Thursday, January 31, 2013

Clash For The Cup 6th Grade Blue Division Preview: Who Will Emerge?

Philly Pride Ready For The Clash  

The 6th Grade Division of the Clash For The Cup (Blue Division) has a few teams trying to make their mark on the Spotlight circuit. Here’s a look at the participants. 

Clash For The 6th Grade Preview (Blue Division) 

Philly Pride: Late entry is the only reason this squad is playing in the Blue Division. They knocked off Team Nelson while winning the MLK Classic and should be the favorite for this event. 

New Rens: NR was also a late entry and has enough talent for the Orange Division. It will be interesting to see them battle Philly Pride. Should be a dandy. 

RJS: The SJ crew made a little noise at the MLK Classic. Now they should enter the Clash For The Cup fully loaded. They have an upset minded crew. 

NWK: NWK showed some flashes at the MLK Classic. They have some good pieces and are capable of running the table. 

Team Final: This new squad will be introduced to the Spotlight this weekend. Hopefully they can keep the Team Final name going. 

MSU Skyliners: The Skyliners are looking to reestablish their successful program and the Clash should be a great start.

Clash For The Cup 6th Grade Orange Division Preview: Can Anyone Slow Down The IZOD Express?

Team IZOD Looking To Collect Another Trophy  

The 6th Grade Division of the Clash For The Cup has never been this loaded. There’s nowhere to hide as these squads are set to collide. 

Clash For The Cup 6th Grade Preview (Orange Bracket) 

Team IZOD: This squad was built for success and thus far it has paid dividends. They won every tournament they have been placed in including the Tip Off Classic. This weekend will be their biggest test of the season. 

Metro Flyers: MF has finished second in just about every tournament and has yet to conquer the mighty Team IZOD. Could they have another shot this weekend? We shall see! 

Team Nelson: After an upset loss at the MLK Classic, TN will be heading into the trenches. They have a stacked pool with the likes of CIA Bounce and New Heights. If should be fireworks from the outset. 

ETU Select: The Potomac Valley crew will be chasing their first banner this weekend. They came into the season with heavy expectations and now it’s time to deliver. 

Team Takeover: TT is back and they are ready to some Spotlight work. This will be their first dive into the deep waters this season. Hopefully they can swim with the sharks. 

New Heights: NH has been hovering around the middle of the pack and now is ready to race to the top. They will need to knock off a few good teams in their quest for a crown. 

CIA Bounce: The boys from the north will like to rebound from a quarterfinal exit at the Tip Off Classic. They have a few good players they should help them bounce back. 

6th Man Warriors: 6th Man made it to the championship of the Blue Division at the Tip Off Classic. Now they are playing with the big boys. Hopefully they are ready to rumble. 

MJ Mavericks: The Mavs showed great heart and had an excellent showing at the MLK Classic. I enjoy watching them compete and look forward to seeing them this weekend. 

Gauchos: The Choz are hungry for some Spotlight love and they are willing to earn it. They have some fire in the pool with Metro Flyers and Team Takeover. But hey that’s why you enter the Spotlight. 

WPC Elite: This squad from the Baltimore area claims to be one of the best. Well the stage is set for them to bang out and everyone will be watching.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Clash For The Cup 5th Grade Preview: Is It Glory Time?

Team Glory Coming For The Cup!  

The 5th Grade Division of The Clash For The Cup features some new teams and familiar foes. Let’s take a look at the Top teams that will be headed down to the Jersey Shore. 

Clash For The Cup 5th Grade Preview 

Team Glory: The Gauchos have passed on the Clash so TG has to be the overwhelming favorite. Their young talent is serious while featuring some of the top guards. They will be looking to take home their first Spotlight title and poise in front of the banner. 

Team Phenom: TP has something to prove. They have a hot name on the circuit but have yet to conquer a Spotlight tournament. Now this weekend they have a chance to set the record straight. They also possess one of the top guards in America. 

CJ Hawks: The Hawks fell like they deserve some respect so we expect them come out swinging Saturday. Hopefully they ready to bang out with some of the best because the event is stacked. 

DEMI: The Boys from Massachusetts were upset about missing the Tip Off Classic. Now they are focused on making everyone pay. I know they will be playing with a lot of energy.

Milbank Flyers: MB was a late entry but all their teams bring it all every time out. We expect a scrappy bunch with some good guard play. 

NJ Shore Shots: NJSS will be making their Spotlight debut. They will need to be ready to bring they heat because the field is tough. 

NWK: The tough team from Newark will also be making their debut. They also come from a tough minded program so we know they are trained in the same fashion. 

 MSU Skyliners: These youngsters come from a program that accustomed to producing future stars hopefully they can keep the tradition going.

Basketball Spotlight Player Of The Week: Azar Swain (CBC)

Azar Swain CBC  

The Basketball Spotlight Player Of The Week goes to Azar Swain of CBC. Swain scored 15 points and sealed the win at the free throw during the Funsport Jr. Pro All Star Game. Congrats to Swain and keep up the good work. We will see Swain and his teammates this weekend at the Clash For The Cup.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Clash For The Cup 5th Grade Schedule

The Basketball Spotlight 5th Grade Clash For The Cup Schedule is below. Please make sure you travel early because and traffic. We would like to wish everyone good luck and safe travel. 

Pool N 
1. Team Phenom 
2. NWK 
3. NJ Shore Shots 
4. CJ Hawks 

Pool O 
1. Team Glory 
2. MSU Skyliners 
3. Milbank Flyers 
4. DEMI 

Saturday Feb. 2nd 
12:30 PM N1-N2 (LBMS 1) 
12:30 PM N3-N4 (LBMS 2) 
1:40 PM O1-O2 (LBMS 1) 
1:40 PM O3-O4 (LBMS 2) 
4:00 PM N1-N3 (LBMS 1) 
4:00 PM N2-N4 (LBMS 2) 
6:20 PM O1-O3 (LBMS 1) 
6:20 PM O2-O4 (LBMS 2) 

Sunday Feb. 3rd 
8:00 AM O1-O4 (LBMS 1) 
8:00 AM O2-O3 (LBMS 2) 
9:10 AM N1-N4 (LBMS 1)
9:10 AM N2-N3 (LBMS 2) 
11:30 AM 1ST O-2ND N (LBMS 1) 
11:30 AM 1ST N-2ND O (LBMS 2) 
1:50 PM 5TH Grade Championship (HGH 2) 

LBMS: Long Branch Middle School 
350 Indiana Ave. Long Branch, NJ 07740 

HGH: Hoop Group Headquarters 
1930 Heck Ave. Neptune, NJ

Clash For The Cup 6th Grade Blue Bracket Schedule

The Basketball Spotlight 6th Grade Blue Bracket Clash For The Cup Schedule is below. Please make sure you travel early because and traffic. We would like to wish everyone good luck and safe travel. 

Pool P 
1. New Rens 
2. RJS 
3. Team Final 

Pool Q 
1. MSU Skyliners 
2. NWK 
3. Philly Pride 

Saturday Feb. 2nd 
11:20 AM P1-P2 (LBMS 1) 
11:20 AM Q1-Q2 (LBMS 2) 
2:50 PM P1-P3 (LBMS 1) 
2:50 PM Q1-Q3 (LBMS 2) 
5:10 PM P2-P3 (LBMS 1) 
5:10 PM Q2-Q3 (LBMS 2) 
7:30 PM 3RD P-3RD Q (LMBS 1) 

Sunday Feb 3rd 
10:20 AM 1ST P-2ND Q (LMBS 1) 
10:20 AM 1ST Q-2ND P (LBMS 2) 
12:40 PM 6TH Grade Blue Championship (HGH 1)

LBMS: Long Branch Middle School
350 Indiana Ave.
Long Branch, NJ 07740

HGH: Hoop Group Headquarters
1930 Heck Ave.
Neptune, NJ  

Clash For The Cup 6th Grade Orange Bracket Schedule

The Basketball Spotlight 6th Grade Clash For The Cup Schedule is below. Please make sure you travel early because and traffic. We would like to wish everyone good luck and safe travel. 

Pool A 
1. Team IZOD 
2. CIA Bounce (Black) 
3. 6th Man Warriors 

Pool B 
1. Gauchos
2.Metro Flyers
3. Team Takeover 

Pool C 
1. Team Nelson 
2. CIA Bounce 
3. New Heights 

Pool D 
1. MJ Mavericks 
2. Bottom Ballers
3. ETU Select 

Saturday, Feb 2nd 2013 
10:10 AM D1-D2 (HGH 1) 
10:10 AM B1-B2 (HGH 2) 
10:10 AM A1-A2 (HGH 3) 
10:10 AM C1-C2 (HGH 4) 
  1:40 PM D1-D3 (HGH 1) 
  1:40 PM B1-B3 (HGH 2) 
  1:40 PM A1-A3 (HGH 3) 
  1:40 PM C1-C3 (HGH 4) 
  5:10 PM D2-D3 (HGH 1) 
  5:10 PM B2-B3 (HGH 2) 
  5:10 PM A2-A3 (HGH 3) 
  5:10 PM C2-C3 (HGH 4) 

Sunday Feb 3rd 2013
9:10 AM 1ST D-2ND C (HGH 1) POOL D 
9:10 AM 1ST C-2ND D (HGH 2) POOL C 
9:10 AM 1ST A-2ND B (HGH 3) POOL A 
9:10 AM 1ST B-2ND A (HGH 4) POOL B 
11:30 AM 3RD C-3RD D (HGH 1) 
11:30 AM 3RD A-3RD B (HGH 4) 
11:30 AM POOL B-POOL C (HGH 2) 
11:30 AM POOL A- POOL D (HGH 3) 
  1:50 PM 6TH Grade Orange Championship (HGH 3)

Clash For The Cup 7th Grade Schedule

The Basketball Spotlight 7th Grade Clash For The Cup Schedule is below. Please make sure you travel early because and traffic. We would like to wish everyone good luck and safe travel. 

Pool E 
1. Bottom Ballers
2. Gauchos 
3. New Heights 

Pool F 
1. Playaz 
2. ECE 
3. Metro Sixers 

Pool G 
1. CIA Bounce 
2. Milbank 
3. 6th Man Warriors 

Pool H 
1. Riverside Hawks 
2. Team Final 
3. Mass Shooting Stars 

Saturday, Feb 2nd 2012 
9:00 AM H1-H2 (HGH 1) 
9:00 AM G1-G2 (HGH 2) 
9:00 AM E1-E2 (HGH 3) 
9:00 AM F1-F2 (HGH 4) 
12:30 PM H1-H3 (HGH 1) 
12:30 PM G1-G3 (HGH 2) 
12:30 PM E1-E3 (HGH 3) 
12:30 PM F1-F3 (HGH 4) 
4:00 PM H2-H3 (HGH 1) 
4:00 PM G2-G3 (HGH 2) 
4:00 PM E2-E3 (HGH 3) 
4:00 PM F2-F3 (HGH 4) 
7:30 PM 1ST H-2ND G (HGH 1) POOL H 
7:30 PM 1ST G-2ND H (HGH 2) POOL G 
7:30 PM 1ST E-2ND F (HGH 3) POOL E 
7:30 PM 1ST F-2ND E (HGH 4) POOL F 

Sunday Feb 3rd 
8:00 AM 3RD G-3RD H (HGH 1) 
8:00 AM 3RD E-3RD F (HGH 2) 
12:40 PM 7TH Grade Championship (HGH 2)

All Games Played At
Hoop Group Headquarters
1930 Heck Ave.
Neptune, NJ  

Clash For The Cup 8th Grade Schedule

The Basketball Spotlight 8th Grade Clash For The Cup Schedule is below. Please make sure you travel early because and traffic. We would like to wish everyone good luck and safe travel. 

Pool I 
1. The Connection 
2. Expressions 
3. CBC 

Pool J 
1. Playaz 
2. Black Mambas 
3. DC Assault 

Pool L 
1. CIA Bounce 
2. Milbank
3.Team Final

Pool M 
1. Team IZOD 
2. 6th Man Warriors 
3. New Heights

Saturday, Feb 2nd 2012 
11:20 AM M1-M2 (HGH 1) 
11:20 AM J1-J2 (HGH 2) 
11:20 AM L1-L2 (HGH 3) 
11:20 AM I1-I2 (HGH 4) 
2:50 PM M1-M3 (HGH 1) 
2:50 PM J1-J3 (HGH 2) 
2:50 PM L1-L3 (HGH 4) 
2:50 PM I1-I3 (HGH 3) 
6:20 PM M2-M3 (HGH 1) 
6:20 PM J2-J3 (HGH 2) 
6:20 PM L2-L3 (HGH 4) 
6:20 PM I2-I3 (HGH 3) 
8:40 PM 1ST M-2ND L (HGH 1)- POOL M 
8:40 PM 1ST L-2ND M (HGH 2)- POOL L 
8:40 PM 1ST I-2ND J (HGH 3)- POOL I 
8:40 PM 1ST J-2ND I (HGH 4)- POOL J 

Sunday Feb 3rd 
8:00 AM 3RD L-3RD M (HGH 3) 
8:00 AM 3RD J-3RD I (HGH 4) 
12:40 PM 8TH Grade Championship (HGH 3)

All Games Play At
Hoop Group Headquarters
1930 Heck Ave.
Neptune, NJ  

Monday, January 28, 2013

Clash For The Cup Preview: Team Final Ready To Bounce Back

Team Final Will Be Chasing The Cup  

After winning the Grand Finale crown last season, Team Final had huge expectations when this year rolled around. Unfortunately the Mid Atlantic kingpins have yet to a title. Now the Clash For The Cup has rolled around and it’s time for them to show they are still among the elite in the region. 

Head Coach Orlando Hildago thinks his boys are ready to take the leap. “The Clash For The Cup always brings out some of the best teams and players from all over. The competition will be fierce. We are looking to bounce back and improve from out last outing” he finished. 

Stay tuned as we bring you more top teams that will be entering the Clash For The Cup.

Diary Of A Baller: Nate "The Great" Pierre Louis (Plainfield, NJ) Entry #6

Nate At Funsport All Star Game  

Hello basketball world. I just want to take a moment to thank the great Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Without him a lot of things wouldn't be possible. Thank you Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for everything, and for the day off lol! Let’s talk about Monday. 

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Clash Of The Cup Preview: Team IZOD On A Mission

Team IZOD Ready To Rumble  

The Team IZOD 8th Grade has quietly made some noise. They recently won the St. Anthony Classic and feature some good players. Now they are set for the Clash For The Cup facing some of the top teams in the country. 

Team IZOD coach Luis Delgado is ready for task. “We had some success this season and will be looking to build upon it. We are definitely trying to win this major tournament” he said. 

Stay tuned as Basketball Spotlight brings you more top teams headed to the Clash For The Cup.

Clash For The Cup Preview: "Money Team" Want The Cup!

CBC Gearing Up Clash For The Cup  

The “Money Team” has won several Basketball Spotlight tournaments but hasn’t had the chance to the Cup back to Hartford, CT. This season they have started out with a bang by winning the Tip Off Classic and Funsport Jr. Pros Championship. 

Coach Reggie Hatchett feels his squad is ready to get things done. “There’s nothing like the Spotlight experience but we have yet to capture the Cup, hopefully this will be our year to get it done” he finished. 

Stay tuned as Basketball Spotlight bring you more teams that will be attending the Clash For The Cup.

Friday, January 25, 2013

In The Spotlight: Hakim Byrd (Team Nelson)

Name: Hakim Byrd 

AAU Team: Team Nelson 

Position: Point Guard 

Class: 2019 

Breakdown: Byrd is a newcomer to this squad but still was comfortable enough to put in some heavy work. The pint sized guard weaved through the defense and scored with floaters. He also has a good outside shot that stretches the defense. He seems harmless at first sight but will hurt the opposition with his play. He will join his Team Nelson teammates at the Clash For The Cup.

Clash For The Cup Flashback" Marcus Lovett Puts On A Show


Marcus Lovett is listed as the top point guard in the Class of 2015. But before the Brandon Jennings clone began tearing up the high school circuit he brought his skills to the Clash For The Cup with Cali Styles. Lovett tore through the competition while helping Cali Styles take the Cup back to the West Coast. Stay tuned as we bring you more flash backs from the Clash For The Cup.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

HOF Jr. Hoop Hall 8th Grade Championship Recap: #3 Playaz Knockoff #1 CBC

Playaz Win At Hall Of Fame  

Jamir “The Terminator” Harris scored 31 points as #3 Playaz defeated #1 CBC to win the HOF Jr. Hoop Hall 8th Grade Championship. Congrats to the Playaz for winning the crown. 

Playaz Roster: Jamir Harris, Marcus McClary, Tristan Patterson, LeAndre Washington, Isaiah Robinson, Nadir Pineda, Carter Warren, Robert Miller and Elijah Mitchell. Coaches: Damon Wright and Kiela Brevard.

Clash For The Cup Almost Full

The Clash For The Cup is coming Feb. 2nd and 3rd. As said earlier we are only taking a limited amount of teams. Below are teams that have currently set to attend this event. Once we reach the maximum number the tournament will be locked up. 

8th Grade Division 
1. Team Final 
2. New Heights 
3. Expressions 
4. Black Mamba’s 
5. St. Michaels/Team IZOD
6. DC Assault
7. Milbank 
8. CIA Bounce
9. CBC
10. The Connection 
11. Playaz
12. 6th Man Warriors

7th Grade Division 
1. Team IZOD 
2. ECE 
3. Metro Sixers 
4. New Heights 
5. Team Final 
6. Playaz
7. Gauchos
8. 6th Man Warriors
9. Riverside Hawks
10. NJ Shore Shots 
11.CIA Bounce
12. Mass Shooting Stars 

6th Grade Division 
1. Team IZOD 
2. Team Nelson 
3. MJ Mavericks 
4.New Heights
5. ETU Select
6. 6th Man Warriors
7. CIA Bounce (Black)
8. WPC Elite
9. Metro Flyers 
10. Team Takeover (Black)
11. CIA Bounce (Red)
12. Gauchos
13. Team Final
14. NWK
15. Philly Pride
16. RJS 
17. New Rens 
18. MSU Skyliners

5th Grade Division 
1. Team Glory
2. CJ Hawks
3. NWK
4. Team Phenom
5. Diamonds In A Rough
6. NJ Shore Shots
7. ON Point Cyclones
8.  MSU Skyliners

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

HOF Jr. Hoop Hall 7th Grade Championship Recap: Team IZOD Reigns Supreme

Supreme Team Champs Again  

Using a balanced scoring effort all weekend long, Team IZOD 7TH Grade cruised to the title at the 2013 Junior Hoophall Championships in Springfield, Mass. The No. 1 ranked team in the Spotlight top 10 won every game by at least 20 points, including a semifinal win against the Shooting Stars and a victory over ECE in the championship 50-30. 

Supreme Team Roster: Atiba Taylor, Luther Muhammed, Jahvon Quinerly, Justin Winston, Nazreon Reid, Tyrek Chambers, Jalen Brooks, Triston Issac.

HOF Jr. Hoop Hall 6th Grade Championship Recap: #1 Team IZOD Takes Title

Team IZOD Rolls To Championship  

Team IZOD won the 2013 Junior Hoophall Championship over Metro Flyers 51-41. Jordan McKoy and Jalen Gaffney had 16 and 15 for Team IZOD. Dajaun Piper had 14 for Metro Flyers. Congrats to #1 Team IZOD for winning the championship. We look forward to seeing them at the Clash For The Cup.

Spotlight Alum Green Surpasses 1,000 Points

Devonte Green (Class 2016 Alum) 

Basketball Spotlight Class of 2016 Alum Devonte Green has surpassed the 1,000 point scoring mark as a frosh. Green has been playing varsity basketball since 7th Grade and crossed the 1,000 point plateau in a recent game. Green starred with Team Scan on the Spotlight circuit while helping them take home the 2012 Grand Finale banner. 
Click Here For The Article 

Check out Green as he starred at the Basketball Spotlight Tip Off Classic last season.


Road To The Grand Finale Point System Update

The Road To The Grand Finale second stop was the MLK Classic. Champions were crowned and teams have collected their first set of points. Remember the top four teams according to points will meet at the Grand Finale Final Four to play for the Spotlight Banner. The next stop is the Clash For The Cup Feb. 2nd and 3rd. 

Grand Finale Point Totals 

8th Grade Teams 
Black Mamba’s- 6 Points 
CBC – 5 Points 
Team Nelson- 5 Points 
PYO- 5 Points 
MCB Elite- 4 Points 
Team Takeover- 4 Points 
New Heights- 3 Points 
Playaz – 3 Points 
CIA Bounce- 2 Points 
DC Assault- 2 Points 

7th Grade Teams 
Playtime- 8 Points 
Wall 2 Wall- 7 Points 
NWK- 7 Points 
Team IZOD- 5 Points 
CIA Bounce- 3 Points 
6th Man Warriors- 2 Points 
Metro Sixers- 2 Points 

6th Grade Teams 
Team IZOD- 5 Points 
Philly Pride- 5 Points 
Metro Flyers- 4 Points 
Team Nelson-4 Points 
MJ Mavs – 3 Points 
RJS- 3 Points 
DEMO- 3 Points 
Beyond the Lines-3 Points 

5th Grade Teams
Gauchos – 5 Points 
Team Glory- 4 Points 
CJ Hawks- 3 Points 
Team Phenom- 3 Points 
Team Takeover – 2 Points 
On Point Cyclones- 2 Points

MLK Classic 6th Grade Top Performers

Travis Cumber (MJ Mavs)  

The Basketball Spotlight MLK Classic 6th Grade Division gave us a chance to look into the future. I must say we have some talented players coming down the pike. Here are some of the top performers we saw in Pennsylvania. 

MLK Classic 6th Grade Top Performers 

Travis Cumber Guard (MJ Mavs)- If there was a better point guard in Chichester this past weekend please point him out. This kid put on a show especially versus Team Nelson in the semifinals. Cumber showed the total package for the position in terms of feel for the game, court vision, ability to run the team and knocking down the outside shot. His play almost carried the Mavericks to the finals.
Mikeal Jones Forward (Team Nelson)- When you think of Jones just flash back to Joe Smith when he was at Maryland. This kid totally dominates along the baseline and cleans the glass for put backs. He has tremendous touch and knows his way around the floor. He’s still a baby in terms of body development but I foresee him being I very serious prospect down the road and I’m usually on point with my crystal ball. 

Majay Butler Forward (Philly Pride)- Baby Barkley led the tournament in scoring and was just too much for the opposition. His frame was too wide and he was too explosive to stop from penetrating. He went H.A.M. on Team Nelson in the finals by scoring 90% of his team’s points. 
Shamar Florence Forward (MJ Mavs)- The young Florence doesn’t have control of his body yet but still is effective enough to cause problems on the blocks. He altered shots and finished off a few dishes from the talented guards. He’s also a youngster that should have a bright future. 

Myles Ruth Guard (NWK)- Newark produces guards like Florida makes oranges and we can add Ruth to the list. He has the heart of a lion and knows how to change speeds very well. I know we haven’t heard the last of this kid.
Mark Bradshaw Guard (Team Nelson)- Bradshaw didn’t dominate as much as previous events but he still stepped for the squad on several occasions. He helped his boys walk down the MJ Mavs in the semifinals after falling behind big. I know he’s coming out in the Clash For The Cup with a vengeance. 

Charles Murphy Guard (NWK)- Murphy has some special qualities in his game including skill and size for his position. He was able to get into the lane and score over the smaller guards. 
RJ Weiss Guard (MJ Mavs)- Weiss helps Cumber with the point guard duties but his real strength is knocking down the deep ball. The lefty has serious range and a toughness that can’t be taught. Once he gets a little stronger He will be more of a problem at the guard spot. 

Jordan Hayes Guard (RJS)- Hayes was one of the high scorers of this tournament. He pumped in big numbers as the South Jersey squad fought hard all weekend. I look forward to seeing him at the Clash.
Joe Baldachino Guard (MJ Mavs)- Joe hurt several teams with his long range bombs. He usually sets up in the corner and receives that extra pass before launching the rock. He showed good accuracy in their near upset of Team Nelson. 

Latrell Reid Guard (RJS)- Reid teamed with Hayes to make some things happen for RJS. He averaged double figures in scoring throughout this event. We will be keeping our eyes on him.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

MLK Classic 7th Grade Top Performers

Alex Serrano (Wall 2 Wall)  

Playtime and NWK made the finals but they were other 7th Grade players that got busy in Chichester. Here’s a look at some of the Class of 2018 MLK standouts. 

MLK Classic 7th Grade Top Performers 

Alex Serrano Guard (Wall 2 Wall)- It was another stellar performance by the shooting guard especially against Play Hard. His 19 points helped the Allentown crew hold off the pesky boys from Trenton. In the semifinals he tried to help his troops rally but they came up short. 
Jahan Dotson Guard (Wall 2 Wall)- Dotson got the hot hand against Play Hard. I like his pull up jumper in the lane and the way he finished in traffic. He needs to step up all W2W other scorer for them to be successful.
Aidan Elmwood Guard (Wall 2 Wall)- I doubt if there was a better pure shooter in Pennsylvania this past weekend. He averaged about three treys a game with his best performance being 17 points against Play Hard. If he sets his feet it’s usually money in the bank.
Shackquille Dezonie Forward (Wall 2 Wall)- Dezonie showed some things facing the basket. I didn’t he was this mobile and can create off the dribble. But I think his squad needed him to be a like more blue collar this past weekend especially in terms of rebounding. 

Mike Wilson Guard (Play Hard)- Wilson was the ultimate floor general for Play Hard. He’s good at switching gears and getting into the lane. He saw the floor very well and kept putting pressure on the defenders. On defense he’s a ball hawk that plays the passing lanes well. 

Jaquan Owens Forward (Play Hard)- Owens didn’t score much when I watched but his inside presence was felt throughout the game. He battled bigger opponents all weekend for rebounds. His tough play with what this team is all about. 

Nashan Taylor Guard (Play Hard)- Taylor is another scrappy guard that plays alongside Wilson. He pushes the rock up the floor quickly and also plays good defense. 

Alex Morton Guard (NJ Shore Shots)- Morton was a bright spot for the Shore Shots. He led the team in scoring while displaying his outside touch. I also love the way he competes buzzer to buzzer.

MLK Classic 8th Grade Top Performers

David Beatty (PYO)  

The 8th Grade Division also had some talent on the teams that didn’t make the finals. Here’s a breakdown of some of the talented Class of 2017 players that were in the building. 

MLK Classic 8th Grade Top Performers 

David Beatty Guard (PYO)- The physical guard was in attack mode all weekend. He punished the Black Mambas for 27 points in their one point victory. There are not many players in this class that is as relentless as Beatty. He’s one of the Top 3 prospects in Pennsylvania’s Class of 2017. He might be #1.
Jordan Armstrong Forward (Black Mambas)- Armstrong had a huge weekend in the scoring column including a 28 point outing against Playtime. The versatile forward lived at the charity stripe while knocking down 14 free throws. He definitely made a splash.
Travis Cox Guard (Black Mambas)- After a slow start (first game), Cox woke up to score 21 points against PYO and 26 markers against Playtime. He’s a slashing energy player and a nose for the ball. He must continue to work hard on his outside shot and ball handling.
Deondre Bournes Guard (Black Mambas)-Bournes averaged close to 19 points a game and had his moments. I think he settled for the jump shot a little too much which reduces his chances to getting to the line. But overall he showed some signs of a good prospect down the road. 

Devin Hill Guard (Team Flight)- This was my first personal look at Hill and he showed me some tools. I like the explosiveness he showed in the open floor and his ability to finish in the lane. His long arms allows him to make some plays that others can’t get done. 

Quadir Burgess Guard (Team Flight)- His team went 0-3 but he showed some flashes of being a finisher. He put together few scoring barrages to help them get back into a couple of games.

MLK Classic 7th Grade Championship Game Top Performers

Mikey Watkins (Playtime)  

The 7th Grade had some fierce battles and came down to the final seconds. Here’s a look at the youngsters that impressed us in the championship game. 

MLK Classic 7th Grade Top Performers (Championship Game) 

Mikey Watkins Guard (Playtime)- Watkins continued his stellar season with an impressive outing. He not only hit the clutch floater to win the game but he also has shown an improved outside shot that he lets go with total confidence. His calm demeanor helped his team stay focused down the stretch in the finals. 
Tavon Jones Guard (Playtime)- Simply put he’s a pure scorer. Jones used his quickness and athleticism to put the ball in the hole. He drove past and the split defenders all weekend. He’s capable of running off eight points in a blur. He got Playtime out of a few droughts this weekend.
Armoni Sexton Forward (Playtime)- Sexton gives Playtime good defensive size on the post but also has good touch from the midrange area. I can see him developing into a good perimeter player down the road. But right now opponents must deal with his length inside.
Curtis Gordon Forward (Playtime)- The physical bruiser intimidated opponents when attacking the rim. Many of the long and lanky defenders couldn’t deal with the mass of the mack truck. He gives them an added element. Watch out for the Panthers.
Jihad Jenkins Guard (NWK)- I thought it was a Randy Foye sighting in the building. I remember seeing Foye during his younger days and this kid had to pattern his game after the Utah Jazz guard. Jenkins body control ability to finish around shot blockers had the defenders baffled. He also can drain the trey ball and isn’t afraid to take the big shot.
Nas Amos Guard (NWK)- The pint size southpaw gave Playtime all they could handle. They tried to press up on him and he dashed through the defense before feeding teammates. He also has confidence in his pull up jumper in the lane. He uses his excellent court awareness to make of for his lack of size.
Tyrese Jenkins Forward (NWK)- The forward was problem at the MLK. He stands about 6’6 but he’s also very mobile. Jenkins spent the weekend altering shots and scoring in the paint. He also dabbles with ball handling a bit. This was a huge pick up for NWK.

MLK Classic 8th Grade Championship Game Top Performers

Kyson Rawls (Team Nelson)  

The 8th Grade Division of the MLK Classic gave us a shot to see some new faces. Here’s a breakdown of some of the talent we saw in Chichester, PA. First we have our championship game top performers. 

8th Grade Top Performers (Championship Game) 

Kyson Rawls Guard (Team Nelson)- It been a while since I saw Rawls. He finally a 100% healthy and he punished the opposition this weekend. He ran the show, some deep bumps and finished off plays after initiating contact. Team Nelson seems to be back and Rawls has the keys to the car.
Jamar Sudan Forward (Team Nelson)- Sudan is thin but was a big finisher all weekend. The quick leaper cleaned the glass like windex and ran the lane well on the fast break. His energy helped Team Nelson prevail in some tough games. His next task should be to develop his perimeter game.
Derrick Wells Guard (Team Nelson)- Wells has good size and a mean ratchet from the perimeter. He’s a good player to have alongside the penetrating styles of Rawls and Stansberry. He compliments their games very well. I think this kid will have a decent future in this sport.
Lance Ford Guard (MCB Elite)- Ford wasn’t his usual explosive self but he did make an effort to get more of his teammates involved. This new approached proved to be dividends for his squad as they made a run to the finals. 

Eric Dougherty Guard (MCB Elite)- Dougherty helped MCB make a second half run by scoring 20 points and knocking down 5 treys. He really stretched the Team Nelson defense with his shooting. 

Mark Webb Guard (MCB Elite)- Webb AKA Gator plays with enormous energy. He specializes in running the lane and finishing off plays. His outside shot needs some fine tuning before he moves on to the high school level.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Basketball Spotlight Player Of The Week: LJ Stansberry (Team Nelson)

LJ Stansberry (Team Nelson)

The Basketball Spotlight Player Of The Week goes to LJ Stansberry of Team Nelson. The 8th Grade wing guard totally dominated the Spotlight MLK Classic while leading Team Nelson to the championship. He’s definitely a prospect to keep an eye on. Congrats to LJ and keep working hard young fella.

Diary Of A Baller: Nate "The Great" Pierre Louis (Plainfield, NJ) Entry #5

Nate Early Years

Hey basketball world. First and foremost I will like to acknowledge the late and great Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. because without him many things that I enjoy in life wouldn't be possible. I thank you so much! Now I hope you guys enjoyed your week as much as I did. This week was a long week. Let's start with Monday.

Basketball Spotlight MLK Classic 8th Grade Recap: Team Nelson Crashes The Party!

Team Nelson Gets It Done!

LJ Stansberry and Jamar Sudan scored 20 points apiece as Team Nelson defeated MCB Elite 61-55 to win the Basketball Spotlight MLK Classic 8th Grade Championship. Congrats to Team Nelson for winning the crown. Stay tuned as we bring you more recaps from the MLK Classic. Our coverage is just getting started.

Basketball Spotlight MLK Classic 7th Grade Championship Recap: Playtime Wins Thriller

Playtime Gains Banner

Mikey Watkins dropped a floater in the lane as time expired to give Playtime Panthers a 48-46 victory over NWK to win the Basketball Spotlight MLK Classic 7th Grade Championship. Tavon Jones led the winners with 18 points. Stay tuned as we bring you more coverage of the 7th Grade division including top performers.

Basketball Spotlight MLK Classic 6th Grade Championship Recap: Philly Pride Wins Title

Philly Pride Take Championship

Mark Bradshaw scored 18 points but it wasn’t enough as Team Nelson lost to Philly Pride 49-44 at the Basketball Spotlight MLK Classic 6th Grade Championship game. Majay Butler scored 19 points for Philly Pride in the victory. Stay tuned as we bring you some top performers and complete breakdown of the 6th Grade division.