to the semifinals.

New Heights: The will this group’s first Spotlight appearance rolling with New Heights. They have some talent but didn’t make a great impact at the Tip Off Classic.

6th Man Warriors: The Warriors are in the building and will be looking to make some noise. Their guard play is intact and they are capable of sending anyone home.

New Rens: They won the Blue Division and demanded to taste the Orange. Okay NR here is your shot, I hope your eyes weren’t bigger than your stomach. (Just Kidding) Good Luck!

Basketball Spotlight Enforces Code Of Conduct

During the Tip Off Classic we noticed some unacceptable behavior from players, parents and coaches. In an effort to make sure we run respectable and safe events we have added a Code Of Conduct. Please look closely at these behavior rules we will follow during the Clash For The Cup.

1. Any player ejected for fighting or intentionally trying to hurt a player during a foul will be suspended for the duration of the tournament. This is subject to the discretion of the tournament director.

2. Any coach that is ejected for harassing the referees or score keepers will be asked to leave the building. If he or she refuses then their team will be forced to forfeit the game and may be suspended for the rest of tournament play.

3. Any parent that crosses the line of harassing the referees or scorekeepers will be asked to leave the facility and will not receive an entry fee refund. Refusing to leave the building will result into the matter being reported to the proper authorities.

4. Please keep the taunting to a minimum and let the players enjoy the experience on the floor. We understand everyone wants to be competitive but we must teach these youngsters good sportsmanship.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Clash For The Cup 14U Preview: Once Again It's On

Can Team Scan Remain Undefeated?

The 14U Division of the Basketball Spotlight Clash For The Cup has some special teams and players. Here’s a look at a few of the top teams they will be competing in this event.

Clash For The Cup 14U Preview

Team Scan: TS enters this event without a blemish on their record. Now they enter this deep field but should be prepared with a loaded squad. They have some of the top guards in the country and they work well together.

DC Assault: “The MOBB” returns fully healthy and with vengeance. The lost in the finals of the Tip Off Classic to TS and would like another shot at the champs. They have a well rounded and explosive club.

Playaz: PBC made a final four run and will be looking to go farther. They have one of the top players in the country and a great supporting. They already proved they can beat anyone on any given night.

Team Final: Yes, Mr Battle has finally got his troops together. The question is are they ready for this type of battle? We will definitely find out in about 36 hours.

KSK: King Street Kings showed some flashes at the Tip Off Classic. Now it’s time to step up to the stage. They will have a chance to get this going this weekend.

East Coast Elite: This will be this group’s first tourney under their new umbrella. Their guards will have to step up big time for them to make a run.

New Renaissance: NR has a roster loaded with talent. But can they put everything together to win the crown? Rumor has it that the Rakym Felder and Raequan Long will be flying in for this one.

Philly Triple Threat: PTT won the Blue Division crown now they will have to handle their business in the Orange Division. They are a tough crew so they should be okay.

YAAACE (Canada): The Canada crew has one of the top forwards in grammar school basketball. Now they need to be able to take the heat of this type of event. I want to see how they respond.

Milbank: This Big Apple bunch made it to the finals of the Blue Division. Now they are determine to win it all.

Jersey City Boys Club: This team has a motivated coach and some good weapons to make a run in the Blue Division.

St. Michaels: St. Michael's had a tough time against the stiff comp in the Orange Division but they might be the overall favorite for the Blue this time around.

Mass Shooting Stars:
I had MSS to win the Blue Division during the Tip Off Classic and they came up short. This time around I think they will be more determined.

Team Elite:
This hungry bunch made a final four run during the Tip Off Classic. Now a championship appearance will be their ultimate goal.

Other Teams To Watch For: New Heights, ETU Warriors, Team Takeover

Clash For The Cup Preview: C.R.E.A.M.


CBC AKA the “Money Team” won their first banner during the Tip Off Classic. Now they are set out to prove their regional dominance once again at the Clash For The Cup. Coach Reggie Hatchett understands that his team now will be the targeted group so he’s keeping them focused. “At the Clash, rankings and records go out the window. Everyone there can beat you and every team are waiting for you to underestimate them. It’s eat or be eaten and our stomachs are growling”.

CBC enters this event as the #1 team in the region. This is a new ranking position for them and it will be interesting how they respond. Stay tune as Basketball Spotlight brings you more previews from this big time event.

Clash For The Cup Preview: Team Final Returns!

Is Team Final Really Ready For The Spotlight?

Team Final’s last Spotlight experience was didn’t go as planned as they were bounced out of the AC Showcase. Now TF returns to try and grab a stronghold of the region’s top spot. Coach Gary Battle is no stranger to winning as he has captured more Spotlight championships than any other coach. Now Battle is ready to get his team back into this intense environment, “We are talented but untested. However anytime you have Tyus and Vaughn Covington you have a chance to win. It will be good to be back in the fire again. The Spotlight is where it’s at.

Spectators will be waiting to see what Team Final will be bringing to the table. The stage is set and now it’s up to them to perform. Stay tune as Basketball Spotlight bring you more previews from this hot event.

Clash For The Cup Preview: Can East Coast Elite Double Up?

East Coast Elite Will Try To Stay Hot!

East Coast Elite hit the Jackpot in America’s Playground by winning the Baby Baller MLK Classic. The win earned them their first banner but they are still trying to stay focused as they enter the Clash. “It will take a total team effort for us to mimic the success we had in America’s Playground. We are looking forward to the Clash For The Cup, we can’t wait” said Coach Turner.

The Clash For The Cup field will be a little tougher than the MLK Classic but ECE is confident they can make a run. Let’s see if this Delaware crew has what it takes to win back to back crowns. Stay tune as we bring you more previews from this weekend’s event.

Clash For The Cup Preview: International Invasion!

YAAACE (Canada) Will Be In The Building!

YAACE from Canada will be the first International team to ever enter a Basketball Spotlight event. YAACE has competed in the US several times recently winning the Hoop Group Turkey Tip Off Classic. Now their coach Jordan McFarlane feels they are ready for the Spotlight, “We have been in search for some dogfights and we heard the Clash For The Cup was just that. So we are entering and look forward to the experience” said McFarlane.

Can YAACE take the Cup back across the northern border? We will see this weekend as they enter one of the toughest fields in Clash For The Cup history. Stay tune as we bring you more previews from this event.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Clash For The Cup 12U Preview: The Heat Is On!

Can Team IZOD Add Another Banner?

The 12U Division at the Clash For The Cup is the toughest it has been a long time. Some of the top teams in the region will gather at Georgian Court University to chase down the cup.

Clash For The Cup 12U Preview

Team IZOD: The region’s #1 squad rolled through the Tip Off Classic in impressive fashion. Now they face a very serious field. But I think this group has what it takes to capture the prize. They have an explosive backcourt and some down low presence.

Riverside Hawks: The Hawks enter the Clash on a high after defeating Team IZOD at the Battle Of The Bridge exhibition. Now they must prove that they can handle the heat for an entire tournament. After watching them last weekend opponents better be ready.

New Rens: NR wants another shot at the crown after losing in the finals at the Tip Off Classic. They had a little lay off and should be anxious for some good bump. Now they will have their shot for redemption and we can’t wait to see them in action.

East Coast Elite: ECE got things done in at the Baby Baller MLK Classic by winning the title. I really liked what I saw from this group in America’s Playground. They have their big man back so we expect them to make an impact at this event.

Playtime: Playtime made it to the final four at the MLK Classic and is ready to move farther. The Green and Black will be ready to invade Lakewood and run wild. We will have our eye on them.

KSK: KSK has some good pieces but have only managed to reach the quarters in previous events. Now they have a chance to shock this field by winning the cup. They will face a tough pool featuring New Rens and Riverside Hawks.

Team Takeover: Word is that Takeover has put together a loaded roster for this event. That’s a good strategy because this field is fierce. Now they will get their first taste of Basketball Spotlight. Good luck Team Takeover.

Banneker/Team Melo: I don’t Know much about this group but I do know they are from B’More so they will be quick and tough. They will need to bring all those attributes to Lakewood to get through the Clash.

NJ Shore Shots: NJSS had a good showing at the MLK Classic and should be one of the favorites in the Blue Division. They have the top prospect in the region so they might have a leg up on the competition.

NWK: The Newark Boys made it to the finals of the Blue Division of the Tip Off Classic. So they should be hungry to finally reach the promise land. They have the speed and talent to get it done.

CBC: This group brought some excitement to the Tip Off Classic and will be ready to do more. They are looking to represent the program in the best way.

Force One: FO made their presence felt in both previous events. They are well coached so should be up for the task.

Other Teams To Watch For: Mass Shooting Stars, MABC, SJ Storm, Milbank, Philly Freedom Stars

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Clash For The Cup 14U Blue Division Schedule

The Basketball Spotlight Clash For The Cup 13U Blue Division schedule is listed below. Please make sure you are on time for your games and good luck to everyone.

Pool N
1. LD Rebels
2. St. Michaels
3. JC Heat
4. Team Elite

Pool O
2. Mass Shooting Stars
3. Team Melo
4. Milbank

Saturday Jan 28th
10:00 AM N1-N2 (HGH 1)
10:00 AM N3-N4 (HGH 4)
12:20 PM N1-N3 (HGH 1)
12:20 PM N2-N4 (HGH 4)
6:10 PM O1-O2 (HGH 1)
6:10 PM O3-O4 (HGH 4)
8:30 PM O1-O3 (HGH 2)
8:30 PM O2-O4 (HGH 3)

Sunday Jan 29th
9:00 AM N1-N4 (HGH 3)
9:00 AM N2-N3 (HGH 4)
11:20 AM O1-O4 (HGH 3)
11:20 AM O2-O3 (HGH 4)
1:40 PM 1ST N-2ND O (HGH 1)
1:40 PM 1STO-2ND N (HGH 4)

HGH- Hoop Group Headquarters
1930 Heck Ave. Bldg #3
Neptune, NJ 07754

Clash For The Cup 14U Orange Division Schedule

The Basketball Spotlight Clash For The Cup 14U Orange Division schedule is listed below. Please make sure you are on time for your games and good luck to everyone.

Pool J
1. Team Final
2. KSK
3. ETU Warriors

Pool K
1. Playaz Basketball Club
2. New Rens
3. Team Takeover

Pool L
1. DC Assault
2. New Heights
3. Yaaace (Canada)

Pool M
1. Team Scan
2. Philly Triple Threat
3. East Coast Elite

Saturday Jan 28th
10:00 AM J1-J2 (HGH 2)
10:00 AM K1-K2 (HGH 3)
11:10 AM L1-L2 (HGH 2)
11:10 AM M1-M2 (HGH 3)
12:20 PM J1-J3 (HGH 2)
12:20 PM K1-K3 (HGH 3)
1:30 PM L1-L3 (HGH 2)
1:30 PM M1-M3 (HGH 3)
2:40 PM J2-J3 (HGH 2)
2:40 PM K2-K3 (HGH 3)
3:50 PM L2-L3 (HGH 2)
3:50 PM M2-M3 (HGH 3)
6:00 PM 3RD L-3RD K (HGH 2)
6:00 PM 3RD L-3RD M (HGH 3)

Sunday Jan 29th
10:10 AM 1ST L-2ND M (HGH 1) POOL L
10:10 AM 1ST K-2ND J (HGH 2) POOL K
10:10 AM 1ST J-2ND K (HGH 3) POOL J
10:10 AM 1ST M-2ND L (HGH 4) POOL M

HGH- Hoop Group Headquarters
1930 Heck Ave. Bldg #3
Neptune, NJ 07754

Clash For The Cup 13U Blue Division Schedule

The Basketball Spotlight Clash For The Cup 13U Blue Division schedule is listed below. Please make sure you are on time for your games and good luck to everyone.

Pool H
1. JSL Hoops
2. T One Ballerz
3. Playtime
4. Philly Freedom Stars

Pool I
1. Broward Sharks (Fl)
2. Banneker/Team Melo
4. PYO

Saturday Jan 28th
10:00 AM H1-H2 (GC 1)
10:00 AM H3-H4 (GC 2)
1:30 PM H1-H3 (GC 1)
1:30 PM H2-H4 (GC 2)
5:00 PM I1-I2 (HGH 1)
5:00 PM I3-I4 (HGH 2)
7:20 PM I1-I3 (HGH 2)
7:20 PM I2-I4 (HGH 3)

Sunday Jan 29th
9:00 AM I1-I4 (HGH 1)
9:00 AM I2-I3 (HGH 2)
9:00 AM H1-H4 (GC 1)
9:00 AM H2-H3 (GC 2)

HGH- Hoop Group Headquarters
1930 Heck Ave. Bldg #3
Neptune, NJ 07754

GC- Georgian Court University
900 Lakewood Ave.
Lakewood, NJ 08701-2697

Clash For The Cup 13U Orange Division Schedule

The Basketball Spotlight Clash For The Cup 13U Orange Division schedule is listed below. Please make sure you are on time for your games and good luck to everyone.

Pool E
1. CBC
2. New Rens
3. DC Assault

Pool F
1. Milbank
2. ECE
3. 6TH Man Warriors

Pool G
1. Team Final
2. Team Loaded
3. New Heights
4. Team Takeover

Saturday Jan 28th
11:10 AM E1-E2 (HGH 1)
11:10 AM F1-F2 (HGH 4)
1:30 PM E1-E3 (HGH 1)
1:30 PM F1-F3 (HGH 4)
2:40 PM G1-G2 (HGH 1)
2:40 PM G3-H4 (HGH 4)
3:50 PM E2-E3 (HGH 1)
3:50 PM F2-F3 (HGH 4)
5:00 PM G1-G3 (HGH 2)
5:00 PM G2-G4 (HGH 3)
7:20 PM 3RD E-3RD F (HGH 1)

Sunday Jan 29th
11:20 AM G1-G4 (HGH 1)
11:20 AM G2-G3 (HGH 2)
12:30 PM 1ST E-2ND F (HGH 2) POOL E
12:30 PM 1ST F-2ND E (HGH 3) POOL F
2:50 PM Pool E-2ND G (HGH 2) SEMIFINAL
2:50 PM Pool F-1st G (HGH 3) SEMIFINAL

HGH- Hoop Group Headquarters
1930 Heck Ave. Bldg #3
Neptune, NJ 07754

Clash For The Cup 12U Blue Division Schedule

The Basketball Spotlight Clash For The Cup 12U Blue Division schedule is listed below. Please make sure you are on time for your games and good luck to everyone.

Pool C
1. NJ Shore Shots
2. SJ Storm
3. Mass Shooting Stars
4. Force One

Pool D
2. Milbank
3. NWK
4. CBC

Saturday Jan 28th
5:00 PM C1-C2 (GC 1)
5:00 PM C3-C4 (GC 4)
6:10 PM D1-D2 (GC 1)
6:10 PM D3-D4 (GC 2)
7:20 PM C1-C3 (GC 1)
7:20 PM C2-C4 (GC 2)
8:20 PM D1-D3 (GC 1)
8:20 PM D2-D4 (GC 2)

Sunday Jan 29th
12:30 PM C1-C4 (GC 1)
12:30 PM C2-C3 (GC 2)
1:40 PM D1-D4 (GC 1)
1:40 PM D2-D3 (GC 2)

GC- Georgian Court University
900 Lakewood Ave.
Lakewood, NJ 08701-2697

HGH- Hoop Group Headquarters
1930 Heck Ave. Bldg #3
Neptune, NJ 07754

Clash For The Cup 12U Orange Division Schedule

The Basketball Spotlight Clash For The Cup 12U Orange Division schedule is listed below. Please make sure you are on time for your games and good luck to everyone.

Pool A
1. New Rens
2. KSK
3. Banneker/Team Melo
4. Riverside Hawks

Pool B
1. Team IZOD
2. East Coast Elite
3. Playtime
4. Team Takeover

Saturday Jan 28th
11:10 AM A1-A2 (GC 1)
11:10 AM A3-A4 (GC 2)
12:20 PM B1-B2 (GC 1)
12:20 PM B3-B4 (GC 2)
2:40 PM A1-A3 (GC 1)
2:40 PM A2-A4 (GC 2)
3:50 PM B1-B3 (GC 1)
3:50 PM B2-B4 (GC 2)

Sunday Jan 29th
10:10 AM A1-A4 (GC 1)
10:10 AM A2-A3 (GC 2)
11:20 AM B1-B4 (GC 1)
11:20 AM B2-B3 (GC 2)

GC- Georgian Court University
900 Lakewood Ave.
Lakewood, NJ 08701-2697

HGH- Hoop Group Headquarters
1930 Heck Ave. Bldg #3
Neptune, NJ 07754

Monday, January 23, 2012

B 3 Sports Battle Of The Bridge 12U Recap: Farrell's Bucket Propels Riverside

Zedrek Farrell (Riverside Hawks)

Zedrek Farrell's driving layup with five seconds left lifted Riverside to a 59-58 win over Team IZOD at the Battle of the Bridge exhibition game on Sunday. Jalen Brooks completed a three-point play with 13 seconds left to give IZOD a one-point lead, but Farrell took the inbounds pass and went coast-to-coast for the game winner. Farrell led all scorers with 21 points and Justin Rodriguez also cracked double digits for Riverside, which received big contributions from several players, by scoring 11.

Diary Of A Baller: Tyus "Kid Mamba" Battle (Edison, NJ) Diary #21

What’s up basketball world, I just got finished with mid-terms which mean I can get back in the gym and work really hard on my game.

Tuesday I went to the gym after school to get a few shots up. I really focused on my jump shot since I struggled with it in our most recent tournament. To improve this I worked on my pull up jump shot, my mid-range jump shot, and shots from outside the arc. I ended the workout off with ball handling and making moves to the basket.

Thursday was the last day of Mid Terms and I was glad it was finally over. I went back to the gym at around 7 to workout with Brice Impossible Training, which I haven’t done in 3 or 4 weeks. We started off the workout right away with two-ball dribbling drills. After about 10 minutes of that we went to drills to make my exchange quicker and sharper. I really liked the exchange drills and will be defiantly using them the next time I go to the gym. To finish off the workout we did a drill to improve my footwork on my jump shot. After the workout my arms were sore and I iced as soon as I got home.

Friday I had school practice. We didn’t really do anything except scrimmage each other. Idris and I barely played because coach wanted to see how the team would do without us. They were playing very sloppy, were forcing shots and were not playing hard enough, so coach made us run 16’s before we ended practice.

Saturday I woke up at 6:30 to head over to Burlington for the Nike Pre-Draft camp. I was scheduled to have a game but because of the snow the game was cancelled. Pre-draft was a good experience learning from players that played in the NBA and coaches who had many different backgrounds. I especially learned a lot about the pick and roll and now see why professional basketball players use it so often. I also learned about screens off the ball and how using them can create separation from your defender. After the camp I was interviewed by Alex Klein from the recruitscoop.com. It was my first interview about high school basketball. I will be taking a lot away from this event and will be using it in games. After the camp I went to watch some of my brother’s game which he won and then went with him to his friend house for a birthday party. I heard a few kids from my class were going, which was cool. While I was there I played a lot of ping pong, listened to music and watched a few college games that were on TV. When we finally left at 11. I went straight home and went to sleep because I had a game the next day.

Sunday I had a game at 1:45 in the Roselle Catholic tournament against Holy Trinity Academy. I was surprised how close the game was put we still pulled out the one point victory. I definitely didn’t play the best game but I think I contributed in other ways such as getting rebounds and put backs. My little brother played very well scoring about 16 points and had 4 threes. He really stepped up at the big moments and hopefully he keeps up his style of play. After the game my dad was angry at me about how I played and said I should have been more aggressive, forced my way to the basket, and to next time attack the double teams. I have to say that Holy Trinity was probably the second best team we played all year and hopefully we get competition like that more often.

It’s getting late, so I am going to sign out.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Nike Pre Draft Camp Recap: Players Speak Out!

Vaughn Covington (Sicklerville, NJ)

The Nike Pre Draft Camp took place yesterday at Life Center Academy and Basketball Spotlight was on hand to see the talent. The camp was strictly about developing fundamentals and learning the game. The players also had a lecture session in life skills and what it takes to become a great player. Basketball Spotlight had a chance to talk to a few of the players at this event about their experience.

Vaughn Covington Guard (Sicklerville, NJ): “I had a good experience. It was a lot of good players here and everyone competed. I learned some post up moves, pass and screen away and how to use the pick and roll.”

Adam Perry Guard (Westhampton, NJ): “The camp was great. I learned how to strengthen my body and some good drills. They talked to us a lot about basketball and life. I now know if I work hard and believe in myself I can be as good as I want to be.”

Saaleem Pugh Guard (Coatesville, PA):”I had fun at the camp. The competition was good and we learned a lot of things. I think I will be able to run the pick and roll better. The camp really gave us some good pointers for basketball.

Griffin Smith Guard (Holland, PA): “The camp helped us get better skills. I think it showed me I need to become a little more aggressive. The drill I loved doing the most was the pick and roll. We have fun doing that drill.”

Lucas Hudson Guard (Lehigh Valley, PA): “This camp was a great opportunity to learn. The competition was great and the instructors taught us a lot. I was really impressed with how intense it was and how they demanded perfection.”

Austin Kearney Forward (Monroeville, NJ): “The competitive nature was good and the talent was great which is rare at most camps. I think the camp will help my overall game and become more confident when I step on the floor.“

Zane Martin Guard (Philadelphia, PA): “The camp taught us a lot about fundamentals. I like how they let the guards learn how to post up and let the big men handle the ball. They showed us how important it is to be a versatile player.”

Tyus Battle Guard (Edison, NJ): “I was good learning drills from instructors that train actual NBA players. I definitely learned some drills that I can take home which will help me get better.”

Saturday, January 21, 2012


Next weekend Basketball Spotlight will be presented the Clash For The Cup. Some of the top teams in the country will head to Neptune, NJ to get it on. This year’s field seems to be very serious. Make sure you come down to check out some of the top players in the nation. Stay tune for more previews of this event.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Video Profile: Mott Looking To Make Mark

Terquin Mott (Team Final)

Team Final will making their Spotlight debut at the Clash For The Cup and Terquin “Buddah” Mott will be in the building. The Clash should be loaded with big time competition and Mott will be looking to make his mark in the region. Check out his highlights as he dominates some middle school competition. Make sure you come down to Neptune to check his skills in person.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Baby Baller MLK Classic Recap: 12U Top Forwards

Nazreon "Big Talented" Reid (NJ Shore Shots)

The guard’s weren’t the only players getting busy at the Baby Baller MLK Classic. We also had some post players doing work at Atlantic City High School. Here’s a look at the top forwards that showed their skills.

Baby Baller MLK Classic Top Forwards

Nazreon Reid (NJ Shore Shots)- There was many good players at this event but Reid might be the region’s best prospect in the age group. He stands about 6’5 and continues to show improvement on the offensive end. He has good touch off the glass and will even step out and knockdown a trey. What’s even scarier is that he’s beginning to push the ball with confidence. His play earned him a nickname from one of my staff members, introducing Nazreon “Big Talented” Reid.

Alonzo Frink (Playtime)- I heard about Frink tearing up competition in North Jersey and finally got a chance to see him in action. The first aspect of his game that caught my attention was his range from the perimeter. The stocky power forward is very comfortable behind the arc and he showed it by connecting some several treys over the weekend. Inside he banged the boards and maneuvered on the baseline. He scored 20 points against NWK and hurt KSK for 16 markers in their rival win.

Trevor Covey (NJ Shore Shots)- With Reid demanding double teams, Covey was allowed to weak side rebound and display some perimeter skills. He had his best game against Force One in which he nailed 2 treys on his way to 16 points. He also finished with 12 points against eventual champion East Coast Elite. He had a very solid showing.

Ryan Conde (NJABC)- Conde has been a banger on this level for years and this weekend wasn’t any exception. He threw his body around to collect boards and score in the paint. He came up big in their showdown against finalist DC Assault. He finished with 15 points as his team came up short in this dog fight.

Kenneth Edelin (ECE)- I was definitely impressed with this southpaw. He could have just overpowered defenders but instead he displayed his ability to drive the lane and finish in traffic. He possesses those long arms that basketball purest love and the willingness to attack.

Noah Taylor (ECE)- Taylor has a strong inside presence. He helped Big Jamal dominate the paint on the boards and scoring. He’s an intimidating force in the lane and should help ECE make some moves on the 12U level.

Christian Depollar (Force One)- His team wasn’t that successful but Depollar proved to be a very polished wing forward. He handles the pill well and scores from all three levels. Once he realizes how good he is and his confidence catches up with is game we might have serious prospect. The good thing is he’s only a 6th Grader so he has time to grow.

Brandon Askew (NWK)- Before Askew hurt his shoulder he was a workhorse on the glass and in the paint. His physical play allowed him to make room to operate. He rebounds outside his area and has a very high motor on the floor.