2014 GymRat CHALLENGE TESTS SKILL & WILL TO BUILD REPUTATIONS
By STEVE AMEDIO
GymRat CHALLENGE Director of Communications
By now the GymRat CHALLENGE AAU boys’ basketball tournament has a well-earned reputation for showcasing the stars of tomorrow.
But this year’s 17th annual event, played at various sites throughout upstate New York’s Capital Region, was even much more than that.
The 2014 GynmRat not only created new reputations but polished up some already established ones.
Tony Sagona’s Jersey Shore Warriors’ team has long been recognized as one of the best in the east, if not anywhere nationally. And that was in evidence once again here.
The Warriors’ 17-under team captured its age-division championship in the 104-team field, the largest ever in any age bracket in the tournament’s history.
The Warriors’ championship was their fourth in the last five years and fifth overall since 1999. Sagona has been the program’s head coach over that time and his five GymRat titles is an unprecedented accomplishment. No other coach has won more than two titles in the same age division since the event’s inception.
Sagona’s program wasn’t the only one that polished up an already bright reputation here.
Upstate New York’s premier AAU organization, the City Rocks, made its presence known by winning championships at both the 15-under and 16-under level.
The 16-under team is coached by Jim Hart, the longtime Director of City Rocks’ operations, while the 15-under squad was under the supervision of Ralph Tucker, who got his first title trophy in 12 years of bringing teams to compete at the GymRat.
“We know there are always going to be great teams here,” said Hart, after collecting the hardware for the 16-under division title. “You’re not going to win here unless you play at your best. This is a big deal for our organization because of the significance of the tournament.”
The tournament itself also had its own reputation enhanced a little this year as well.
Big East Conference Supervisor of Officiating John Cahill reached out to the GymRat CHALLENGE this spring to begin an affiliation that brought 21 high-caliber officials to the event.
Cahill said he wanted to place the officials here so he could watch and evaluate perspective candidates for Big East positions under game conditions, a function that is set to continue in future GymRat CHALLENGE events.
Cahill, who took on the role of BIG EAST Supervisor in 2013 after 40 years as a game official, is basketball referring royalty. Cahill was assigned to 20 consecutive NCAA DIVISION I tournaments.from 1993 to 2012. In 2007, he received the prestigious Naismith Award as the top basketball official in the country. In addition, Cahill has officiated eleven Final Fours and ranks first all time in being assigned to seven NCAA Championship Games, including the 2012 title game that featured Louisville and Michigan.
“I first became aware of the GymRat CHALLENGE when my son (John, Jr. who later played at Boston College) participated in it”, said Cahill. “I was immediately impressed with how well the event was run and the quality of talent that it attracted. When we started to evaluate events to host the Prospects Camp, the GymRat CHALLENGE was the first event that came to mind for both me and my son. I really think that this is a match made in Heaven that will prove to be beneficial for both the BIG EAST CONFERENCE and the GymRat CHALLENGE.”
But, the ultimate result always seems to be new players … the “next” generation of basketball stars … that make their personal breakthrough here.
All that started very early in the GymRat’s tenure when a young big man named Emeka Okafor was a virtual unknown until having a strong performance here.
Okafor has often spoken about how the confidence he gained from playing in the GymRat helped propel him to bigger things, including a national championship at UConn and a lengthy and still ongoing NBA career.
The GymRat has also seen the likes of Joakim Noah, Jimmer Fredette and Shabazz Napier make their first steps into the limelight here and, then, go on to bigger things.
Noah was this year’s NBA Defensive Player of the Year; Fredette led the country in scoring during his senior season at BYU and just completed his third NBA season; and, Napier helped UConn win two national titles and was recently named the MVP of this season’s NCAA Tournament.
Next? Who knows?
Maybe it will be still-slender Dave Krmpotich, a 6-8 forward for the Jersey Shore Warriors who was the MVG (Most Valuable GymRat) at the 17-under level.
Or, maybe, any of the other MVG’s from this year’s event, a talented assemblage of young performers aged 12-to-16.
Basketball fans should enjoy watching young players from this year’s event continue to progress to become tomorrow’s stars.
Reputations are built here, for sure. But, in some respects, the reputations of Sagona, the Albany City Rocks and the GymRat CHALLENGE itself have long been established.
This year’s tournament just made them shine just a little brighter.
17-U GymRat CHALLENGE Age Division REPORT
Another Year, Another Title For Jersey Shore Warriors
SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY — When the 17-under Age Division’s championship trophy was being handed out, it was mentioned that the award might eventually be named for Jersey Shore Warriors’ coach Tony Sagona.
After all, the Sagona-directed AAU program has won four of the last five GymRat 17-under championships and, now, an unprecedented five overall (1999, 2010, 2011, 2013 and 2014).
The top age level of the GymRat event has become like death and taxes … an almost foregone conclusion.
It doesn’t hurt that Sagona and his staff can bring together some of their region’s best high school players, athletes who are well-aware of the program’s insistence on fundamentals and team play. That type of atmosphere, by now, attracts a waiting list of athletes wanting to be part of the Warrior’s way of doing things the right way and the program’s reputation for getting players onto major college success.
Of course, it also helps to get the “right” kids to fit into the system.
“We get out to high school games during that season and talk to guys we think will fit into what we do,” said Sagona. “They are all high-character kids. Plus, we’re able to attract enough players. It helps to come up here with 10 or 11 guys who can play. You play so many games over the two days that it helps to have depth.”
It helps to have good players, too, and the Jersey Shore Warriors have had their share over the years. When the program won the 2010 GymRat title it had six players who eventually went on to play at the Division 1 level.
That year’s MVG was Rob Poole, a 6-5 swingman who just finished his junior season at Siena College and already has more than 1,000 career points.
In 2011, the MVG was the Warriors’ Stephen Vasturia, a 6-4 guard who averaged 6.4 points per game as a freshman at Notre Dame. Last year, the Warriors’ top player was 6-8 forward Dominique Uhl, who is headed for Iowa.
The current roster might come close to having a half-dozen D-1 prospects, too, led by event MVG (Most Valuable GymRat) Dave Kmpotich, a slender but talented 6-foot-8 forward who is adept both in the paint and on the perimeter with a skill set that is already attracting D-1 interest and is likely to bring more suitors as the AAU season progresses.
The Warriors couldn’t have been much more dominant here, facing just one single-digit outcome, a 50-45 victory over the New Jersey Thunder in the first round of championship bracket play. Kmpotich came up with a game-high 12 points to lead the way in that one.
Otherwise the team won its other six games in relatively easy fashion, including a resounding decision over the Wayne PAL/NJ Wolfpack in the championship contest that clearly demonstrated the Warrior’s depth and Sagona’s ability to keep his horses fresh as others begin to hit the proverbial wall.
Kmpotich also had a game-high 12 points in that contest, while tammate Pauilis Zalys chipped in with 10 points.
The Jersey Shore Warrior program is now in its 25th year of operation. No other AAU team has won at the 17-under level of this event more than twice.“I’m tremendously honored to be the event’s most-decorated coach,” said Sagona. “But, I’m happer for the kids. We love the tournament, and winning here gives the players great exposure.”
17-U GymRat CHALLENGE MVG-Most Valuable GymRat
Dave Krmpotich, 6-8 power forward, Jersey Shore Warriors/LaSalle College High School: The latest in the long line of standouts from the traditionally strong AAU program. Tough to pronounce last name, but you’ll want to remember it after watching him play. And, you’ll probably be hearing it a lot in coming years. He is athletic and long. Still growing into his frame, but already a college-level skill set. He has all the forward sills … a good rebounder, shot-blocker and has an effective shooting touch in the lane. Also, a coach’s dream with his effort on both ends of the court. He’s hearing from Ivy/Patriot league schools right now, but his performance here is likely to bring considerably higher-level interest.
17-U ALL-GymRat CHALLENGE TEAM
Jordan Little, 6-8 power forward, NJ Trailblazers 2014/Perth Amboy Vo-Tech: A long, athletic and high-energy player who runs the floor extremely well. Very active on the glass. Use his ize well to score on put-backs. Needs to add strength and work on skill set, but good upside. Has heard from MAAC school’s Saint Peter’s and Monmouth.
Mustafa Lawrence, 5-11 combo guard, NJ Trailblazers 2016/Newark Tech H.S.: An athletic scoring guard. Outstanding 3-point shooter. Makes play off the bounce and finishes through contact. Needs consistency, particularly on defensive end, but definite Div I prospect. Has some early interest from Oregon.
Ricky McGill, 6-2 point guard, House of Sports Elite 2015/Spring Valley H.S.: Excellent quickness. Excels in the open court. Has a good feel for the game. Drives with ability to find open teammates. Very good mid-range game. Quick hands on defense. Needs a little more range on his shot, but a Div. 1 prospect. Originally committed to Manhattan, but recrently opened up his recruiting again.
Kai Mitchell, 6-6 power forward, House of Sports Elite 2015/Spring Valley H.S.: A wide bidy strong forward. Has good hands and runs the floor well. Very good basketball instincts. Very good passer for the position. Has shooting range out to 15 feet Finishes well around the basket. Definitely a Div. 1 prospect.
Salim Green, 6-1 combo guard, House of Sports Elite/Rye Country Day School: Has above-average quickness. Attacks the basket regularly. Good passer off penetration. Excellent 3-point shooter with quick release. A catch-and-shoot player. Plays with high energy on both ends of the floor. A definite Div. 1 prospect.
Jonathan Nwanko, 6-9 center, House of Sports Elite/Scanlan H.S.: Athletic and long. He has huge upside. Runs the floor well for his size. Very good rebounder and finishes well around the basket. Good shot blocker. Could improve his perimeter skills. Projects to be a mid-to-high major Division 1 player.
Jake Silpe, 6-2 point guard, Jersey Shore Warriors 2015/Cherry Hill East H.S.: A tough, hard-nosed player. Has a high court IQ and makes excellent decisions. Good 3-point shooter. Has a nice pull-up game. Crafty with footwork in the paint. Really gets after it on the defensive end. Quick hands and will also step in and take charges. Division 1 prospect, hearing from some MAAC schools.
Paulis Zalya, 6-7 small forward, Jersey Shore Warriors 2015/Perkiomen School: Lithanian native with good upside. He is athletic and long. Runs the floor well. Skilled with the ability to make the trail 3-pointer. Must get stronger, but he attacks the boards and has good instincts around the basket. Division 1 prospect who has committed to Lafayette.
Jule Brown, 6-6 small forward, Jersey Shore Warriors 2015/Lower Merion H.S.: Athletic and long player that excels in transition. Finishes around the basket. Did show 3-point range here, but was more comfortable taking the ball to the basket. A running rebounder. Finishes well around the basket. Blocks shots because of his length. Committed to Penn of the Ivy League.
Cameron Jones, 6-2 off guard, Jersey Shore Warriors 2015/Pennsbury H.S.: A strong guard with the ability to score. Good 3-point shooter who can also finish off drives because of his strength. Very physical player. Division 1 prospect, already been offered by Rider of the MAAC.
Edvinus Rupkus, 6-4 wing, Jersey Shore Warriors 2015/Westtown School: A strong and physical player with a good skill set. Uses both hands and finishes drives very well. Strength allows him to finish through contact. Impacts the game on defensive end of the floor with physical play. Definite Div. 1 prospect.
Brandon Laforest, 6-2 combo guard, Albany City Rocks-Black/Cohoes H.S.: A strong and very athletic player. Good off the bounce. Good off the bounce. Finishes very well around the basket and is also a good 3-point shooter. Plays with great effort. Excellent free-throw shooter. Scored 28 in one game here. D-2 looks so far.
Peter Hoffman, 6-5 forward, Academic Basketball Club-Rubin/Haldane H.S.: Good “bounce,” long and lanky. A hard worker. Slides well on defense. Competes defensively. Solid handle. He can put the ball on the floor effectively with either hand. Good-enough passer for his position. Shooting range out to 3-point arc.
Elijah McNeely, 6-1 point guard, L.I. Lightning-Mark/Cardozo H.S.: An athletic point who makes effective use of hesitation and cross-over dribble moves to create offense. Good passer in traffic when drawing help. Gets into the lane and finishes with either hand at the rim against contact. He’s hearing from Niagara, George Washington and other mid-majors.
Javin Barton, 6-1 guard, L.I. Lightning-Mark/St. Mary’s H.S.: A very strong and athletic guard who really knows how to play. Very high court IQ. Mostly a shooting guard, but not afraid to give it up to find open teammates. Makes outstanding use of ball screens to find room for himself to score, or to draw a second defender and dish to someone else.
Kylan Guerrera, 5-10 point guard, New York Blazers/Archbishop Stepinac H.S.: He creates offensive effectively off the dribble. Uses a nice change of speed and direction dribbles. Also showed a nice shot fake to set up and create penetration. Makes 3’s off dribble and catch-and-shoot. Showed a nice ability to feed the post.
Andrew Groll, 6-7 post, New York Blazers/Byram Hills H.S.: A “big” who competes hard and effectively on the backboards on both ends. Also has a good offensive game and scores effectively on the blocks. Has a particularly good jump hook to his left shoulder. Outstanding free-throw shooter.
Derek Leohner, 6-1 guard, Central Jersey Hawks/CBA: An old-fashion guard who can play either backcourt role. Showed ability here to handle and run a team, yet also to play off the ball and be a scorer. Good change-of-speed dribble to create room for himself. Long-range shooter out to the 3-point arc.
Kevin Huerter, 6-4 guard, Shen Pride/Shenendehowa H.S.: A tall, true backcourt player who is comfortable at either guard position. Sees the floor well and is a willing and effective passer. High court IQ. Also, a gifted long-range shooter. Playing up an age level, but already attracting some low-to-mid Division 1 interest.
Brandon Fisher, 6-6 post, Shen Pride/Shenendehowa H.S.: A big-body post player whose passing skills help make a team better. Also, a good-enough shooter to step back and even make a 3. Drove it well from the arc to the rim off shot fakes here. Terrific hands … catches everything in the post and can score it inside.
Sean Hoehn, 6-2 guard, N.J. Thunder/St. Thomas Moore: A controlled, high IQ scoring point guard. Effectively uses a change-of-pace dribble to create penetration. He can score or pass off the drive. Very good shooter out to the 3 off pass and dribble. Willing, active and effective defender. Hearing from NE10’s and low-major schools.
Corey Sherman, 6-1 guard, Pa. Wildcats/Lower Merion H.S.: A very good shooter, even beyond the bonus arc, particularly off bounce and catch. Very high IQ player. He sees the floor and delivers the ball on time and on target Good change of speed and direction to create drives. For now, hearing from top D-3’s, but might draw higher interest.
Zach Radz, 6-1 guard, Capital District Lightning/Troy H.S.: Showed off very good hesitation and crossover-dribble moves to create penetration. Very effective finisher attacking the rim. Can also make 3’s off the catch-and-dribble. Terrific competitor. Plays hard every second. Very high court IQ. Starting to attract D-1 interest.
Donte Crumpler, 6-4 power forward, Monroe County All Stars/Charlotte H.S.: A very strong and athletic forward. He doesn’t shy away from contact. Very active athlete with great explosiveness and a how motor. Has a nose for the ball. Must always be boxed out because he chases every rebound. Outstanding offensive rebounder. Good finisher around the basket. At minimum, a high D-3 prospect.
Jon Wilson, 6-0 combo guard, Monroe County All Stars/Greece Arcadia H.S.: A competitive combo guard with great explosiveness and instincts. Uses a mixture of skill, quickness, instincts and aggressiveness to get to the rim. Uses his athleticism to finish through contact. Excellent scorer off the bounce. A natural playmaker with good court vision and willing to make the unselfish play. Not yet a great shooter and needs to add some bulk. Looks like A D-2 prospect right now.
Michael Manso, 5-8 point guard, Brick Shore Stars/Brick Memorial H.S.: Displayed outstanding point-guard skills and on-court leadership here. A good shooter who can also play off the ball. Has good court vision and a high basketball IQ. He still needs to add strength to contend with physical defenders, but room to grow.
Max Parks, 6-8 forward, CWB Basketball/Somers H.S.: A powerful and well-built 220-pounder. A post player who is a load on the block. Uses his body well to establish position on a defender. Does most of his work in the paint area right now. Limited offensive game at this point. Hearing from D-3’s, particularly Hobart.
Alex Laub, 6-8 forward, CWB Basketball-White/Somers H.S.: A solid big with a strong work ethic. Good touch on his shot out to the 15-foot range. Showed some quality offensive moves here. Needs to add a little builk. Very good handle for a forward of his size. Projects right now as good D-3 player.
Francis Oftring, 6-4 guard, Mass Premier Elite/Bishop Freehan H.S.: Terrific catch-and-shoot player. Plays well off the ball. Creates his own shots, yet also knows how to get open. Can put it on the floor to get to the basket. High basketball IQ for his position, and plays to his strengths. Needs to improve lateral quickness. Projects as D-3 player, maybe a little higher.
Ryan Boulter, 6-5 guard, Mass Premier Elite/Mansfield H.S.: Outstanding catch-and-shoot player at the off-guard position. Uses his size well and is a surprisingly effective offensive rebounder because he’s always on the move to get good position. Some physical/athletic limitations right now. Projects as a D-3 player, maybe a little higher.
Tremont Waters, 5-10 point guard, Northeast Basketball Club: Extremely quick point guard with a great first step and change of speed moves. Plays a controlled game. Gets where he wants off the dribble at will. Has ability to change direction. Excellent on-court leadership and strong character. Unselfish and heady. Good finishing ability. Good overall fee for the game. Projects as some level of D-1.
Mateek Langley, 6-8 forward, Northeast Basketball Club: Soft hands for his height. Catches everything and, then, finishes well around the rim, even against contact. Prefers to play with his back to the basket. Big enough right now to overpower most defenders. Also has a good set of post moves in his arsenal. Projects as a D1 player.
Lonnie Revira, 6-6 wing, Northeast Basketball Club: A well-rounded player who can do a variety of things to help his team win on both ends of the court. Showed an effective 3-point shot and mid-range game here. Very outstanding when he gets on the run in transition. Probably needs a higher motor and consistency to reach D-1 level, but has the ability.
Sam Jefferson, 6-3 combo guard, Bay State Jaguars/Newton North H.S.: A skilled guard with good size. He can play either backcourt spot and do it well. Can really shoot, including 3’s off the dribble. Has a nice step-back jumper out to 12 feet. Above average on-the-ball defender. To0ugh player and good teammate. Acadmic-minded D-2’s, D-3’s are looking.
Kaegahn O’Leary, 6-6 post, City Rocks-Bartlett/Queensbury H.S.: A strong, athletic post player who is an absolute terror on the offensive glass. Excellent finisher around the rim, even through contact. Runs the floor well in transition and can even handle the ball some while on the move and on the perimeter. Looks like a D-2 or D-3 standout.
Louie Pillari, 6-4 guard, N.J. Cyclones/CBA of New Jersey: A smart guard, very high IQ player who is productive at either guard position. Savvy player who can change speeds to beat defenders into the paint. Tremendous passer, particularly in transition. He absolutely buries the 12-to-15 foot pull-up jumper. Looks like low D-1 level player.
Jake Wisniewiski, 6-5 post, Worcester West Wolfpack/Quaboag H.S.: An active, physical and smart player that can scorer both in the paint and on the perimeter. Has great footwork on the block. Can score with either hand. Strong rebounder on both ends. Showed a nice shooting touch out to 15-foot range. Hearing from academic-minded D-3’s.
Zachary Sisera, 6-1 guard, Ontario Storm/John C. Birdlebough H.S.: A scoring guard who effectively moved over to the point here for an undermanned team. Really athletic with a quick first step and good leaping ability. Good outside shooter, but specializes in getting to the rim and finishing tough layups at the rim, even through contact. At least an eventual D-2 player.
Jamarr Joseph, 5-11 guard, Rockland Rockets/Spring Valley H.S.: A strong left-hander who can play any position from point to, even, power forward for some time. Mostly a physical, ahrd-playing wing who is a foce on the glass on both ends. Strong driver going left and gets to his spots and knocks down 15-foot pull-ups. Consistent open jump-shooter and finisher. Looks like a fit at D-2.
Isaac Ray, 5-11 point guard, Advanced Hoops/North Lebanon H.S.: A strong, penetrating point guard who makes his team go. Uses effective change of speed dribble and a good handle to get into the paint and score or kick. Decent and improving outside shooter. Projects to be an effective D-2 level player.
Kieran Hamilton, 5-10 point guard, NYC Jaguars/Dwight H.S.: A quick guard who is a flat-out playmaker. Fantastic to watch in transition. His team is better when he has the ball in his hands. Goes downhill in the half court and gets to the rim. Also a very good 3-point shooter with his feet set. Projects to be a low-D1 player.
Danel Banks, 6-2 point guard, East Orange Elite/East Orange Campus H.S.: A quick, savvy and skilled guard who is incredibly tough to defend. Great handle, which gets him wherever he wants to be on the floor. Exceptional shooter, even from 3 and off the dribble. Keeps teammates involved at all times, even when he is lighting it up. Projects to at least D-2.
Richard Byer-Russell, 6-0 guard, S.I. Musketeers/Curtis H.S.: Incredibly talented guard who flat out scores it. Downhill driver who gets to the rim at will and finishes tough plays. Has a nice pull-up jumper out to 12-foot range. Great on-ball defender. A real competitor who takes losses hard. Projects to at least D-2 level.
Caleb Sedore, 6-9 post, Syracuse Nets/Pulaski H.S.: Very long and agile; a true post. Great communicator in the middle. A presence on defense and covers a great deal of grand. Can catch and finish. Runs the floor hard and gives up his body. Rebounds because he works for position and meakes effort to box out. Good hands and footwork. Hearing from BU, Cornell, Binghamton, Columbia, Bucknell.
Patrick Jackson, 6-1 guard, Open Season/St. Mary’s H.S.: Strong explosive guard from either backcourt spot. Pushed pace well with dribble and passing ahead. Handle very tight either way. Can get all the way to the rim and has a pull-up jumper out to 3-point range. Quick hands on defense and gets into passing lanes. Great anticipatory skills. Constant man-to-man pressure. Never seemed to be tired. Hearing from Sacred Heart, low-major D-1’s.
Sam Lindgren, 6-6 small forward, Renegades-Nichols/Germantown Academy: Big guard/wing with high skill level. Shoots to 3-point stripe, but is also great at getting to rim and finishing with either hand. Will lull defender to sleep and change speed and direction to penetrate. Soft touch and plays bigure than stature. Works for offensive boards and has a nose for the ball. Academic D-1’s involved.
Hall Elisias, 6-7 power forward, Open Season/The Pennington School: Played up an age level. Great size and frame. Very strong and finishes with hard dunks. Agile with good footbwork. Great at offensive rebounding, put-backs and catch and finishes. Takes up space on defense and is a presence. Good timing to alter shots. Long arms allow him to close ground in rotations. Rim protector. Low D-1’s showing interest so far.
Quinton Bush, 6-6 power forward, Open Season/Upper Room School: A fierce competitor that plays with a chip on his shoulder and with a mean streak. Paint scorer on put-backs and catch-and-finish. Very physical with a strong frame. Defensively a rim protector and clogs up the paint. High energy, motor and emotions. Communicates well. Sacred Heart, low-D-1’s for now.
Clifton Tracey 6-6 small forward, Albany City Rocks-Black/Utica Proctor: Long, lanky athlete with huge upside. Can spring the floor and get to the hoop with ease. Nice release on jumper that is automatic when feet are set. Has range to 3 and is a good free-throw shooter. Good timing to block shots and makes uup ground on closeouts. Low D-1’s, D-2’s so far.
Albert Odero, 6-3 wing, Oneonta Hoosiers/Oneonta H.S.: Played up an age level. Just started playing 3 yeaers ago. A tall guard who can play any perimeter position. Great handle, very aggressive and deceptively strong getting to the hoop. Made shots out to 3-range when feet were set. Athletic and fearless defender. Blocked shots and kept good players in front of him. Capable of taking over at either end. D-1 mid-major prospect.
Tyler Jones, 5-9 point guard, Central Jersey Future Stars/The Pennington School: Pure point who makes teammates better with precise, correct reads and utilization of ball screens. Very tight handle either direction. Set shot behind arc was accurate with feet set or under ball screen. Defensively, he reads passing lanes well and is great in scramble situations. Played up a level. Some interest from St. Joe’s, other D-1’s.
LaTerrance Reed, 6-3 guard, Northeast Shooters/Canisius H.S.: Very quick, athletic and crafty with the ball. Played both backcourt spots well here. Good with the ball in his hands. Scorer in traffic, but if given space he will shoot and make the 3 with a good stroke. Scored 14.3 points per contest in three games here. WNY D-1’s Canisius, Buffalo, St. Bona’s looking.
Joel Winkowski, 6-2 guard, Northeast Shooters/Lake George H.S.: Capable of playing either guard spot. Outstanding long-range shooter (7-of-12 from 3-range here) and averaged 14.0 points in three games. Also can play the point and is a gifted and instinctive passer. Still slender frame needs some bulk. Siena, Boston Univ. have shown most interest so far.
William Rayman, 6-4 wing, Stamford Peace/Millbrook School: An athletic wing with long, lanky arms. Showed solid range, smooth stroke on 3’s. Can put the ball on the floor and is quick enough to get past smaller wings. Rebounds well from his position. Hearing from high D-3’,s some D-2’s.
Kwe Askew, 6-7 forward, Stamford Peace/Stamford H.S.: A rangy shot blocker that protects the rim and deters shots and penetration in the paint. Runs the floor very well. His offensive game is still developing but he cleans up misses for put-backs and finishes at the rim. New Haven has shown interest as have numerous NE-10 teams.
Shaun Ulrich, 6-9 forward, West PAL N.J. Wolfpack/Passaic Valley H.S.: Solid footwork, moves well in the paint. A long inside player who can step out and hit the 15-footer. Played very well in pool play here before a minor injury forced him out afterwards. Definite D-2 or higher prospect.
Donovan Fields, 5-10 point guard, N.Y. Gauchos/Newburgh Free Academy: A calm, cool and collected point guard. Kills you in so many ways. Scores off drives to the rim and is fearless in attacking the rim. Hits both mid-range and 3-point shots. Can also distribute and gets his teammates involved Great with pick-n-roll. Outstanding on-the-ball defender. Quick hands and anticipates well. Headed to Concord Prep next.
Jalen Jackson, 6-7 post, N.Y. Gauchos/Plainsfield H.S.: Athletic leaper. Difference maker on the boards and defensively. Uses his size and length to be an effective shot blocker. His athleticism alters many shots. Can score with his back to the basket, or can face up and drive. Has good moves in the paint.
Matt Penecale, 6-3 guard, Renegades-Nichols/Arlington H.S.: A smart player with a great court IQ. A left-handed combo guard that scores off drives to the rim, or on pull-up jumpers. Shoots the 3-point shot effectively. Has a quick crossover dribble and can break down a defense with his dribble. Smooth game. Ivy and Patriot league teams are involved.
Tristen Ross, 6-3 guard, Ottawa Phoenix/St. Johnsbury H.S.: A great shooter with terrific range. Good ability to put the ball on the floor and get to the rim. Strong player with a good handle. High court IQ and knows how to space and be in the right place. Patriot, Ivy league schools involved.
Gods Power Obide, 6-9 center, ICC Truth/Bishop Kearney H.S.: A prototypical “big” who checks in at 260 pounds. A beast inside. Huge player that eats up space on both ends. Decent footwork in the post and scores with either hand. Runs floor well and often beats guards up court. Size makes him a defensive presence. Headed for Pace Academy prep school in North Carolina. Rutgers, Liberty colleges showing interest, too.
Joe Cremo, 6-3 wing, SCOTIA/Scotia H.S.: A do-it-all player for his team. Scores well off the dribble, backing down smaller guards. Able to score off post-ups, dribble pull-ups and on 3-pointers. Rebounds hard and really competes. Unselfish player that makes his teammates better. Has given a verbal commitment to UAlbany.
Bob Casey, 6-0 guard, JB Hoops/Scranton Prep: A smart, heady guard. Left-hander who can shoot the lights out. Great passer and sees the floor extremely well. Competes and will get on the floor after loose balls. Defends hard and effectively. Sneaky/deceptively quick. Hearing from Ivy, Patriot league schools.
Luke Connaghan, 6-5 forward, Renegades-Nichols/Archbishop Wood: A do-it-all player. He scores mostly around the basket on either offensive rebounds or post ups. Has an ability to attack the basket, getting there with a dribble from 15 feet. Great motor on both ends of the floor. University of Sciences in Philly involved, as are other D-3’s.
Jason Dunne, 6-4 wing, Shoreshots-Dunne/Matawan Regional H.S.: A very effective scorer from all over the court. His jumper is effective from mid range or beyond the 3-point stripe, and he delivers either catching and shooting or off the bounce. His height and length makes it tough to block his shot. He also attacks and is able to finish above the rim. Bucknell, Monmouth and Army showing interest.
Javin Smith, 6-2 guard, Wayne PAL, N.J., Wolfpack/DePaul Catholic H.S.: An explosive combo guard. He is able to score in a variety of ways. An effective shooter, but truly excels in attacking the basket. His athleticism makes him a lockdown defender when he wants to be. Just outstanding in transition. Boston University showing interest.
Dwight Whitlock, 6-3 guard, Team Supernatural/Central Dauphin East H.S.: A very strong and athletic combo guard. In transition his athletic ability allows him to sky over the rim to finish. In the halfcourt he is capable of shooting beyond the 3-point line. His strength allows him to bully his way to the hoop. St. Francis looking. Low-to-mid major D-1 prospect.
Tristen Thompson, 6-5 power forward, Brampton Elite/Father Henry Carr School: A super athletic, powerful and aggressive forward. His high motor makes him an excellent rebounder in and out of his area as well as a lockdown defender. He excels using his strength and athleticism to attack the basket. His jumper is effective out to 15 feet. Several D-2’s involved, some low D1’s.
Jordan Roland, 6-1 guard, Syracuse Select-Lobella/Westhill H.S.: A quick, athletic guard that is capable of creating a shot whenever he wants. His athletic ability allows him to finish in the lane and over taller defenders. His pull-up midrange jumper is another weapon. His length and anticipation make him effective defensively, particularly in creating havoc in the passing lanes. George Washington, Marist, Bucknell interested.
Cameron Paul, 6-8 post, Team Supernatural/Cedar Cliff H.S.: A strong, big-bodied (260-pound) forward that is usually too much for high school defenders to guard. Tough to keep off the boards and he shows a great touch around the basket. Moves well in transition and is agile enough to move laterally when guarding the ball. George Mason, UNC-Greensboro showing interest.
Tyler Robinson, 6-0 guard, Kingston Knights/Kingston H.S.: May be one of the best shooters here at any level. Great mechanics on his shot and he shoots it effortlessly. He also has a quick release that requires very little space. Strong build and is able to drive past defenders that focus on his outside shot. Hearing from Harvard, Princeton.
Tyler Reynolds, 6-7 forward, Syracuse Select-Lobello/Westhill H.S.: A tough match up as his body/skill allows him to post up smaller defenders while bigs have a hard time staying in front of him and keeping him out of the lane. An effective shooter, which also gives defenders problems. Good court vision and a physical rebounder. Siena, UAlbany, St. Bona’s showing interest.
17U All-GymRat CHALLENGE Honorable Mention team
Yasim Smith, 6-3 point guard, NJ Trailblazers 2015
Peter Kiss, 6-4 wing, House of Sports Elite 2016
Luke McLaughlin, 6-6 small forward, House of Sports Elite 2015
Matt Walsh, 6-5 small forward, Jersey Shore Warriors 2015
Kevin Roberts Jr., 6-2 wing, Lightning Napolitano
Ryan San Filippo, 5-10 point guard, Lightning Napolitano
Chris O’Reilly, 6-0 pint guard, Game 7 Sharks
Justin Alleyne, 6-3 wing, Castle Athletic Knights
Guillen Smith, 6-2 wing, Basketball To The Limit-Black
Elijah Wilson, 6-3 wing, House of Sports Elite
Jonas Stakeliunas, 6-8 power forward, Jersey Shore Warriors
Kyle Stout, 6-5 small forward, Jersey Shore Warriors
Drew Pearson, 6-0 point guard, Academic Basketball Club-Rubin
Javion Ivory, 6-2 wing, Philly Freedom Stars
Brenton Ehrhart, 6-3 guard, L.I. Lightning-Mark
Jerry Hurt, 6-0 guard, Team TGAND
Aiden McMenaman, 6-2 wing, Central Jersey Hawks
Brandon Hathaway, 6-6 wing, Southern Tier Basketball
Thomas Huerter, 6-5 wing, Shen Pride
Tristan Hutton, 5-11 guard, Force
Ned Bakic, 6-1 guard, Pure Basketball
Jaehmer Paul, 5-10 guard, Boston Warriors
Ramon Wright, 6-6 forward, N.J. Thunder
Jacob Kaplan, 5-11 guard, N.J. Thunder
Claude Chandonnet, 6-4 forward, Academic Basketball Club-Kremins
Dom LeMorta, 6-3 wing, Capital District Lightning
Austin Melville, 6-0 guard, House of Hoops-Black
Daniel Villa, 6-5 forward, Pa. Wildcats
James VanDeventer, 5-11 guard, Pa. Wildcats
Ryan Coffey, 6-5 forward, BC Eagles
Alan McDonald, 6-2 wing, FST Blue
James Britt, 5-11 guard, N.J. Cobras
Foster Clark, 6-4 guard, Southern Tier Demons
Mike Farella, 5-11 guard, West Hempstead Lightning
Brandan Laing, 6-6 power forward, West Hempstead Lightning
D.J. Roberts, 6-2 guard, Monroe County All Stars
Robert Aguilera, 6-7 center, Monroe County All Stars
Scott White, 6-4 forward, Brick Shore Stars
Asron Scheiderman, 6-0 guard, Brick Shore Stars
Michael Boen, 6-4 guard, Mass Premier Elite
Marcus Giese, 6-7 center, Mass Premier Elite
Adam Hawk, 6-3 forward, Advanced Hoops
Marcus Oweye, 6-4 forward, NYC Jaguars
Kevin McNoble, 5-11 guard, L.I. Lightning-Schneider
Matthew Reese, 6-0 wing, O”ntario Storm
Salvatore Barbetto, 5-8 point guard, Rockland Rockets
Devon Luddy, 6-3 wing, Md. Hoopmasters
Preston Taylor, 5-10 point guard, Foothills Phantoms
Jaquan Robertson, 6-4 small forward, N.J. Cyclones
Rodeo Thompson, 6-7 power forward, Advanced Hoops
Justin Bowker, 6-5 power forward, Worcester West Wolfpack
Justin Lynch, 6-7 center, Bay State Jaguars
Mitch Dame, 6-6 power forward, City Rocks-Bartlett
Ameen McFarland, 6-0 guard, East Orange Elite
Hodari Bazemore, 6-5 power forward, SI Musketeers
Obinna Onaya, 6-1 guard, SI Musketeers
Michael Torre, 6-4 forward, L.I. Lightning-Schneider
Brian Mawejje, 6-4 wing, City Rocks-Bartlett
Michael Evans, 6-2 guard, Playmaker Academy
Courtney Clyburn, 6-3 guard, ICC Truth
Zach Panebianco, 5-10 guard, ICC Truth
Trayvon Holt, 6-4 forward, ICC Truth
Malachi Thompson, 6-1 guard, Mt. Pleasant
Clayton Wolfe, 6-0 guard, Mt. Pleasant
Shahid Adams, 6-4 forward, Mt. Pleasant
Patrick Burke, 6-8 center, NJ Gym Ratz
Alex Starr, 6-2 guard, NJ Gym Ratz
Scott Stopera, 5-8 guard, SCOTIA
Tom O’Connell, 6-2 guard, Rising Stars
Noah Nardone, 6-3 guard, Rising Stars
C.J. Bachman, 6-7 forward, Rising Stars
Ian Langendorfer, 6-4 forward, JB Hoops
Timmy Rose, 6-1 guard, JB Hoops
Tim Guers, 6-3 guard, Renegades-Nichols
Chase Kumor, 6-4 forward, Renegades-Nichols
Ismael Kaba, 6-3 guard, Ottawa Phoenix
Ibrhim Fofana, 5-9 guard, Ottawa Phoenix
Ezekiel DeMasio, 6-4 forward, NY Pride-Aldo
Joe Zayer, 6-0 guard, NY Gauchos
Lanahan Lewis, NY Gauchos
Richie Ross, NY Gauchos
Joe Sullivan, Empire Elite
Luke Moore, 6-1 guard, Empire Elite
Kevin Warmack, 5-10 guard, Empire Elite
Ralph Simeone, 6-2 guard, Team 518
Tim Doyle, 6-3 guard, Team 518
Justin Carruthers, 6-8 center, Albany City Rocks-Black
Ryan Bielawa, 6-4 forward, Albany City Rocks-Black
Treyvon Ringgold, 6-2 guard, Berkshire Elite
Wayne Paterson, N.J. Panthers
Shawn Wedderburn, 6-7 forward, NJ Panthers
Ademola Afonja, 6-4 forward, Staten Island Musketeers
Darren James, 6-7 forward, Central Jersey Future Stars
Elijah Wright, 6-2 guard, Central Jersey Future Stars
Elijah Bush, 6-5 forward, Open Season
Devonte Dixon, 6-2 guard, Open Season
Prince Hickson, 6-5 forward, Open Season
Connor Jack, 6-7 forward, York Ballers
Jonny Sutton, 5-9 point guard, York Ballers
Debon Bright, Rockland Rockets
Jeremiah Livingston, 5-11 guard, Stamford Peace
E.J. Smith, 6-0 guard, Rockland Rockets
Jemoi King, 5-9 guard, Newburgh Free Academy
Tom Armour, 6-2 guard, Wayne PAL-NJ Wolfpack
Chris Downing, 6-9 post, Wayne PAL-NJ Wolfpack
Sean McKinless, 6-1 guard, Wayne PAL-NJ Wolfpack
Michael Frauenheim, 5-11 guard, Raritan Roundballers
Tim Galloway-Burke, 6-6 forward, New England Storm-Black
Austin Coene, 6-2 guard, New England Storm-Black
Tyler Rieger, 6-2 guard, Lightning-Fiore
Jerome Lacey, 6-0 guard, Kingston Komets
David Wilson, 6-3 wing, Bay State Magic-Brick
Jake Wittig, 5-11 point guard, Syracuse Select-Lobello
Connor Evans, 5-11 point guard, Syracuse Select-Lobello
Nick Paquette, 6-3 wing, Lightning-Misser
Michael Bronze, 5-10 guard, Knights of Westchester
Kobi Nwandu, 6-3 wing, Team Supernatural
Jordan Harris, 6-0 point guard, Wayne PAL-NJ Wolfpack
Stefan Masciacelli, 6-0 point guard, Central MA Tar Heels
Kevin Bresciani, 5-8 point guard, Central MA Tar Heels
Devin Rodrigue, 6-6 forward, CT Hoopsters
Alono Walker, 6-7 forward, Brampton Elite
Ty Stewart-Nelson, 6-1 guard, Brampton Elite
Marcus Bnnick, 6-1 guard, Brampton Elite
Evan Underwood, 6-0 guard, Syracuse Nets
Robert Pacyntyluk, 6-5 wing, Syracuse Nets
Trent Mitchell, 6-2 wing, Shoreshots-Dunne
16-Under GymRat CHALLENGE Age Division
Lamb’s “Barkley” Imitation Lifts City Rocks To Crown
SCHENECTADY, NY – Shortly after the City Rocks won the 16-under Age Division championship of this year’s GymRat CHALLENGE AAU tournament, coach Jim Hart heaped much of the credit for the team’s success on the squad’s standout 6-foot-5 post player Anthony Lamb.
“He’s our Charles Barkley,” said Hart, comparing the powerful inside contributions of Lamb to those made by the freakishly athletic Barkley during his NBA prime.
“Anthony is next to impossible to stop inside,” added Hart. “He doesn’t have a soft game in him. He’s capable of a 20-20 (points and rebounds) in any game.”
Lamb didn’t quite reach those gaudy numbers, although he did have a game-high 20 points along with eight rebounds in the championship contest, to help the City Rocks earn a decisive 58-41 victory Sunday evening at Union College.
Lamb might have played like Barkley, but at 6-foot-5 and a well-proportioned and chiseled 220, or so, pounds, he doesn’t look like the NBA Hall of Famer whose physical girth earned him the fitting nickname of “The Round Mound of Rebound.”
But Lamb once looked a lot more like Barkley in terms of body type than he does now, having weighed about 285 pounds a little over a year ago. That he doesn’t look like that anymore is probably the reason his game now approximates Barkley’s in a relative sense.
“People told me I needed to lose the weight, and I can really tell the difference now that I have,” said Lamb, who is entering his junior year at Greece-Athena High School in the Rochester, N.Y., area. “I really worked on it. I did a lot of running and played a lot of basketball.”
Lamb’s work on the hardwood is much improved, due to his better physical condition. Now, he only looks like Barley on the court and not in the mirror. “I feel like my hard work is paying off,” he added.
Paying off, indeed. Paying off in terms of, now, being a dominating presence in the paint in leading the ACity Rocks to a GymRat CHALLENGE championship. And paying off individually too with a Most Valuable GymRat award and a bright future for the rest of his high school career….and beyond.
16-U GymRat CHALLENGE MVG – Most Valuable GymRat
Anthony Lamb, 6-5 power forward, Albany City Rocks-Black/Greece-Athena H.S.: A rare combination of strength, height, coordination and athleticism that makes him a very dangerous and effective post player. He runs the floor very well, is a terrific rebounder and has the ability to finish through contact around the rim. A Charles Barkley-like beast here throughout the GymRat who absolutely OWNED the paint and the glass. He made an incredible 76 percent from the floor in eight games while clearly establishing the paint as his dominant domain.
16-U ALL-GymRat CHALLENGE TEAM
Anthony Gaines, 6-4 wing, Albany City Rocks-Black/Kingston H.S.: An explosive athlete that can defend, rebound and score. He had several highlight-reel type dunks in the event and showed an ability to put the ball on the floor and attack the basket. A very effective rebounder who is all over the glass on both ends.
Rich Bond, 6-5 forward, South Jersey All Stars/Haddonfield H.S.: A very tough and physical forward. He is a versatile scorer. Epitomizes the term “stretch 4,” in that he can be effective inside, yet also go out and shoot the 3. Attacked every rebounding opportunity and displayed great effort at all times.
Kahlil Muhamad, 5-10 guard, NY Gauchos-Black/Bishop Loughlin H.S.: A long, lanky real athlete. Showed the ability to score in a variety of ways. Made quite a few 3’s in this event, but was also outstanding at attacking the basket and finishing there. Aggressive rebounder, for his size at both ends.
Broguen Nicholas, 5-11 guard, York Ballers/Eastern York H.S.: A solid, heady point guard. He gets the ball to where it needs to be. Runs the offense, a true floor general. Continued to help his teammates all weekend on both shots and steals. Made a game-winner 3 in this event’s quarterfinal round. Just tough and solid.
Trey Shifflett, 5-11 guard, York Ballers/William Penn H.S.: A quick, athletic and skilled point guard. He gets the ball in positions where teammates get easy baskets. Defends all over the court with high energy. Talented shooter from deep with a quick release. A lefty who can put it on the floor to penetrate and finish at the rim.
Genesis Arias, 5-8 point guard, Mass Fusion/Pioneer Valley Christian: Deep range with a quick trigger. Knows how to create space to get his shot off on balance. Competitor on both ends. Good rebounder for his size. Constantly on the move. He has a rare skill set and should continue to develop.
Mike Zigorski, 6-1 wing, N.J. Thunder/Pope John H.S.: A good all-around player who plays with energy at all times. He can hit the open 3, but is just as adept at driving and finishing around the rim. Very active and effective defender. Smart player. Finds open teammates and makes the right play.
Terell Brown, 5-10 point guard, WNY Braves/Amherst H.S.: A very unselfish point guard with an uncanny ability at finding open teammates with good passes. Has outstanding court vision. Can score himself from the perimeter, but also willing to attack and finsh. A major part of his team’s offense here.
Elijah Lewis, 6-0 point guard, R.I. Renegades/Hope H.S.: A quick lefty point guard with great ball-handling skills. He can shoot the 3, but prefers to attack off the dribble. Very good in transition and gets to and finishes at the rim. Creates offense for others. Effective flashy passer.
Kishan Patel, 6-1 guard, Next Level/North Brunswick H.S.: A long, quick, smart high-energy combo guard. Can finish at the rim … a crafty finisher. Flies all over the court and makes plays at both ends. A great feel for the game. Knows when to get his own shot and when to distribute. Physically tough, came back from suffering a blow to the head to lead his team to wins afterwards here.
Michael Rapoza, 6-5 post, Central Mass Swarm/Shepherd Hill Regional: High IQ … knows how to play all positions. Leader of the team, vocally and with his actions. Great hands but needs to work to be more comfortable with his left. Nice mid-range game but prefers working in the post. Very good at getting his own misses. Still maturing, should improve.
William Watkins, 6-1 guard, Central Mass Storm/Quaboag Regional: A great talent with huge upside. Long, athletic and skilled. Great-looking stroke from anywhere on the court. Loves the kickout 3. Will make you pay if you lose him in transition. Will put the ball on the floor and can finish at the rim.
Treyvon Bennett, 6-3 forward, Union Panthers/Seton Hall Prep: Great motor, allows him to rebound well for being slightly undersized. Uses strength and footwork to get into position. Very good finisher with either hand. Still needs to work on overall post fundaments, but those are developing. Played up an age level. Big upside with continued work.
Marquis Gilbert, 6-0 guard, Syracuse Nets/Corcoran H.S.: Quick, aggressive and athletic. Relentless on both ends. Finishes well in traffic and very good at getting his own miss for put-backs. Rebounds extremely well for a guard. Showed some range out to 3, but could improve his shot. His strength is getting to the rim and out-working opponents.
Fred Foster, 6-5 wing, City Rocks-Orange/Park H.S.: Great all-around athlete. Uses size, speed and quickness to get out in transition and attack the rim. High-energy motor. Works at both ends of the floor. He never stops. Nice-looking shot from 3 and accurate with set feet. Has the skill set and athleticism to make huge strides in his development.
John Howland, 6-5 forward, Team Mass/Tantasqua H.S.: Does it all player. Recorded double-doubles in several games here, almost a triple-double in one. Knows how to play. Passes, shoots, defends, rebounds. Works at both ends. Great hands. Finishes over or through defenders. High release from perimeter makes him a threat from out there. High ceiling, and great attitude.
Josh Brandanese, 6-3 post, New England Storm-Silver/Billerica H.S.: Coming off a broken wrist, but that wasn’t noticeable here. Runs, competes and contributes on both ends. Total package, although still refining his post game. Has range to 3. Aggresively tries to score on every catch. Quick hands results in steals and transition baskets.
Justin Powell, 6-6 small forward, BC Eagles/Pine Bush H.S.: Very good ball skills for his size. Attacks the rim and finishes with both hands. Can hit the outside shot with regularity. Plays well in the open floor and scores at the rim. A long, lanky and active player on the defensive end.
Jordan Bryan, 6-2 guard, BC Eagles/Middletown H.S.: A quick and active defensive-minded guard. Uses quickness and strength to be a shut-down one-on-one defender. Active hands produce his share of deflections and steals. Attacks the rim on offense and finishes well. Active and bouncy, gets off feet quickly.
Elijah Hughes, 6-5 wing, Playmaker Academy Elite/Beacon H.S.: An agile, athletic wing. Very quick and active hands on the defensive end. Finishes above the rim in transition game. Ability to create shots for teammates. Can hit the outside shot on occasion, but prefers to drive and create.
William Brady, 6-0 shooting guard, Stamford Peace/Ridgefield H.S.: Nice stroke and hits the open 3 with regularity. Very good overall outside shooter. Plays with a good sense of the game’s pace. Primarily a shooter, but also showed a nice passing ability. A very smart and active defender.
Marquel Fraser, 6-4 guard, UPlay Bounce Canada/ Mt Mission Prep: A big and skilled true point guard. Does it all, just an outstanding all-around player. Great vision, finds open teammates and makes simple passes. Can shoot off the dribble or attack the rim. Creative and effective in transition.
Justin Andrews, 5-11 guard, UPlay Bounce Canada/Sir Allen MacNab School: A shooting guard that scores in bunches in a variety of ways. High percentage from 3-point territory. He can also get to the buck and finish there through contact, or draw fouls. He makes you pay at the foul line (22-of-23 here from the charity stripe).
Maxwell Mahoney, 6-6 post, Pure Basketball/Ridge H.S.: A big, active post. Plays very hard at both ends. Finishes around the rim and can also hit out to 15 feet. Rebounds well at both ends. Strong, physical on defense. Changes shots with his length. Dribbles well and has good ball skills for his size.
Peris London, 6-7 post, TGAND/Overton H.S.: A big (230 pounds) and very strong post player. He knows how to use his body to great effect to get position. Capable scorer from 10 feet and in. Jump hook off the block is good, but all right hand for now. Works hard to get to the glass on both ends. Projects to D1 mid-major.
Tevin Olson, 6-4 guard, TGAND/Mitchell H.S.: Very good scorer. He can shoot the 3 well, but can also get to the rim and finish against contact. Great in the offensive transition game. Good handle, court IQ and he creates for others. Active and effective defender. Gets in the passing lanes Projects as low-to-mid major D-1.
Ramir Dixon-Conover, 6-4 combo guard, N.J. Trailblaers/Bloomfield Tech H.S.: Aggressive lefty slasher, draws a lot of help resulting in dump off or strong finish. Creates offense at the rim. Can hit spot-up 3 and pull-up mid-range jumper. Long-armed defender, gets into passing lanes. Quick first step, elevates well in traffic.
Raquan Bryant, 6-1 guard, Newburgh Panthers-Motley/Newburgh Free Academy: Fearless attacker, not afraid of contact. Can get into the late and create. Uses length to block shots and deflect passes Works hard on both ends of the court. Showed a decent outside shooting touch here.
Ryan Kennedy, 5-11 guard, CM3 Sports/Xavier H.S.: An exceptional 2015 combo guard who is flying under the radar. Best player on the floor for a loaded team here. Constantly poised with the ball, he is able to run the show without forcing bad plays. When off the ball he showed deep range and a quick trigger, a separating ste-back jumper and an ability to get to the rim and finish or dish.
Kelvin Riley, 6-6 small forward, CM3 Sports/Hoosac School: Very long and athletic on the wing, with a fundamentally sound skill set. Displayed shooting touch fromn the outside, but hard to stop around the rim, too. Able to change the game defensively and on the backboards when he turns it on. Athleticism and skill set make him a mismatch problem now and at the next level.
Marcus Anderson, 6-1 combo guard, Brampton Warriors/Edmund Champion H.S.: Playmaking guard that plays bigger than his height. On-ball defense produced turnovers and eay transition points for his team and he makes it difficult for opposing guards to run an offense. Athletic, long and skillful makes him dangerous on the wing. Balanced his scoring and playmaking/distribution duties here.
Dylon Gregory, 6-3 small forward, Brampton Warriors/Edmund Champion H.S.: An active and athletic lefty on the wing. Developing skill set, but he found ways to take over games and add some highlight-reel dunks in transition. Made enough perimeter shots to keep defense honest, which gave him room to get to the basket.
Jack Dreisbach, 6-4 point guard, L&L Runnin’ Rebels/Parkland H.S.: Talented lead guard with polished skill set. Poised under pressure and great at organizing his teammates. Rebounding and second-jump abilities. Can scored when necessary. Excels in isolation and in transition. Might not pass the eye-test in layup lines, but one of the best guards here at this level. Does everything for his team almost mistake-free.
Kenny Yeboah, 6-3 wing, L&L Runnin’ Rebels/Parkland H.S.: A double-double machine. An athletic and powerful forward. Somewhat positionless right now, but creates all sorts of mismatch problems. A monster inside posting smaller defenders and has strong moves going baseline. Strong defense and good footwork on offense. Rebounds on both ends in and out of area.
Keith Brown, 6-4 small forward, New England Storm-Black/Pelham H.S.: A workhorse of an undersized forward. Did a lot of everything here. Rebounded well, able to handle the ball when called upon and scored in a variety of ways. Best when using his strong body in the lane, but more than capable of playing a more-perimeter oriented game.
A.J. Pettway, 5-11 combo guard, New England Storm-Black/Central Catholic H.S.: A dynamic guard who can scorer or facilitate based on need. Flashy at times but effective getting into the lane to draw help and read the play. Can get and make his own shot anywhere and plays solid on-ball defense by using his length.
Chris Allen, 6-8 center, Syracuse Nets-MJ/Liverpool H.S.: A big man who recently shed 50+ pounds and is moving well. Very good footwork and player for his size and age. His skills allowed his team to play inside-out with multiple shooters on the perimeter. His effectiveness on the offensive glass changed games. Developing timing on shot-blocking, but already influencing shots in the lane.
Brandon Gacek, 6-4 small forward, Syracuse Nets-MJ/CBA H.S.: Productive and active wing that changed games with effort and physicality. Found a way to be in the right place at the right time over and over. Showed ability to stretch defense, but at his best finishing through traffic and contact. Spends a great amount of time at the foul line.
Bailey Patella, 6-3 point guard, Boston Warriors/Lenox H.S.: Floor general with great length for the position. Handles the ball with ease and beats pressure by himself. Gets to the rim and either finishes or finds open teammates. Rebounds exceptionally well for a guard and scores at all levels. His scoring ability opens the door to being able to play off the ball as well.
Nick Craig, 6-4 point guard, Syracuse Select-Pudney/Cortland H.S.: Can play on or off the ball, but handled PG duties at critical times here. Does a little of everything and is most stable player on the court. Will not make many “wow” plays, but rebounds well for a guard, plays under control, gets his teammates open shots and can finish at the rim or hit open jumpers. He made clutch FTs in games here.
Ryan Layman, 6-4 small forward, Mass Premier Elite/King Phillip H.S.: Next in line of Layman brothers (Jake is at Maryland), he shows signs of what might be. Loaded with potential. Great and deceptive length and athleticism. Blocks shots, rebounds at the high point and pumps up teams with transition dunks. He can score at all three levels. Might grow more, and a post game would make him a tough match-up considering his shooting and driving skills.
Troy Jones, 6-0 point guard Mid Jersey Mavericks/Notre Dame H.S.: Dynamic guard that is good with the ball in either hand and handles much responsibility. On-ball defensive steals are a habit for him and led to easy transition hoops for him and teammates. A capable spot-up shooter and takes advantage of shooting at the right time.
Zachary O’Dell, 6-6 power forward, Team 518/Schalmont H.S.: Productive and active forward. Displayed plenty of versatility with post game, passing, ball-handling and perimeter shooting. Footwork in the post left defenders guessing and got him to the FT line often. Shooting ability stretched post offense, which opened things up for driving teammates.
Zach Howarth, 6-0 point guard, Central Jersey Hawks/St. John Vianney H.S.: A true coach’s son on the floor. He made the right plays at the right times and kept teammates focused. Poised with the ball in transition and in the lane. Smooth shooting touch from outside. Played through an injury, but that wasn’t evident in his play. Very hard-nosed player.
Anthony Perez, 6-3 small forward, Raritan Roundballers/Bound Brook H.S.: An athletic wing that also displayed shooting ability from the perimeter. Drove the ball strong to the basket strong against bigger defenders and played outstanding defense himself. Played tough regardless of the situation. Found a variety of ways to have a positive influence.
Chris Bell, 6-0 shooting guard, Bay State Magic-Kalon/Norwood H.S.: An athletic, driving guard that gets a lot done. Might look unassuming but he is involved in a ton of plays. He finishes well for hard-earned points. Was the clear leader on his team and helped his squad earn two tough pool-round victories.
Cherod Gayle, 6-0 shooting guard, Newburgh Panthers-Faunt/Newburgh Free Academy: Relentless lefty guard that scored in bunches. Managed to find open teammates when he didn’t finish himself. Fearless going to the rim, finished through traffic and contact. Versatile, scoring at all three levels. Good length and athleticism for his position.
Kobe Miranda, 6-0 shooting guard, Back 2 Basics Academy/Archbishop Stepinac H.S.: Strong-bodied guard that bulled his way to the rim throughout pool play. Like his namesake, Kobe, no surprise that he made a living from the foul line. His on-ball defense was also problematic for opposing players.
Melven Grayson, 6-4 forward, ICC Truth/Aquinas H.S.: A physical and athletic forward. Good footwork down low on dunks and post-ups. Attacks the glass on both ends and finishes on put-backs. Can defend both guards and forwards with his combination of quickness and strength.
Louis Higuera, 6-1 wing, Berkshire Elite/Pittsfield H.S.: A long, lanky wing player. Very active and tough physically. Defends hard at all times. Runs the floor, high motor. Crashes the glass .,.. makes all the hustle plays. Good court vision. He can attack the basket, but can also step out and make the 3.
Dylan Harrington, 6-1 combo guard, ICC Truth/Irondequoit H.S.: A good stroke and can shoot out to 3-point range. Quick hands and feet on defense, effective in either man or zone. Can put the ball on the floor with either hand. Cool, calm and collected style of play. Good basketball IQ.
Austin Kearney, 6-5 post, South Jersey All Stars/Gloucester County Christian: A big body (220 pounds). Strong and physical post player. He can finish through tough contact. Good mid-range game. Can shoot out to 15-foot range. Puts ball on the floor well. Good foot speed. Runs hard in transition. Goes hard on every play.
Isaiah Reyes, 5-10 guard, Wayne PAL Wolofpack/Bloomfield H.S.: Strong, physical and quick. He can play either guard spot. Very good penetrator/slasher that can get to the basket. Quick enough to get past bigs. Strong enough to overpower perimeter players. Match-up problem. Decent shooter.
Kareem Scott, 6-8 center, Wayne PAL Wolfpack/Passaic County Tech Institute: A tall, quick athletic true center. Good hands. Very quick off his feet on rebounds. Works effectively on the glass at both ends. Still raw and developing, but what he lacks skill wise, for now, he makes up for with athleticism.
Brandon Twitty, 6-3 wing, Boston Elite/Catholic Memorial: A great shooter from long range with a quick release. Aggressive defender and rebounder and used his quickness wrll in those areas. Has the ability to attack the basket, getting past defenders and, then, finishing at the rim.
Matt Latka, 6-4 forward, NY Gauchos-Black/Ramapo H.S.: A very long and versatile wing player. He can shoot from 3-point range, yet athletic and strong enough to finish down low. Tough, physical playr. Runs hard in transition and goes after every rebound Plays with high energy.
Reggie Robinson, 6-3 wing, Rampage-Elite/Rush Henrietta H.S.: Athletic and strong. He can finish through contact. Very good at attacking the basket. Runs hard in transition and always seems to be around the ball. High motor player. Showed the ability to make mid-range pull-ups here.
Marlon Adams, 6-4 post, BC Eagles/Middletown H.S.: A strong, physical yet also athletic post player. Really hustles. A great rebounder for his size. He gets plenty of put-back points. Also exhibited an ability to put the ball on the floor and attack the basket. Strength allows him to finish vs. contact.
John Furr, 6-2 wing, South Shore Wolfpack/Rockland H.S.: A nice wing player capable of performing as a guard or small forward. Plays with a high motor. Attacks the basket and is an outstanding slasher. Always looking to rebound from his position, and does so effectively.
Tyler Dellavechea, 5-7 point guard, Dare To Achieve/Hudson H.S.: A quick, smart point guard with a high basketball IQ. Very good shooter. Showed ability here to take and make from 3-point range. Good passer, finds open teammates. Knows how to play. Quick hands defensively.
Anthony Torres, 6-2 wing, NY Gauchos-Orange/FDA III: A dynamic wing that can defend, rebound and score. He does his best work attacking the basket and running in transition. Epitomizes the term “slasher.” Nice stroke, too. Can make the perimeter shot out to 3-point range.
Hunter Anderson, 6-4 forward, Albany City Rocks-Orange/Park H.S.: Unbelievable athlete. Can play any position. Leads the break and can score in a variety of ways in the post. Still improving efficiency and overall comfort with the ball, but has all the tools. Great rebounder/shot-blocker, mainly due to his timing and ability to get off the floor. High roof, untapped potential. Villanova, Seton Hall, Rutgers have inquired.
Sam Squadron, 6-0 point guard, Knights of Westchester/Scarsdale H.S.: Great handle and basketball IQ. Oversll feel for the game seems natural. Knows when to get others involved and when to take the shot. Hit a game-winning 3 here in early game. Quick release with deep range, can shoot it from anywhere. Early interest from D-3’s
Brandan Rodrigue, 5-10 point guard, Evo Elite New England: Relentless at both ends of the floor. Defends his man all over the court, tabbed “the defensive stopper.” Sees the floor well, makes right decisions to get others involved. Very good on ball screens. Attacks the rim and finishes well. Good in midrange, but needs to develop a little more range on shot. Unbelievable heart/toughness. Some early D-3 interest.
Will Sessoms, 6-7 forward, House of Hoops Black/Linden H.S.: A long, athletic and agile player. Great hands and feet. Works to get rebounds and errant passes. Can get the rebound and lead the break. Young (15) for his grade. Played center here, but either the 2 or the 3 in high school. Huge upside.
Sam Wakai, 5-10 point guard, House of Hoops-Black/Hillsboro H.S.: Definition of floor general. Sets up teammates for easy baskets/open shots. Calm under pressure. Always makes the right play. Also, knows when to get his own shots. Shoots from anywhere on the floor with a quick release.
16-U ALL-GymRat CHALLENGE HONORABLE MENTION TEAM
Youssouf Traore, 6-5 forward, NY Gauchos
Jouanni Haskins, 6-4 wing, Wayne PAL wolfpack
- Degrenier, 6-2 guard, New Hampshire Fire
Shane Fanning, 6-3 wing, Rampage Elite
Clarence Fitchett, 6-3 wing, NJ Gym Ratz
Kenna Gilmore, 6-4 wing, Albany City Rocks-Black
Matt Keenan, 6-4 wing, ICC Truth
Jared Gerbino, 6-5 post, Rampage Elite
Danny Folds, 6-2 forward, Dream To Achieve
Eddie Fish, 6-5 post, Boston Elite
Matt Hanna, 5-9 guard, Boston Elite
Dy’are Holt, 6-2 guard, Albany City Rocks-Black
Troy Temara, 6-7 center, Albany City Rocks-Black
John Votton, 5-10 point guard, Holt Jones
A.J. Lea, 6-0 forward, Holt Jones
John Metz, 6-4 forward, TGAND
Daraja Rodwell, 6-1 shooting guard, Castle Knights
Justin Mitchell, 6-0 point guard, Playmaker Academy Elite
JaShawn Trotman, 5-7 point guard, Newburgh Panthers
Joseph Strand, 6-4 small forward/N.J. Trailblazers
Justin Jones, 6-2 wing, WNY Braves
Drew Gagnon, 6-5 forward, Pure Basketball
Troy Temara, 6-6 center, Albany City Rocks-Black
Melik McLeod, 5-9 guard, Lake Champlain Lakers
Jacob Scarnulis, 6-5 forward, L&L Runnin’ Rebels
Cameron Hoffman, 6-6 power forward, L&L Runnin’ Rebels
Jacob Feiertag, 6-2 guard, L&L Runnin’ Rebels
Deshaun Mitchell, 6-3 guard, CM3 Sports
Brian Bass, 5-11 point guard, CM3 Sports
Jalen Rose, 6-4 guard, CM3 Sports
Rayshone Peddie, 6-1 guard, Brampton Warriors
Ozaze Obano, 6-2 guard, Brampton Warriors
Griffin Beal, 6-1 forward, New England Storm-Black
Tyler Sullivan, 6-1 guard, Syracuse Nets-MJ
Will Cutler, 6-1 guard, Syracuse Nets-MJ
Nate Cutler, 6-1 guard, Syracuse Nets-MJ
Nick George, 6-3 forward, Boston Warriors
Justin Wagner, 6-6 power forward, Boston Warriors
Jaylen Martine, 5-11 point guard, Boston Warriors
Ross Gerber, 6-6 forward, Syracuse Select-Pudney
Destine Blunt, 6-4 forward, Syracuse Select-Pudney
Timothy Prunier, 6-0 point guard, Mass Premier Elite
David Carchedi, 5-11 guard, Mass Premier Elite
Brent Piontkowski, 6-5 power forward, LC Ballers
Scott Stout, 5-11 point guard, LC Ballers
Damien Hall, 6-2 power forward, Mid Jersey Mavericks
Jordan Aylesworth, 6-0 guard, Bay State Magic-Kalon
Anthony Fernandez, 6-0 guard, Bay State Magic-Kalon
Paolo Tamer, 5-8 point guard, Brooklyn-Queens Warriors
Joshua Tyrell, 6-5 power forward, Brooklyn-Queens Warriors
Patrick Ganter, 6-4 forward, LC Ballers
Lucas Hackett, 6-3 forward, Raritan Roundballers
Tommy Kelly, 5-9 point guard, Team 518
Nick Facendo, 5-10 point guard, Central Jersey Hawks
Marc Dorsainvil, 5-10 point guard, Rock City Elite Basketball
David Garcia, 6-2 forward, Rock City Elite Basketball
Ben Wolfensohn, 5-5 point guard, NY Pride-Searight
Dylan Besterio, 5-9 guard, NY Pride Searight
Stu Stahlman, 6-6 power forward, Cortland Basketball Club
John Khazaka, 6-0 guard, Cortland Basketball Club
Bryce Lane, 6-5 power forward, Hoop Nation
Brandon Radd, 5-7 point guard, Hoop Nation
Anthony Pearson, 5-10 point guard SNEBC Shockers
Riley Hayes, 6-5 power forward, NY Golden Eagles-Guest
Allan Martine, 6-2 forward, BC Eagles-LaRegina
Jordan Harper, 6-2 wing, Knights of Westchester
Davis Harris, 6-3 power forward, Knights of Westchester
Mario Neri, 5-8 point guard, Knights of Westchester
Cole Harper, 6-4 power forward, House of Hoops-Black
Joe Mosca, 5-10 point guard, House of Hoops-Black
Josh Gonzalez, 6-5 power forward, City Rocks-Orange
Rodney Johnson, 6-2 guard, City Rocks-Orange
Brian Callahan, 6-6 forward, Team Mass
Allen McCloud, 6-3 forward, CUE Sports
Angel Figueroa, 5-11 guard, CUE sports
John Stutz, 5-11 guard, CUE Sports
Jesse Degraft, 6-1 guard, Rockland Rockets
Levance Jackson, 6-3 wing, Rockland Rockets
Tino Gonzalez, 6-0 guard, Next Level
Pranay Bhandare, 5-11 guard, Next Level
Damonte White, 6-6 post, Anaconda All Stars
Todd Spottswood, 6-8 post, Anaconda All Stars
Mike Wine, 5-10 guard, Anaconda All Stars
Alex Mrusck, 6-6 forward, Central Jersey Hawks
Matthew Debrizzi, 6-2 guard, Central Jersey Hawks
Jared Friedberg, 6-1 guard, CWB
Sean Crowley, 6-6 forward, CWB
Najee Plunkett, 6-0 guard, Union Panthers
Jaydakis Scott, 5-10 guard, Syracuse Nets-Roland
Quincy Aubertine, 6-3 guard, Syracuse Nets-Roland
Nicholas Aversa, 5-7 guard, Syracuse Nets-Roland
John Crown5-10 guard, NJ Thunder
Colin McKenna, 6-4 forward, NJ Thunder
Jason Rebuck, 6-4 forward, York Ballers
Darin Gordon, 6-3 wing, York Ballers
Joseph Polczynski, 6-7 forward, York Ballers
15-UNDER GymRat CHALLENGE AGE DIVISION REPORT
Big Man MVG Wright Helps City Rocks’ Coach Get First Title
SCHENECTADY, NY – Twelve times Ralph Tucker has brought Albany City Rocks teams to his home area’s GymRat CHALLENGE AAU tournament, and he came up empty in the first 11.
The deed, though, got accomplished at the dozen mark as a Tucker-coached team captured its first GymRat championship, knocking off the Primetime Ballers of the Rochester, N.Y., area, 76-48 in Sunday’s championship game played at Schenectady High School’s Pat Riley Sports Center.
And, the City Rocks barely gave Tucker a minute to worry. The 28-point championship game margin was indicative of the team’s domination throughout the seven games it played in this year’s event.
“We had a lot of overall balance and the guys play defense,” said Tucker. “We play well together.”
Which isn’t easy to do on the AAU circuit where players from various high schools come together, practice no more than twice or three times a week to meld their individual talents into some sense of cohesion.
“Actually it wasn’t so difficult to do with this group,” said Tucker. “We realize it’s like bringing an all-star team together. A lot of these kids are the best players on their respective high school teams. They don’t have to be that here. They just have to play together.”
It didn’t hurt that the team’s roster had a dedication to defense. And, it didn’t hurt to have a defensive roadblock at the back end of the defense in the imposing 6-foot-6 form of Hameir Wright.
Wright, who is finishing off his freshman year at Albany Academy, was a highly effective shot-blocker and interior defender, the back line of a team that allowed an average of just 39 points per contest.
Wright’s interior work at both ends of the court earned him the age division’s MVG, the Most Valuable GymRat award.
“When teams tried to attack us inside, we had him in the paint blociking shots,” said Tucker, about Wright. “He’s athletic and long and he was really able to cause insider problems for opponents.”
Wright played at the JV level for a strong Academy program this past season, but looks like he’ll be a force in scholastic play over the rest of his high school career.
“I knew we had a good caliber team,” added Tucker. “But you always know there’s going to be a lot of other talented teams at the GymRat and you never know what to expect. We only practice twice a week, but the kids always come ready to work, knowing they were working toward something special.”
Something special finally happened for Tucker and his City Rocks’ team here this year, and he thinks it’s only the beginning. “This is a real good group,” he said. “We’ll do a lot more playing on the AAU circuit this year and the sky is the limit.”
15-U AGE DIVISION MVG – Most Valuable GymRat
Hameir Wright, 6-foot-6 forward, Albany City Rocks-Black/Albany Academy: The big, lanky and athletic forward began embellishing his basketball reputation here, particularly on the defensive end. Offensively he can handle the ball enough to create for himself off the bounce. He finishes above the rim in transition and really runs the floor. He has great timing and athleticism on the defensive end which makes him a true rim protector. Soft touch in the lane at the rim, yet also made some 3’s here. Crashes offensive glass. Has a high motor. This event has been a showcase for young, emerging standouts and Wright might be the next in that line.
15-U Age Division ALL-GymRat CHALLENGE Team
Jack Maceo, 6-4 forward, Albany City Rocks-Black/Williamsville North H.S.: A long, stretch athletic wing. Explosive finisher in transition. He was his team’s high scorer here in a well-balanced attack. High motor on the offensive glass gets him easy put-backs. Rebounds with effort and hustle out of his area. Set range to 3-point arc. Really competes on the defensive end.
Ethan Gabert-Dyon, 6-0 point guard, Albany City Rocks-Black/Brooks School: A physically gifted point guard. Really strong with a great body and feel in pick-and-roll actions. Starts transition and makes accurate decisions, pushing the action with the pass. Athletic finisher in transition and really guards the ball with great hands on the defensive end. Good rebounder from the point.
Bryce Daley, 6-0 guard, Albany City Rocks-Black/Pittsfield H.S.: A shooting guard that can really fill it up. Averaged 11.0 points through seven games here, the team’s second-leading scorer. Lightning-quick release with great range. He connected on 6-of-7 attempts from three-point range in the championship game and connected on 59.3 percent of his 3-point attempts throughout the event.
Brandon Redendo, 5-8 point guard, NY Pride-Searight/Immaculate H.S.: A lean, crafty combo guard. He has a great feel and sets the pace with the ball in the two-man game. Great vision and skilled passer with either hand. Gets in the paint to set up teammates. Deep, deep spot-up range to 3-pooint line and beyond. One of the top shooters at this division.
Mark Martin, 6-foot-0 guard, NY Pride-Searight/Mount Vernon H.S.: A gifted scoring combo guard. Great strength already. Athleticism allows him to score on all levels through contact. Drives hard to contact and draws fouls. Really competes on both ends and makes 50/50 plays. Good defensive rebounder from the perimeter with his effort. Elite scorer at this level, range to deep 3 area.
Darius Smith, 5-8 point guard, NY Pride-Searight/Immaculate H.S.: An extremely quick point guard with great length. Good speed and decision maker in the open floor game. Good mid-range pull-up and a finisher in the paint. Standout at distributing on a team loaded with scorers, but shows an ability to take over a game with penetration and rim attacks with both hands.
Brandon Jacobs, 5-7 point guard, Rising Stars/Molloy H.S.: Smooth, quick point guard. He lives in the lane to scorer or kick to shootersw. Creates for teammates with effortless penetration. Great feel for the game, knows when to distribute or score himself. Deep range to 3-point arc. Outstanding mid-range game. Very good at absorbing contact and finishing around the rim.
Jalen Gabbidon, 6-3 wing, York Ballers/ Harrisboro Academy: A big, long and athletic wing. Great slasher who can finish above the rim. Great body control allows him to finish in traffic. Has set range to 3-point arc. Really tough to stop when he gets moving in transition. Out jumps and gets his hands above bigger paint defenders.
Dominick Welech, 6-2 wing, WNY Braves/Cheektowaga H.S.: A long, athletic and active wing. He handles to create his own shot against bigger guys. Explosive athlete. Finishes everything at the rim with either hand. Great timing on defensive side to protect rim from weak side. Attacks the glass with a high motor and superior athleticism.
Dan Masino, 6-0 point guard, Eastside Rochester/Fairport H.S.: A big, long and strong athletic point guard. Great pace and burst with the ball. Can get into the lane at will. Can score on all levels and is great in the paint because of his size and strength. Outstanding court vision on ball actions. Controls the pace of play. Has range out to 3-point arc.
Matthew Manacuso, 6-6 post, York Ballers/Bridgewater Raritan: Big, athletic post player. Already a solid frame and his length makes him an intimidating post defender. Alters shots on the block and at the rim. Athletic enough to guard opponents on the perimeter, too. Rebounds out of his area because of length/athleticism. All his offense, for now, is catch and finish and put backs.
Jonathan Noel, 6-2 small forward, Basketball 2 The Limit-Black/Prospect Hill Charter School: A physically mature player, at his best going to the hoop. Drives baseline effectively. Strong and draws fouls. Uses an inside hand change to beat defenders off the dribble.
Doug Dahl, 6-4 forward, Basketball 2 The Limit/Weston H.S.: Very strong around the hoop and knows how to use his strength. Goes to hoop hard … won’t be denied on drives. Effective scorer in the low post, and also draws fouls. Can finish at the hoop with either hand.
Mike Reid, 6-1 guard, CM3 Sports/Lincoln H.S.: He displays a wide variety of effective dribble moves, including a very nice spin dribble. Gets to the hoop easily off the dribble. Very creative around the hoop to produce points. At this stage, more of a slasher than a shooter.
Jamel Kearney, 6-4 forward, CM3 Sports/Campus Magnet H.S.: Good, lean frame and he is a very effective shot-blocker. Good motor, plays hard at all times on the court. He can go to the hoop off the dribble, or can shoot from the perimeter with his feet set. A good scorer who is also an unselfish player.
Jason Hawkes, 6-6 small forward, Primetime Ballers/Aquinas H.S.: A player who contributed to his team here in a variety of ways. He is a good shooter off the dribble yet also sees the court and is an excellent passer who delivers the ball to open teammates in good position. Excellent upside.
Cameron Wilson, 6-6 center, Primetime Ballers/UPrep School: A left-hander who already has good size. He does almost all of his offensive work, for now, around the basket. Uses his size well on the defensive end to clock and alter shots. Very good passer out of the post, finds open teammates.
Barbaro Noda, 5-9 guard, Macs Hoop Star/Jamesville Dewitt H.S.: A very strong guard with superior quickness. Excellent work in the transition game. Finishes nicely around the hoop, despite his size. Uses his strength to draw fouls and, then, makes teams pay with a high percentage from the charity stripe.
Mitchell Phillips, 6-4 small forward, Central Jersey Future Stars/Hopewell H.S.: A strong forward who is comfortable around the perimeter. Very nice shooter with decent range already. Aggressive, too, around the basket. Plays hard at all times and really works on defense. Bright future.
Brandon Carroll, 6-3 small forward, NY Gauchos-Brooks/Brewster H.S.: An outstanding athlete with great potential. Just explosive going to the hoop. Showed a nice spin dribble here. A quick jumper. Also a hard worker and effective on the defensive end. Uses his length well to contest and block shots.
Kahmar Rice, 6-2 wing, Evolution Ballers/Neptune H.S.: A very versatile player who can score both inside and outside. Good ball handler. Also very aggressive on the offensive boards. A long player who uses his length to great advantage on both ends. Has excellent potential.’
Chauncey Hawkins, 5-8 point guard, Rock Elite Basketball/St. Joseph’s Regional H.S.: A very good ball handler with a variety of effective dribble moves. Sees the court extremely well. Will drive and dish effectively. Makes others around him better. Excellent body control. He runs the show.
Jonathan Glidden, 5-8 guard, New England Storm-Black/Westford H.S.: A very smart, hard-working player. He sees the court and uses the bounce pass effectively. Also skilled enough to go past defenders and to finish for himself. Very active defender. Does a little of everything, a coach’s dream.
Isaiah Brinkley, 5-7 point guard, Monroe County All-Stars/University Prep H.S.: A very quick guard with outstanding basketball smarts. A true floor leader. He can either shoot it from the perimeter, or go past defenders to get to the hoop. Excellent court vision and passer. Serves as the prototypical coach on the court.
Matt Valles, 6-7 center, Mass Elite/Old Rochester Regional H.S.: A big man with excellent potential. Already displays a nice turn-around jumper from the low post. Nice touch around the hoop. Will also hit the foul-line jumper. Runs the court well and also rebounds well. A major impact on all games here.
Alex Frawley, 6-2 shooting guard, Mass Elite/Billerica Memorial H.S.: Very quick and he uses that attribute to push the ball up the court hard during transition. Gets into the lane off the dribble to either finish or draw and dish. Makes perimeter shots when feet are set. Key member of a good team here.
Jalin Suber, 5-11 point guard, New Heights NYC/Scanlon H.S.: Nice dribble moves, including a good hesitation dribble and inside-hand change. Runs the show on a very talented team. Gets to the hoop off the dribble with ease. Sees the court and makes good passes to open teammates. A defensive disruptor.
Craig Preston, 5-9 shooting guard, Evolution Basketball/Manchester Memorial H.S.: One of the better shooters in the 15-under division. He has legitimate three-point range, and will both take and make clutch shots. Also handles the ball effectively. A good, fundamentally sound ball hander.
Erick Solis, 5-11 small forward, Evolution Basketball/Breed Middle School: His skills allow him to play bigger than his listed size. Plays with heart and all-out desire. Gets more than his share of loose balls. Aggressive on the offensive boards. Aggressive with the ball in his hands, goes hard to the hoop and draws fouls.
Saquan Singleton, 6-4 point guard, Gauchos/Monsignor Scanlan H.S.: Outstanding size for a guard, particularly one who handles the ball. Gets to the hoop off the dribble and will drive and dish. Can score and make the floater. Great potential, and as jump shot improves his stock will rise. Nice crossover dribble.
Barryn Shark, 5-8 point guard, Gauchos/Cardinal Hayes H.S.: Superb ball handler who can get into the lane at will. He will also penetrate and dish. Outstanding court vision. Runs the show on the floor. Applies defensive pressure effectively. Key member of a very talented team here.
Marique Simkin, 5-10 point guard, Prime Time Ballers/U Prep School: A lefty point guard who can get into the lane with ease off the dribble. Extremely quick. Nice cross-over dribble move. Capable defender. Valuable player when he avoids turnovers and remains under control.
Kameron Jackson, 6-1 guard, Syracuse Select/Westhill H.S.: Great body for a wing player. Strong, good bounce. Shoots out to 3-point arc. Above average stroke. Finishes well around the rim. Can put it on the floor. Unselfish player who is court savvy and a good passer. Aggressive rebounder and good FT shooter.
Kevin Hoehn, 5-10 combo guard, N.J. Thunder/Morristown H.S.: Good shooter out to 3-point arc with a nice stroke. Great court awareness and passing ability. Very fast. Good off the bounce. Looks to create open shots for others. Uses both hands effectively.
Ibrahim Diawara, 6-3 forward, QC United/ Jacques Rousseau School: A tough player. Rebounds using strength and aggressiveness on both ends. Crashes glass harder than any player in this division. Very aware and a crafty passer. Creates for others. Lacking only a good jump shot.
Jeffrey Tezo, 6-0 guard, QC United/St. Henri School: A point guard who is very quick and has a good handle. Very aware passer. Looks to get ball up the court quickly and to create for others. Very unselfish player. Shoots the 3 well and is smart with his shot selection. Gritty on the defensive end.
Nick Ciaglia, 6-2 guard, UPlay Bounce/Macnab School: Just a knock-down outside shooter. Crafty player who can go past defenders with dribble moves and is big enough to finish everything around the rim when he gets there. Solid offensive player.
Kevin Kangu, 6-4 power forward, UPlay Bounce/ John Carroll School: An explosive athlete with the ability to get to the hoop and finish everything at the rim. Rebounds very well, even out of his zone. Looks capable of scoring 20 points and getting 10 rebounds every time he steps on the court.
James Trottier, 5-7 guard, Central Mass Swarm/Holy Names H.S.: An small, but effective off-guard with a great shooting stroke out to the 3-point arc. Plays very hard at all times. Fundamentally sound. Great shot fake. A true offensive triple threat: shoot, pass, dribble.
Anthony Grzembski, 5-7 point guard, Central Mass Swarm/Bartlett H.S.: Nice shooting touch, even beyond the 3-arc. Small guard, but uses his dribble well to penetrate and create shots both for himself and teammates. High IQ player. Great motor. Never takes a play off.
15-U ALL-GymRat CHALLENGE Honorable Mention
Kolia Koman, 5-8 guard, QC United
Marlon Lafortune, 6-4 forward, QC United
Jared Yaghoubian, 5-10 guard, Stamford Peace
Danny Depina, 5-1 guard, Stamford Peace
Luke Nathan, 6-6 forward, NJ Thunder
Coloby Moultrie, 6-1 guard, WNY Braves
Taj Thorpe, 5-10 guard, Long Island Select
Elijah Bovell, 5-11 wing, Long Island Select
Harry Warnock, 6-3 forward, Long Island Select
Victor Potter, 6-4 forward, Castle Athletic Knights
Joseph Radi, 6-5 forward, Rockland Rockets
Anthony Grzembski, 5-7 point guard, Central Mass Swarm
Jordan Holmes, 5-10 wing, Eastside Rochester
Donovan Catchings, 5-9 point guard, York Ballers
Deaireus Brown, 6-0 wing, York Ballers
Marcus Thomas, 6-1 wing, NY Pride-Searight
Emmanuel Oyarhilome, 6-5 post, NY Pride Searight
James Nyamwaya, 6-4 post, New England Storm-Silver
Fuquan Ford, 6-4 post, Albany City Rocks-Black
Will Bennett, 6-0 wing, Albany City Rocks-Black
Tobias Holmes, 6-0 guard, Albany City Rocks-Black
Alex DiPenta, 5-10 shooting guard, Ottawa Phoenix
Alston Harris, 5-8 point guard, Ottawa Phoenix
Chase Audige, 6-2 forward, Long Island Lightning-Showler
Paul Cooper, 5-7 shooting guard, Long Island Lightning-Showler
Ryan Conde, 6-0 guard, Central Jersey Future Stars
Dean Coletti, 5-9 guard, New England Storm-Black
Nahziah Carter, 6-3 forward, Monroe County All Stars
Zekiah Owens, 6-1 forward, Monroe County All Stars
Taisun Phommachanh, 5-10 guard, CT Elite 15U National
Marcell Parsons, 5-7 combo guard, CT Elite 15U National
Babacar Ndiayz, 6-5 power forward, CM3 Sports
Deonjay Yelverton, 6-9 center, New Heights NYC
Reece Pawlaczyk, 6-1 guard, Next Level Athletics
Ian Oberman, 6-2 forward, House of Hoops Black
Matthew Grochowalski, 6-3 forward, Mass Fusion
Nairan Thakureyal, 5-6 guard, New Heights NYC
Idan Tretout, 6-2 forward, New Heights NYC
Zach Zaccone, 6-1 forward, Wayne PAL-NJ Wolfpack
John Maura, 6-4 forward, Wayne PAL-NJ Wolfpack
Justin Hodge, 6-2 wing, Wayne PAL-NJ Wolfpack
Joseph Fiakpai, 6-3 small forward, Gauchos
Jayduan Robinson, 6-2 forward, Gauchos
Michael Rogers, 5-11 guard, Gauchos
Queran Brickhouse, 6-2 forward, Rock Elite
14-UNDER GymRat CHALLENGE AGE DIVISION REPORT
ICC Truth’s Title Avenges Last Year’s Setback
SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY – Revenge was sweet for the ICC Truth team of the Rochester, N.Y., area at this year’s 14-under Age Division of the GymRat CHALLENGE AAU Tournament.
The Truth, a traditionally strong program, made it to the championship game of the 13-under division a year ago, but lost there against Eastside Hoops of the Syracuse area.
Flash ahead to this year and the two programs were once again matching up in the 14-under title game at the Gavin Park’s Dailey Gymnasium on Sunday, a meeting of upstate rivals whose programs are only a scant 90-mile drive apart on the New York State Thruway.
ICC Truth got the better of AAU rival Eastside this time, pulling away from a one-point late-game lead to earn a 53-45 championship-game victory.
“We weren’t really looking back at least year … we were just looking at what we had to do to take the title this year,” said 6-foot-3 forward Jeenathan Williams, the age-division’s MVG (Most Valuable GymRat).
Team coach Kevin Goode, though, thinks Truth squad did indeed have something to prove this time around.
“They knew, “ he said, “about last year’s championship game loss. I didn’t even have to remind them.”
Williams did much of the damage for the Truth, scoring 15 points and grabbing nine rebounds in the championship contest. He was a consistent inside force throughout his team’s six games, averaging 16.5 points per contest on 66.7 percent shooting from the field and doing most of his work in the paint.
“We work hard as a team and we all kind of feed off each other,” said Williams. “We did what we had to do to win. We were all about taking care of business.”
At age 14, it’s probably a little early for Williams to be thinking about his eventual playing days at the college level.But, when asked to name his ideal college location he had no hesitation. “My dream would be to play for Syracuse,” he admitted.
If that ever happens, it probably didn’t hurt his cause to play so well here with Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim in the stands to watch his own son, Jack (a team-high 16 points in the championship game), play for the Eastside squad.
Williams would likely have to continue growing both physically and as a player. But, he has already made drastic improvements in recent years.
“It’s like night and day with him even since last year,” said Goode, about Williams. “He has gone from being an athlete to being an athlete who is also a good player.”
“I’m just trying to get better,” added Williams. “We all make mistakes, but when I make them I’m trying to learn from them and not make them again. I just want to keep playing hard and working hard.”
Good things can only come from that type of attitude.
14-U AGE DIVISION MVG-Most Valuable GymRat
Jeenathan Williams, 6-3 forward, ICC Truth/University Prep Charter: A very versatile forward with great length who does his best work in the paint on both ends of the floor. He can score in a variety of ways, including running the floor in transition. Defensively he can change a game with his ability to clock and change shots. Very multi-talented. He averaged 16.5 points per contest over his team’s six-game run to the championship here.
14-U AGE DIVISION ALL-GymRat CHALLENGE TEAM
Jamal Fennell, 6-1 guard, ICC Truth/Lincoln Park: Excellent small forward skills. He has a nose for the ball on offense. He can score in the paint, as well as shoot the mid-range jumper. He is also an outstanding transition player. Can really finish in traffic with his athletic skills. Already a standout performer.
Roderick Jenkins, 5-10 forward, Connecticut Elite/Wallace School: A very strong player. What he currently lacks in size in the post he makes up for with strength and aggressiveness. He can rebound the ball well in traffic and finish around the basket and earn an and-one. Really tough, physical player.
Shaquez Nesbitt, 5-7 guard, Newburgh Panthers-Jenkins/Dutchess County BOCES: An outstanding point guard. He has the total package. Can handle the ball and passes well in tight situations. Extremely quick with the ball. High skill set with the ball.
Cole Prowitt-Smith, 5-11 guard, CT Premier Hoops/Ludlowe Middle School: Has a special feel for the game. Excellent in transition. He can find the open player seemingly on every possession. Great skills with the ball and a high basketball IQ. Very big upside as a player.
Thomas Jones, 6-2 forward, PrimeTime Ballers/Gates Chili: A very versatile forward who can post up and score with ease. He also has a mid-range jumper that he shoots over smaller defender. Defensively, outstanding at applying pressure defense using long arms to great effect. Looks like a Div. I prospect.
Will Loffredo, 6-2 center, Chris Word Basketball/Sleepy Hollow: He has a great basketball body … long, athletic and strong as a big man. Very good defender and shot blocker, a real presence in the paint with good weak-side defense. A relentless rebounder on the offensive glass, and gets most of his points there. Raw offensively, but potential to be very good.
Jack Minerva, 5-11 wing, Chris Word Basketball/Sleepy Hollow: High court IQ. He can score and make play with his intelligence. Shooting range out to 3-point land. He also gets to the rim to score. Plays with high energy on both ends. Always seems to make the right play or extra pass. Makes teammates better by making plays for them.
Dylan Mulroony, 6-2 wing, Ring City Elite: A talented scorer who can produce points both inside and out. A good shooter fromn 3 and he can also post up on the low block. He is long and a crafty scorer. He uses ball fakes very well to draw fouls. He can also get into the paint and create for teammates. A very good offensive player.
Thomas Carver, 5-6 point guard, Ring City Elite/Ridgewood: Tough little point guard who controls the pace of the game and makes his teammates better. Great at getting into the paint and creating for others. He can also shoot the 3. His individual defense leads to steals and to him getting transition buckets. Plays tough. Does not rattle under pressure.
DeAaron Lawrence, 5-8 guard, Education Before Basketball/Thomas Edison Middle School: A very good jump shooter and playmaker. Great on dribble pull-up. Tough player with high court IQ. Relentless defender that generates offense and break opportunities with steals and deflections. Can break down his man one-on-one and get to the rim to finish with a floater.
Greg Dolan, 6-1 wing, Albany City Rocks: A tall guard. He can handle and shoot like a guard, but will also play in the post a bit. Great at changing speeds on his moves from the post. Uses a lot of spin moves and ball fakes to score in the paint. Smart, crafty player that is a versatile scorer.
Rakesh Tibby, 6-4 center, Education Before BasketballPublic Safety Academy: A big-body post with a soft touch around the rim. Very good shooter from 15 feet and in. A true post player with a lot of potential. Can also pass out of the post when doubled. Finds open man. Rebounds and blocks shots with his length and size.
Jonas Harper, 5-11 wing, Stamford Peace/St. Luke’s: Great point guard that makes his teammates better. A real leader. One of the best players in his age group here. Very good handle, can go either way and get all the way to the hoop to finish with contact. Very good shooter from 3. Has great court vision and always finds open shooters. Made big play after big play all weekend here.
Skylar Sinon, 5-10 guard, Stamford Peace/Vrittenden Middle School: A long, think and sneaky athletic off-guard. A playmaker that is also a great scorer. Very good shooter from 3 and has a good-looking pull-up jumper. Can get to the rim going either way and is a crafty finisher at the rim over bigger players.
Lukas Yurasits, 5-8 point guard, Castle Athletics Knight/Lab Museum: A solid, under-control point guard. He made his team better here by getting the ball to the right people at the right time. Very poised with his handle and has good court vision. Long, thin. Can knock down 3’s if open. When crowded, he gets to the paint and creates.
Fred Mulbah, 5-7 guard, Central Pa. Elite/Northeastern Middle School: A small, athletic off guard. Plays the passing lane just as well as anyone here. Quick defender that gets several deflections and steals a game. Has a great handle that gets him into the lane to use a jump stop to either score or create. High confidence and noticeable energy. Makes players around him better.
Wildens Leveque, 6-4 center, Bay State Magic-Furb/Foxboro Charter: A huge presence in the paint. He can block shots and keep the ball in play regularly. Slender build allows him to run the floor very well for his height. He has the potential to be a double-figure scorer/rebounder in high school and beyond.
Junior Monteiro, 6-1 forward, Bay State Magic/Trinity Catholic Academy: A very smooth small forward with outstanding versatility. He can get to the basket and finish. He can also shoot the mid-range shot. Effective on the defensive end as well. With continued hard work he has Division I potential.
Kevougn Mille, 6-3 forward, CT Elite/East Hartford Middle School: He is a very effective post player who is both physical and aggressive around the basket. Seems to have a nose for the ball. Excellent rebounder. He also has the ability to block shots. He works extremely hard and has great potential.
Isaiah Gaiter, 6-0 forward, Education Before Basketball/Lincoln Middle School: A superior athlete. Very strong wing player. Arguably the strongest player at this age level. Rebounds everything using his strength and athleticism. High IQ player that can score, pass and rebound. Can play on the wing or in the post on both ends. A very good, complete player.
Michael Roumaj, 6-0 forward, Evoelite New England/Southside Middle School: A long, athletic forward. A great passer against the zone on the interior. Able to rebound in traffic and to finish with his athleticism and length. Very good shooter from 3. Can also get to the rim to finish. Can defend all positions.
Isaiah Williams, 5-6 point guard, Education Before Basketball/East Hartford Middle School: A small, tough, lightning-quick guard. Gets by his man and fearlessly attacks bigs to finish with contact. Shoots the 3 at a very high percentage. Can also knock down pull-up jumpers or get into the late with a floater. High energy defender in a trapping zone, but also great on-ball defender. Tight handle. Tough to slow him down on the break.
Melvin Floyd, 6-0 forward, Education Before Basketball/Two Rivers Magnet School: A great athlete. Very versatile on both ends. His length, strength and athleticism allows him to defend any position. Good defensive communicator and plays with energy every play. Offensively a great passer from the interior and is a very strong finisher. Can step out and knock down a 15-footer.
Mason Memmelaar, 6-4 post, Middletown’s Finest/Middletown H.S.: A very strong post player. Knows how to play there, exhibiting good post moves including a nice jump hook. A strong, aggressive rebounder. Can step out and make a 15-footer. Also a very good post defender.
Chris Pina, 6-3 forward, Hoop Nation/Spotswood: A strong, athletic post player with good court IQ for his role. Has nice power post moves. Rebounds with the best in this age division. Also can step out and hig the mid-range jumper. Exhibited a good understanding of strong team defense.
Era Alves, 6-1 forward, Connecticut Select 2018: An athletic wing player. He is an outstanding and versatile scorer. Has the ability to get to the basket, but also has a good jump shot. An aggressive rebounder from the perimeter. Very good handle. A shifty player.
Schyler Boykin, 5-6 guard, Mass Elite/World Academy: A very quick and athletic point guard. Good court IQ and he sees the floor extremely well. Despite size, has the ability to get to the basket. Also has shooting range out to the 3-point line. Good on-ball defender, one of the best at this age level.
Kyiev Bennermon, 6-3 post, Albany City Rocks-Orange/Poughkeepsie H.S.: A very strong power post player. Exhibited a nice power drop step, an effective move here. Runs the floor well for his size. Very good on the defensive end … a shot blocker/shot changer. Very aggressive rebounder.
Austin Dasilva, 5-10 guard, NY Pride-Iacone/Brookfield H.S.: A very athletic guard. Good slasher with the ability to get to the rim in a variety of ways. Just a quality guard who rebounds well from the backcourt position. Aggressive player, high motor at all times.
Darrell Hamilton Jr., 5-7 guard, Central Pa. Elite/Northeastern Middle School: A knock-down 3-point shooter. An athletic guard who can play the point or the two. Anticipates when the ball-handler is going to make a move and is adept at getting steals. Moves his feet well against other quick guards. Makes strong moves to drive to the hoop.
Isaiah Bujdoso, 5-11 forward, UPlay Bounce/Sir Allan McNab: A very quick point guard with high potential. Outstanding court intelligence and awareness. Can get to the rim with regularity. Good jump shot out to the arc. Also showed an inclination to play very effectively on defense.
David Guggio, 5-7 guard, EVO Elite/Tewksbury Middle School: A tough, quick combo guard who creates well off the dribble. Very fast, especially when pushing the ball on the break or driving to the basket. Can shoot off the dribble and shoots the mid-range jump shot effectively.
Adiang-Bell Deng, 5-9 point guard, Vermont United/Browns River Middle School: An athletic guard who can knock down the open 3. Can play the point or shooting guard. Quick and very crafty when driving to the basket. Makes good decisions with the ball. Has the ability to take over a game with his scoring. Can create off the dribble and pull up from 3.
Jack Boeheim, 6-3 wing, EastSide Hoops/Jamesville Dewitt: Tall, lanky wing player with nice guard skills. High court IQ, as would be expected from a coach’s son. Exhibited a nice handle here, plus a developing and already effective long-range shooting touch. Helped keep his team in the championship game with 16 points and averaged 12.8 pints in six tournament games.
Jevon Jones, 6-2 forward, Eastside Hoops/Jamesville-Dewitt: An extremely athletic post player. Comes to play with a high motor. Very aggressive on the court. A big-time rebounder at this level. Scores in multiple ways in the post. Great handle for a post player. Attacks well off the dribble.
William Engelhardt, 6-5 post, Eastside Hoops/Syracuse CBA: A good athlete, a stretch forward. Can post up and score inside. Very good at stepping out and attacking off the dribble. Great body control and uses his body well to shield defenders. Has 3-point range. Good rebounder. High hoops IQ. Big upside.
Khaleem Bennett, 6-2 forward, UPlay Bounce, Sir Allan McNab: An athletic and effective wing player. A nice slasher who gets to the rim seemingly at will. Also showed an ability to hit the 3. Aggressive on-ball defender. A top-tier athlete. Has good offensive moves and can handle well with either hand.
William Barton, 6-0 forward, York Ballers/William Penn: An athletic forward who has the ability to finish in a multiple of ways inside. Good face-up game. Attacks the defense off the dribble. A rangy rebounder. Shows high potential.
14U ALL-GymRat CHALLENGE HONORABLE MENTION TEAM
Corey Powell, 5-11 forward, ICC Truth
Malek Williams, 6-0 forward, Primetime Ballers
Braeden Zenelovic, 6-1 forward, Primetime Ballers
Will Burroughs, 6-1 forward, Next Level
Chris Wright, 5-7 forward, BC Eagles
Matt Herasme, 6-1 forward, BC Eagles
Jalen Ricks, 5-7 guard, Newburgh Panthers
Bret Edwards, 5-7 forward, New England Storm
Alex Rivera, 5-10 forward, New England Storm
Sean Conway, 5-4 guard, CT Premier Hoops
Tyrese Oloughlin, 5-10 forward, South County
Tyrone Pettway, 5-3 guard, Akedemikz
Theodore Manigo, 5-9 forward, Akademikz
Yanis Nyantenji, 6-1 forward, Mass Elite
Brandon Kenyon, 6-8 forward, UPlay Bounce
Antonio Riuto, 5-8 forward, York Ballers
Tanner McFarline, Middletown’s Finest
Josh Moncrieffe, Conn. Select 2018
Maneet Batra, 5-11 forward, Hoop Nation
Tyler White,, 5-6 point guard, Wayne PAL Wolfpack
Nash Goldman, 5-9 guard, CWB
Mark Henry, 5-7 guard, Buffalo Titans
Jackson Gonseth, 6-3 post, Chris Word Basketball
Max Matas, 6-0 forward, Central Pa. Elite
Richard Waltman, 6-4 forward, Ring City Elite
Marcus Goss, 5-8 guard, Education Before Basketball
Michael Brooks, 6-2 post, Education Before Basketball
Tevin St. John, 5-11 forward, Stamford Peace
Damani Thomas, 6-1 guard, City Rocks
Michael Kimball, 6-2 forward, City Rocks
Kiahaite Banks, 6-2 wing, City Rocks
Mariano Rodriguez, 5-10 forward Evo Elite
2014 GymRat CHALLENGE 13U DIVISION REPORT
Beard Gets The Point, Mavericks Get A Championship
SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY – Point guard are invaluable in any basketball setting, so losing one often creates an insurmountable hurdle.
But, not for Mid-Jersey Mavericks of the 13-under division of this year’s GymRat CHALLENGE AAU Tournament played at the Saratoga Recreation Center.
The Mavericks’ top point guard had to miss this year’s event due to a commitment to play baseball.
Big problem? Actually, no problem.
Titus Beard, a 5-foot-6 backcourt player who usually plays as the team’s shooting guard, moved over to run the point and looked like he has been in the position for all of his young life.
Beard handled the ball with near perfection and passed with an instinctive flair. With him as a “substitute” point guard, the Mavericks shot 59 percent as a team in capturing the age division’s championship with a decisive 74-43 victory over the South Shore Wolfpack Sunday afternoon.
Beard also chipped in with 12 points of his own in the title contest, while also dishing out to teammates Dominic Wright (16 points( and Ryan Granito (14 points) in the final contest.
Did the team miss its usual starting point guard? Beard made sure that it didn’t seem that way as the Mavericks rolled through the event in dominating fashion.
“Our guys have bought into a togetherness philosophy,” said team coach Rich Weise. “Without our starting point guard, guys just moved over a position.”
So, Beard moved from his traditional off-guard spot to the floor-general position.
But, the young player admitted that it wasn’t a major adjustment.
“I play a lot at the point for my middle school (Penn Charter) team,” said Beard. “So, it wasn’t a big thing for me to move over to the point in this tournament. I like playing there, and I like finding open teammates with good passes.”
Weise said his team’s players just like helping each other out.
“It’s a family feeling with us,” said the Mavericks’ coach. “Our philosophy is that everyone is together in this. When one of our guys falls to the ground, the other four guys on the court go over to pick him up.”
And, when the team was without its usual starter at the point guard spot at the GymRat CHALLENGE, it had Titus Beard ready to step into the position.
13U AGE DIVISION MVG – Most Valuable GymRat
Titus Beard, 5-6 guard, Mid Jersey Mavericks/Penn Charter School: An all-around game. A shooting guard who more-than-successfully moved over to the point for the tournament and exhibited unselfish and confidence play throughout the event. He can slash to break down a defense as well as hit the 3-pointer. Threads the needle on passes off the dribble and makes instinctive passes. An aggressive player on both ends of the court with unlimited athleticism and a desire to rebound.
13U DIVISION ALL-GymRat CHALLENGE TEAM
Dominic Wright, 5-10 power forward, Mid-Jersey Mavericks/Franklin Middle School: He frequently attacks the floor coast to coast. A very smooth player that is unselfish and smart. Can pass off the bounce and connect with teammates that most players wouldn’t see. Aggressive and quick to get up and block a shot. Big scorer in this event.
Konrad Kiszka, 6-1 post, Mid-Jersey Mavericks/Langhorne Middle School: The sixth man on the court who has good hands and footwork to catch and score on the run. Very effective inside player that finishes well. Played a very important role here. Also has a good handle for his sie, enough so to keep perimeter defenders honest.
Shamar Florence, 6-2 post, Mid-Jersey Mavericks/Bordentown Middle School: Has a strong inside game with a variety of moves. He uses a solid handle to cross over to go past defenders and get to the rim for and-ones. Smooth and strong player who is determined to own the backboards.
Michael Mullen, 5-4 guard, City Rocks Orange/Bethlehem Middle School: He wants the ball and loves the pressure of competition. Has the ability to, and frequently takes the quick 3-point shot from long range. Wants to the one to take the last shot. Not afraid to step up in big situations.
Colin Cameron, 5-6 guard, South Country Basketball/Cole School: A 3-point shooting specialist who is already ready to pull the trigger. A smooth player that has great elevation and lift on his shot. One of the best shooters here.
Quaheem Holland, 5-9 power forward, City Rocks-Utica/JFK Middle School: A very powerful and confident player who can own a court by rebounding and going end-to-end to score. Great athleticism and timing. Will share the ball by floating it ahead. Also can hit the three, or attack and spin to get to the hoop. Has fun on defense. Aggressive, makes steals and outstanding shot-blocker.
Symir Torrence, 5-9 power forward, City Rocks-Utica/Syracuse Academy of Science: Runs and glides on the floor. Ultra athletic with a confident handle to show a quick change-of-pace/inside-out move to blow by defenders. Enjoys defense, has quick hands and an incredible sense to steal the ball. Plays with defenders with a shot fake, and has three-point range.
Declan Porter, 6-0 center, City Rocks-Utica/Canton School: A “Baby Shaq” at his best. Strong, physical player that loves the power game and knows how to play it. Also has enough finesse to slide to the hoop and has already conquered the jump-hook technique. Good hands and timing to dominate the boards.
Josh Reeves, 5-11 forward, Ct. Elite/St. Stephens School: A strong player who uses power in all aspects of his game. Has athleticism and timing to get up and rebound the ball. Uses the pump/ball fake inside to draw fouls, and the fake-and-step-through move to get to the basket effectively.
Matthew Bettle, 5-11 forward, South Shore Wolf Pack/Kingston Middle School: Plays on a team that is quick to trap and force the turnover. Has an all-around game able to finish off after getting a steal. Likes to mix it up on the boards, yet is an unselfish player willing to pass at opportune times.
Spencer Caldwell, 6-0 forward, South Shore Wolf Pack/Thayer Academy: A strong player who is all over the court on the offensive and defensive ends. Enjoys an uptempo style and stepping into the lane to get a steal, then taking it hard into the lane with a strong finish. Plays hard at both ends and an uses his size effectively.
Matt Malone, 6-0 forward, South Shore Wolf Pack/Norwell Middle School: Aggressive player that looks to attack the basket. Has the ability to catch on the run and finish as well as to pull up and shoot over defenders that stop in front of him. Works hard on the defensive end and is capable of locking shots.
Mike Simon, 6-1 center, South Shore Wolf Pack/Hanover Middle School: Strong build and knows how to use it. Hits the glass hard at both ends and has good timing and athleticism that enable him to be both a strong rebounder. Strong enough to get put-backs and to get up and tip in misses. Very strong inside presence.
Patrick Thomas IV, 6-2 center, RAP Knights/UPREP Middle School: A very stong player who has a great finish. Attacks and owns the boards. Will post up strong in the low blocks and can convert the turn-around. Has good athleticism and body control. Also has physical timing to get up and effective tip in missed shots.
Freddy June, 5-9 guard, RAP Knights/Rogers Middle School: A smooth player with a crafty handle and body control. Ability to get pat defenders. Finds open teammates with passes. Makes enough shots to make the defense play honestly Has a long-range touch, out to 3-point range.
Davante Jamison, 4-10 point guard, Boston Icemen/Tech Boston: An intense point guard with a very solid handle. Can finish at the glass, but loves the floater. A three-point threat. Aggressive on-the-ball defensive presence. Distributes the ball well. Finds the open player regularly.
Dan Serederian, 6-3 center, Evolution New England/Belmont School: A worker at both ends of the floor. Uses his size to his advantage, particularly with his wing span on the fefensive end. Scores with a baseline jumper. Good touch around the basket. Good at rebounding and put-backs. Keeps the ball high and thinks upcourt after getting defensive rebounds.
Faison Latice, 5-5 point guard, City Rocks-Tibbs: A heads-up floor general who looks to run the team and break down a defense. He creates offensive with his defensive intensity and heads-up play. Quick hands. Uses head-, pass- and ball-fakes effectively. Solid triple-threat attack: perimeter shooting, off-the-dribble moves and passing.
Jair Currie, 5-10 wing, City Rocks-Tibbs: An all-around standout. Tremendous athlete who runs the floor hard and has quick ups. Finishes strong in transition. Excellent 1-on-1 breakdown and attack moves. Reads defenses and scores either at the glass or off the jumper. Has 3-point range. Can draw and dish. Effective spin move. Covers ground quickly on the drive. Uses length on both ends. Very high motor.
Nazier Jenkins, 5-9 forward, CAS Panthers: An explosive player. He combines athleticism, speed and ups with skill on both ends. He goes after rebound on both ends and has a good shooting touch and finishing ability around the hoop. Very aggressive. A good shot-blocker. Heads up player on both ends. Can score from the outside and off the dribble, but at his best in the paint.
Miles Brown, 5-6 guard, ICC Truth/Greece Christian: Quick hands on offense and defense. Attacks the transition. Intelligent player. Gets to the hoop. Covers a lot of ground fast. Solid handle and good passer. Uses fakes well. Smooth outside shot, yet also attacks off the dribble. Quick spin move. Active and aggressive on defense. Reads the defense well and takes what’s there.
Isaiah Stewart, 6-1 post, ICC Truth/School 19: Super athlete with tremendous ups. Goes to get rebounds. Good hands and finisher around the basket. Boxes out well. Rips ball and keeps it high. Solid post game, but can also attack off the dribble. Gets to the hoop quickly. Uses his size well. Blocks and alters many shots.
Chris Camile, 6-1 forward, Mass Commanders: Excellent long and lanky athlete. Solid handle and has ability to attack off the dribble. Quick and long first step. Hustles on both ends. After a steal or rebound immediately looking to attack. Goes hard to the glass. Good draw and dish. Good hands. Active on the boards. Makes a defense work. Has a nice mid-range jumper.
James Gascoigne, 6-1 forward, Mass Commanders: Solid and strong forward with core fundamentals. Aggressive on the boards on both ends. Nice touch around the basket. A physical post. Uses his body to advantage and gets a good angle to the basket. Runs the floor hard.
Matt Doherty, 5-8 guard, Mass Commanders: Quick in transition. Finisher at the hoop. Good passer either in half-court or transition. Nice one-dribble pull-up jumper. Nice release on baseline pull-up. Heads-up player who does the little things. Crashes weakside boards hard. Excels in transition. Gets to his lane and runs hard to the hoop. Good touch and body control.
Mike Doherty, 5-8 wing, Mass Commanders: Gets up court fast! Great hands and finishes strong at the hoop. Excels in transition. Outworks opponents. Quick hands on defense, creating offensive possessions. Uses his length for deflections. Goes hard after loose balls. Has 3-point range and is also a good passer.
Brady Darby, 6-1 center, RAP Knights/McQuade Middle School: Strong, determined force inside. A mobile big man who possesses good moves and has ability to be effective on the run. Doesn’t always finish, but works hard to get to the foul line.
Torren Porte, 5-7 guard, New Jersey Gym Ratz/St. Joseph’s Academy: aggressive player. Very athletic and sckilled. Can drive to finish, spinning past defenders en route. Can stop and pop, yet can also shoot the 3. A leader who shares the ball. He wants the ball in his hands at key spots.
Will Krebs, 6-1 forward, New Jersey Gym Rats/Suffern Middle School: Has good size and strength and knows how to finish in the paint. Posts and asks for the ball strong. Likes, and has conquered the turnaround shot. A true forward that is determined to alter opponents’ shots.
Cameron Coloutti, 5-9 power forward, Spartans/Castleton Village School: Long, strong and uses his power to pull back and finish a shot strongly inside. Can hit the 3 as well as penetrate to finish. Dishes to teammates when stopped. Uses defenders to make contact and spin off to score. Competitive and blocks shots.
Darren Watson, 5-7 guard, New England Storm-Black/North Andover Middle School: Likes the inside-out moves to attack and go past defenders. Drives the lane well. Focused and strong, draws contact and finishes. Compliments his team by delivering accurate passes. Smooth with his moves.
Selwyn Harris, 5-8 guard, New England Storm-Black/Lowell Middle School: Aggressive guard who wants the ball in his hands. Confident and crafty with a variety of moves to blow past defenders. A true leader who can set up and make plays in the half court. Has good body control to slide by. Strong enough to rebound and finish with quick put-backs.
Joe Nuttall, 5-7 guard, BV Chaos/Charlton Middle School: A guard any coach would love to have on a team. Very unselfish and skilled. Great at delivering a pass. Multi-skilled player who also has a consistent and confident outside shot. Can play either guard spot effectively.
John Adams, 6-0 forward, BV Chaos/Douglas Intermediate School: Persistent and powerful forward. Aggressive to secure and finish with 2nd and 3rd attempts. Finishes well in the paint. Can cross over and get by from the outside. Boxes hard on defense and loves to block opponents’ shots.
Cody Adams, 5-4 guard, Central Mass Swarm/Holy Names Junior High: Has an uncanny ability to pass and see the court. Can also finish. Shooting touch, out to 3-point range. Defensively quick and has good hands. Just an all-around good player.
13U AGE DIVISION ALL-GymRat CHALLENGE HONORABLE MENTION
Darryl Veale, 5-6 forward, Boston Icemen
Akinyele Crawford, 5-7 forward, Boston Icemen
Sohon Rambhare, 5-6 guard, Akedmikz
Major “Davis” Mo, 5-11 center, Syracuse Select
Connor Hayes, 5-7 guard, Syracuse Select
Ty Nice, 5-8 guard, Syracuse Select
Jake Marshall, 5-7 guard, Syracuse Select
Max Meyrs, 5-6 wing, NY Falcons
Dan Kenny, 5-10 center, NY Falcons
Joe Bernadore, 5-4 guard, NY Falcons
Jack Tucek, 5-2 point guard, NY Falcons
Tony Hastings, 5-6 wing, NY Falcons
Joseph Assad, 5-8 forward, New England Evolution
Ryan Ludwig, 5-4 guard, New England Evolution
Cam McCullough, 5-10 forward, New England Evolution
Vondre Chase, 6-0 forward, New England Evolution
Hunter Caron, 5-9 guard, Lake Champlain Lakers
Jonathan Martin, 5-8 guard, Lake Champlain Lakers
Ty Irvis, 5-11 forward, City Rocks-Tibbs
Patrick Stevens, 5-10 guard, CAS Panthers
Erniro LaForest, 5-10 forward, Rockland Rockets
Smith Velbert, 6-2 center, Rockland Rockets
Dyree Rogers, 5-3 guard, Rockland Rockets
Jake Hughes, 5-3 point guard, Mass Commanders
Mack Manuel, 5-9 forward, Mass Commanders
Kevin Ryan, 5-10 forward, RAP Knights
Aidan Downes, 4-10 guard, New Jersey Gym Ratz
Josh Antoine, 5-10 forward, New Jersey Gym Ratz
Dylan Mackie, 4-11 guard, Spartans
Sahil Tekchandani, 6-3 post, New England Storm-Black
Nick Resendiz, 5-8 guard, New England Storm-Black
Aise Pream, 5-7 guard, New England Storm-Black
Jack Bodette, 6-0 forward, New England Storm Black
Christian Cunningham, 5-9 forward, BV Chaos
Jason Mongeon, 6-1 forward, BV Chaos
R.J. Weise, 5-0 guard, Mid Jersey Mavericks
Davin Straughter, 5-7 guard, Syracuse Select-Albright
Justin Barnes, 5-4 guard, City Rocks-Orange
Michael Murray, 5-10 forward, City Rocks-Orange
Nate Woodside, 5-5 guard, South County Basketball
Matt Iannotti, 5-7 guard, South County Basketball
Luke Sutherland, 6-0 forward, City Rocks-Utica
Zeccharia Barnes, 5-8 forward, Newburgh Panthers
Norman Johnson, 5-6 guard, Newburgh Panthers
Dillon Buongiorn, 5-10 forward, CT Elite
Matt Becker, 5-1 forward, CT Elite
Jakye Womack, 5-8 forward, WNY Braves
Noah Williams, 5-6 forward, WNY Braves
Jaylen Stewart, 5-3 guard, WNY Braves
Robbie Cannon, 5-2 guard, Central Mass Storm
Jared Ullstrom, 5-11 forward, Central Mass Storm
Steven Simon, 6-1 forward, South Shore Wolf Pack
Andrew Carroll, 5-9 forward, South Shore Wolf Pack
Aiden Sullivan, 5-6 guard, South Shore Wolf Pack
Todd Campanella, 5-10 forward, BC Eagles
Patrick Oboyle, 4-11 guard, BC Eagles
Nicholas Memoli, 5-9 forward, BC Eagles.
Kevin Ryan, 5-10 forward, RAP Knights
GymRat CHALLENGE 12-Under AGE Division REPORT
Young Emulates NBA Stars, Leads Rens To Championship
SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY – Jahiem Young is like most 12-year olds in that he spends a lot of time in front of the TV screen. But, Young isn’t watching MTV, or reality shows … unless NBA action is considered a realty show.
The youthful 5-foot-11 forward spends many nights viewing the likes of LeBron James and Kevin Durant, and he’s not just watching for entertainment value. He thinks of watching those games as instructional opportunities.
“Those are my two favorite players because they’re the two best,” said Young. “They’re good to watch because they both do so many things. When I watch them I’m trying to see what they do, and, then, try to see what I can copy into my own play.”
At this year’s GymRat CHALLENGE Young put on a display off James/Durant versatility, exhibiting a nice mid-range jumper, an instinctive passing ability and some tough inside play.
It was more than enough to earn a GymRat version of what Young’s NBA idols are currently chasing: a championship.
Young, and a very impressive cast of teammates, led the NYC On Point Rens team to a championship game victory over the Newburgh Panthers at the Saratoga Recreration Center on Sunday.
The winners took over early as Young led the way with, at one stretch, three baskets and two assists in an early run that stretched the Rens’ lead from 12-6 to 30-10 by late in the first half.
The Panthers never got closer than 20 again after that.
“They were just unworldly,” said Panthers’ coach Derrick Stanton, about the Rens.
But, the performance didn’t just come from out of thin air.
“We practice three times a week, two hours a practice,” said Rens’ coach James Horan. “It helps the guy learn how to play together. The other thing is that we like to go up and down, and we have 11 guys so we use that depth.”
It also didn’t hurt to have considerable height (Young’s teammate, Richard Springs, is about 6-2), some lightning quick guards and good all-around talent.
The team’s balance enabled it to dominate the championship game, but it was Young who came up big in the early going when things were still up for grabs.
Until, that is, he started making good use of the post moves, the passing and the mid-range shooting he had watched his NBA favorites do so often at that level.
12-U AGE DIVISON MVG-Most Valuable GymRat
Jahiem Young, 5-11 forward, NYC On Point Rens/IS 383: An extremely versatile player who was consistent throughout and played at his best in the early going of the championship game when the outcome was still in doubt. Uses either hand around the rim. Tenacious rebounder. Gets off the floor quickly. Nice baseline jumper and range beyond 15 feet. Made some nice, instinctive passes here.
12-U AGE DIVISOIN ALL-GymRat CHALLENGE TEAM
Keyshaun Leslie, 5-10 wing, NYC on Point Rens/Middle Village Prep: Quick off guard with a great handle. Just a natural scorer. Can shoot from long range and uses a nice stop-and-pop move. Very active defensively, uses his quick hands to his advantage.
Ali Saunderson, 5-5 guard, NYC On Point Rens/MS 577: An off guard who is a supreme slasher. He gets up off his feet well in every rebounding situation. Sees the floor extremely well. Has quick hands that are effective on the defensive end. Outstanding complimentary player.
Dareese Mitchell, 4-11 point guard, NYC On Point Rens/MS 265: Very smart point guard that sees the floor well. Very fast hands that he uses to produce turnovers. Moves well without the ball to get into position to receive a pass. More than willing to get his teammates involved with good passes.
Nathaniel Wilson, 5-7 wing, York Ballers/Northeastern: Follows every shot. Great hustler. Uses size, athleticism to get to the rim at will. A double-digit scorer here. Also plays good defense. Outstanding defensive anticipation, which results in many steals.
Tyquez McMillan, 5-11 post, York Ballers/Central York: Always on the move. He does a little of everything for his team. Big size for his age, but well-balanced. Can start and finish the break. Aggressive around the rebounds. Strong rebounder. Quick off his feet, resulting in many blocks.
Johan Alston, 5-0 point guard City Rocks-Utica/Grant Middle School: A noticeably confident shooter from deep, beyond the 3-point line. Also sees the floor well. Looks to get others involved. Good ball-handler and floor general. Doesn’t lose his cool under pressure.
Justin Rodriguez, 5-5 point guard, Mustangs N.Y./Lindbergh: Unbelievably fast, true point guard who can also create his own shot. Just a fearless competitor that attacks the rim. Good passer with quick feet and hands. Causes havoc when on defense with deflections, steals.
Danta Davis, 5-6 guard, Mustangs N.Y./St. Charles Borromeo: Outstanding use of quick first step that helps him create space for his jump shot. Consistent from 3-point range, which opens up his effective drive moves. Can finish with both hands. Good defender that gets his hands on many passes.
Duane Jones, 5-7 forward, Mustangs N.Y./St. Joseph’s: A rebounding machine who gets many second- and third shots because of his relentless effort. A very good finisher around the rim. Plays great defensive in the post. High motor. Runs the floor well and effectively.
Jahlikai King, 4-10 point guard, Newburgh Panthers-Miles/Horizons: Extreme hustles, which enhances every aspect of his game. Plays both ends of the court with high intensity. Feerless when attacking the rim, despite size. A very good passer who wants to make others better.
Charlie Gadsen, 5-10 center, Syracuse Select/Syracuse City: A big man who knows where to be and how to get there. Very strong in the post. Good hands and keeps the ball high above his head when he receives it. Gets good position and uses it effectively to rebound.
Mike Dambrosio, 5-6 wing, Syracuse Select/Syracuse City: A big body with good court awareness. Scoring seems to come easy for him. A real hustler on both ends of the floor. Loose balls seem to find him, a result of game-long effort. Double-digit scoring and rebounding numbers were the norm here.
Jaden Bradley, 5-6 guard, Flower City Elite/Walt Disney Gates: A quick-handed thief on the defensive end who produces a lot of turnovers. Very quick first step that he uses to creat opportunities for himself, yet also sees the floor to deliver draw-and-dish chances. Very good passer.
Melvin Counsil, 5-6 guard, Flower City Elite/Martin B. Anderson: A slasher who finds his way to the hoop, either from the perimeter or when receiving the ball in the post. He can flat out score. Quick hands with great court awareness. Capable of defending any position on the court well.
Jahki Parrinello, 4-8 point guard, House of Sports Elite/El Dorado Elementary: A very good ball-handler, a true point guard. Yet, for his size, not at all afraid to penetrate and dish. Makes teammates around him better. Extremely quick hands and feet that are effective on the defensive end.
Malique Pringle, 5-1 guard, House of Sports Elite/Fanne Lou Hamer Middle School: Playing up an ae level, yet still exuded confidence. A little slender for his age, but he makes up for it with hustle. Tremendously effective on defense. Doesn’t back down from any challenge. Good ball-handler that looks for others.
Kekoa Mardle, 6-2 center, City Rocks-Clayton/Pittsfield Middle School: A big man that uses his size well. Very good defender, yet plays strong perimeter defense. His size, at his age, is very intimidating. Very good post defender. Blocks many shots. Finishes strongly around the rim.
Andre Jackson, 5-6 guard, City-Rocks Clayton/Amsterdam Middle School: A lanky combo guard with a very smooth handle. He can step outside for a 3 anywhere around the arc. Has no fear about mixing it up physically on the defensive end. Exhibited good court awareness.
Zaccheaus Barnes, 4-10 point guard, Newburgh Panthers-Stanton/South Middle School: Undersized, but more than makes up for it with his heart and tenacity. Very quick hands, along with fast feet. He’s able to create multiple turnovers. A floor general that can shoot, along with finding the open man.
Jishid Forrest, 6-0 center, Newburgh Panthers-Stanton/South Middle School: A true post player for his age. A rebound machine at both ends. His hustle alone produces points for his team. Finds himself with double-digit point totals consistently due to his presence around the rim.
Queron Lewter, 5-7 forward, Newburgh Panthers-Stanton/South Middle School: A big body around the rim. He also moves well without the ball. Knows how to get into the right place at the right time. A very good shot-blocker. Tons of athleticism serves him well in the paint and around the rim.
Rahsen Fisher, 5-10 center, Stamford Peace/Norwalk Middle School: A true center with an athletic frame. Great to watch. Good hands around the rim. Great footwork for his age. Double-double machine in every game. He makes things happen because of his inclination to always be on the move.
Matt Tepedino, 5-0 point guard, Stamford Peace/Rye Middle School: Very court-savvy point guard who exhibits high basketball intelligence. He takes over both on the offensive and defensive end. Always looking for open teammates. Good first step with the ball. Looks like he enjoys playing defense. Makes crisp passes.
Quinn Kelly, 5-0 guard, Stamford Peace/Rye Middle School: Shows a high basketball intelligence. A combo guard, capable of playing the point, or off. Good release after a nice first step gets him open often. Does a good job of taking pressure off his teammates by knowing where to be to get open for passes.
Justin Fitzpatrick, 6-2 center, New England Evolution/Burlington: Unbelievable size and length. Uses long arms to block shots with ease. Capable of using both hands around the rim. Very good rebounder. Already has an effective mid-range jumper out to the 15-foot range.
Jaydon Belliveau-Ryan, 5-8 forward. New Hampshire Gymrats/SMS: An aggressive player who moves well without the ball. A scoring threat. Attacks the hoop off the dribble. Excellent courty sense. Good hands and touch around the rim. Uses his strength to finish and draw fouls. Solid midpoint attack game. Good fakes and pivot moves to create open shots. All-out hustler.
Jakai Robinson, 5-10 forward, House of Sports Elite/Dorner Middle School: A heads-up player who is active and aggressive on the boards on both ends. Money with the put-back finish. Great ups. Solid 1-1 attack from high post. Gets to the glass and can nail the step-back. Solid turn-around jumper in the paint. Great pivot moves. Active on defense.
Shamel Jones, 5-7 wing, House of Sports Elite/Port Chester Middle School: Aggressive and smart rebounder. Good finisher around the hoop, both off the rebound and the drive. Turn-around jumper in the paint. Strong player. Solid on both ends. Active on-the-ball defensive pressure. Quick first step to the hoop. High motor.
12-Under Age Division All-GymRat Honorable Mention
Thomas Messina, 5-11 center, Swarm
Peyton Springfield, 5-6 guard, NH Gym Rats
Jordan Scherer, 5-5 guard, House of Sports
Nick Perotta, 5-0 guard, Evolution N.E.
Liam Dunfee, 5-6 guard, Evolution N.E.
Maurice Capo, 5-6 guard, York Ballers
Andrew Brodbeck, 5-0 guard, York Ballers
Ramsey Salen, 5-3 guard, Mustangs NYC.
Sage Deito, 5-5 guard, Boston Icemen
Keshaun Harris, 4-10 guard, Boston Icemen
James Madill, 4-11 guard, Syracuse Select
Nacir Hundley, 5-0 guard, Schenectady B.C.
Josh Winfield, 5-2 guard, Schenectady B.C.
Matt Cammock, 5-5 guard, L.I. Lightning
Sal Saputo, 5-1 guard, L.I. Lightning
Nore Williams, 5-11 center, City Rocks-Utica
Lamarqus Merchant, 5-1 guard, City Rocks-Utica
Benji Pearce, 5-0 guard, House of Sports
Jorr Norgaisse, 5-6 guard, City Rocks-Clayton
Luke Rudolph, 5-10 forward, Bay State Magic
Connor Camacho, 5-4 guard, Stamford Peace
Addias Carcamo, NYC On Point, 5-1 guard
Richard Springs, NYC On Point, 6-1 ceenter
Jeremiah Anderson, NYC On Point 5-0 guard
Anthony Clayton, 5-0 guard, City Rocks-Clayton