STRONG TRADITION OF EXCELLENCE KEEPS BUILDING AT GYMRAT EVENT
By STEVE AMEDIO
GymRat CHALLENGE Director of Communications
Now in its 16th season, the GymRat CHALLENGE has a storied history and a rich AAU basketball tradition.
Never was that on display more than this year during the 17:U Age Division championship game featuring two of the AAU circuit’s most-respected programs and two longtime and highly regarded coaches.
The Jersey Shore Warriors eventually captured the division crown, giving its coach Tony Sagona a record fourth GymRat title (his teams also won 17-under crowns in 1999, 2010 and 2011). And, the outcome denied NY RENS’ coach Artie Cox his fourth championship. Cox has two previous 17-under titles and one at the 13-under level.
But, as always, the event is about the players more than anyone else, and there was more history made on that front this year, too.
History was made as Jared Rivers, a gifted 5-foot-11 combo guard won the MVG (Most Valuable GymRat) Award at the 15-under level. Event followers will recall that Rivers, when he stood 5-foot-7 two years ago, also captured the MVG of the 13-under division in 2011. He is believed to be the first individual to earn two MVG awards in the tournament’s history and has two more years of eligibility to try to add more individual hardware to his trophy case.
And, as usual, the event featured a virtual Who’s Who of emerging young talent.
Above all else, the GymRat has developed a reputation as the place where the sport’s stars first shine, a place where reputations are first made. That started in the GymRat’s second season in 1999 when a young, slender big man’s dominance here marked his first emergence on a national level. The GymRat was where that young big man, Emeka Okafor, first drew national attention in a career that would see him become college basketball’s national Player of the Year and win a national title at UConn and, then NBA Rookie of the Year.
The GymRat is where a somewhat undersized youngster from Glens Falls, NY, first emerged as a real “shooting star.” It’s where Jimmer Fredette began to show off his exceptional long-range shooting skills. And, as Fredette grew to become a solid 6-3, he also grew into the player that became college basketball’s leading scorer on the Division I level in the 2010-11 season as a senior at BYU and a first-round NBA draft choice of the Sacramento Kings.
Stories of that type are plentiful in the GymRat’s history, and there were new ones developing at this year’s event as some precocious youngsters brought more recognition to some already well-known basketball “names.”
Dominique Uhl, of the 17-under Jersey Shore Warriors, has only been in the U.S. for a little over a year after coming here from Germany, but he’s enough of a basketball fan to know his namesake, Dominique Wilkins, had a legendary NBA career. The 6-foot-8 forward’s play here, which helped the Warriors win their division title and earn Uhl his MVG designation, indicates there’s a new Dominique on the verge of big things on bigger stages. The rising senior, who showed off versatility and athleticism here, has already received offers from Boston College and Temple and is beginning to hear from other teams at college’s highest level.
And, there’s a new “Jordan” on the scene, beginning to make his mark at the GymRat event. He’s not Michael Jordan yet, but Jordan Roland’s performance here indicate how capable he is of, eventually, doing proud the “Jordan” name. He averaged 19.1 points in seven games here, lifting his Syracuse Select team to the 16-under age division title and capturing his own MVG award.
In all, there were six age divisions contested, and a GymRat record 292 teams with more than 3,400 players competing in the event at sites throughout New York’s Capital Region.
The tournament was bigger and better than ever as it continued to enhance it’s well-earned reputation not only for its operational organization but the on-court exploits of the sport’s future stars.
17:U AGE DIVISION
UHL HELPS WARRIORS, SAGONA WIN EVENT’S 4TH CHAMPIONSHIP
SARATOGA SPRINGS – The Jersey Shore Warriors’ 17-under division’s championship team featured an emerging player adding some more luster to a well-known basketball name and a veteran and humble coach who continues to grow his legend at the annual GymRat CHALLENGE tournament.
The name Dominique brings to mind the exploits of Dominique Wilkins, the “Human Highlight Film” from another era of NBA history. And, now, a young forward from the Warriors’ program, Dominique Uhl, is doing the name proud. The 6-foot-8 Uhl, an extremely versatile big man who only came to the U.S. from Germany a little over a year ago, even knows the history of his Hall of Fame namesake. And, this Memorial Day Weekend, Uhl helped make some GymRat CHALLENGE history by leading the vaunted Warriors’ program to yet another tournament championship with its dominant 86-69 victory over the NY RENS in the event’s 17-under championship game played at Skidmore College.
History? The championship here marked the fourth time Warriors’ coach Tony Sagona has directed a team to a GymRat title at the 17-under division. Sagona coached teams that won the championship in 1999 and, then, added event crowns in 2010 and 2011. This year’s team might have been the Warriors’ fourth straight were it not for an injury to a key player a year ago when the program did advance to the championship contest before its elimination.
“Our program is in its 24th year of AAU play and, by now, we’ve got a good reputation,” said Sagona. “We get the kids to play the right way. People who watch us play like our style. We’re always a very unselfish group that shares the ball. Kids want to play for us.”
No other coach at any level has won as many GymRat championships as Sagona. Ironically, the coach of the Warriors’ championship-game opponent, Artie Cox of the NY RENS, had won three previous event titles two at the 17-under level and one in the 13-under division.
“I’m tremendously honored (to be the event’s most-decorated coach),” said Sagona. “But, I’m happier for the kids. We love the tournament, and winning here gives the players great exposure.”
The Warriors’ roster is annually packed with Division I college prospects, and the current squad is no exception. Uhl, a still relatively slender 195-pounder, has been offered by Boston College and Temple, and has a variety of other suitors that range from Ivy League programs to the Big East.
“I think what I do best is that I can use my quickness to get past most forwards and get to the basket,” said Uhl.
But, that’s just a small aspect of his game. During the GymRat he showed an ability to shoot from the perimeter, to rebound in the lane, to handle the ball like a guard and to use his athleticism on the defensive end with great results.
The Warriors’ team also included at least five others who are getting strong interest from D-I programs, including Eric Anderson (Davidson, Manhattan, Rice, Colgate), Eric Stafford (Binghamton, Lafayette, Colgate, Holy Cross), Sean O’Brien (Ivies, Patriot League teams), Jake Silpe (Colgate, Holy Cross) and Devin Moore (Holy Cross, Colgate).
But, it takes more than mere talent to win at the GymRat event. It takes a real team-oriented style of play to advance.
“It helps that we all like each other and that builds good team chemistry,” added Uhl.
Sagona humble and steady steady style has proven to be a key to getting teams to play with that unselfish team-oriented style during the AAU season. Four GymRat CHALLENGE championships, including three in the past four seasons, is ample proof of that.
17-UNDER AGE DIVISION MVG (MOST VALUABLE GYMRAT)
Dominique Uhl (6-8 forward) Jersey Shore Warriors/Point Pleasant H.S.: There’s a new “Dominique” on the basketball scene. Uhl is a long, athletic forward who plays wing forward/face-up power forward. He finishes with either hand in the paint. Takes slower players out on perimeter and goes past them with ease. Can also stay out there and knock down the three-pointer. Good passer who delivers opportunities to open teammates with ease. Needs to tighten handle and get stronger, but is very talented. Offers from Boston College, Temple, Rice, and a variety of high academic schools.
17-UNDER ALL-GYMRAT CHALLENGE TEAM
Eric Anderson (6-6 forward) Jersey Shore Warriors/The Haverford School: High court IQ and an unselfish forward who plays inside/out. Does a bit of everything. Can knock down the three-pointer, put it on the floor, post up and deliver accurate passes. Will be a wing forward at the college level. Manhattan, Davidson, Rice, Holy Cross and Davidson showing interest.
Justin McFadden (6-5 small forward) Jersey Shore Warriors/Lower Merion H.S.: An athletic forward who is very active on the offensive glass. Regularly rebounds out of his area. Puts ball on the floor to score at the rim and is capable of defending multiple positions. Showed ability here to hit 15-foot jumper. Interst from Harvard, Yale and other Ivies.
Jake Silpe (6-2 point guard) Jersey Shore Warriors/Cherry Hill East H.S.: High IQ point guard with tight handle, great court vision and confidence on a very talented team. He is a conductor, making things run smoothly. Can knock down the jumper. Only a rising junior. If not for the talent surrounding him on his own team, he would score more. Ivies, Patriot League and high academic schools showing interest.
Devon Moore (6-3 guard) Jersey Shore Warriors/Delone Catholic H.S.: Good athlete with consistent 3-point range and a can’t-miss pull-up. Ball handling is strong enough to get him where he needs to go. Bright future as he is only a rising junior. Early interest from Boston College and Holy Cross.
Rawle Alkins (6-4 small forward) NY RENS/Christ The King H.S.: One of the best leapers in the tournament. Everyone on the court needs to be alert, because he is going to dunk on you if you’re not. More than just a great athlete. He can get to the rack, knock down the three and defend multiple positions. Extremely bright future. Early interest from Big East/A-10 teams.
Kevin Lytile (5-10 point guard) NY RENS/Our Savior New American School: Solid point guard who thrives in transition finding teammates with perfect passes. Changes speeds and gets defenders on heels. He knocks down the three regularly and has a nice pull-up. Also a pesky defender who hounds opposing ballhandlers. Hearing from low-D-I level teams.
Austin Williams (6-0 point guard) NY RENS/Bayside H.S.: Dynamic, athletic point guard who changes speeds and keeps defenders off balance. Possesses an array of releases to get shots off and can score on drives. Good pull-up jumper and can knock down threes. Is special in transition as he can score all the way to the cop or serve up easy baskets to teammates. Looking to prep, but getting interest from low-to-mid major D-I’s.
Adonis Delarosa (6-11 center) NY RENS/Christ The King H.S.: At 6-11 and close to 300 pounds, the big man has baby-soft hands and good feet. He’s a force inside when he goes there. Worked best on left block going to right-handed hook over left shoulder, or counter drop back to left. Not just a pillar in the paint, he also showed jump-shooting ability out to the top of the key. He’ll be more of a force as fitness improves.
Laron Holt (6-5 small forward) NY Golden Eagles/Peekskill H.S.: Long wing player with a solid build Showed a decent handle here and an ability to break down off the bounce to get to the paint. Good finisher against contact. Knocked down mid-range jumper consistently and stretched out to 3-point territory. Strong frame/athleticism enabled him to rebound well, particularly on offensive end.
Aaren Edmead (5-10 point guard) Team Long Island/Deer Park H.S.: Extremely quick, slinky point guard who changes speeds well and can score going both ways with either hand. Uses runners/floaters to score in the mid-lane area. Did a nice job here of utilizing ball screens to get room to score and/or find open teammates.
Tyrell Wright (6-0 point guard) L&L Running Rebels/Pius X H.S.: Heading to prep school for the coming season. He is a long, athletic point who gets to the rim and rebounds well from the guard spot. He did a nice job here of pressing the opposing teams’ best offensive guard and forcing turnovers.
Dave Krmpotich (6-6 small forward) Jersey Shore Warriors/La Salle H.S.: Still slender, but very long and a sneaky athlete. Did a nice job of knocking down outside shots here out to 3-point range. Can put the ball on the floor and score at the rim due to his length. As his strength improves he will rise to an even higher level. Loads of potential.
Brandon Federici (6-3 shooting guard) Jersey Shore Warriors/Lawrenceville H.S.: Best long-range shooter in the 17-under division. Has a quick release and high-level of confidence in his shot. Gets himself open on the perimeter. Went 5-for-5 from deep in one game to help his team break open a championship bracket contest. Looking to prep a year to get stronger and showcase ball-handling skills in hopes of landing at a high-academic D-I school.
Jack Dwyer (5-10 point guard) BC Eagles/Burke Catholic H.S.: High IQ point guard who does a great job of running a team’s offense. Capable of penetrating the seams against opponents. Prototypical point guard with terrific court vision. Finds openings in a defense and delivers perfect passes to teammates in scoring position. Showed both a perimeter shot and a floater, but prefers to give up the ball. Keeps low with dribble, impossible to get ball away from him. Low Ivies, academic D-III’s showing interest.
Mike Coffey (6-0 guard) BC Eagles/Burke Catholic H.S.: A little undersized for an off-guard, but what he lacks in size he makes up for with grit and determination. A lefty with a nice stroke. One of the best shooters here. Made five straight three’s in a pool play game, all from 22 feet and out. Also has a mid-range game. Sneaky good athlete. Good enough ball handler to play some point. Looking at low Ivies, academic D-III’s.
Calvin Crawford (6-8 forward) BC Eagles/St. Thomas More H.S.: Long, smooth and developing wing forward with decent range and an above-average handle for his height. Superb athlete and an unselfish player. Strong defender. Hit some 3’s here. Plays over the rim. Needs to add bulk/strength and will probably prep, but already getting D-I offers.
Corey Henriquez (6-4 guard/forward) NY Gauchos/Port Chester H.S.: A long, lanky shooter who can also put it on the floor and make plays getting to the rim. Scored in bunches and looked to score in crucial spots in the championship-round bracket. Has deep range on jumper. Could develop in a nice low-major wing. Played hard in spots; if he can do that for 40 minutes he can be very good.
Sam Eckstrom (6-7 center) Buffao Dragons/Olean H.S.: Great job of establishing low-post position. Understands how to attack smaller players with his strength and use his high IQ against longer, more athletic defenders. Good 15-foot jumper from the elbows and is an effective passer vs. zones. Has some offers, but needs to be more athletic to play at the highest level.
Gabriel Kilpatrick (6-4 small forward) Brooklyn Ballers/Archbishop Molloy H.S.: Long, lanky wing who played well in his team’s playoff run. Great defender with a high court IQ and grant anticipation in passing lanes. Jumper needs to be more consistent to play at the highest levels. Made more than his share of big plays in big moments. He was his team’s go-to guy while here.
Chris Rogers (6-1 guard) Mass Premier-Elite/Franklin H.S.: Plays with great poise and never lets the opponent dictate his game. A good athlete who can finish in transition and beat guys off the bounce. Shot looked good most of the weekend, but not always consistent. Great defensive player with quick hands and feet. Great frame and will get stronger. Worked hard on any position.
Keion Osbourne (6-3 small forward) N.J. GymRatz/Dwight Englewood School: An athletic wing with good length and bounce. Played great in pool play and was the main reason his team advanced to the championship bracket. Very good in transition. Great anticipating on the press to create easy opportunities for his team to score. Had range on his jumper, but it wasn’t consistent from game to game. Could be a nice player in a system that stresses fast play and pressure defense.
Vincent Pace (6-4 guard/forward) Raritan Roundballers/Bridgewater-Raritan H.S.: Skinny, long post who can really shoot it. Gets to the basket and finishes, too. Played his best against the best competition. Height, length and shooting make him an interesting prpspect. Could fit with the right scholarship-level program.
Matthew Farrell (6-2 point guard) Raritan Roundballers/Point Pleasant Beach H.S.: Really skilled point guard with great vision and ability to make others better. Didn’t have a great shooting weekend, but still one of the best players at the event. Makes game look easy at times. Very smooth. Highest offer so far from Davidson.
Wayne Wade (6-1 point guard) NY Gauchos-Halley/Samuel Gompers H.S.: Strong, bull of a point guard. Made the right plays to score and set up teammates at all times. Can get to the rim with ease and finishes there with either hand. Has deep shooting range and gets shot off quickly. Looks like D-I, D-II player.
Marlons Alcindor (6-3 guard) NY Gauchos-Halley/St. John’s Prep: Long, lanky scorer. He scored in a variety of ways here. Great pull-up jumper and has range to 25 feet. If he can improve on his handle, and his ability to get to the basket he can land at a low D-I program. Also hearing from D-II’s, for now.
Jason Cethoute (6-4 forward) Brooklyn Ballers/Archbishop Molloy H.S.: Very smooth, decent-sized wing player who had great handle and vision, particularly for his size. A very good athlete who can beat you in many ways. Very active on the defensive end where he uses his length to get a ton of deflections. Low D-I prospect.
Curtis Jenkins (6-1 guard) Rising Stars/Farmingdale H.S.: A lefty athlete who played all five positions at the GymRat. Great passer who always looks for teammates. Quick first step helps him make tough plays look routine. Makes everyone on the court around him better. Could play low D-I basketball, but is being recruited by Big Ten and ACC for football.
Aary Bibbens (6-4 forward) City Rocks-Orange/Mt. St. Vincent: A long, athletic guard that contributes in all phases of the game. His length, quickness and fast hands allows him to be a lock-down defender. On offense he is a capable scorer, both attacking the rim or shooting on the perimeter. His athleticism allows him to finish above the rim, as well. Has heard from Hofstra, Siena.
Jordan Deccico (6-1 point guard) City Rocks-Orange/Kingston H.S.: A slight, very quick guard that can attack the basket and finish at will over taller players. He is very tough and scrappy and will sacrifice his body. Sees the floor well and is capable of getting his teammates involved. Capable of being an explosive scorer. Has drawn interest from Niagara, Tennessee Tech and Elon.
Tommy Capuano (5-10 point guard) CWB Green/Iona prep: A rising junior that is a tough lead guard. He has a great handle and deceptive quickness that allows him to attack the basket. He also has a strong body that enables him to absorb and finish through contact. A tremendous passer who gets his team involved. A capable shooter when he has time. Has heard from Brown.
Quadry Calloway (5-10 guard) House of Hoops/Bayonne H.S.: A sharp-shooting guard that doesn’t need a lot of space to pull the trigger. Has a tremendous step-back dribble move with a jumper that is tough to guard. Ability to get to the basket, but excels with his jumper. Has a great stroke and even makes contested shots. Hearing from D-II schools.
Samson Usilo (6-4 forward) Riverside Hawks/Nazareth H.S.: A gifted scorer. Does a tremendous job of finishing off the bounce, either getting to the rim or pulling up for the jumper. Has a strong body that allows him to finish through contact. A great leaper who also finishes well above the rim and can finish over defenders. Projects to be a D-I prospect.
Donovan Wright (6-5 forward) N.J. Thunder/Hotchus H.S.: A strong, 220-pound body mixed with incredible explosive athleticism makes him a tough matchup. He is capable of posting up smaller defenders, and slower/big defenders have a tough time staying in front of him. His jumper is consistent out to the three-point line. Does a great job of rebounding out of his area, and he alters shots at the rim. Hearing from Patriots.
Austin White (guard) N.J. Thunder/St. Peter’s Prep: An athletic and quick guard, capable of playing either backcourt spot, who excels at attacking the basket. He is a dangerous outside shooter with time. Has the ability to be a lock-down defender and his quick hands lead to steals. Stepped up in big situations. Hearing from Patriots.
David Hawthorne (6-6 forward) Team N.J. Select Stars/Union Catholic H.S.: A very long wing that has a high upside. Shows flashes of being a player that could be a Rudy Gay-type. He is at his best when attacking the basket, and his length allows him to rebound out of his area well. With added strength, his ability to drive into contact will improve and he will be tough to guard. Has heard from Iona, Fairleigh Dickinson.
Wil Bathurst (6-4 forward) Locker 1/Olean H.S.: A stat-sheet stuffer that really affects the game in every facet. He is a strong, explosive player that does a great job of finishing around the basket. Capable of taking over a game in spurts. He also hits the boards well for a wing, and pushes it effectively in transition. Hearing from Iona, Niagara, Marist.
Rip Engel (5-9 point guard) New Jersey Cyclones/Council Rock North H.S.: Great, steady tempo point guard who controls the game. Great demeanor. Tough to the lane to create or to score against contact. Set stroke from three-point range and always seems to hit the big ones. Tremendous floor leader with polished game. Has heard from Columbia, Dartmouth and NE-10 schools.
Louis Pillari (6-5 forward) New Jersey Cyclones/CBA: Long, maturing wing with surprising bounce to finish above the rim in transition. Streaking stroke from three-point range, but can get it going. Really competes on the glass and always seems to make the hustle play. Stroke and strength will determine his ultimate level. Hearing from Monmouth, Holy Cross, Colgate.
Johnny Hilaire (6-7 forward) Mass Elite/Lynn English H.S.: Live-bodied lefty that can be special when attacking. Best right now from eight feet and in. Developing turn-around jumper and ability to finish traffic are his strengths. Will mature into a double-double machine as he grows stronger and more confident. Just a rising junior.
Keyma Cannon (5-11 wing) Mass Elite/Braintree H.S.: Terrific shooter with deep range. He knows his strengths and plays a simple game â€¦ catch & shoot, or limited bounce to a pull-up. Good strong body allows him to work through contact, but sweet stroke will carry him at the college level. Hearing from some D-II’s.
Kai Mitchell (6-5 forward) House of Sports Elite/Spring Valley H.S.: Standout performer who started off pool play with 23 points in first game. Strong-bodied (240 pounds) positional post with excellent hands and feet. Power finisher who can play above the rim. Showed potential touch from 15 feet that should develop. Size may be a concern, but plays like a mini DeJuan Blair. Rising junior, starting to hear from mid-major D-I’s.
Jor Lufkin (5-9 pint guard) City Rocks-Black/Argyle H.S.: A repeat all-GymRat all-star. Streaky shooter from deep. Motor always running and always attacking the game. Extremely creative, finding teammates in transition. Seeks contact through traffic with a quick burst.
Rickey McGill (6-3 wing) House of Sports/Spring Valley H.S.: Smooth wing/combo player who excels in transition to finish or create for others. Can create space to get his own mid-range shot. Inconsistent from three right now, but looks to have the form to extend his range. Will wind up a plus defender with his quickness and ability to anticipate. Projects as a D-I player, just a rising junior.
Joseph Cremo (6-3 wing) Scotia/Scotia H.S.: Just a rising junior. Strong overall skills. Tough and aggressive. Has a high motor on both ends. Knows how to play and makes plays all over the court. Finishes very well around the rim. Good athleticism and also has range to three-point land. Emotional leader. Huge upside with his abilty.
Juwuan Carter (6-3 wing) Wayne PAL Wolfpack/DePaul Catholic H.S.: Versatile, all-around player. He shoots, drives, handles the ball. Very smooth on the court. Has a combination of athleticism with a high motor that puts him in great situations on the court. Finishes very well around the rim. Quick off the ground. Very athletic.
Brian Ward (6-0 point guard) Wayne PAL Wolfpack/Bergen Catholic H.S.: Definition of a true point guard. Very high court IQ and skill set allows him to be a floor leader. Outstanding decision maker. He knows who to get involved and when to do it. Also capable of taking over a game himself, and seems instinctively to know when to do that.
Mike Reid (6-2 point guard) LP Fam Bandits/Malcolm Shabazz H.S.: An explosive drive-first point guard. He gets to the rim and finishes very well, even in traffic. Has a great handle and outstanding court vision. Has length for the position, and his athleticism allows him to get rebounds off the rim and go. Great motor and ability to score points. Hearing from low D-I’s, including UT-Chattanooga.
Kiernan Hays (6-4 guard) New York Golden Eagles/Washingtonville H.S.: A long, athletic slasher of a wing. Can score from anywhere on the court. Very good around the rim and has range out to three-point territory. Showed solid footwork in the post. Has ability to take smaller guard inside to score. Hearing from a variety of low D-I’s, and D-II programs.
Andre Williams (6-4 guard) New York Golden Eagles/Valley Central H.S.: A lefty who is very tough, physical and relentless on both ends of the court. A versatile wing-type player who drives, shoots from a variety of locations, is a standout defender and plays with confidence. He really knows how to play. Makes very good decisions about when to shoot or when to pass. Hearing from D-II’s.
Dantay Caruthers (6-1 guard) Rochester Playmakers/East H.S.: Very talented guard with an unending motor. Has a nice mix of athleticism and a skill set that allows him to create scoring opportunities from anywhere on the court. Strong with the ball. Very good at creating contact to get to the foul line. Has D-I potential, and has heard from Canisius.
Quinn Lee Yaw (6-6 forward) ICC Truth Select/Jamestown H.S.: A blend of athleticism and skill, and with his height â€¦ it adds up to him being a force at both ends of the court. Has great hands and footwork in the post. Also has range out to the three-point line. Good ball skills. He can get it off the rim and lead the break. Looks to have a very big upside.
Jeremy Bonifacio (6-6 forward) NYC Jaguars/Dwight School: A very athletic and skilled wing player with good length, although slender. He has an ability to score both in the paint and on the perimeter. Finishes well at the rim, and showed a shooting ability from very deep. He has a huge upside. Only a rising junior.
Nate Williams (6-2 point guard) Southern Tier/Sayre H.S.: Extremely solid, skilled real point guard. Superior and clever passer. Sees the court exceptionally well and delivers crisp, accurate passes even from half court to under the basket. Effective with ball fakes. Has a nice pull-up jumper in the lane and drained a couple of three-pointers, but looking to run a team and distribute first. Some D-I’s, including American and Colgate are looking.
17-UNDER ALL-GYMRAT CHALLENGE HONORABLE MENTION
Jake Sinicki (6-5 forward) Southern Tier
DeShawn Oyeniyi (6-6 forward) L&L Running Rebels
Isiah Palmer (6-2 forward) L&L Running Rebels
Charlie Zaepfel (5-9 point guard) RAP Elite
Tyler Stenglein (6-3 forward) RAP Elite
Eric McCollum 96-7 forward) Newburgh Free Academy
Kevin Delorie (6-2 guard0 The Feeder Program
Leland Williams (6-2 forward) LI Lightning-Napolitano
Chandler Benson (6-7 forward) Southern Tier
Cam Dean (6-6 forward) Southern Tier
Domminick LeMarta (6-3 guard) Scotia
Alex Sausville (5-11 guard) Scotia
Tyler Lampe (6-2 guard) Chillies
Robbie Walsh (6-8 center) PAL Wolfpack
Sha Ulysses (6-5 forward) LP FAM Bandits
Markell French (6-4 forward) LP FAM Bandits
Amed Kone (6-3 guard) LP FAM Bandits
Jason Ganley (6-4 forward) Blackstone Valley Chaos
Nick Pasquale (6-10 center) Blackstone Valley Chaos
Devon Williams (6-1 guard) Blackstone Valley Chaos
Tyriek McCauley (6-6 forward) Blackstone Valley Chaos
Grant Gillis (6-7 center) South County
Nick DeBlasio (6-1 point guard) South County
Doug Williams (6-6 forward) NY Golden Eagles
Cam Smith (5-9 point guard) East Coast Fusion
Logan Hudson (6-3 guard) East Coast Fusion
Alec Ludwig (5-11 point guard) L.I. Lightning
Marshall Lewis (6-4 forward0 L.I. Lightning
George Graham (6-2 guard) Rochester Playmakers
Chad Dale Cole (5-7 point guard) ICC Truth Selects
Anthony Lewis (6-1 point guard) ICC Truth Select
Emmanuel Bovic (6-3 forward) ICC Truth Select
John Maye (6-2 guard) Lake Champlain Lakers
Kieran Hamilton (5-11 point guard) NYC Jaguars
Queil Hickey (6-6 forward) NYC Jaguars
Alex Rubin (6-2 guard) NYC Jaguars
Trevor Alton (6-3 guard) Ontario Storm
Jake Slobe (6-3 point guard) Ontario Storm
Jordan McRae (6-5 forward) L.I. Lightning-Ellis
Pat Lett (6-0 guard) Eastside
Ben Wahl (6-2 guard) Eastside
Ryan Booth (6-2 guard) Lone Wolf
Marc Thornton (6-6 forward) Lone Wolf
Chris Jackson (5-8 guard) N.J. GymRatz
Brendan Coughlin (5-11 guard) Mass Swarm
Courtney Clyburn (6-3 forward) City Rocks-Black
Dan Owens (6-0 guard) City Rocks Black
Malik Dare (6-7 center) City Rocks Black
Tom Anan (5-11 guard) Blackstone Valley Araya
Brendan Kilcoyne (6-5 forward) Blackstone Valley Araya
Tyler Gardner (6-5 forward0 WODT Athletics
Fred Newhart (6-4 forward) WODT Athletics
Conor O’Brien (6-5 forward) Bay State Magic
Brendan O’Shea (5-11 guard) Lone Wolf
Daniel Kaigler (6-6 forward) Syracuse Select
Ben Hackett (6-3 guard) Syracuse Select
Stewart Wright (5-8 point guard) Syracuse Select
Erick Rosario (6-0 guard) Mass Elite
Joe Pucci (6-7 center) NJ Cyclones
Rob Rossiter (6-3 guard) NJ Cyclones
Jack Herrmann (6-5 forward) N.J. Cyclones
Mike DeMello (5-11 guard) House of Sports
Ryan Berstein (5-11 guard) House of Sports
Ellis Christmas Jr. (6-1 guard) House of Sports
Matt Shifrin (5-11 guard) ABC Galvin
Latrell Curtis (6-1 guard) Staten Island Musketeers
Jermaine Anthony (6-2 guard) Staten Island Musketeers
Jamir Ferebee (6-2 guard) Staten Island Musketeer
Paddy Parr (6-1 guard) RAP Memorial Squad
Joey Lamberto (5-10 guard) House of Hoops
Jaquan Ingram (6-5 forward) Firm AC Elite
Brett Barron (5-10 guard) Firm AC Elite
Phillip Isom (6-2 guard) Riverside Hawks
Matt Knezovic (6-3 guard) Riverside Hoops
Sean Hoehn (6-2 guard) N.J. Thunder
Mitch Cohen (6-8 center) N.J. Thunder
Victor Jusinl (6-8 center) N.J. Thunder
Jarel Reed (6-6 forward) City Rocks-Orange
Ralph Erickson (5-10 guard) City Rocks Orange
Kris Clark (6-5 forward) City Rocks Orange
Jack Stevens (6-8 forward) Cortland Basketball Club
Brian Daniels (6-4 forward) CWB-Green
Chris Germano (5-10 guard) Monmouth Power
Keith Claiborne (6-0 guard) MD Hoopmasters
Connor Murphy (6-1 guard) CWB White
Harrison Brown (6-3 forward) CWB White
Owen McLeod (6-2 guard) Team N.J. Select Stars
Robert Lewis (6-5 forward) Team N.J. Select Stars
Nate Sistine (6-7 forward) Locker 1
Cameron Grumely (6-1 guard) Locker 1
Keith Natale (6-3 guard) Mass Fusion
Justin Kovacevich (6-6 forward) Raritan Roundballers
Garry Baumer (6-0 guard) Raritan Roundballers
Jake Dadika (6-2 guard) Raritan Roundballers
Jalen Rump (6-6 forward) Pitt Prep Academy
Wyatt Smith (6-3 guard) Pitt Prep Academy
John Green (6-6 forward) NY Gauchos-Halley
Raven Owen (5-10 guard) NY Gauchos-Halley
Andrew Utate (6-2 guard) NY Gauchos-Halley
Corey Henriquez (6-4 forward) NY Gauchos-Halley
Carroll Rich (6-2 guard) N.J. Panthers
Javon Castillo (6-6 forward) Brooklyn Ballers
Karo Adjekugheze (6-5 forward) Brooklyn Ballers
Gabriel Kilpatrick (6-4 forward) Brooklyn Ballers
Avery Feldman (6-3 guard) L.I. Lightning-Rothman
Cody Zaffran (6-0 guard) L.I. Lightning-Rothman
Bryan Vachereas (6-1 guard) Vermont United
Josh Hale (6-2 guard) Vermont United
Paul Burke (5-10 guard) Rising Stars
Brendan Cox (6-3 guard) Buffalo Dragons
Jaylen McCallum (6-6 forward) Stamford Peace
Rocky DeAndrade (5-10 guard) Mass Premier Elite
Timothy Walsh (6-1 guard) Mass Premier Elite
Jimmy Layman (6-2 guard) Mass Premier Elite
Jahlil Mason (6-2 guard) Rockland Rockets
Roger Harris (6-3 guard) Rockland Rockets
David Carmichael (6-8 center) Central Penn Ballers
Xavier Soloman (6-2 guard) Boston Warriors-White
Derek Doren (5-10 guard) Brooklyn Ballers
Aaren Edmead (5-10 point guard) Long Island
Calean McCabe (6-4 forward) Long Island
Matthew Brennan 95-10 point guard) Academic Basketball Club
Darnell Sutton (5-8 point guard) Darnell Sutton
Kyle Saluitti (5-8 point guard) Renegades-Whalen
Jared Kelly (5-10 point guard) Renegades-Whalen
Andrew Holmes (6-2 guard) Team 518
Nate Feiertiag (6-3 forward0 L & L Running Rebels
Haasan Foster (6-6 forward) Sharks
James Curley (6-2 guard) L.I. Lightning-Femminella
Dylan Balducci (6-0 guard) L.I. Lightining-Femminella
DeVaughn Gainey (5-10 point guard) Syracuse Select
Henry Miller (6-1 guard) Lubs Elite
Chris Okorodudu (6-4 forward) Radiant Suns
Marvin Prochet (6-5 forward) NY RENS
Eric Houska (6-1 point guard) Academic Basketball Club
Nick Clancy (6-3 forward) Buffalo Titans
Sean O’Brien (6-2 guard) Jersey Shore Warriors
Erik Stafford (6-5 guard) Jersey Shore Warriors
16-UNDER GYMRAT CHALLENGE DIVISION
ROLAND UPHOLDS “JORDAN” NAME, LEADS SYRACUSE SELECT TO TITLE
SCHENECTADY, N.Y. – It might be his first name, and not his surname, but the “Jordan” sobriquet comes with a certain reputation, almost a standard of excellence to uphold. He might not yet play exactly like all-time great Michael Jordan, but Jordan Roland put on quite an exhibition during the GymRat CHALLENGE’s 16-under tournament doing a reasonable imitation of his namesake.
All Jordan Roland did here was score 20 points in the age division’s quarterfinal-round contest, score 24 in the semifinals and, then, finish with 23 pints with a very efficient 9-of-16 effort from the field, that helped lead the Syracuse Select-LoBello team to a GymRat crown with a 58-53 victory over Brampton Elite in the event’s championship game.
Jordan, a still-slender 6-foot-2 guard, was consistent throughout the tournament, averaging 19.1 points over his team’s seven GymRat games, and never finished with fewer than 14. It enabled the Syracuse squad to virtually coast through much of the event, winning by double figures in every contest it played prior to the championship game.
“He really came on in this event,” said Syracuse Select coach Pete Lobello, after the championship game. “He’s some player â€¦ he’s really going to be a big-time player, in my opinion.
“He’s got the ability to make shots off the dribble. He’s a terrific shooter and he takes and makes shots with people right in his face. Throughout this tournament he made big shots for us.”
It wasn’t just Roland, though, that turned in a big-time effort at the GymRat event. He had plenty of help, particularly on the defensive end as the team continually stymied opponents with full-court pressure.
“We play full-court pressure defense at all times,” said Lobello. “If a team gets it up court against us, we’re still trying to pressure them in the half-court. Guys like to play that way, they like the fast tempo. And, the defense feeds our offense. If we get a turnover, we’re trying to push the ball to the basket as fast as we can.”
It certainly worked. The Syracuse squad averaged 72 points per game, one of the highest scoring averages at the event, in the six games prior to its championship-game performance.
“I know Jordan was our most valuable player, but it also easily could have been a guy like Jake Wittig (a gritty 6-1 guard), who didn’t score a lot of points (27 total in the team’s seven games), but he was just all over the place for us on both ends of the court. Efforts like that really help us. It makes everyone try to lift their game.
“We’ve had this group together for a while now, and they all know and like each other. It makes it easier for them to play hard â€¦ they all want to battle for each other. They’re all receptive to what we’re trying to do. They’d all go through a wall for us. No one on this team doesn’t ever not play hard.
“We’ve just got a group of guys who make plays, and make shots like Division I level players. It’s a pleasure to coach them.”
16-UNDER DIVISION MVG (MOST VALUABLE GYMRAT)
Jordan Roland (6-2 guard) Syracuse Select-Lobello/Westhill H.S.: A very good shooter, either when open or on the move with a hand in his face. Already good height for a guard. He handles the ball very well. Can shoot coming off screens, spotting up or off the dribble. Has a great pull-up from 15-foot range. Plays hard at all time, really competes. Defends hard, too. One of the top scorers here at his age level.
16-UNDER ALL-GYMRAT CHALLENGE TEAM
Tyler Reynolds ((6-6 forward0 Syracuse Select-Lobello/Westhill H.S.: High octane player who competes at all times and scores well around the basket. Willing to do the dirty work â€¦ rebounds really hard and gets after it on defense. Can step out to the three-point line and knock it down. Good passer from both high/low-post areas.
Lamar Copeland (6-3 guard) Brampton Elite/Henry Carr School: An athletic, quick guard with good height. Very quick to the rim and finishes there with either hand. His athleticism allows him to guard multiple positions effectively. Can shoot the three-pointer, and also has a good pull-up jumper. Very explosive on offense.
Dillon Brooks (6-6 forward) Brampton Elite/Henry Carr School: An athletic swingman who rebounds hard and really competes defensively. Scores well off the drive and around the basket. Has a good handle and is a very good passer. Runs the floor extremely well. Handles the ball in transition, leads the break and makes good decisions.
Matt Green (6-3 guard) Jersey Shore Warriors/Camden Catholic H.S.: A very solid, fundamentally strong guard. Has a good court IQ and knows how to play well without the ball. He scores with the three-point shot, and drives well to the basket and finishes with either hand. Can handle the ball in transition and makes good decisions.
Romero Collier (6-1 guard) Syracuse Select-Lobello/Henninger H.S.: A strong, athletic guard who knows how to use those physical attributes. He gets past defenders and gets to the rim with ease to finish or dish. Also a more-than capable shooter from the perimeter. Sees the floor well and is a solid passer.
Lonnie Rivera (6-5 guard) NY Gauchos-Cole/Don Bosco Prep: A long, lean and athletic guard who has a very good basketball IQ. Terrific size for an off guard already. Capable scorer from the perimeter in and gets to the basket and does damage with either hand. Good enough passer and ball-handler to play some point where he controls the game.
Ben McLarey (6-5 center) South Shore Wolfpack/Scituate H.S.: Strong, physical post player with good size (210 pounds). Works well with either hand in close with good footwork in the paint. Rebounds well and uses his body to gain position. Moves well and runs the floor well. Showed range out to 15 feet with his jumper.
Frank Oftring (6-4 guard) Mass Premier Elite/Bishop Feehan H.S.: A very good all-around game. Good size for a guard at this age level. Shoots the three-pointer well and can drive to the basket and finish with either hand. Finishes at the ri. Good rebounder and defender. Can guard all positions, from wing to post.
Charles Valbrun (6-5 center) VABC/Boston Prep: Strong (215 pounds) post player who isn’t afraid to be physical inside and knows how to use his body to create room to operate and score. He is more than capable of finishing around the rim against contact. Recognizes double teams and makes good passes from the post.
Jule Bown (6-5 forward) Jersey Shore Warriors/Lower Marion: A long, athletic wing with a good handle for his size. Scores in a variety of ways, going off the bounce, in the post or with a consistent three-point shot. Rebounds hard and competes hard. Uses his length well on the defensive end and is a capable shot-blocker.
Ryan Boulter (6-4 guard) Mass Premier Elite/Mansfield H.S.: A very good shooter. Very smart player with high basketball IQ, rarely makes a bad decision. Moves well without the ball to find openings to catch and fire from mid-to-long range. Good size for a guard who showed an ability to handle it well with either hand.
Jaron Dedchan (5-7 point guard) LP FAM Bandits/Springfield Daughters H.S.: Lack of height (5-7) is no detriment to this quick, shifty point guard. He has an excellent, low-to-the-ground handle and outstanding court vision. Goes past defenders with ease and isn’t afraid to attack the basket and go against “bigs” in the paint.
Isaiah Strickland (6-2 guard) NY Gauchos-Orange/Cardinal Hayes H.S.: A very quick and athletic guard who is capable of playing either backcourt spot. Showed a strong handle here, as well as an above-average shooting ability from any spot on the court. Also able to get past defenders, get into the lane and score with either hand.
Tyler Cole (5-10 guard) NY Gauchos-Orange/Blue Ridge H.S.: A super quick guard who inflicts his quickness on a game. Extremely quick to the basket on drives, go past defenders at will. Gets into the lane with either hand to get to the basket and score or dish. He is an absolute game-changer on defense and a standout lock-down defender.
Ahmon Powell (5-11 forward) Dream Team/Green Tech: Built like a truck and deceptively quick and athletic. Problematic on defense, makes great use of his quick hands. Has quick, efficient power moves to the basket. Gets into the lane easily and finishes at the rim. Uses his strength to also be a superb rebounder.
Isaiah Garner (6-2 guard) Md. Hoopmasters/Winters Mill H.S.: Really long and athletic small forward. Impacts the game in every way possible. Outstanding rebounder, capable scorer, uses length to block shots, has a good feel for passing the ball, hits pull-up jumpers, and gets into the paint to make floaters.
Austin Avin (6-4 forward/center) L.I. Lightning/Pathways College Prep: Big-bodied, aglle player who does his best work in the post. Active and aggressive. He leaves the floor for every rebound. Can put the ball on the floor for one or two dribbles and effectively get to the rim. Finishes at the rim through contact.
Aaron Trimble (6-2 wing) Jersey Fusion Elite/Howell H.S.: Incredibly talented, very creative score. Long, slender and athletic. Can play either off guard or small forward. Plays hard at all times. Slices through defenses almost effortlessly to get to the rim and finish. Also showed a terrific shot from three-point territory.
Evan Dourdas (5-10 point guard) Syracuse Nets/Jamesville-DeWitt H.S.: Super-solid floor general with good handle and great on-court composure. Fantastic passing skills both in trandition and in the half court. Can score when needed with floaters in the paint and also capable of making jumpers when feet are set.
Pat Andrae (6-7 power forward) Playaz Basketball/CBA: Highly skilled big man with a strong (215 pound) body. Good post-up player down low. Gets the ball and makes quick moves to the basket. Also capable of stepping out to be a good shooter, displaying a touch out to three-point stripe. Plays hard and boxes out on every play.
Javin Barton (6-0 point guard) L.I. Lightning-Mark Gold/St. Mary’s H.S.: Strong, physically tough point guard. Both he and his team were at their best here when the ball was in his hands. Can score if he needs to, but makes his best contributions when he’s making plays for his teammates. Particularly good passer in transition.
Brian Mawejje (6-3 small forward) City Rocks-Bartlett/Shaker H.S.: Quick and athletic lefty wing player who can get to the rim and is a great finisher, even through contact. Plays hard at all times, especially going after rebounds. Has developing perimeter skills, including an already decent “handle.” Looks to have loads of potential.
Kyle McCane (6-1 guard) ICC Truth Select-Black/Churchville H.S.: Lights-out lefty-handed knock-down shooter. Tough kid who plays hard at all times. Can also shoot fom and hit pull-up jumper, or get to the rim. Real good height and quick release allows him to consistently get his shot off, even against solid defense.
Justin Fackler (6-2 forward) L.I. Lightning-Napolitano/Half Hollow Hills East H.S.: A very strong, incredibly tough and physical player. Has impressive scoring ability, mostly because he just imposes his will on things and gets to the rim with his strength. Good athlete and good court instincts. Finishes well in traffic.
Kevin Marfo (6-6 center/forward) Wayne PAL Wolf Pack/Bergen Catholic H.S.: Long and athletic post player, already solid build for inside play. Good post moves, particularly using his right hand. Great motor and high-energy player. Rebounding machine. Good shot blocker and an intimidating presence in the paint.
Connor Merinder (6-5 forward) New England Storm-Black/Andover H.S.: A Strong, tough and physical post player.A defensive end/tight end on the football field, and plays with that type of physicality on the basketball court. Quick spin move in the post and finishes at the rim. Relentless rebounder at both ends, and can knock down open 3’s.
Kena Gilmour (6-4 forward) BC Eagles-LaFrance/New Paltz H.S.: Long, lanky athlete with good size and a smooth left-handed three-point stroke. Runs the floor well and attacks the rim effectively. Gets off the floor well for rebounds. Had a few nice blocks here. Shows lots of potential and improving skills.
Jimmy Galaszewski (6-2 forward) L.I. Lightning Express/Holy Trinity H.S.: Tough, forward who can be effective inside or out on the perimeter. Very versatile. Rebounds exceptionally well for his size and can also score around the rim. Possesses a sweet three-point stroke when he has time to set his feet.
Jordan Bryan (6-1 guard) Orange County Trailblazers/Middletown H.S.: Aggressive, physically gifted wing forward who is always finding his way into the paint. Loves being out in transition and finishing at the rim. Rebounds very well for his size and has a solid handle that serves its purpose without him being flashy.
Dontay Julius (5-11 guard) King Street Kings/St. Mary of the Assumption H.S.: Smooth under control guard, capable of playing both backcourt spots. Good handle under pressure, goes past defenders with ease. Impressive finisher with contact for his size. Good 3-point shooters. If defense closes out, he goes past to get to the rim. Takes what defense gives him. High energy defender. Good teammate, clutch player here.
Juwan Dolbrice (6-1 guard) King Street Kings/Linden H.S.: Thick, strong guard that can do it all. Great shooter, hit big shot after big shot. His defenders are so worried about his shot that he is able to go past and is great at finding open guys when defense collapses on him. Also a good finisher. Complete player on both ends of the court.
Jason Dunne (6-3 guard) Game 7 Sharks/Matawan H.S.: High IQ player who is a great shooter. Really understands the game. Knows how to get open when teams swarm him. Sets and receives screens to get open looks and makes it look easy. Great shooter. His team runs a lot of sets that produce shots for him. Long and thin. Does not force shots.
Kevin Durkin (6-8 center) Blackstone Valley Chaos/Wachusett H.S.: Soft touch around the rim for a big guy. Long athletic body. Uses his length to block shots effective and pursues every rebound. Can shoot out to 15 feet. Contests every shot around the rim on defense. Strong finisher. Gets off his feet, even from flat two-footed takeoff for a dunk.
Gods Power Ogide (6-10 center) City Rocks-Black/Bishop Kearney H.S.: Huge (275-pound) body, yet still raw. Runs floor well for a big guy. Sets screens defenders will remember. Active on the glass. Not a bad stroke from the line. Still a long way to go, but learning how to use his size. Some contact already from Syracuse, Boston Univ. and UAlbany.
John Sica (6-7 forward) City Rocks-Black/Bethlehem H.S.: A good sized player who can play either forward spot and can score in a variety of ways. Can step out and shoot 3’s, has dribble pull-up move, and can get on the block and score. Can guard multiple positions on the defensive end. Long arms, and goes and gets rebounds. Projects as D-I player.
Jahlil Nails (6-4 forward) City Rocks-Black/Columbia H.S.: Freak athlete. Caught some half-court lobs and finished for dunks. Outjumps everyone, no matter their size, for rebounds. Can shoot 3’s when left open. Handle and athleticism enables him to go end to end and finish with contact. Just a superior athlete. Projects as D-I/D-II player.
Ray Jerome (6-2 guard) City Rocks-Black/Albany Academy: Lightning quick point guard. Pressure does not bother him at all. Can split or go around double teams and makes it look easy. Gets into the paint at will off his quickness. Shoots very well from 3-point land. Some very tough finishes, and a dunk in traffic here. Looks to score first, but can also create for others. James Madison, Boston Univ. and Siena show early interest.
Cheyenne Nettleton (5-10 point guard) NY RENS/Brooklyn Collegiate: True point guard. Very unselfish, but can use his quickness to get to the rim and finishes when his team needs a bucket. Great finisher, several “and-ones” here. Uses either hand so well on shots that he appears ambidexterous. Runs the show, a real leader. Very fast in transition. Great in open court. Gritty, aggressive defender.
Marcus Jackson (2-8 center) City Rocks-Orange/Albany Academy: Huge wide body (270 pounds). Very physical and carves out space on the low block. Not very athletic, but outstanding at getting position to rebound. Soft touch around the rim, nice jump hooks both ways. Takes up a lot of space on defense and protects the rim, hard to score over. Plays with energy. Good communicator on the court.
Brandon Laforest (6-1 guard) City Rocks-Orange/Cohoes H.S.: Super athlete, dunks in traffic. Deceptive athlete. Great handle, gets past defense with series of crossovers. Can shoot if defender lays off to guard his quickness. Can sky for rebounds against bigs. Small body, but unbelievable quickness and leaping ability.
Jaquan Robinson (6-1 forward) Pure Basketball/Carteret H.S.: Silky smooth jumper. He can knock down 3’s and also has a great pull-up jumper. Scores with back to the basket with fade-away jumpers, or can face up to take a defender off the bounce either way. Gets to the rim and finishes against contact. Long, athletic body that can guard multiple spots. Hit big shots here.
Vinnie Clifford (6-3 forward) Boston Warriors/Danvers H.S.: Great shooter. If left open he will not miss. Versatile player. Can hit pull-up jumper if being pressed. Smart player who only takes good shots. Long athletic body, long arms. Can play multiple positions. High court IQ, he takes what the defense gives him. Plays either forward spot.
Elija Baily (6-2 guard) NY RENS: Rising sophomore, playing up a level. Unbelievable finisher and great athletes, one of the best athletes at any level here. Really gets off the ground for rebounds. Finishes everything, even when he’s fouled. Not just an “athlete” â€¦ he can handle against pressure and makes teammates better. Plays with energy and passion.
Anthony Carr (6-2 guard) Philly Triple Threat-Carr/Abington Friends H.S.: A rising sophomore who played up a level here, but looked like he belonged. Not overly fast or quick but his ballhandling ability allows him to beat defenders off the dribble at will. Good passer and patient. Rarely makes a bad decision. Good shooter from three-point territory.
Joel Wincowski (6-2 guard) Northeast Shooters/Lake George H.S.: Already a very good point guard. Because of size, shooting ability, he can also play both guard spots. Good, straight-line drives to the hoop. He is a deadly shooter from deep and is equally dangerous from id range. Excellkent passer who is like most coaches’ sons â€¦ always a step ahead of the defense.
Joey Wallace (6-3 guard0 RAP Elite/Immaculate H.S.: Bery good and confident scoring guard with ability and IQ to play both on and off the ball. Very good at creating shots off the dribble. Son of former Syracuse standout/NBA player John Wallace. Very good confidence with his shot off catch and dribble. Has a bright future, probably on D-I level.
Jay Sarkis (6-2 guard) Rap Elite/Greece Athena H.S.: Very good lead guard with the ability to score and play off the ball, as well. Very good shooter off the catch. Crafty finisher on tough drives to the basket. Very good playmaker and passer in both half-court and full-court situations. Also deceptively athletic. Outstanding at pushing it in transition. Projects to be a D-I player.
C.J. Davidson (5-8 point guard) Connecticut Elite/Notre Dame of Fairfield H.S.: Strong, powerful guard who shows the ability to really attack the paint.Good midrange pull-up jumper, and floater in the lane. Very strong player who can absorb contact and finish. Needs work on decision-making and being more efficiently offensively, but is very talented and projects to be a D-I player.
Jaqhawn Walters (6-5 forward) Connecticut Elite/University H.S.: A very good scorer. Currently projects to be a small forward, but he could well, at times, play the two-guard spot. Does most of his scoring off the dribble, attacking the rim. He has a very good hesitation dribble and finishes strong through contact. Decent thlete. A very good passer and playmaker for his size. Projects to be a D-I player.
16-UNDER DIVISION ALL-GYMRAT CHALLENGE HONORABLE MENTION
Malik Petteway (6- 6 forward) Connecticut Elite
Derron Dunbar (5-11 guard) Connecticut Elite
Justin Campbell (6-4 forward) Connecticut Elite
Tyler Stenglein (6-3 forward) RAP Elite
Steve Witherspoon (6-0) Philly Triple Threat
Kahlil Williams (6-2) Philly Triple Threat
Luke McLaughlin (6-4 forward) House of Sports
Sam Jefferson (6-3 forward) Bay State Jaguars
Joseph Stehads (5-10 guard) Philly Triple Threat
Dante Neal (6-0 guard) New England Storm-Silver
Noah Basket (5-9 point guard) New Jersey Thunder
Noah Neville (6-1 guard) Md. Hoopmasters
Maeem Pryor (6-1 guard) Dream Team
Nolan Smith, Dream Team
Andrew Druziak, Dream Team
Jair Davis (6-0 guard) Jersey Fusion Elite
Treyuan Ringgold (6-2 guard) Berkshire Elite
Kolbe Muzzy (5-11 guard) Berkshire Eagles
Dante Hatem (6-0 guard) Syracuse Nets
Cormac Battinger (6-8 center) Syracuse Nets
Tahleck Woekes, L.I. Lightning Mark-Gold
Liam Hagan, L.I. Lightning Mark-Gold
Patrick Jackson, L.I. Lightning Mark-Gold
Kaleb Bishop, Playaz (N.J.)Jacob Long (6-3 guard) CBSA Hoyas
Malik Burris (5-11 point guard) ICC Truth-Black
Aaron Ray (6-2 forward) BC Eagles-LaFrance
Ruben Jimenez (5-10 guard) BC Eagles-LaFrance
Kyle Gavin (6-4 forward) NC Blaze
Garrett Stephenson (6-6 center) NC Blaze
Elias Clayton (5-9 point guard) Team N.J. Select Stars
Dwayne Collins, Hoop City Ballers
Kyle Table, Hoop City Blallers
Thomas Foreman (5-10 point guard) House of Hoops
Nick DePasquale (5-7 point guard) House of Hoops
Chris Conway, YABC
Jordan Pease (6-5 forward) Lone Wolf Athletics
Josiah Kimball (6-3 guard) Lone Wolf Athletics
Glenn Wilkerson (5-9 gu8ard) Castle Knights
Bryan Familia (6-0 guard0 Castle Knights
Shakir John (6-3 forward) Make A Play
Michael Born (6-3 forward) Mass Premier Elite
Cameron Seely (6-5 forward) Mass Premier Elite
Dontel Henry (6-0 guard) NY Gauchos-Orange
Michael Corry (5-8 point guard) CWB-Green
Mason Dyslin (6-4 forward) CWB-Green
Andrew Anderson, Brampton Elite
Jordan Stevens, Anaconda All Stars
Najee Walls (6-0 guard) Jersey Shore Warriors
Zach Gillard (6-4 forward) Syracuse Select-Lobello
Ian Howard (6-3 forward) LP FAM Bandits
Andrew Anderson, Brampton Elite
Matthew Stanzi (6-2 guard) N.J. Thunder
Jacob Kaplan (5-10 point guard) N.J. Thunder
Doug Alexander (6-4 forward) N.J. Thunder
Najee Peters (6-3 forward) Buffalo United Dragons
Percy Bryant (5-9 point guard) Buffalo United Dragons
Davon Jones (5-11 guard) Worcester West Wolf Pack
Drew Vittom (6-4 forward) Worcester West Wolf Pack
Griffin Bennett (5-11 point guard) Worcester West Wolf Pack
Frank Rokins (6-5 forward) King Street Kings
Josh Carter (6-3 forward) King Street Kings
Chris O’Reilly (6-0 guard) Game 7 Sharks
Luke Mayell (5-9 point guard) Game 7 Sharks
Dillion Frawley (6-5 forward) Game 7 Sharks
Herbie Sexton, Anaconda All Stars
Tyler Dion (5-7 point guard) Blackstone Valley Chaos
Ian Hvoncich (6-4 forward) N.J. GymRatz
Kelly Zhartley, NY RENS
Rich Ross, NY RENS
Justin Carruthers (6-7 center) City Rocks-Orange
Brandon Gilder (6-3 forward) Pure Basketball
Phil Rogers, Boston Warriors
Mike Grassey (6-3 forward) Boston Warriors
15-UNDER GYMRAT AGE DIVISION
JARED RIVERS, LATE SHOT LIFTS RENS TO CHAMPIONSHIP
SCHENECTADY – Two years ago when guard Jared Rivers was the Most Valuable GymRat (MVG) of the GymRat CHALLENGE 13:U Age Division, he exhibited a rare ability to score points with an above average long-range shooting ability.
Skip ahead two years and the progression of Rivers as a player is noticeable. Listed at 5-foot-7 in 2011, he now measures about 5-11. He has also moved over to the point guard position for his current AAU program, the New York RENS.
One thing that has gone unchanged, though, is his ability to put up points in a hurry. He had a game-high 20 points in the RENS’ 15-under level championship-game 53-52 victory over the Albany City Rocks.
There’s one other thing about Rivers that is similar to his play here two years ago. He is, once again, an MVG, the Most Valuable GymRat, at this year’s 15-under division.
It is believed that the multi-talented guard, a rising sophomore at Christ The King High School, is the first two-time winner of an MVG award in the GymRat CHALLENGE’s 16 years of existence.
One other thing has changed. Two years ago he professed an eventual desire to play for North Carolina. Now, he said he’d also like to be considered to play at Duke. Lofty aspirations, indeed, but considering the success he’s having here, in his formative years, who’s to doubt he’ll ultimately reach that goal?
His play here over the years would indicate that those dreams aren’t that far-fetched. But, Rivers certainly didn’t do it by himself in the RENS’ championship run. With his team down by a point late in the game, he drove to the basket but his attempt bounced off the rim. Teammate Tyrone Cohen, a 6-foot-4 forward, followed up with the rebound/put-back basket off Rivers’ miss to account for the game-winning basket with four seconds left in the title contest.
The RENS, with fouls to give, gave one at the one-second mark. The City Rocks in-bounded from mid-court but only had enough time remaining for a half-court heave that didn’t come close and the RENS held on for the age-division championship.
Rivers, though, did much of the work as his team rallied from a 10-point early game deficit with his game-high 20 points. And, a team-wide effort on the defensive end kept the City Rocks close enough for the winners’ comeback. “I’m extremely proud of the effort out of our playes,” said RENS’ coach C.J. Council. “We were down by 10 points and we fought back. It would have been easy, when we were down, to give up. That we didn’t shows the growth this team has made since we started playing together only a few weeks ago.
“The kids hit shots, and that was important. But we’ve also been concentrating on getting a defensive mindset. We’ve got a good offensive team, but we knew if we could get the players to play defense that we could have some success, and our defense is what kept us in games here. We played better man-to-man defense. We communicated well defensively and had good defensive rotations.”
The RENS also had an effective offense directed by a two-time MVG in Rivers. “I can still score points, but I’m also learning how to be a point guard, too,” said Rivers. “I am honored to have won a second Most Valuable GymRat award.”
And, now, he’s got two more years of AAU eligibility to try to come back and earn yet another one.
15-UNDER DIVISION MVG (MOST VALUABLE GYMRAT)
Jared Rivers (5-11 guard) N.Y. RENS/Christ The King H.S.: A point guard who successfully made the switch over from the off guard he played two years ago in winning the under-13 MVG individual award in 2011. He has the ability to beat defenders off the dribble, and gets into the lane to stop and pop successfully. Does an excellent job in transition. Will make the scoring pass on the break. Also has outstanding long-range shooting ability. Led his team to the division’s championship.
15-UNDER ALL GYMRAT CHALLENGE TEAM
Justin Foreman (6-2 small forward) NY RENS/Christ The King H.S.: A very consistent player in all aspects of the game at all times. Very smooth on the court. He sees the entire court well. Goes hard to the basket and draws fouls, or will find the open man. He was the RENS’ top scorer in the GymRat on its way to a divisional championship.
Nate Ellenwood (6-3 forward) N.J. Thunder/Parsippany Christian: An extremely versatile forward, particularly on the offensive end. Good size for his age. He consistently hit the open shot here, and also showed an ability to take it to the hoop and finish. Outstanding long-range shooter, too, with range out to the bonus stripe.
Michael Rapoza (6-4 forward) Central Mass Swarm/Shepherd Hill Regional: A good-sized forward for his age. Outstanding work ethic helps him succeed. Works extremely hard on the defensive end, making life difficult for opposing offenses. Has the size to rebound well, and did so here. Good hands, catches everything. Also a good passer.
Kwe Askew (6-7 center) Stanford Peace/Stamford H.S.: Outstanding size for his age, and he puts it to good use. Really makes his presence felt on the defensive end. Blocks more than his share of shots, and those he doesn’t block he alters. Also active and effective as a rebounder, particularly on the offensive end. Looks to have a nice future.
Daniel Grant (5-10 point guard) Middletown’s Finest/Middletown H.S.: A true point guard who really sees the court. Very good, creative passer. He gets into the lane off the dribble and dishes to open teammates. Has a nice hesitation dribble. Also, a very capable shooter when left open. A valuable player who makes good decisions.
T.J. Wilson (6-3 forward) Middtown’s Finest/Pine Bush H.S.: Good size for this age level, and used it to his advantage, particularly for his team that otherwise lacked another “big.” Outstanding rebounder. Yet, he also displayed a nice mid-range jump shot and is athletic. Ran the court well at all times.
Anthony Gaines (6-4 small forward) Albany City Rocks-Black/Kingston H.S.: A very athletic player, a true small forward with nearly college-level size already. He can run and jump. Runs the floor better than most, and makes his teammates better. Has a knack for the ball and plays above the rim already. Tremendous potential.
Howard Washington Jr. (6-3 guard) Albany City Rocks-Black/Canisius H.S.: Good size for a guard at any level. And, he’s capable of playing some at the point. Sees the court well and makes his teammates better, particularly with his passing ability. Can make three-pointers with regularity. Bright future and should play at a high level.
Jayare Calura (5-11 guard) UPlay Canada/St. Jean Baebeuf School: A true point guard who knows how to run the show for a very good team. Was an integral part of a very nice team here. Has a nice handle that he uses to get past defenders and has the athleticism to finish with a finger roll. Also has a nice pull-up jumper if he gets stopped at mid range.
Tremont Waters (6-0 point guard) Team Scan/Green Farms Academy: Extremely quick point guard who gets to whare he wants and sees the court well. Outstanding passer who makes his teammates better. Gets into the lane and dishes to open teammates. Also, an outstanding on-ball defender.
Hassan French (6-5 power forward) Team Scan/Middletown H,.S.: A lefty who already has the size to be an effective power player. He is big and physical and uses his size/strength to finish strongly around the basket. He will block shots on the defensive end, and alters many others. Already playing well above the rim.
Unique McClean (6-1 shooting guard) Team Scan/Hoosac School: An athletic left-hander that really can shoot the ball. He gets after it on the offensive end. Has exceptional range on his jumper. Yet, he’ll keep defenses honest by going past opponents and getting to the hoop. Athletic enough to play above the rim.
Will Brady (6-0 shooting guard) Stamford Peace/Ridgefield H.S.: A very good shooter who also really knows how to play. Fundamentals are there. Very nice form on his jumper, squares up well. Has range out beyond the three-point line. He always seems to make positive things happen when he has the ball.
Luke Rosinski (6-7 center) DeMarcus Cousins Blue Devils/Pinkerton H.S.: Already good size, particularly at this level. Has good hands and footwork. Very mobile player for his size, and he uses his mobility and size to be an effective finisher around the hoop. Strong defender, too. He blocks and/or alters a lot of shots.
Destin Blunt (6-2 forward) Syracuse Select-Roland/Henninger H.S.: A small forward with the quickness to get past defenders and to the hoop. Runs the floor extremely well. Strong ability to score points, particularly around the hoop. He is a very smooth finisher. Also runs the floor very well.
Jaydakis Scott (5-8 point guard) Syracuse Select-Roland/Liverpool H.S.: An extremely quick point guard who can run the team and also score himself. Very nice cross-over move that enables him to get to the hoop. Once in the lane, though, if he draws defenders to him he is very adept at getting others involved.
Ray Salnave (6-1 shooting guard) NY Gauchos/Cardozza H.S.: One of the best shooters in the tournament. He can score just about from anywhere. Can shoot off the dribble, and can shoot from deep corner. Could probably score more, but is a very unselfish player. Very good passer, particularly in transition.
Matthew Kearns (6-0 point guard) Basketball 2 The Limit/Belmont H.S.: A true point guard who really runs the show for his team. Very clutch player who came up big here when needed the most. Also capable of making deep three-pointers. Nice cross-over dribble and inside hand change. A true coach’s delight.
Nino Leone (6-5 center) Shooting Stars Mass/Pingree H.S.: A wide body who is very difficult to stop in the low post. Big and strong player. Uses his size/strength to draw fouls and get to the line. Not hesitant to set very effective screens. Has outstanding hands and catches everything thrown to him. Also, very strong rebounder.
Keith McGee (6-1 point guard) Upstate Elite/Bishop Kearney H.S.: Very quick point guard with a terrific first step that allows him to get past defenders and get to the hoop. Outstanding shasher who gets into the lane and can hit the floater. Also displays a good mid-range jumper.
Joshua Tyrell (6-3 center/forward) BQ Warriors/ENY Transit Tech): Runs the court very well. An athletic player who finishes nicely around the basket. An aggressive, relentless rebounder who is agile for his size. Really gets after it on the offensive boards. Outstanding shot blocker who also alters shots.
Josh Sharkey (5-8 point guard) Philly Triple Threat/Kennedy-Abington Friends School: He forces the action by pushing the ball up court. Absolutely fearless when challenging bigger players. Very clever with the ball. Can make the three-point shot. Threads the needle with passes and really shares the ball. Outstanding perimeter defender who comes up with an abundance of steals.
Nazeer Bostick (6-2 small forward) Philly Triple Threat/Kennedy-MCS: Showed exceptional athleticism while here, and he uses that to his advantage. A player who gets off the floor well, and quickly. Uses quickness to get past defenders to slash to the basket. Quick hands on defense, gets steals and oes to the other end to finish.
Quincy Aubertine (6-2 forward) Syracuse Select-Roland/Thousand Island H.S.: A pleasure to watch as he is such a fundamentally sound player. Contributes in many ways and looks like he’ll get even better. Shoots from the perimeter, shots and scores getting to the hoop. Sets nice screens for teammates. Very unselfish, coach’s delight-type player.
Jamal Allen (5-9 guard) Shooting Stars Mass/Lexington H.S.: Has overcome physical obstacles to become a very effective player. Outstanding shooter with three point range and nice rotation on his shot. Also finishes well in transition, running the floor and scoring. Creative player and finds a way to finish. Clearly a determined player that is easy to admire.
Isaiah Wingfield (5-10 point guard) South Jersey All Stars/Bishop Eustace H.S.: Handles and distributes the ball very well. A real point guard. Showed a decent jump shot here. Comes up with numerous steals, more than his share. Knows how to be effective at both ends, and to make his team better. Important player for any good team.
Maliq Sanders (6-4 small forward) South Jersey All Stars/Eastern H.S.: Long, lean true small forward with great potential. Can shoot from perimeter with feet set. His athleticism is a plus at both ends. A long-armed player who causes problems for opponents, both getting steals and blocking shots.
Andrew Platek (6-3 small forward) Albany City Rocks-Hart/Guilderland): An excellent 3-point shooter, particularly effective when his feet are set. Very smart player, good court awareness. Doesn’t overdo things, he lets the game come to him. Doesn’t commit many turnovers, boxes out well when in rebounding position. Has a quick release on shot.
Tareik Snow (6-5 forward) ICC Truth-Gold/Charlotte H.S.: Long, lanky and athletic â€¦ already good size for his position, particularly at this level. Great leaping ability helps more. Displays quick spin moves around the hoop that get him position to use his height. Helped his team get to the semifinal round here. Excellent potential.
15-UNDER ALL-GYMRAT HONORABLE MENTION
Ezekiel Damasio (6-5 center) New York Pride
Anthony Nappi (6-0 guard) New York Pride
Marcus Davis (6-0 forward) Ct. Elite
Chris Lyons (6-5 forward) Ct. Elite
John Howland (6-4 forward) Team Mass
Brian Callahan (6-5 center) Team Mass
Sal Arena (6-3 forward) Albany City Rocks
Brian Carley (6-6 center) New Jersey Tarheels
Mike Laster (5-10 point guard) Castle Athletics
Matt Latka (6-3 small forward) Playaz
Omar Mustafa (5-10 guard) Playaz
David Garcia (5-11 guard) Rock Elite Basketball
Devan Lawson (6-2 small forward) Rock Elite Basketball
Max Mahoney (6-4 forward) House of Hoops
Clifton Clark Jr. (5-11 guard) Bay State Magic)
Wesley Lafleur (5-7 pint guard) Pure Basketball
Christian Vital (6-0 guard) Team Scan
Ryan Morrissey (5-9 point guard) South Shore Wolf Pack
Elijah Miller (5-10 guard) Brompton Warriors
Bryan Mareus (6-2 forward) SNEBC
Jalen Latta (6-1 guard) Stamford Peace
Addis Ralph (6-5 center) Team Jersey Elite
Ricky Allen (5-8 point guard) RAP Livonia
Grant Goode (6-3 power forward) Central Jersey Hawks-Blue
Kyree Fuller (6-0 guard) Philly Triple Threat
Malik McLeod (5-6 guard) Lake Champlain Lakers
Keith Brown (6-1 guard) New England Storm-Black
Mitchell Petka (6-6 center) New England Storm-Black
Nathaniel Auzenbergs (6-3 forward) Blackstone Valley Chaos
Dwight Anderson (6-3 forward) Blackstone Valley Chaos
Raliek Redd (5-8 point guard) Rebels
Bobbie Leslie (5-11 guard) Syracuse Select
Steven Low (6-2 forward) Mike’s Dogs
Travis Alvarez (6-5 center) C.J. Hawks-White
Zach Howarth (5-11 guard) St. John Vianney
Steve Ruez (5-8 point guard) Syracuse Select
Brent Piontkowski (6-4 center) Rock Solid
Mike Arias (5-5 guard) Rockland ?rockets
Josh Bradanese (6-6 power forward) New England Storm-Silver
Robbie Couyoumijian (5-9 guard) New England Storm-Silver
Brandon Langston (5-6 point guard) Anaconda All Stars
Tim Fitzgerald (5-8 guard) Basketball 2 The Limit
Naee Taylor (6-5 center) NY RENS
Tyrone Cohen (6-4 forward (NY RENS
Ross Carter (6-5 forward) Shooting Stars Mass
Steven Torre (6-0 guard) L.I. Lightning
Maurice Brown (5-6 point guard) SUSA
Devan harris (5-7 point guard) SUSA
Timmy Perry (6-5 center) South Jersey All Stars
Justin Williams (6-1 guard) South Jersey All Stars
Quinton Rose (6-5 forward) ICC Truth-Gold
Victor Montenegro (6-4 center) NY Gauchos
Justin Andrew (5-8 guard) UPlay Canada
Andy Ngobilia (6-4 center) UPlay Canada
Trey Shifflett (5-10 guard) York Ballers
Broguen Nicholas (5-10 guard) York Ballers
Camron Winston (6-1 forward) NY RENS
14-Under GymRat Age Division
Prime Time Ballers Earn Crown That Slipped Away Last Year
SARATOGA SPRINGS — Call it vindication. Or, call it delayed satisfaction.
Call it whatever you want, but it took a full year for the Prime Time Ballers to capture a GymRat age-division championship that members of the program thought should have been theirs a year ago.
Most of this year’s team played at the 13-under level in 2012, advanced to the championship game and saw their chance to win a title shattered by a questionable technical foul call against coach Gerard Iglesia with a second remaining in what had been a tied game. Instead of having a chance to win the championship in overtime, the Ballers’ opponent made the awarded free throw to win the game, and the GymRat crown, in regulation play.
A year later, the Prime Time Ballers left no doubt about having a championship-game outcome determined by an official’s whistle. The Rochester, N.Y., based team pulled away from a close game early to earn a 59-43 championship game victory at the 14-under age level over UPlay of Canada, which was seeking to become only the second non-U.S. team to win a GymRat crown.
Instead, the Ballers finally captured a tournamet title it thought it should have won … or, at least, had a chance to win … a year ago.
“Oh, yeah … we definitely remembered what happened to us a year ago,” said Iglesia.
“This means a lot to us,” said Earl English, a steady guard who was named the age level’s MVG (Most Valuable GymRat). “Most of the guys on this year’s team went through what happened to us last year. We definitely remembered … and, that made us more hungry to come back and win this season.”
The Prime Time squad played with a style that defines “hungry,” hustling at both ends for loose balls, for rebounds and finding openings in the opposition’s defense.
And English, a 5-foot-10, 190-pound physically mature-beyond-his-years player, was in the middle of all of that. “The things I do best are play defense, rebound and hustle,” he said. “I also move the ball … I really depend on my teammates.” English also brings a consistently, and at times spectacular, performance to the court. While teammate Jalen Pickett had a game-high 19 points in the championship contest, Earl was the only Prime Time player to score in double figures in all of his team’s championship bracket games, including 11 in the title contest.
English isn’t the only member of the team that embraces the oft-overlooked aspects of the game. “Above everything else this team defends well,” said Iglesia. “We also had very unselfish ball movement and the guys play hard and they play smart. As for Earl … he plays hard defense, he gets rebounds and he’s a real explosive player who goes hard all the time.”
It was a recipe not only for success this season, but for some vindication for a lost opportunity of a year ago.
14-UNDER AGE DIVISION MVG (MOST VALUABLE GYMRAT)
Earl English (5-10 guard) Prime Time Ballers/Wilson H.S.: Already a physically mature and strong (190-pound) guard who uses his size strength to great advantage, particularly while performing the game’s “dirty work.” Showed an above-average rebounding ability here, and the desire to play hard-nosed defense. That’s not to say he’s not equally as good on the offensive end, where he showed both good long-range shooting ability, and a proclivity for getting inside and using his strength to score.
14-UNDER AGE DIVISION ALL-GYMRAT CHALLENGE TEAM
Manley Dorme (6-3 forward) Rock Elite/St. Anthony’s H.S.: Very good rebounder for his size. Showed an ability to get up and down the court on every position. Exhibed some very good low-post moves. Very long arms, which he uses to his advantage at both ends. Terrific “ups,” and plays well above the rim already.
Darien Perez (6-0 guard) Pa. Capital Elite/Susquehanna Township: Very good ball handler, particularly for his size. Complete player who can handle the ball, make good passes, and contribute on the offensive end with his own scoring. Gets inside and finishes around the basket. Just a very complete player.
Aeneas Carter (5-8 guard) Pa. Capital Elite/Susquehanna Township: Just a good player. Very active on the defensive end, particularly around the ball. Makes life difficult for his assignment. Can shoot the three-pointer regularly. Exhibited a good knowledge of the game. Rarely makes mistakes on either end.
Shandare Figgins (6-3 forward) Prime Time Ballers/Uprep: Outstanding wing player who uses his relative length to great advantage at this level on both ends of the court. Shoots three-pointers, and is tall enough to get his shot off against perimeter defenders. Can also handle the ball well in transition, and is effective as a defender.
Winston Britton (5-1 guard) Rock Elite/Pomona Middle School: True point guard who has a great “handle.” He pushes the ball in transition and finds the right player to deliver it to every single time. Impossible to guard when he’s on the move with the ball. Has exceptional floor vision, seems to know where every teammate is at all times.
Chauncy Hawkins (5-6 guard) Rock Elite/Booker T. Washington Middle School: Extremely “heady” point guard in every aspect. Really showed a great knowledge of how to play the position. Uses dribbling skills to get where he wants on the court every trip and, then, is a great passer off the dribble.
Laquan Robinson (5-5 guard) L.I. Lightning/Williamsburg Collegiate Charter: Outstanding defender, one of the best on-ball defenders at this level. Uses quickness to stay in front of his man and make life difficult for him. Also runs the floor well, always looking to get out on the break with the ball.
Kobe Miranda (5-10 guard) N.Y. Pride/Stepinac H.S.: Very quick guard who uses his speed/quickness to get past defenders and get to the rim. He attacks the paint and can finish once he gets there. Very good in the transition game. Showed very good court sense on both ends. Seems to anticipate what’s going to happen.
Jeffery Wetzel (5-8 guard) CBSA Hoyas/Western Heights Middle School: A true point guard … a floor general who really sees what’s happening at the court. Very good “handle,” which he uses to get in position to deliver passes to open teammates. Clutch player who played poised late in close games here.
Marcus Thomas (5-10 forward) Kingston Comets/Miller Middle School: Good aggressive player who goes to the basket strong, and tries to do so whenever he sees an opening. He plays passing lanes on defensive end very well. Very good rebounder from his position.
Donte Nardi (5-6 guard) Kingston Comets/Miller Middle School: Outstanding guard, primarily at the point where he truly runs the offense. Has outstanding court vision. Seemingly has an “instinctive” command of the game and how to deliver passes to open teammates. Showed ability to drive to the basket, too.
George Davis (5-11 foward) Next Level/CVU: A “big” player who runs the floor well. Uses athleticism and quickness to his benefit at both ends. Those traits, and hard work, makes him a terrific on-ball defender. On offensive end, he sees the floor well and takes advantage either to score himself or find teammates.
Nate Kellar (5-6 guard) Syracuse Select/Marcellus H.S.: Outstanding ball-handler. A true point guard with all the requisite skills. Very active on both ends, both in moving the ball around the court on offense and playing defense. Shows terrific instinct, really sees the floor and seems to anticipate what’s going to happen.
Tyla Papallo (5-6 guard) Ct. Defenders/Woodrow Wilson H.S.: Good overall point guard skills. Handles the ball well, moves it around, delivers good passes to teammates in position for them to score. Very active defender. Moves feet well on the defensive end, and takes advantage of his own quickness on both ends.
Preston Taylor (5-9 point guard) City Rocks-Scott/Broadalbin Perth H.S.: Good, strong point guard. Has good size/strength for his position at this level, and takes advantage of it. Very solid defensively. Knows how to run an offense. Sees the floor well and finds open teammates for good shots.
Liam Tubman (6-6 foward/center) Ottawa Phoenix/Sir Robert Borden H.S.: Very “long” player, exceptional height for this level and knows how to use it. Still very slender and needs upper body strength. But, a terrific project/prospect. Looks like he could be a D-I player with added strength.
Khalik Prescod (6-2 forward) Ottawa Phoenix/Bill Crother H.S.: Good height and a strong body already. Runs the floor extemely well for his size. Very athletic player. Capablle of playing either forward spot with requisite skills for either position. Very good passer for a forward, find sopen teammates.
Justyn Lacy (5-9 guard) City Rocks-Black/Catskill H.S.: One of the better 3-point shooters in his age division, knocks them down when he’s open. Prototypical off-guard skills. Moves well without the ball. Adept at losing his defender and getting in position to receive a pass and be in position to take a shot.
Issiah Charles (5-2 guard) Rockland Rockets/Suffern Middle School: Very good ball-handler, all the requisite point guard skills for this age level. Knows how to set and offense and run it under pressure. Has quick feet that he uses to his advantage at both ends. Very complete player.
Jordan Holmes (5-7 guard) Eastside Rochester/Fairport: A good shooter who has a pure, fluid shot. Shows great poise with clock winding down. Good handle from the off-guard position. Great off-the-ball movement. Knows how to get himself open.
Carlens Vilfort (5-10 forward) Rockland Rockets/Fieldstone Middle School: Dominant low-post player at this level. Has enough size, for now, to be effective on the blocks. Has very good moves with his back to the basket. If he continues to grow, he’ll be effective on the block as he progresses.
Dan Damico (5-10 forward) Syracuse Slect/Christian Brothers Academy: A solid presence around the rim, and enough height at this level to be so. He elevates well, and quickly. Strong body with tremendous strength, which he uses to his advantage inside. Can effectively finish in traffic with either hand.
Derek Wagner (5-8 point guard) Castle Athletics/A. Philip Randolph School: A prototypical point guard who really controls play at both ends of the court … a true floor general both on offense and defense. Quick, and really pushes the ball in transition. Good court vision and distributes the ball well in both half- and full-court situations.
Allen Samuel (6-2 forward) Pa. Capital/Susquehnna School: Good length and uses it to have tremendous shot-blocking ability. Runs the court at all times, rim to rim. Seems to get his hands on every rebound within two or three feet of him. Has good offensive power moves off the block.
Ro Hamilton (5-9 guard) B.C. Eagles/Middletown H.S.: Great passer from the point-guard position. Sees floor extremely well, particularly in transition, and delivers the ball to open teammates. Constantly moving with or without the ball. Really understands the game. Solid defender, who has active hands in the passing lanes to get deflections/steals.
Marique Simkin (5-8 point guard) Primetime Ballers/UPrep: Excellent point guard with all the requisite skills. Outstanding ball-handler, good court vision, delivers good passes to open teammates. High motor. Plays hard on both ends of the court with 100 percent confidence in his game. Strong defender.
Habib Bechir (5-10 forward) UPlay Canada/ACMT: Excellent leaping ability, and uses that skill to be an effective shot-blocker. Gets his feet in the lane, on attack, every time he touches the ball on offense. Good handle in the open floor. Can knock down the 3, but not consistently. Finishes on the left or right side of the rim with ease. Looks like he can become a high-level player.
Isiah Mucius (6-3 forward) L.I. Lightning/Fessenden: Good-sized forward already. Showed enough athleticism to play the position. As body matures, should continue to develop into a very good player. On the offensive end, showed an above-average mid-range pull-up jumper. Good in transition game.
Kevin Kangu (6-3 forward) UPlay Canada/ACMT: Can really defend both on the block and the wing. Knocks down 3’s in transition and in the half court. Runs lanes very well. Silky smooth playing style. Leaping ability has him playing above the rim already. Handles the ball like a point guard. Has a good mid-range jumper. Can out jump any player on the floor. One of the top two or three players here at this age level.
Dan Masino (5-11 point guard) Eastside Rochester/Fairport H.S.: Can hit mid-range jumper with regularity. Attacks the rim from top of the key or from the wing, and finishes. Directs traffic on the offensive end. Despite shooting ability, is primarily a pass-first point guard, but will knock down the three-pointer if left open. Already good size for his position.
Jayden Martin (6-4 power forward) NY Pride/Immaculate H.S.: Already good size, and elevates and can finish at the rim. Runs the floor like a college big man. Powers up to the glass for both rebounds and shots. Can put the ball on the floor surprisingly well for his size, and gets to the rim off the dribble. Rips down rebounds. Tremendous shot-blocking ability at this level. Hits turn-around fade from mid-range. Can literall catch anything thrown in his direction.
Anthony Gadsden (6-0 forward) Connecticut Elite/High Horizons: Prototypical small forward at this level. Penetrates off the wing, but can also bang down low on the block. Not afraid to go into the lane, absorb contact in the air and finish. Defensively he forces opponents to change their shots. Elevates to retrieve the ball. Great nose for the ball, seems to get to more loose balls than most.
Omar Telfair (5-0 guard) Connecticut Elite/St. Annes School: Uses speed and quickness wisely. Varies his pace to great effect. Excellent full-court defender. Moves very quickly laterally, keeping in front of opposing players while on defense. Just a great passer … he sees all options in transition and makes the right decisions on passes. He also attacks the rim with intent to score, but is smart enough to dish off when he needs to.
Noah Gray (6-2 forward) Mass Elite/Luther Burbank Middle School: Can create his own shot from almost anywhere on the floor. Physically imposing frontcourt presence. Great help defender who always knows where the ball is. Can finish in traffic, both in the half court and in the transition game. Good overall shooter, with a nice touch when knocking down mid-range jumpers. Can defend either on the perimeter or in the post. Standout rebounder.
Michael DeMartinis (6-1 small forward) Mass Elite/Burlington H.S.: Polished offensive player who showed a consistent mid-range jumper throughout the tournament. Has ability to take his man on the box, and possesses a good jump hook from there. Outstanding passer, who made good decisions every time he touched the ball. Rugged defensive player, rebounds the ball well.
Jeff Coulter (6-2 foward) Syracuse Select-Pudney/Oneida School: Outstanding “handle” for his size, and does so with ease on the perimeter. Can put the ball on the floor effectively with either hand and go in either direction. Showed a good shooting ability here, hitting not only mid-range jumpers but also knocking down some three-pointers.
14-UNDER ALL-GYMRAT CHALLENGE HONORABLE MENTION
Carlen Vilfort (5-2 guard) Rockland Rockets
Eugene Ford (6-4 center) Albany City Rocks
Joey Hoffman (5-5 guard) Basketball to the Limit
Jordan Holmes (5-7 guard) East Side-Rochester
Kobe Miranda (5-10 forward) N.Y. Pride
Jonah Holtus (6-4 center) Ottawa Phoenix
Jalen Pickett (5-10 forward) Prime Time Ballers
Zach Plausini (6-0 forward) UPlay Canada
Derek Wagner (5-8 guard) Castle Athletics
Quintyn Flemister (5-5 guard) Pa. Capital Elite
Manley Dorme (6-3 forward) Rock Elite Basketball
13-UNDER AGE DIVISION
EASTSIDE HOOPS USED TALENT, TEAM PLAY TO CAPTURE GYMRAT CROWN
SARATOGA SPRINGS — It’s never easy to get a group of players to come together and play well as a team, particularly so early in the AAU season.
But, the Eastside Hoops team from Syracuse, NY, showed how it’s done in this year’s 13-under division of the GymRat CHALLENGE tournament.
The seven-man squad never emphasized one individual … although, it could have … and, instead, continually used a team-oriented style that found the open man for wide-open shots on the offensive end and played strong team defense on the other end.
“The key to any success we have is that the players on our team look out for each other,” said coach Eric LaClair. “They play together. They play with their head and their heart. When you have those things, you can win.” Which is exactly what Eastside Hoops did here, going unbeaten and capturing the 13-under division championship with a 48-38 victory over I.C. Truth Select of the Rochester area.
Eastside used all of that to overcome an early 9-1 disadvantage and, then, to take over after that. The Syracuse team wasn’t exactly devoid of individual talent. Its best player, 6-foot-0 forward Charles Pride played a style that fulfilled his surname … he played with pride, as well as skill at both ends.
Pride finished with a game-high 21 points in the championship game after a 26-point effort in the semifinal round. But, there was never a selfish aspect to his game. If he had a clear lane, he drove hard and successfully to the basket. Otherwise, he deferred to teammates who regularly made open shots.
“I’m a teacher, so I have a feel for working with kids,” said LaClair. “The idea is to get the kids to be committed to doing things the right way, and every player on our team embraces that philosophy. We really work on developing each player during our practices. We give them the opportunity for growth.”
It probably doesn’t hurt that the program has the nearby Syracuse University team to emulate. That program’s coach Jim Boeheim, on hand throughout the event to watch his son, a key reserve on the Eastside squad.
But the true “pride” of the team is its leading scorer, Charles Pride, whose skills belie his age. Is he a budding future member of the Syracuse program? “Hopefully,” he said. “I think basketball is my best sport.” But, he had to think about that. Pride’s athletic abilities also enable him to have success in another sporting activity. He is good enough in football, primarily as a quarterback, to pick Syracuse’s Christian Brothers Academy for his next stop after he graduates from middle school in June, not only for its quality of academics but for the opportunity to play both sports. “I just love to play sports, and wanted the opportunity to play both,” he said. “I guess I’m pretty good at scoring points in football, too.”
But, for now, football can wait as Pride showed that his style that fits perfectly into a team concept that helped Eastside Hoops capture a GymRat CHALLENGE championship.
13-UNDER MVG (MOST VALUABLE GYMRAT)
Charles Pride (6-0 forward) Eastside Hoops/CBA: Exciting to watch, he does it all. A two-sport athlete (also a football standout), he works hard at both ends. Great athleticism and plays bigger than his size. Can guard a point guard or switch to guard post players. Great rebounder on both ends. Unselfish, looks to get teammates involved. All but unstoppable at this level when he opts to drive to the basket. Gets to the hoop and finishes with ease, also a nice pull-up game. Scored 21 points in the championship game, and 26 in the semifinal round.
13-UNDER ALL GYMRAT CHALLENGE TEAM
Mike Adams-Woods (5-9 guard) Eastside Hoops/Henninger: A really talented combo guard who can shoot and pass. This youngster sees the court very well. A smart player who you can count on to make the smart play every time. A double-digit scorer throughout this tournament who also looks to get others involved by finding open teammates with good passes.
Corey Powell (5-10 guard/forward) ICC Truth Select/Gates Chili: A slasher that gets to the rim effortlessly. Can finish with both hands, and is quick to the basket off the dribble. Showed a nice mid-range game. Will hustle after all loose balls. Easy to project that he will be playing above the rim once he gets taller.
Shykell Brown (5-5 point guard) ICC Truth Select/Bishop Kearney: Mr. Consistency during this event. This guard sees everything going on all over the court. Very court savvy with great ball-handling skills. Great vision and court awareness. Also has double-digit scoring capabilities.
Jamal Fennell (6-1 Forward/Center) ICC Truth: A true big man at this level that gets after it on both ends. A real triple threat who can score, rebound and block shots. He will start the break with a monstrous rebound and crisp outlet, or get out on the break and finish with either hand. Hustles at all times.
Jay Symonds Jr. (6-1 forward) All For One/Melrose Middle School: A hustler who goes far and beyond in terms of all-out play. Already a solid big-man frame, he plays a versatile power game. Showed ability to score, rebound and pass. Type player every coach wants on the roster. True double-double threat in any game he plays.
Abdul Teslim (6-3 Center) All For One/Mission Hill School: A true center who already has broad shoulders. Many skills and an ability to play around the rim. Very exciting to watch. Great hands. Ability to be a double-double stat player in any game. Outstanding rebounder at both ends. Can also step out on the perimeter and match up on a guard defensively.
Daquan Carr (5-9 guard) Connecticut Elite/Sports and Medical Sciences Academy: A silky smooth guard that can beat opponents off the dribble, or step back and hit a jumper with no hesitation. A nice stroke from long range. Has a wonderful ability to create for helself. He also uses both hands effectively on the offensive end. A real offensive threat at all times.
Jose Perez (6-1 forward) NY Gauchos: A big and agile post player. He is a true presence in the middle of the lane. Already long and lanky, and uses his size to block shots with ease. Athletic and runs the floor well. Finishes with ease either on the break or in a half-court game.
Brian Amonte (5-7 guard) NY Gauchos: Standout guard that doesn’t mind getting physical in the low post. Has deceptive speed and is able to attack the rim at will. Also has a nice mid-range game. He truly forces teams to guard him at all time. Standout court leader, quick to step up and help settle down teammates.
Malek Williams (5-10 forward) Prime Time Ballers/Churchville: A big who likes to play with his back to the rim. A real hustler who goes hard to secure every rebound. Showed very good hands, and made some nice scoring moves after catching it in the post. Can start the break and can also get downcourt quickly to finish.
Jalen Pickett (5-8 guard) Prime Time Ballers/Aquinas: A combo guard with good court vision. Showed a nice outside shots that forces opponents to get up on him. Very smooth handle and can go either direction off the dribble. Looks to pass first, but will shoot when open. Great quick hands that enable him to get multiple steals.
Will Aybar (5-5 point guard) City Rocks Black/Lisha Kill School: An intense point guard with a great feel for the game. Very unselfish and strong team leader. Aggressively attacks a defense with his dribble and reads the help defense. Outstanding ability to draw defenders and, then, dish to open teammates. Effective leading the break in transition.
Marcus Filien (6-3 Center/forward) City Rocks Black/Goff Middle School: Long and lanking, he is learning to use his body effectively. Good hands and can finish around the hoop. Good power pivot and back-in post moves. Has high-post game, too. Runs the floor well for his size. Shot blocker who hustles in transition. Strong on glass and goes hard to get rebounds.
Shaquest Chavis (5-8 guard) NYC On Point: Lefty driver, always trying to get to the glass. Has a variety of moves and fakes to get past defenders. Overall a good athlete. Rebounds the ball at both ends. Excellent touch around the hoop and on tip-ins. Thinks up-court with pass and off the dribble. Very unselfish player.
13-UNDER GYMRAT HONORABLE MENTION
Isaiah Moll (5-11 forward) Albany City Rocks
Sloan Seymour (6-4 center) City Rocks-Black
Anthony Jean Pierre (5-11 forward) Albany City Rocks
Kyiev Bennermon (6-0 center) Albany City Rocks
Travevon Hendricks (5-9 forward) NY Pride
Pete Galgano (5-3 guard) NY Pride
James Criss (5-8 forward) NY Pride
Glenn O’Loughlin (6-1 center) NY Pride
Jared Chambliss (5-11 forward) United N.J.
Alex Mummert (5-5 guard) United N.J.
Keven Redler (6-0 center) Conn. Elite
Rasaun Russell (5-5 guard0 Conn. Elite
William Englehardt (6-2 center) Eastside Hoops
Luke Smith (5-6 guard) Eastside Hoops
Evan Roberts (6-1 center) BC Eagles
Kenny Primus (6-0 forward) BC Eagles
Will Barton (6-0 forward) York Ballers
Garrett Markey (5-7 guard) York Ballers
Fred Mulbah (5-5 guard) York Ballers
Danilo Romero (6-0 forward) Ring City Elite
hristopher Banks (6-0 forward) Ring City Elite
Justin Roseboro (6-1 center) Ring City Elite
Anthony Iglesia (4-8 guard) Prime Time Ballers
Thomas Jones (6-1 center) Prime Time Ballers
William Greer (5-11 forward) All For One
Jahvon Williams (5-11 forward) All For One
Dion Herrington (5-0 guard) NY Gauchos
Casey Stouffer (5-11 forward) Next Level
Matt Willis (5-11 forward) Ct. Defenders
Donnie Moore (5-6 guard) Md Hoop Masters
August Mahoney (5-5 guard) City Rocks-Black
12-UNDER AGE DIVISION
BOSTON WARRIORS’ PERSEVERANCE PAYS OFF WITH GYMRAT CHAMPIONSHIP
SARATOGA SPRINGS — Sometimes it takes more than just talent to win in a major tournament setting.
Just ask those around the Boston Warriors’ 12-under program who captured their age division at the GymRat CHALLENGE tournament at the Saratoga Recreation Center in Saratoga Springs on Sunday.
“Perseverance was a big key for us,” said Warriors’ coach Kevin OBoy.
Perseverance? Yes, that and a never-give-up philosophy.
It certainly would have been easy for the Warriors to figure their stay in this year’s GymRat tournament was going to be a short-lived one. The team lost its first game in pool play in overtime, after a foul call at the buzzer of regulation allowed the Warriors’ opponent to tie the game, and then go on and beat the Boston squad in overtime.
In game #2 of pool play, the Warriors were looking at an eight-point deficit with five minutes to go against the New York Gauchos, a vaunted AAU program. Had they lost that contest, they would not have advanced to the championship bracket.
But the Warriors persevered, rallying to beat the Gauchos and, eventually, getting to the championship bracket.
Once there, the team’s overall talent level took over … for the most part. There was one last bit of adversity to overcome. In the championship game, the Warriors trailed by five midway through the first half against the City Rocks.
The Warriors eventually overcame that last tough situation behind the early offensive play of 5-foot-11 forward James Gascoigne, who was named the age division’s MVG (Most Valuable GymRat). Gascoigne had 12 of his team’s first 15 points and 14 of its first 24, enabling the Warriors to stay within five points at halftime.
It was Gascoigne’s play on the defensive end early in the second half, with several key rebounds and three blocked shots, that spearheaded a second-half rally that saw the winners grab a 34-32 lead with 11:55 left in the championship game, and the Warriors never trailed again.
Gascoigne’s teammate, 5-8 guard Kevin OBoy, played like the coach’s son that he is with steady ball-handling and some offensive fireworks of his own in the second half. OBoy scored all 14 of his points after the Warriors took that 34-32 lead, enabling them to pull away for a 61-51 championship contest victory.
“We didn’t play as well as we could in the early games,” said Gascoigne, afterwards. “But, we never lost our confidence. We just kept playing tough defense. We think playing at that end is more important than what we do on the offensive end.”
Just as important, though, was the never-give-up attitude. “Even after our early game struggles, there was no time that we allowed ourselves to give up,” said OBoy, the Warriors’ coach. “We just kept telling each other to pick it up, and we did.”
And, that type of perseverance enabled the Warriors to keep overcoming early adversity, to keep winning, and, eventually, pick up its age-division championship.
12-UNDER MVG (MOST VALUABLE GYMRAT)
James Gascoigne (5-11 forward) Boston Warriors/Arlington School: He came up particularly big in the championship game with 14 first-half points and strong defense and rebounding in the second half. Already has a strong build. He is “money” from the high post, either shooting or driving. Has deceiving quickness. Can put it on the floor and pop up quickly. A worker inside, for rebound and outlet, or on put-backs. Good speed for his size. Has a mid-range game as well. Solid moves inside, including a jump hook. Uses his body well on box outs. Already has fundamentals foundation to play at a high level.
12-UNDER ALL GYMRAT CHALLENGE TEAM
Chris Camille (5-11 forward) Boston Warriors/Brookline School: A scoring threat who can turn it up when the game is on the line. Has three-point range, plus a pull-up jumper. He finds a way to the rim, particularly with his right hand. Gets off his feet to block shots. Has a huge upside. Sells his move effectively. A strong rebounder at both ends of the floor. Very good overall athlete. Alters a lot of shots on the defensive end.
Quaheem Holland (5-7 forward) City Rocks-Utica/Conklin Elementary: Excellent athlete with the best “ups” in the age group. A rebounding machine at both ends of the court. Crashes the boards hard. Moves well without the ball. Great court and basket sense. Has nice reverse lay-up move. Great body control, making him an effective shot-blocker. Nice offensive attack … has putbacks, pull-ups and drive moves. Looks to take over when game is on the line.
Symere Torrence (5-4 guard) City Rocks-Utica/Syracuse Science Academy: Just a player! Solid handle and offensive attack. Has pull-up jumper, draw and dish, floater, draw-and-finish, reverse lay-up and three-point shot. Crashes offensive boards. Really goes to get it. Good passer and athletic. Works on defense. Anticipates and creates steal situations. Quick hands to tie up an offense. Draws fouls. Excellent body control and basket awareness.
John Wilson (5-5 guard) Gauchos/Midwood Catholic Academy: Playmaking guard with a great feel for the defense and an ability to hit the open teammate. Driver who finishes at the hoop and gets to the foul line … leans in and draws fouls. Has a nice floater. Clutch shooter. A real team spark. He is at his best when the game is on the line.
Mike Ortale (5-5 guard) Albany City Rocks/Bethlehem Central: Very smart player who is fundamentally sound. Can nail the three-pointer, and had five in the championship game. Quick release on his shot … doesn’t need much room to get it off. Good handle, can break down a defense. Reads the help and dishes off. Unselfish player and sweet passer Good overall athlete.
Sam Dixon (5-5 guard) Central Mass Swarm.Ruggles Lane School: Gets into the pressing game, creates steals and, then, finishes. Excellent shooter, from 3-point range and in. Gets to the glass and has a nice pull-up jumper. Uses his body well to focus on drawing the foul and getting an “and one.” Regularly follows his shot. Very hard worker at both ends of the court.
Faust Ystueta (5-5 forward) Orange County Crusaders/Monroe-Woodbury Middle School: Fundamentally sound, aggressive player. Attacks the hoop, reads defense and finds open teammates. Boxes out bigger players and goes to get the ball. Crashes offensive boards. Nice high-post game. Anticipates on defense. Excellent touch around the basket (nice reverse layup ability). Smart player on both ends.
Duncan Tallman (5-6 guard) City Rocks Orange/Mohonasen Middle School: Excellent athlete who plays hard on both ends of the floor. Crashes the boards. Moves well without the ball, and has a great feel for the game. Solid triple threat attack from the perimeter and effective inside (nice power pivot and up-and-under moves). Unselfish team player. Gets in passing lane on defense. Good “ups.” Can put up points quickly. Streaky finish, but solid overall game and effort.
Solomon Neuhaus (5-4 guard) Lake Champlain Lakers/Plattsburgh Middle School: Fundamentally sound player. He goes hard to the glass on drives. Has good touch around the hoop when he gets there. Very active on defense. Stepped in to take a a charge. Willing to sacrifice his body against players much bigger. Very good understanding of the game. Boxes out well in rebounding situations.
Jordan King (4-11 point guard) Albany City Rocks/Brighter Choice Middle School: Sets the tempo for his team. Has a scorer’s mentality. Has deep 3-point range and quickness to get to the basket. Draw and dish game is solid. Works on defense, makes the steal and finishes at the other end. Heads-up player who makes things happen. Has a good handle in traffic.
Jaheim Young (5-8 power forward) NYC On Point/Schuyler Tech: Runs the floor like a guard. Very athletic playe. Really gets off his feet … quick “ups.” Showed good hands and also exhibited an ability to finish off plays around the rim. Just a strong rebounder. Pulls the ball in and controls it after grabbing missed shots. Showed a nice turnaround jumper inside the lane.
Jared Watkins (5-0 guard) NYC On Point/Mark Twain Middle School: Draw-and-dish player. Has some flash, yet completes plays for assists. Excellent in up-tempo, transition game. Very quick first step and has a very solid “handle.” Has a scorer’s mentality. Can shoot out to 3-point range and slightly beyond. Looks to step up and make big plays down the stretch of games.
Jason Mongeon (5-11 center) Central Mass Storm/Sutton Middle School: An effective shot-blocker. He is active on defense and moves well on the press. Anticipates well. An aggressive rebounder on both ends of the floor. He does all the “little things” to make his team better. Good moves to the basket after catching a pass. Has a very nice offensive touch around the rim.
Joseph Nuttall (5-5 guard) Central Mass Storm/Charlton Middle School: Heads-up point guard who sets the tempo on both ends of the floor. A hard worker who makes his team’s full-court pressure be effective. Anticipates and makes steals. Great attack out of triple threat. Great combo of moves to get by the defense. Gets to the glass and has a nice pull-up jumper. Scorer’s mentality, but also unselfish and finds open teammates. Plays hard.
12-UNDER GYMRAT CHALLENGE HONORABLE MENTION
Kevin OBoy (5-8 guard/forward) Boston Warriors
Shane O’Dell (5-5 forward) Anaconda All-Stars
Jalani Abdul Aziz (5-6 forward) Anaconda All-Stars
Markel Lake (5-0 guard) NY Gauchos
Aaron Davis (5-0 guard) NY Gauchos
Adam Cisse (5-9 forward) NY Gauchos
Tyler Phillips (5-8 forward) Lake Champlain Lakers
Doug Ngo-Hatchie (5-10 forward) Albany City Rocks
Jaire Currie (5-8 forward) Albany City Rocks
Abdias Carcamo (4-8 guard) NYC On Point
Cody Adams (5-7 guard) Central Mass Storm
Dominic Badalamente (5-8 forward) Orange County Crusaders
Connor Coffey (5-6 point guard) Orange County Crusaders
Justin Barnes (5-2 guard) City Rocks-Orange
Mike Mullen (5-0 point guard) City Rocks-Orange
Chase Tubo (5-0 guard) Md Hoop Masters
Javahn Showers (5-4 forward) Md Hoop Masters