A Place for Future Stars To Emerge
By Steve Amedio,
Evaluation Staff Coordinator & Director of Communications
ALBANY, NY-The GymRat CHALLENGE AAU tournament has gained a well-earned reputation as a place where young players begin emerging as stars, and the 2010 event will uphold that belief.
Emeka Okafor first started showing off here and went on to become the No. 2 overall pick in the 2004 NBA draft. Michael Beasley played here, too, and was also the No. 2 overall pick in an NBA draft (2008).
Cole Aldrich, a bruising 6-foot-11 center, played here a few years before helping Kansas win a national championship.
More recently, current college standouts Jimmer Fredette and Talor Battle first started to draw notice playing in the GymRat CHALLENGE.
And, the 2010 event played over Memorial Day weekend, attracted maybe as many likely future college and professional basketball stars as any GymRat event in recent memory.
So, who’s next to emerge as a GymRat competitor to reach greater heights in the sport?
Start with some big men, including 6-11 standouts Dennis Clifford of the Bay State Magic, who is already committed to attend Boston College; and another 6-11 inside force in Blaise Mbougorba of the N.J. Roadrunners who is attracting attention from a variety of Big East teams.
Or, maybe, it will be 17-under division Most Valuable GymRat Rob Poole, a 6-5 sharpshooter who has already given a verbal commitment to Siena College.
Maybe it will be Khem Birch, a 6-9 inside force who dominated at the 16-under level playing for Expressions Elite of Rhode Island. Birch has dozens of high-major programs interested including most of the Big East as well as Arizona.
And, then, there’s 6-foot-8 prospect Goodluck Okonoboh who played for BABC at the 15-under division and was that age-group’s Most Valuable GymRat. Okonoboh already has a college-ready physique and a college-ready game and already is attracting interest from the high major level.
If you prefer to follow the next generation of past talent, there’s Marquis Marshall, the slender 6-foot-3 son of former NBA standout Donyell Marshall, who exhibited a strong all-around game playing up a level with the 17-under DMF Knights; and, there’s Luke Houston, a slender but flashy 5-9 point guard in the mold of his father, Kevin Houston who led the nation in scoring with a 32.9 point-per-game average as a senior at Army in the 1986-87 season.
But, the GymRat CHALLENGE is always about more than just individual talent. It’s about strong team play, and about advancing through a series of difficult match ups to capture a prestigious GymRat CHALLENGE championship.
Poole’s Jersey Shore Warriors won this year’s 17-under division; the METRO Hawks won at the 16-under level as MVG Jeff Neverson, an athletic 6-4 forward, took over down the stretch; and Okonoboh helped lead BABC to a title at the 15-under division.
Those names and many others were the stars at this year’s event, stars that are likely to continue to shine bright in college basketball and NBA galaxies of future years.
And those who attended this year’s 13th annual GymRat CHALLENGE tournament played in New York’s Capital Region can look back and recall that they saw them when … when today’s precocious youngsters were developing the talent that would make them the stars of future years.
17:U Age Division
Poole Settles In To Future Home, Lifts Balanced Jersey Shore Warriors To Tournament Title
Numerous fans of the Siena basketball program were on hand to watch Rob Poole, who has already given the school a verbal commitment, and liked what they saw from the 6-foot-5 shooting guard.
Poole, too, enjoyed his first extended view of his future home where he helped lead the Jersey Shore Warriors to the 17-under division championship of the GymRat Challenge over Memorial Day Weekend with a 61-49 victory over the Boston Warriors in a title game played at Siena’s Alumni Recreation Center.
That facility is Siena’s full-time practice court (the Saints play home games at the Times Union Center in Albany, N.Y.), so Poole’s production in the GymRat event – 24 points in a semifinal-round victory and a run of 10 quick first-half points that turned an early championship-game deficit into a lead the Jersey Shore team would never lose – is surely just the start of his strong body of work for the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference program.
Poole, a rising junior at Paul IV High School in Haddonfield, N.J., came in with a reputation as a long-range shooter. But he also exhibited a well-rounded game over two days in this event to earn Most Valuable GymRat honors as well.
Yet the Jersey Shore’s team was as much a product of getting contributions from a variety of players on a talented roster as any individual’s performance.
Not only is Poole Division I bound, but at least five teammates are getting a high-level of interest from a variety of Division I programs.
Those include 6-5 swingman Darrun Hillard, 6-6 forward Andrew Nichols, 6-4 swingman Chris Santo, 6-6 forward Matt McMullen and 6-0 point guard Austin Tillotson.
Tillotson directed the winners’ attack with unflappable ball-handling and passing skills and his teammates took turns stepping up and providing big plays throughout their rise through the division’s earlier rounds.
It was enough for the division champs to win all seven games they played here by double figures, but not without some challenges.
Their semifinal-round meeting with Sports U Team Izod included 10 first-half lead chances and was still close in the second half until Jersey Shore went on a 12-0 run midway through the half to pull away behind Poole’s 24 points in that 69-57 victory.
In the championship game Jersey Shore trailed early before Poole had 10 points in a four-minute stretch of play to give his team a 20-15 advantage which it never lost. Nicholas finished with 14 points in the championship game, mostly from in the paint, while Poole added 12 points and Hilliard had 10.
“We don’t have a 6-10 or 6-9 inside force, but we have a group of talented, unselfish players who work hard and work well together,” said coach Tony Sagona, whose program also won a GymRat championship 11 years ago. “We’ve got a well-balanced, versatile group. They can all handle the ball, they can all distribute the ball and they all play hard defense.”
And Poole’s first extended visit to his future school?
“I really like it here, and I love this gym,” he said. “This is where I’ll be practicing every day (after his arrival at Siena as a freshman in the 2011-12 season). I’m looking forward to coming here.”
And, after winning a prestigious GymRat Challenge championship and the event’s Most Valuable GymRat award here, who could blame him?
17:U All GymRat CHALLENGE MVG – Most Valuable GymRat
Rob Poole (6-5 shooting guard) Jersey Shore Warriors/Paul IV H.S.: Exhibited big-time shooting range here, but also a variety of other skills in earning the top GymRat individual award. He showed ability as a skilled, intelligent ball-handler who runs the floor well and works well in a transition game. Uses his length to be an effective defender. On the offensive end he has a very quick release on his jumper. He effectively supplements his long-range skills with strong shot fakes to set up an effective driving game and has the ability to drive in either direction. Has already made an early verbal commitment to attend Siena College.
17:U All-GymRat CHALLENGE TEAM
Darrun Hilliard (6-5 Wing) New Jersey Shore Warriors/ Liberty (Pa.) H.S.: A long, athletic lefty who effectively gets to the rim and is a great finisher who can convert with either hand. A very heady, versatile and athletic player who played well consistently here. Rebounds well for a wing and not afraid to mix it up inside. Excellent at creating shots for himself and teammates off the bounce.
Pat Ackerman (6-10 center) Middlesex Magic/Worcester Academy: Fundamentally sound legitimate big man who runs the floor well and hard consistently. Showed ability not only to finish well around the rim, but a nice jump-hook from the block and a smooth mid-range jumper. Rebounds well out of his area. Very skilled for his size, and will get better as body fills out. Many mid-majors showing interest.
Anthony Barry (6-5 combo forward) Middlesex Magic/Milford H.S.: Very skilled offensive player who attacks at the offensive end and uses strength well to finish at the rim. Aggressive player who seeks contact when getting the rim. Can score in bunches, and had 23 points in a pool-play game. Good mid-range shooter who plays very hard. Appears likely to re-classify to stay in high school an extra year. Lafayette, Patriot League programs have expressed interest.
Andrew Nicholas (6-6 forward) Jersey Shore Warriors/Eastern York H.S.: Smooth lefty with versatile offensive game. Finishes well and with either hand. Can take bigger defenders off the bounce, and smaller defenders inside to take advantage of his height. Good perimeter stroke that can stretch defense. Needs to develop upper body strength. Originally signed with Rutgers, but has rescinded that commitment.
Matt McMullen (6-5 forward) Jersey Shore Warriors/CBA of N.J.: Versatile, hard-playing forward who can both face up and play inside. Mostly played inside here, but showed off perimeter skills, too. Range out to college 3-point line, but more consistent in mid-range game. Finishes around rim with both hands. Strong player, rarely knocked off route to basket or pushed off the post. Rebounds well for size. Offered by Colgate, interest from Patriot/Ivy programs.
Austin Tillotson (6-0 point guard) Jersey Shore Warriors/Eastern York (Pa.) H.S.: Heady lead guard who is always under control. Skilled at changing speeds to create space. Effective spot-up shooter from the bonus stripe and better from mid-range off the dribble. Gets the ball into scorer’s hands at the right times. Big-time motor. Patriot/Ivy league programs interested.
Demitri Corronell (6-5 wing) Metro Boston/East Boston: Athletic wing with tremendous hops who threw one down in pool play that drew attention throughout the gym. Solid handle, able to lead break and initiate transition after a rebound. Dependable mid-range game and flashed ability to shoot the college three. Excellent at getting to the rim and finishing in traffic above the rim. Several A-10’s are interested.
Zach Chionuma (6-3 guard) Boston Metro/Marianopolis Prep: Explosive athlete, excellent transition player who attacks the rim, but showed ability to connect from college three stripe. Aggressive player in half court who is great at penetrating and getting to the rim. Needs to develop his skill set to fully take advantage of natural athletic ability. Interest from NEC to A-10 levels.
Blaise Mbougorba (6-11 center) N.J. Roadrunners/St. Benedict’s: Unbelieveable athlete for his size. Runs the floor extremely hard. Uses length and size to control the glass. Initiates break well with outlet passes. Good finishers who goes up with either hand. Has ability to dominate with length and size. Comes up with loose rebounds at both ends. Still developing physically and needs to develop a go-to move. Has only been playing for two years, and has huge upside. Offered by Georgetown, Siena and interest from A-10’s.
Kevin Punter (6-3 combo guard) LI Lightning Blue/Salesian H.S.: Big-time scorer, who dropped 28 in a pool game. Finds a way to score despite knuckleball rotation on shot. Length allows him to convert high-difficulty shot opportunities around the rim. Explosive first step off the bounce. Very aggressive player who can beat his man and has ability to be a distributor, too. MAAC schools, Northeastern, George Mason, Wagner have shown interest.
Max Weaver (6-2 off guard) 518 Hustle/Albany CBA: Big-time shooter with range beyond the college 3-line. Crafty hard-nosed player who has ability to beat defenders off the bounce if guarded on the perimeter. Needs only to develop strength for college to handle bigger guards. Plays hard and is a scrappy defender. Level from many Patriot programs.
Jayon James (6-4 guard) Team Izod/Brewster Prep: Big time playmaker with great court vision who can legitimately play the point. Very strong and bullies way to the hoop. Great inside spin moves. Also good mid-range player. Finishes well with contact. Forward’s body with ability to play any perimeter position and create mismatches. Recently de-committed from Fordham. Strong student with interest now from other A-10’s, MAAC and Ivy schools.
Chris Compas (6-7 forward) Team Izod/Robinson H.S.: Athletic forward with long arms who finishes everything around the rim. Ultimate “garbage guy” who is a standout offensive rebounder. Can also step out and hit 15-to-17 foot jumper consistently. Very good in transition and runs the floor well. Much mid-major interest.
Karim Chandler (5-9 point guard) N.J. Roadrunners/St. Benedict’s H.S.: Very quick, shifty true point guard who goes end to end well. A past-first point guard that gets teammates involved, but also scored 25 in a game here. Makes up for diminutive stature with huge heart. Played up a level as a rising junior. Very bright future.
Patrick Piasecki (6-7 center) Kendall Madison Playaz/Longwood H.S.: Tough inside player who finishes well around the hoop and utilizes a quick spin move. Kept his team in the game with his inside play, spin moves and drop steps in meeting with tough DMF Huskies. Decent athlete who can also step out and hit 15-footer. Interest from many Ivy/Patriot schools.
Delbert Young (5-11 shooting guard) DMF Huskies/St. Edward’s H.S.: A terrific combo guard who can score almost at will. Can connect consistently from three-point range as well as from mid range. Gets to the hoop and can convert as well. Strong build and is a competitor who plays hard every play. Offered by Akron and Eastern Michigan.
Dennis Clifford (6-11 center) Bay State Magic/Milton Academy: Very skilled center who has nice touch around the basket. Much improved over his appearance here in 2009, adding bulk and strength. Showed an ability to step out to 18-foot range and is a defensive presence. Had some dunks here off drop steps and makes long-range outlet passes. Legit big man who will get even better with more physical development. Has committed to Boston College.
Will Davis (6-1 point guard) NYC Jaguars/Holy Cross H.S.: A smooth lefty guard with an ability to put the ball in the basket. He pushes the ball and plays well in transition. Just need an ability to hit 3’s on a consistent level, and a little added strength to be effective in college, but already has ability to get 30 points at any time at this level. Played up a level, only a rising junior. Fairfield, Bucknell have shown early interest.
Kevin Punter (6-3 shooting guard) LI Lightning-Blue/Salesian H.S.: A high-scoring off-guard who put up 18 of his team’s 26 points in one game here. Has ability to hit tough shots and to finish around the rim. A non-conventional jump shot always seems to go in. Needs to add strength to slender frame, but he has a ready-for-college scoring ability. George Mason, Northeastern have shown interest.
Tyrik Phillip (6-2 shooting guard) LI Lightning-Blue/Boys & Girls H.S.: Did a great job of getting teammates involved here, as well as showing ability to get to and finish at the rim. Pushes the tempo and gets into the lane with ease. He makes the game easier for his teammates. Still needs to work on his jump shot. Several CAA schools have expressed interest.
Jon Angstad (6-3 shooting guard) DMF Huskies/Holy Names H.S.: A great shooter who kills a zone defense from behind the arc. Also gets to the rim with ability to dunk. A deadly stand-still shooter who benefits from playing with quicker guards. Can’t be left open, but needs work on mid-range game. Good student, Ivy teams showing interest as is Lehigh, Drexel.
Marquis Marshall (6-3 small forward) DMF Knights/Reading Central Catholic: Smooth-moving player, son of former NBA standout Donyell Marshall. Has a long, rangy build. Needs bulk, strength but that will come. Might still add some height, too. Played up a level, a rising junior. Can score from any place. Smooth jump shot who can also score inside. Skilled in every aspect of the game. Interest from A-10 level, but will get high-major interest if he grows taller/stronger.
Cody Blizzard (6-6 small forward) DMF Knights/St. Edward’s H.S.: A standout outside shooter with the ability to finish above the rim in transition. Hit three straight 3’s in one game while also adding a nice dunk on the break. Can play inside and out. Only needs to work on ball-handling skills. Early interest from Bucknell, several Ivy schools.
Jalen Branford (6-0 point guard) DMF Knights/Reading H.S.: Excellent first step and court vision. Played up two levels, a rising sophomore. Defenders struggle to stay in front of this quick guard. He goes past defenders and finds open teammates. Well-suited for a fast-paced game. Only needs to improve on outside shooting. Sure to attract mid-major interest in the future.
Deion Thurman (6-9 center) DMF Huskies/ Mt. Lebanon H.S.: A strong interior defender with developing offensive skills. He dunks everything around the rim and has solid shot-blocking ability. College-ready physique. Strong in the open court, but back-to-the basket game needs improvement. He looks like a man and plays like one. Headed to prep school.
Earl Brown (6-7 power forward) DMF Huskies/Imhotep H.S.: He plays all out at all times, still hitting the floor for loose balls long after games were decided. Strong athlete (230 pounds) who finishes at the rim and rebounds the ball well. Looks to have an upside that will emerge as he develops low-post offensive moves. Interest from Akron, La Salle.
Trey Lewis (6-1 point guard) DMF Huskies/Garfield Heights H.S.: Very quick, crafty point guard who can score in a variety of ways as well as run a team. He looks to get teammates involved, but can also score with anyone. Dribbles through zone defenses effectively to set up teammates. Also very effective in the open floor. Offers from Ivies Wisconsin, Bucknell and Northeastern.
Donovan Jack (6-7 power forward) DMF Knights/Reading Central Catholic: Terrific low-post scorer with a variety of moves from the low post. A highly skilled left-hander who is tough to stop around the blocks. Dunks with ease and also exhibited an effective jump hook. Ranks No. 1 in his high school class academically. Already offered by James Madison, Bucknee and Columbia.
Four McGlynn (6-2 combo guard) York Ballers/Dallastown H.S.: Combo guard with quick first step and long-range shooting ability. A scoring machine who mixes 3’s with runners, pull-ups and mid-range game. Always looking to attack. Great change of pace allows him to beat qujick defenders off the bounce. Scored 89 points in three pool games. Some A-10’s, most Ivy and Patriot league schools interested.
Mike Zangari (6-10 center) York Ballers/Red Land H.S.: Still-developing big man whose game will only improve as his body gains bulk/strength. Great hands and footwork and can dominate a game even without scoring. Showed 15-foot range here, and runs the floor well for his size. Controls the glass and changes shots with his length. Some interest from Pitt, Seton Hall as well as Ivy, Patriot leagues.
Stephen Zack (6-10 center) York Ballers/Red Land H.S.: Long, lanky post player with great feet. Very active on both ends of the floor. Raw moves in the post that will improve with time. Great hands, and good feel around the basket. Good touch from 15-foot range. Looks to have big upside. American Univ. has shown interest, as have La Salle, Drexel and Patriot schools.
Shamoy McIntosh (6-2 shooting guard) LI Pythons/Floral Park H.S.: Lanky shooter who can fill it up in a hurry. Very quick release and can get it off from different angles. More athletic than his frame might indicate, and has a decent handle. If he can attack the basket with more consistency he can play at the D-I level. Mostly D-II’s interested right now.
Marques Charlton (6-2 combo guard) LI Lightning-Charlton/Deer Park H.S.: Had a tournament-best 45-point game in a game here, hitting seven 3’s in that contest. Also attacks the rim off the bounce. A complete guard who scores in all ways and has strong defensive instincts. Completely under the radar.
Randy Samuels (6-3 wing) CT Flame/Mt. St. Michael’s Academy: Explosive athlete who brought down a basket support off an alley-oop pass in a game here. Makes play in the air and in transition. At his best in a fast-paced, pressing style. Decent jumper, but needs to refine his offensive package. Has already completed his senior year in high school. Will go prep.
Pete Alexis (6-11 center) Firm AC/ Holy Redeemer H.S.: Big, strong post with upside. A huge presence (285 pounds) who looks to have the ability for improvement. Does a great job of sealing and finishing. Effective with the ball on the block. Has huge feet. Changes the game with his size/bulk on both ends. Has committed to Penn State.
Emanuel Mejai (5-9 point guard) Team Dyckman/S. Agnes H.S.: Small point guard who took over games here and almost willed his team to victories here. Can score and distribute. Slasher with great body control who can get into lane and finish in the paint amidst the trees. Surprising lack of interest thus far, but can play D-II or low-level D-I.
Jarell Byrd (6-5 wing) Mass Thundercats-Warren/St. Thomas More Prep: Superb athlete who plays way above the rim. Provides a highlight-reel play in every game. Great timing on his jumps and always seems to get follow-up dunks. He would be perfect for a team that plays fast and presses all over. Huge sleeper who will play at prep level in the coming season.
Tymel Murphy (6-5 wing) Roth Runnin’ Rebels/Ocean Academy: Explosive athlete with great frame and can really go. Left-hander who has a quick first step and a great burst to get separation. Only flaw is a lack of a consistent outside game. Attacks off bounce and on the glass. He if develops a jump shot he can play at a high-major level. Headed for prep
Joe Bramanti (6-2 wing) Granite State Jayhawks/Andover H.S.: 6-2 combo guard who played some point. More comfortable off the ball, though. Good stroke and can get it off quick. Good body and loves contact. Smart, heady player who makes the right plays down the stretch. Had big efforts in his team’s victories here. Probably a good D-II prospect.
Mike Mitchell (5-7 point guard) Granite State Jayhawks/Milford H.S.: Only knock on him is his size, but coaches should look at what he can do more than what he can’t. A true point guard who is a magician with the ball. Finds teammates in good position with every pass he makes. Ability to hit long-range shots when open and to get into the lane and distribute. One of the most-creative ball-handlers here. Might wind up at prep school, or D-III level.
Jack Cole (6-7 center) Jersey Hot Shots/New Providence H.S.: Long, lanky post-up player with great touch around the basket. Has a nice bay hook with either hands that always found the bottom of the net. Advanced post moves for his age and size. Very slender and needs to add weight, strength to be effective as a D-I player. Stonehill has offered, and Ivy and Patriot teams have shown interest.
Ethan Oday (6-8 center) Drive4Stardum-Johnson/E. OSmith H.S.: Shot-blocking center with long arms. Reclassifying to remain a junior. Has strong right-hand baby hook in the post and superlative foot work. Possesses soft hands and finishes inside. Needs to add some bulk, but projects as an A-10 player when development is complete.
Steve Collins (6-9 center) Renegades 17A/La Salle H.S.: Very skilled post player. Can make plays from the high post and on the block. Good 15-foot jumper from the elbow. Needs to add weight and be more aggressive at times, but can definitely be effective in college and would be a solid “get” for a low D-I program. Ivy and Patriot programs have expressed interest.
Samir McDaniels (6-4 shooting guard) Boston Warriors/New Mission H.S.: Shooter with size. Streaky with ability to hit shots in spurts. Gets to the basket when opportunity is there. Just a scorer. Plays hard on defense and is very active. Key to his team’s run to the championship round. Plays strong and crashes offensive glass. College interest beginning to develop, but looks like good D-II player.
Ousmane Drame (6-8 center) Boston Warriors/Marianapolis Prep: A lanky “big” who runs the floor and finishes in transition. Makes his best plays on the move. Showed the ability to step out and make jump shots. Great left-hand drop step, but still developing and refining his post moves. Plans to prep to get more exposure in the coming season.
Luke Houston (5-9 point guard) New York Falcons/Pearl River H.S.: Creative, flashy point guard who sets up teammates. His dad, Kevin, led the national in scoring in the 1986-87 season at Army, and Luke has the same long-range shooting ability, out to 24 feet. Leave him alone out there and it’s an automatic 3. Very slender and needs to add weight. But, can overcome his diminutive stature to be an effective college player. Might go prep.
17:U Honorable Mention All-GymRat CHALLENGE
Taziah Wood-Smith (6-6 forward) LI Pythons
Justin Wilson (6-2 guard) LI Pythons
Justin Knight (6-0 guard) South Jersey Jazz
Trey Bucci (6-1 guard) Lake Champlain Lakers
Jengodgi Gates (5-10 guard) Albany City Rocks/Orange
Jeremic Bennett (6-0 guard) Albany City Rocks/Orange
Christian Walck (6-1 guard) York Ballers
Kevin Donahue (6-2 guard) York Ballers
John Williams III (6-2 guard) Dunbar Mavericks
Marv Leveille (6-5 forward) CT Flame
Mark Siden (5-10 guard) CWB
Dan Brooks (6-3 guard) Boston Warriors
Conor Caldwell (6-2 guard) Syracuse Select
Mike Fraylon (6-3 guard) CT Premier
Wes Lyons (6-5 forward) Firm AC
John Wicky (6-7 forward) Granite State Jayhawks
Connor Green (6-5 forward) Granite State Jayhawks
Tylon Smith Jr. (6-3 guard) CT Knights
Michael Deffley (6-0 guard) CT Knights
Mike Anderson (6-2 guard) CT Knights
Mark Bevacqua (6-7 forward) JB Hoops
Evander Cruz (6-0 guard) Team Dyckman
Nouhoum Bocoum (6-7 forward) Team Dyckman
PreSea Flowers (6-0 guard) Team Dyckman
Tom Doyle (6-3 guard) CT Hoop Stars/White
Matt Tobin (6-1 guard) N.J. Panthers
Dean Brierley (6-4 guard) NJ Panthers
Kevin Ferguson (6-8 center) NJ Panthers.
Ryan Abel (6-4 guard) Renegades
Malcolm Brooks (6-5 forward) Roth Runnin’ Rebels
Devin Moore (5-10 guard) Schenectady Patriots
Pat Dougher (6-0 guard) Jersey Hot Shots
Kenny Gan (6-0 guard) Jersey Hot Shots
Jeff Hill (6-3 guard) Mass Premier Elite
Kyle Gibson (6-4 wing) Mass Premier Elite
Zackary Askew (6-8 center) Drive4Stardum/Johnson
Vaughn Johnson (6-2 guard) Drive4Stardum/Johnson
Matt Petruccione (6-1 guard) 518 Hustle
Tyler Hammett (6-11 center) 518 Hustle
Chris Santo (6-4 wing) Jersey Shore Warriors
Nihad Mosovic (6-3 guard) Rising Stars-Gimpel
Ryan Denicola (6-8 center) Rising Stars
Mike Florin (5-11 guard) Rising Sgars
Maurice Mile (6-5 forward) Buffalo Dragons
Darius West (6-6 forward) Buffalo Dragons
Josh Dugas (6-2 guard) Academic Basketball Club
Kris Obaseki (6-8 forward) Houston Lynx
Terry Allen (6-6 forward) Houston Lynx
Tyler Guidry (5-11 guard) Houston Lynx
Myles Brilhante (5-8 guard) Bay State Magic
Ryan Kilcullen (6-7 forward) Bay State Magic
John Henault (6-3 guard) Bay State Magic
Tyrik Glass (6-4 wing) Philly Reach 1 Teach 1
Evan Tullar (6-4 wing) Lone Wolf
Ben Ferris (6-2 guard) Lone Wolf
Alex Snyder (6-7 center) Lone Wolf
Jonathan Riles (6-1 guard) Bucks County Hawks
Mike Fee (6-2 guard) Bucks County Hawks
Mairega Clarke (6-5 wing) NYC Jaguars
Alex Rosenberg (6-6 forward) NJ Road Runners
Darien McDuffie (5-11 guard) House of Hoops
Elijah McLaurin (6-1 guard) BC Eagles-Red
Thomas Delahanty (6-7 forward) Staten Island Stingrays
Aaron Haynes (5-11 guard) Middlesex Magic
Devontae Watson (6-9 center) Crons
Tim Pacheco (6-0 guard) Pocono Heat
David Garcia (6-2 guard) Pocono Heat
John Papale (6-3 guard) CT Hoop Stars-Blue
Stedman Allen (6-6 forward) Abyssiman Crusaders
John Smith (6-8 center) Abyssiman Crusaders
Jose Torres (6-3 guard) Team Steiner
Craig Dorn Jr. (5-8 guard0 Team Steiner
Jamell Walker (6-6 wing) Team Steiner
Basil Stewart (6-2 guard) Mass Hoops Jaguars
Tim Gallivan (6-7 forward) Bay State Magic
Dan Powers (6-3 guard) Bay State Magic
Scott Bartenstein (6-3 guard) Potsdam Sandstoners
Zach Adams (6-5 forward) Potsdam Sandstoners
Tait Pirkle (6-1 guard) Monmouth Power
Andrew Van Schaak (6-7 forward) Monmouth Power
Bolade Akingbue (6-2 guard) Brooklyn Ballers
Brandon Williams (6-4 guard) Brooklyn Ballers
Kyle Bradley (6-4 guard) NY Falcons
Jacquil Taylor (6-8 forward) Prodigy Basketball
Maurice Taylor (6-5 wing) Prodigy Basketball
Rich Zoller (6-8 center) LI Lightning
16:U AGE DIVISION
Neverson’s Ability to Create helps Andrews, Metro Hawks Finish Off a Year-Long Comeback
The 16-under age division’s championship game of the GymRat CHALLENGE was tied with about 30 seconds left when swingman Jeff Neverson of the Metro Hawks held the ball at midcourt waiting for more than 20 seconds to tick by before initiating what turned out to be a game-deciding play.
When Neverson began moving toward the basket, he did so with a noticeable sense of calm born from knowing exactly what he was going to do. He was either going to attack the basket to create for himself, or for teammate Andre Chambers.
Neverson and Chambers have run the play many times before as AAU teammates throughout the spring season with the result almost always a basket for one or the other.
If Neverson couldn’t get to the basket, he knew Chambers would know exactly what to do, too … get into position to receive a pass.
The difference was that while Neverson was trying to make a championship-deciding play, Chambers had a more-meaningful mission in the contest with FiDonce United at Siena’s Alumni Recreation Center. For Chambers, a positive result meant an opportunity for redemption.
Mission accomplished on all counts for Neverson, for Chambers and for seven other members of the New York City-based Metro Hawks team that advanced to the championship contest of the 15-under division a year ago only to have their title aspirations dashed in the 2009 event.
Not this year, though, they promised themselves as they approached their annual trip to the GymRat CHALLENGE. Not this year when they faced a 16-point deficit midway through a pool-play game on Saturday.
And, not this year as the game was tied in the final ticks of Sunday’s championship game.
With eight seconds left, Neverson began his move to the basket, encountered heavy traffic and dished to Chambers who flashed into the lane. Chambers caught the ball and laid it up. The ball bounced on the rim several times before falling through to finish off the Metro Hawks’ 64-62 victory over FiDonce and to finish off a quest that began a year ago.
“We wanted to get the championship that we didn’t get last year,” said Chambers. “That gave us a little extra motivation this year.”
Chambers was one of eight returning players from last year’s team. Neverson didn’t play with the Metro Hawks a year ago, but he knew all about last year’s championship-game failure.
“You never want to lose in the championship game,” said Neverson. “I knew it was important to this team, so it really means a lot (to win). I just wanted to create something on that final play. If not for me, then I knew `Dre’ (Chambers) would be in position to receive a pass. We run that play a lot, and it usually works.”
Neverson earned the division’s MVG Award as the Most Valuable GymRat not only taking over late on the offensive end in the championship game (his basket with 1:20 remaining broke a 59-59 tie), but for strong defense and rebounding throughout the tournament.
Mostly, though, the championship came from a strong team effort that was evident when seven different players scored the team’s final 16 points of the championship contest.
“The kids just wouldn’t give up this year,” said coach Eric Andrews. “Losing last year was a big motivation. And, then, when we got way behind in an early game here and came back … they just didn’t want to lose again this year.
“When we had the ball at the end (of the championship game), we knew we were either going to score the winning basket or the game was going to go into overtime. In that situation we couldn’t lose.”
And, the Metro Hawks didn’t lose. Not this year.
16:U Division MVG – Most Valuable GymRat
Jeff Neverson (6-4 forward) Metro Hawks/Boys & Girls H.S.: He had three triple-doubles in high school games this past season, and showed off that versatility throughout this tournament. An unselfish player, he does whatever it takes to win games. The rangy athlete scored both from close range or from the perimeter on offense and showed an ability to guard any opponent from point guard to a power forward. He has a good feel for the game,, and showed a nice ability to pass. He played “big” for an undersized team here, but projects as an effective small forward in college.
16:U All-GymRat CHALLENGE TEAM
Issck Egueh (5-11 guard) Ottawa Phoenix/Ottawa Hillcrest School: He was part of a standout backcourt that controlled games here. Shoots well off the dribble. A real scorer who was also quick to the hoop and finished there, often with nifty reverse layups. Showed a nice long-range shooting ability, particularly from the corner.
Jamal Aden (5-11 point guard) Ottawa Phoenix/Ottawa Sir Robert Borden School: The other half of Ottawa’s stellar backcourt. A talented ball-handler with a very good handle. Variety of dribble moves from cross-over, to hesitation to inside hand changes. Consistently beat defenders off the dribble to distribute. Sees court and makes others better. Also very active defender.
Robert Hazard (6-0 point guard) Rhode Island Breakers/North Kingston H.S.: A very good ball-handler. He controls game fromn the point guard position with his ability to create plays and set up teammates. Already getting noticed by high-major schools, drawing early interest from Virginia, Florida State and St. Joseph’s.
Jimmy Hall (6-7 center) New Heights-NYC/St. Anthony’s H.S.: A lanky, legitimate big man who plays hard and uses his athleticism to rebound the ball at both ends. Posts up and seals well on the post. Very effective scorer around the hoop. Also uses long arms to block and contest shots defensively. Rutgers, Fordham, Iona and several other MAAC schools have shown interest.
Matt Droney (6-3 point guard) Boston Warriors/Catholic Memorial H.S.: A big, lefty and legitimate point guard. He sees the court very well and finds teammates in scoring positions. Very clever player who uses his intellect as well as his physical tools. Capable of producing offensive for himself, too, particularly when shooting over opposing guards in the lane.
Phil Valenti (6-8 Center/Forward) Syracuse Select/Victor H.S.: A lefty who can put the ball on the floor. Runs floor very well. Very agile for a legit “big,” but also still relatively slender at 200 pounds. Looks to have a physique that will fill out and he should be effective on the D-I level when it does. Already a good rebounder who hits the boards hard at both ends.
Michael Sperring (6-4 small forward) York Bearcats/York Catholic H.S.: Lefty shooter with a nice strong. Good size for a wing player, particularly for the way he plays on the offensive end. He has very good range on his jumper. An extremely good shooter who showed an ability to score points in bunches during this event.
Lincoln Holley (6-5 Forward) The Feeder program/Easton H.S.; A developing forward whose game is more suited to the power position than a wing role. Rangy body, so it will fill out. Already runs the court well, but does most of his scoring around the basket. Has limited shooting range. At least a strong D-II/D-III player and more if he continues to develop.
Jonte Rutty (6-6 center) Newburgh Zion Lions/ Newburgh Free Academy: A strong inside force with a solid body (215 pounds). Very tough in the low post and posts up strong and tough to move off the blocks. Has strong inside moves and draws fouls. Also showed ability to step out and face the basket from mid-range.
Khem Birch (6-9 center) Expressions Elite/Notre Danme Prep: A real big-time prospect with tremendous potential and a great upside. Quick off his feet with long arms that help him block or alter shots. Can dominate boards at both ends. Often finishes with a dunk. Just a big, athletic player that has drawn major interst, including from UConn, Providence and many more.
Ricardo Ledo (6-4 Wing) Espressions Elite/St. Andrews H.S.: Very nice potential. A good-sized perimeter player who does many things well. He handles, passes and dishes on drives. Often looks to pass first and is a good passer. Needs to work on perimeter shooting, but when that comes he’s a high-major prospect. Big East schools, plus Kansas and Florida have expressed early interest.
Akosa Maduegbunam (6-2 off-guard) Expressions Elite/Charlestown H.S.: Good sized guard who is a terrific shooter with 3-point range. Played for a good team and provided perimeter shooting, plus an ability to go past defenders and get to the basket. Could develop into a high-major prospect. For now, mostly mid-majors (Drexel, Northeastern, Boston U.) have shown interest.
Brendan Miller (6-7 center) Orange County Elite/John S. Burke Catholic H.S.: A nicely skilled big man who can run the floor. Also, a hard worker particularly on the defensive end. Good passer from anywhere he catches the ball, particularly out of double teams in the post. Currently weights about 195 pounds, but will develop as he adds weight and strength.
John Fazzini (6-2 off guard) Firm A.C. Elite/Crestwood H.S.: Decent size for his position, and couples that with a versatile game. Very good shooter either catching and shooting, or getting off shots off the dribble. He competes hard on every possession. Also has an ability to go past defenders, get into the lane and draw fouls.
Gunnar Bjornson (6-3 small forward) R.I. Hawks/Tiverton H.S.: A versatile offensive player who can score in a variety of ways. Has a decent jump shot and showed an ability to hit three-pointers, particularly when he gets his feet set. Also has strong moves to the hoop. A couple inches of growth would turn him into a D-I small forward prospect.
Pat Hopkins (6-7 forward) Academic Basketball Club/St. Joseph’s H.S.: Very active on the boards. He runs the court and finishes strong. Plays hard on every possession. A good defender who is willing to sacrifice his body to draw charges. He can also catch it on the perimeter, put the ball on the floor and go strong to the hoop. Does much of his scoring in the paint.
David Haye (5-8 guard) Rockland Rockets/Ramapo H.S.: A dynamic offensive player although undersized for a shooting guard. Still, he scores points quickly even against taller defenders. A 3-point shooter with excellent range who has nice form on his jumper and elevates to get it off. Can also score going to the hoop. Capable of putting up big offensive numbers.
Isaiah Funderburk (6-6 Center) East Coast Fusion/Edison H.S.: A long, lanky (190 pounds) inside player who can score around the basket. Good low-post player who looks to have good potential. Already proficient on the defensive end with an ability to block or alter shots. Still developing his offensive game.
Stephen Vasturia (6-3 wing) Jersey Shore Warriors/St. Joseph’s Prep: Outstanding shooter who uses his size to well on the offensive end. Hits big shots and not afraid to take them in clutch situations. Particularly good hooting from the corner. Makes good on-court decisions. His play here is indicicative of his desire to win games.
Roosevelt Cubbage (6-7 center) Jersey Shore Warriors/St. Paul VI H.S.: Very strong rebounder who unselfishly provided the necessary work on the boards here for a team of perimeter shooters. Has good size and uses it to rebound with authority and to provide strong defense in the post. Offensive game, though, is still a work in progress.
Ahmed Williams (5-7 point guard) C.J. Rebels/Monroe H.S.: An extremely quick small guard who does a lot of things. He can shoot with decent range, but primarily does his best work in the open court. He pushes the ball quickly in transition. He also has an ability to go past defenders and dishing to open teammates.
James McCann (5-9 point guard) Rock Solid/Wyoming Valley West H.S.: Very quick, small guard who is very good in a transition game. He was a key member of a solid team here, contributing intelligent plays to winning efforts. He has excellent range with his feet set.
Bernard Francis (6-4 forward/center) Crons/Peabody H.S.: An aggressive, physical player who goes hard for rebounds. Solid build enables him to overpower opponents. He also showed an ability not only to score around the hoop but to hit foul-line jumpers. On offense, he just attacks the basket whenever he gets the ball.
Richard Douglas (5-11 point guard) Orange County Elite/John S. Burke Catholic H.S.: A real team leader, as a point guard should be. He directs an offense and makes his team go. Sees the court well, and uses what he sees to deliver good, effective passes. His own offensive game is still developing.
Mike McCahey (6-5 forward) N.Y. Falcons/Clarkstown South H.S.: A very strong player who goes hard and gets into the lane off the dribble. But, he can also hit perimeter jumpers, particularly when his feet are set. Plays hard at all times. Just seems to know how to produce points in a variety of ways.
Joseph Connelly (6-1 guard) MABC Bengals-Black/Brookline H.S.: A very good shooter with range beyond the three-point stripe. A clutch player who isn’t afraid to make plays in key situations. Nice form on his shot. Likes to shoot from the wing and the corner. His shooting was a key aspect of his team’s victories here.
Brandon Williams (5-10 point guard) N.Y. Panthers/Baldwin H.S.: A true point guard who makes his team go. He pushes the ball quickly in transition and gets the ball to open scorers. Has the ability to penetrate and dish it. He can also finish against interior players, but can hit perimeter shots as well with his feet set.
Ian Vasquez (6-0 guard) Metro Hawks/Wings Academy: Made most of his shots here, bombing in numerous three-pointers in big situations. A combo guard who also showed some playmaking ability. He thrives in big situations. Plays intense and hard defense, using quick hands to be a pest on the defensive end.
Ryan Denicola (6-8 forward) Rising Stars/Long Island Lutheran: Served double-duty, also0 performing with ta 17-under team. Plays hard and with a motor. Rebounds in and out of his area. Uses his strong build to rebound with effort. Showed ability to hit 15-foter. Comes ready to play. Needs to continue to expand his offensive game. Contacted by Ivy and Patriot schools, and Davidson.
Isiah Watson (6-2 guard) L.I. Lightning-Nick/Lincoln High: Has a NYC guard flair and plays with passion. Will hit 3’s in bunches. Has a nice stroke and a soft shot. Capable, flashy passer. Impacts game with his jump shot. Was his team’s leading scorer here and has above-the-rim potential. Gets into the lane at will.
Tyler Cavenaugh (6-7 power forward) Albany City Rocks-Tucker/Jamesville Dewitt H.S.: A tall, long and agile inside player with a high basketball I.Q. Very good passer for a big man. Uses both hands around the rim. A team player who demands and gives respect. Nice shooting touch. Siena, Canisius and other mid-majors are interested.
Isiah Turner (6-6 wing) Albany City Rocks-Tucker: Superior athlete with highlight-reel potential. Coast-to-coast ability. Range out to 3-point line, but plays within himself. He rebounds in an and out his area and above the rim. Looks to have ability to turn into a major D-I recruit. Could be anywhere from a MAAC-level to high major level prospect depending on further development. Transferring, and uncertain about his next school.
Randy Stevens (6-4 wing) Westchester Hawks Select: Sooth player with clear Division I potential. Exhibited a nice shooting stroke from deep and mid range. Showed good athleticism. Plays a point-forward role and is a good passer. Must continue to get strong, though.
Darren Payen (6-7 power forward) East Coast Skills/Foran H.S.: A lefty, long-armed power forward who seemed to get better as the tournament progressed. A raw talent with shot-blocking ability. Had a near triple-double in one game. Under the radar, but not for long. Can dunk with ease. Clearly motivated to improve. Definite D-I potential.
Adam Bramanti (6-0 combo guard) New England Storm/Masconoment H.S.: Possibly the best shooter in the 16-under division. Crafty with the ball. Slender, but uses body well. Gets most out of his athletic ability. Made 10 3’s in three games here. Due to his endless range, court smarts and ability to make plays when needed he could be a scholarship player.
Parris Ridgeway-Higgs (5-11 point guard) FiDonce United: Hodgson V-Tech H.S.: A floor general, a real leader. Strongly built with a tight handle. Good body control. Streak shooter who hit multiple 3’s here. Quickness gets him into lane. Has ability to lead a team in points, assists and steals. Getting early D-I interest.
Thadeus Hall (6-2 guard) Metro Hasks/Jefferson H.S.: Lefty who is a capable sniper from 3-point range. Scored 22 points in the semifinal round here. Elevated his game as the tournament progressed. A real gamer who is not afraid to make plays. Competes with fire. Silky smooth shooting stroke. Boundless energy with long arms.
16:U Honorable Mention all-GymRat CHALLENGE
D.J. Brown (6-4 forward) The Feeder Program
Jack McCarthy (6-5 forward) Drive4 Stardum
Deovante Smith (5-10 point guard) Game On Lions
Jovan Coffey (6-3 forward) Game On Lions
Ykaelo Araia (6-2 forward) Ottawa Phoenix
Mike Neal (6-6 center) R.I. Breakers
Dennis Green (6-2 point guard) New Heights NYC
William Benjamin (6-6 center) Brooklyn Ballers
Tyrell Springer (6-0 shooting buard) Dunbar
Chinua Young (6-0 guard) Atlantic Arsenal
Ryan Lukas (6-0 guard) York Bearcats
Sebastian Gibbs (6-5 center) LP Fams Bandits
Michael Reid (6-0 guard) LP Fams Bandits
Ron Curry Jr. (6-2 guard) Jersey Shore Warriors
Kieran Bolger (6-2 wing) Jersey Shore Warriors
Brandon Castro (6-0 point guard) All For One Basketball Club
Kenny Reid (5-11 point guard) All For One Basketball Club
Omar Orriols (6-3 small forward) YABCLBE
Scott Herilihy (6-0 guard) Holy Cross
Christich White (5-10 guard) Franchise Ballers
Malook Harris (5-11 point guard) Kendall Madison Playaz
Pete Drescher (6-3 guard) Albany City Rocks-Tucker
Devonn Foster (6-0 point guard) House of Hoops-Black
Tyrese Mann (6-2 guard) Richmnond Metro Gold
Richard Smith (6-7 power forward) Richmond Metro Gold
Porter Weston (6-3 guard) QC United
Alexendre Daquin (6-0 point guard) QC United
Bryce Elie (6-4 wing) LI Lightning-Nick
Paul Simnpson (6-3 forward) LI Lightning-Nick
Jason Smith (6-8 center) LI Lightning-Nick
George Davis (6-2 guard) LI Lightning-Nick
Tyler Alexander (6-4 wing) CT Hoop Dreems
Ethan Lubowitz (6-5 forward) New Jersey Panthers
Niko Kotouias (6-5 forward) New Jersey Panthers
Henry Vilfort (5-9 point guard) Bay State Magic
Jordan Tyrell (6-0 guard) Hoopster Academy
Phhil Lawrence (6-5 forward) Maryland 3D
Sebastian Denault (6-9 center) QC United
Conner Lapinski (5-11 guard) Maryland 3D
Taner Brooks (5-11 guard0 Maryland 3D
Richard Pessard 96-4 wing) East Coast Elite Skills
Matt Ellis (6-0 guard) New England Storm
Zachary Kasalis (6-1 guard) New England Storm
Fola Branco (6-2 wing) LI Knights
Will Robinson (6-3 forward) Metro Hawks
Matt Aikey (6-7 center) Chillies
Mitchell Ford (6-5 center) Francise Ballers
Josh Downs (6-2 forward) R.I. Hawks
Kevin Leumene (6-2 guard) Academic Basketball Club
Tyler Sayre (6-3 small forward) N.Y. Falcons
Deveino McCrae (6-5 forward) Westchester Hawks Elite
Jamaal Celestin (6-2 forward) Rockland Rockets
Eric Suder (6-9 center) Lone Wolf
Casey Tipson (5-11 guard) Lone Wolf
Jordan Parks (6-6 forward) NY Panthers
Shaquille Mosley (5-8 guard) NY Panthers
Clarence White (5-9 guard) Abyssinian
Kyle Richardson (6-4 wing) Lil Curry
Abejah McKay (6-2 forward) LI Lightning-Dingle
Derrick Stewart (6-6 forward) FiDonce United
Jerome Cooper (5-11 guard) Mass Thundercats
Jarrod Scurlock (5-11 guard) BC Eagles
Ryair Smith (6-2 guard) FiDonce United
15:U GymRat CHALLENGE Division
Okonoboh’s Play Brings Good Fortunes,
Division Title to BABC Team
In the mid 1990s Sylvester Okonoboh experienced a period of good fortune with a personal health situation at the same time his wife was delivering a son to them. So, it only seemed natural for the Okonobohs to bestow the name “Goodluck” on their newborn child.
These days it’s Goodluck Okonoboh, a 6-foot-8, 210-pound power forward, who delivers good fortune on basketball courts.
The young Okonoboh, who already has a high-major level body and a game that clearly has similar potential, helped his BABC team rally from a 12-point first-half deficit to earn a 56-45 victory over the Franchise Ballers and capture the 15-under division’s GymRat CHALLENGE championship in a game played at Siena College’s Alumni Recreation Center Sunday evening.
Okonoboh dominated the paint, providing strong rebounding, defense and shot-blocking as well as a liberal dose of scoring, to capture the event’s Most Valuable GymRat award.
The young Okonoboh got more than a unique name from his dad. Sylvester Okonoboh, a native of Nigeria, was also a superlative athlete in his youth setting local records in several track events but drawing even more attention for his soccer exploits.
So, why is it that the younger Okonoboh plays basketball rather than soccer?
“When you’re in Rome, you play what the Romans play,” said Sylvester Okonoboh. “They play basketball in this country, so Goodluck has always wanted to play basketball.”
And, he plays it well. But, not in the early moments of the GymRat’s championship contest when BABC faced a 12-point deficit.
“We had played a lot earlier in the day so some of our guys were dealing with tired legs,” said team coach Brian Kelly. “We benched our starters … if they weren’t able to give us energy, then our bench would provide that.”
BABC’s bench helped get BABC back to within seven at halftime and, then, Okonoboh and the starters returned refreshed after their break in the first half.
“We started playing better, particularly on the defensive end (allowing just 16 second-half points) and we started playing a lot better as a team,” said Okonoboh. “That was our key.”
Talent, teamwork, strong defense with Okonoboh as the defensive anchor … clearly BABC’s GymRat CHALLENGE championship involved a lot more than just good luck.
15:U Age Division MVG – Most Valuable GymRat
Goodluck Okonoboh (6-8 center) BABC/Tilton School: The biggest and arguably the best big man at the event, a legitimate 6-8, 210-pound force. He is a proverbial human erasor on defense and has a great offensive touch around the basket. Runs the floor hard and never takes a play off. Spearheaded a rally from a 12-point deficit in the championship game with several strong plays inside to start the second half and superlative defensive work. Has already gotten letters from UConn and LSU, and most definitely is a high-major prospect.
15:U Age Division-ALL GymRat CHALLENGE Team
Rene Castro (6-2 guard) BABC/Beaver County Day School: Probably the strong guard at this event. He is a complete player who can shoot, play solid defense and even bangs inside for rebounds better than most guards. He provided instant offense throughout the tournament, but is also a terrific passer. Likely D-I prospect.
Wayne Seldon (6-5 power forward) BABC/John D. O’Bryant H.S.: One of the strongest forward at this event, just a powerful rebounder who then delivers well-placed outlet passes. Shoots the ball well enough and can score off the dribble. Showed an inclination to play good hard defense. His solid 6-5 is well-used.He had 23 points in the semifinal-round game. Likely D-I prospect.
Patrick Mensaah (5-8 point guard) Rockland Rockets/Clarkstown North H.S.: A 5-foot-8 scoring machine. He effectively scores from any range … from 3-point territory, from mid range to drives to the basket for scores or dishing to teammates. He sees the floor extremely well and delivers good passes to open teammates. At least a D-II prospect.
Austin Woods (6-6 center) CT BBall Club/Foran H.S.: He is a 6-foot-6 rebounding machine, especially at the offensive end. He never stops hustling. Very good passer for a big man. When needed he can finish well around the basket. An athlete who runs the floor well. Most definitely a scholarship player, possibly on the D-I level.
Semaj Reed (6-6 center) Newburgh Zion Lions/Haverford H.S.: A 6-foot-6 center who can go outside and hit beyond the bonus stripe. Showed a strong ability to play good defense here, too. Very good medium range jumper, and can also find teammates with good passes. Looks to have much upside. Definite scholarship player, possibly on the D-I level.
Khyla Rayner (5-9 guard) Rhode Island Breakers/Bishop Hendricksen H.S.: A small guard who can play either backcourt spot. He has a great pull-up jumper from out to 18-foot range. He handles the ball well enough to play the point and passes well enough to set up teammates. Also showed an ability here to drive and dish.
Justin Robinson (5-6 point guard) Kingston Komets/Kingston H.S.: A dimutive point guard who makes up for his lack of size with high-energy play and superior quickness. He is an excellent passer who makes teammates better. A good sense of anticipation on defense enables him to get more than his share of steals. Not afraid to take it inside against big defenders.
Alvin English (6-4 forward) Franchise Ballers-Kemp/Wilson H.S.: Plays strong, and uses his strength to finish well on the offensive end. Very active on the glass. On the offensive end he plays almost mistake-free, knowing how to take care of the ball. Very good use of shot fakes to get opponents off balance and, then, making something happen.
Kyle Credle (6-0 guard) N.Y. Panthers/Cardoza H.S.: Always under control, yet plays at a fast pace. Changes speeds well, uses that ability to confound defenders. Great acceleration with a quick first step. Good shooter who also attacks defenses when he has the ball. Uses physical tools to be an active and effective defender.
Hallice Cooke (6-2 guard) Sports University IZOD/St. Anthony’s H.S.: A good-sized guard who uses his size and skills to be an outstanding defensive player. He is long and active on defense and uses those traits to get more than his share of deflections. Very quick player. Offensively he has a nice lefty stroke and three-point shooting range.
Joseph Chartouny (6-3 guard) QC-United/St. Jean-Baptiste School: Plays both guard spots. At the point he is an intelligent presence who keeps his team organizes. Showed an ability to change speeds well and uses that ability to get to the basket with strength. Showed a good rebounding ability for his size.
Kindell Kinlocke (6-7 center) L.I. Lightning/St. Raymonds H.S.: Nice soft shooting touch for a big man. Also, an effective shot-blocker who uses a very long arm span to his advantage. Showed an ability to post up. And is an excellent rebounder. A legitimate presence in the post on both ends of the court.
Austin Williams (6-0 guard) N.Y. Panthers/Bayside H.S.: Extremely quick backcourt performer who uses his quickness effectively on the defensive end. Good range on his shot. Communicates well with teammates. Drives the ball hard and attacks the glass with good results.
Quincy McKnight (6-0 guard) Connecticut Elite/St. Andrew’s H.S.: A combo guard who is effective at both spots. Plays with great energy and is very active on both ends. Has long arms and uses them effectively on the defensive end. High IQ that shows when at the point. Medium range on jump shot.
Dominique Jacobs (6-1 guard) Newburgh Zion Lions Free Academy:/Newburgh Excellent defender who is long and lanky and uses his length to be active on the defensive end. Looks like a good point guard who has excellent vision and delivers good passes. Takes care of the ball on the offense end and is not bothered by pressure.
Jordan Gleason (6-0 guard0 Albany City Rocks-Beadnell/Watervliert H.S.: If he continues to improve could turn into a D-I level prospect. Right now he plays both guard and small forward. He can shoot, rebound and play defense. Has great leaping ability and his head gets near the basket. Has an all-around game.
Javion Ogunyemi (6-7 forward) Albany City Rocks-Beadnell/Troy H.S.: Has a great basketball build already at 6-7, 200 pounds. He is a defensive intimidator, altering and blocking many shots. Also has good offensive moves around the basket and finishes well. Can also take his defender away from the hoop and make an occasional trey. Definitely a D-I prospect.
Tyler McLeod (6-3 small forward) Albany City Rocks-Beadnell/Catholic Central H.S.: A true swingman who can play small forward or guard. Runs the floor well and is instant offense. He drives, and can shoot medium-range jumpers with regularity. Also showed he can hit 3-pointers. Plays great defense and rebounds well for his size.
Charles Correa (5-8 guard) R.I. Hawks/St. Raphael Academy: One of the quickest guards at this event. A true point guard, a 5-8 dynamo, who makes everyone around him look better. Has range out beyond the three-point line, making that shot as well as anyone here. Already accomplished and looks like he’s going to get even better.
15:U All-GymRat CHALLENGE Honorable Mention
Antonio Ross (5-8 Point Guard) C.J. Rebels
Ralph Erickson (5-9 Point Guard) Capital District Raptors
Aaron Ray (6-2 Forward) BC Eagles-Stanton
Alex Sugarman (6-5 Center) Boston Warriors
Percio Gomez (5-11 guard) Boston Warriors
Tracey Thomas (6-4 forward) N.J. Panthers
Keegan Ryan (6-5 center) Lake Champlain Lakers
Jaleel Bell (6-1 guard) MABC Bengals-Black
Dylan Haines (6-8 center) Syracuse Nets
Andre Hampton (6-3 forward) Pulse Academy
Eli Jones (6-3 forward) D-Squad
Colin Richey (6-1 guard) Blackstone Valley Chads
Tony Alexandre (6-2 guard) Boston Promise
Andrew Wolf (6-7 center) CWB
John Rinaldi (6-0 guard) JB Hoops-Rinaldi
Markell French (6-0 guard) Reach 1 Teach 1 Hawks
Nick Guerriero (5-9 guard) Mass Hoops Jaguars
Lee Messier 6-3 forward) R.I. Breakers
Terrell Williams (6-0 guard) NYC Jaguars
Spencer Weisz (6-4 forward) Sports University IZOD
Taji Owens (6-3 forward) CT Bulldogs
Zayd Issah (6-2 guard) Mid-Penn Motion
Levi Londole (6-5 forward) QC-United
Max Matroni (5-11 guard) R.I. Hawks
Jamal Rosenbergh (6-3 forward) NY Panthers
Samuel Blake (6-1 guard) SECC All Stars
Justin Washington (6-3 forward) Franchise Ballers-Kemp
Jaquon Lynch (6-2 guard) LI Lightning-Dingle
Antwoine Anderson (6-3 forward) Franchise Ballers-Kemp
Mike Green (5-11 guard) CJ Rebels
Isiah Giles (6-0 guard) NY Panthers