Page 1

1


CONTENTS

4

SESSION DATES

5

WELCOME TO EYBL

6-7 10-95 98-133 129

D1 CIRCUIT’S EYBL PREVIEW | APRIL 2018

EYBL BY THE NUMBERS TEAM PREVIEWS & ROSTERS Q & A’S JORDAN GIVEAWAY

134-137 17U SESSION SCHEDULE 52

MCDONALD’S ALL AMERICAN

74

JORDAN BRAND CLASSIC

138-140 E16 POOLS AND SCHEDULE 141

GEYBL DIVISIONS

142-149 NCAA TOURNAMENT 151

2018 TOP RETURNERS

152

PEACH JAM HISTORY

153

PLAYER FEATURES 110-111 COLE ANTHONY 116-118 DAVID RODDY 132-133 ISAAC OKORO 122-123 ISAIAH STEWART 98-99

JAMES WISEMAN

128-129 KEION BROOKS JR. 100-101 KENYON MARTIN JR.

INSIDE CONTENTS

106-107 TYRESE MAXEY

CONTRIBUTORS MANAGING EDITOR DESIGNER/PRODUCER WRITER / EDITOR

ALEC KINSKY BRIANNA LEWERKE NATE BUCSKO

TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT WHAT WE DO, VISIT: SPORTSENGINE.COM

2


FIND YOUR TEAM TEAM

PREVIEW

PREVIEW

12-13

TEAM

ALBANY CITY ROCKS

NY LIGHTNING

45-46

ALL OHIO RED

70-71

NIKE PHAMILY

76-77

AOT RUNNING REBELS

92-93

NIKE TEAM FLORIDA

90-91

BABC

42-43

OAKLAND SOLDIERS

80-81

BLUFF CITY

10-11

PLAYAZ CLUB

36-37

BOO WILLIAMS

94-95

PRO SKILLS

82-83

BRAD BEAL ELITE

22-23

PSA CARDINALS

48-49

CIA BOUNCE

26-27

RENAISSANCE

32-33

DRIVE NATION

88-89

ROSE CITY REBELS

28-29

E1T1 UNITED

56-57

SEATTLE ROTARY

16-17

EXPRESSIONS ELITE

50-51

TEAM CP3

68-69

GEORGIA STARS

64-65

TEAM FINAL

40-41

HOUSTON HOOPS

84-85

TEAM MELO

46-47

HOWARD PULLEY

60-61

TEAM TAKEOVER

38-39

INDY HEAT

58-59

TEAM UNITED

72-73

LAS VEGAS PROSPECTS

34-35

TEAM WHY NOT

86-87

MAC IVRVIN FIRE

54-55

THE FAMILY DETROIT

66-67

MEANSTREETS

62-63

THE TRUTH

78-79

MEBO TEAM ELITE

24-25

UPLAY CANADA

14-15

MOKAN ELITE

20-21

WOODZ ELITE

18-19

3


4


WELCOME TO

THE CIRCUIT AO T RU N N IN G R EBEL S GE ORG I A

D RIV E N ATIO N T E XAS

T EAM WHY N O T C A L I F OR NI A

TH E TRU TH C AL I F O R N I A

RO SE CIT Y R EBEL S P ORT L A N D

W OOD Z E L IT E AR KAN SAS 5


Nike: BY THE NUMBERS The EYBL effect

EYBL alumni to reach NCAA Tournament

Since its inception in 2010, the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League (EYBL) has transformed the landscape of grassroots basketball. The present-day EYBL provides an innovative and effective method for developing young basketball talent by allowing the top athletes from around the country to compete head-to-head.

2018: 289 2017: 258 2016: 243 2015: 212 2014: 186 2013: 164

During it's brief history, the EYBL has demonstrated a proven ability to attract, prepare, and produce talent in a way that numbers can only describe. You’ll have to see it to believe it.

EYBL alumni to reach Sweet Sixteen 2018: 83 2017: 68 2016: 78 2015: 59 2014: 63 2013: 58

EYBL alumni to reach Final four

eybl alumni in ESPN Rankings

2018: 2017: 2016: 2015: 2014:

56 |100 66 |100 51 |100 62 |100 60 |100

- 24 of the top 40 - 20 of the top 25 - 11 of the top 20 - 16 of the top 25 - 19 of the top 25

2018: 26 2017: 22 2016: 25 2015: 19 2014: 25

EYBL alumni to reach elite eight 2018: 47 2017: 38 2016: 45 2015: 39 2014: 39 2013: 35

6


Number of nike eybl mcdonald’s all-americans

eybl alumni drafted in the1st round

-109 PLAYERS SINCE 2012-

24

13 10 18 09 11 15

2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012

NUMBER of 12

Players

0

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

Year

Number of nike eybl jordan brand classic participants

players to win national championships

-134 PLAYERS SINCE 2012-

26

NUMBER of 13

Players

0

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

2018

2017

8 8 5 5 5 4 6

2018 Villanova 2017 UNC 2016 VilLanova 2015 DUKE 2014 uconn 2013 louisville 2012 Kentucky

TOTAL: 41

Year

NUMBER OF eybl players to receive full athletic scholarship

eybl alumni in the nba As of January 1

400

336 NUMBER of

Players

200

217

240

250+

250+

2016

2017

2018

98

0 2014

2015 Year

7


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8


D IV I SIO N A

9


BLUFF CITY LEGENDS M E M H P I S ,

T E N N E S S E E

OVERVIEW The program formerly known as Team Penny had a solid 2017, racking up a 10-6 regular season record while graduating seven players to the next level. Their Peach Jam run didn’t go as planned, but luckily for the Bluff City Legends, this season’s roster should make that a distant memory. The Legends will carry 13 players onto the circuit, highlighted by six returners; James Wiseman, DJ Jeffries, Chandler Lawson, Malcolm Dandridge Jordan Johnson and Arecko Gipson. Throw in newcomer Zion Harmon, a ninth-grade five-star recruit who led Boo Williams to the Elite Eight last season, and you’re looking at arguably the scariest roster in all of grassroots basketball. THE BACKCOURT: It sounds strange to say, but the freshman Harmon is a seasoned veteran in the EYBL. The 5-foot-10 floor general ran with We All Can Go (TN) in 2016 and Boo Williams (VA) a year ago, and he has to be giddy about the weapons at his disposal in ‘18. Findlay Prep (NV) junior Ashton Smith is a high-energy point guard with a smooth shooting stroke from deep, and should be a terrific complement to Harmon’s skills. Smith helped guide the Pilots to GEICO Nationals, and will welcome the spotlight that comes with playing for Memphis’ Nike EYBL representative. The aforementioned veteran Johnson (6-foot-1) returns after recently reclassifying to Tennessee Prep, looking to improve on 2017 averages of 7.2 points, 2.0 rebounds and 2.0 assists in 20 games. A trio of juniors - Tyrus Baynham Jr, Keishawn Davidson and Amorey Womack, will fight for significant minutes off the bench, while the 6-foot-8 Jeffries (247 No. Composite 26) is capable of sliding to the shooting guard position when the Legends go big. THE FRONT COURT: Wiseman put up 17.5 points, 7.2 rebounds and 2.8 blocks over the course of 19 minutes per game this season for Memphis East (TN), while his teammate Lawson averaged 10.6 points, 6.6 rebounds and 2.6 assists in 20 minutes per game. Throw in the 6-foot-9 Dandridge (247 4-star) and Jeffries, who averaged 11.2 points and 4.8 rebounds a year ago and is fresh off MVP honors in Olive Branch’s MHSAA 5A state title run, and the Legends frontcourt becomes an embarrassment of riches. Their experience from 2017 will be invaluable, and is a big reason why they’ll be pre-ranked atop the entire EYBL. The 6-foot-6 Gipson will take on the same energy as a year ago, while 6-foot-5 junior Sky Forest will fight for minutes off the bench.

T H E S TA R There are stars all over the place in this lineup, so we’ll go with their highest-ranked player in Wiseman, who doubles as the highest-ranked player in his class. As his lofty ranking indicates, the 7-foot, 240-pound Wiseman is a special prospect and has showcased the skills, athleticism and defensive ability of a future NBA top-five pick. Wiseman averaged a modest 9.9 points, 6.3 rebounds and 1.7 blocks per game in 2017, and we expect him to completely shatter those numbers this spring and summer. He may not lead the Legends in scoring, but it’s almost a certainty that Wiseman will be their most important player on both ends of the floor. Lawson, Jeffries and Harmon are stars in their own right, and all three should benefit greatly running alongside Wiseman. Expect the Legends’ big man to have a stellar season, while displaying moments of utter dominance.

TEAM INFO

2017 R E C OR D: 10- 6 DIR E C TOR: D UJ UAN TAY LO R

T H E X - FACTO R The Legends’ frontcourt is on a completely different level, which means the guards will need to hold their own. Harmon is going to be steady with the ball in his hands, and if Smith can become an interchangeable option at point guard while the other guards find their niche, then Bluff City will be virtually unstoppable. Former Head Coach Penny Hardaway recently departed the program to become the head coach at the University of Memphis, which cued the name change back to Bluff City. Fortunately for their fans, the talent didn’t leave when Penny did. The Bluff City Legends will start the season as the topranked team on the circuit, and will consequently have a gigantic target on their backs when they tip off in Dallas.

10


BLUFF CIT Y LEGENDS ROSTER NO.

NAME

POS.

HIGH SCHOOL

YEAR

0

DJ Jeffries

F

6'8

212

Olive Branch

2019

2

Tyrus Baynham Jr

G

6'4

187

Franklin Road

2019

3

Chandler Lawson

F

6'8

200

Memphis East

2019

4

Ashton Smith

G

5'10

170

Findlay Prep

2019

5

Keishawn Davidson

G

6'2

160

Oakland

2019

10

Arecko Gipson Jr

F|G

6'6

190

Tennessee Prep

2019

5'10

170

Adair County

2021

11

Zion HarmonTEA M FAC TSG

HEIGHT WEIGHT

12

Jordan Johnson

G

6'1

170

Tennessee Prep

2019

21

Amorey Womack

G

6'1

170

Webster Groves

2019

23

Sky Forest

F

6'5

210

Lausanne Collegiate

2019

32

James Wiseman

F

7'0

240

Memphis East

2019

35

Malcolm Dandridge

F

6'9

230

Memphis East

2019

11


CITY ROCKS A L BA N Y,

N E W

YO R K

OVERVIEW The City Rocks enjoyed their best season in years in 2017, winning their first four games en route to a 10-6 regular season finish. The success didn’t end there, as the Rocks rattled off four wins in Peach Jam pool play, narrowly bowing out to runner-up Team Takeover in the Final 8. Head Coach and Director Jim Hart has assembled a group chock-full of ranked players - seven in total - making it very easy to get excited about the 2018 version of the Rocks. The Rocks returns a lot of their 2017 production, and welcome in a tremendously talented supporting cast that will enter the season with aspirations of a Peach Jam title. The Rocks’ 12man rotation features a little bit of everything; veteran leadership, strong defense and a whole lot of scoring. Simply put, they’ll be gunning for their best season since the EYBL’s inception in 2010. THE BACKCOURT: Joe Girard will have plenty of help in the backcourt, and his game should only elevate when surrounded by elite talent. 6-foot-3 point guard Mika Adams-Woods is the third returner for the Rocks, returning after modest per-game averages of 5.6 points, 3.4 assists and 2.5 rebounds in 2017. A native of Syracuse and current student at New Hampton School (NH), Adams-Woods (247 3-star) will be looking to cement his status as a high-major prospect. A pair of physical sophomores - Symir Torrence (6-foot-3) and Andre Jackson (6-foot-7) - will play big minutes for the Rocks. Torrence (247 No. 115) enjoyed a terrific 2017-18 high school campaign in the NEPSAC for for Vermont Academy, while Jackson (247 composite No. 119) started tapping into his ridiculous offensive potential during his sophomore season for Albany Academy (NY). Jackson’s high school teammate August Mahoney (6-foot-2) will see minutes off the bench for the Rocks, as will juniors Noah Hutchins (247 3-star) and Andrew Delaney (6-foot-5). THE FRONT COURT: Isaiah Stewart will be the focal point of the frontcourt, and has every opportunity to put up some gaudy overall statistics. Stewart will be joined by the Rocks’ fourth returner from 2017, 6-foot-8 forward Xavier Mayo (ESPN 4-star). Mayo didn’t see the court much last year, but figures to be an important piece in the Rocks’ frontcourt plans. 6-foot-6 dual-sport athlete Gerald Drumgoole will provide an energy guy off the bench, while 6-foot-0 junior Jake Cook and 6-foot-8 recently reclassified sophomore Myles Wilmoth will see big minutes behind Stewart. Their guard situation will force them to play a bit smaller, but the Rocks appear to be well-equipped to battle against the top frontcourts in the EYBL. Stewart will be great, and

T H E S TA R Juniors Isaiah Stewart and Joe Girard III return for the Rocks, and both are bonafide All-EYBL candidates to start the season. Stewart (247 5-star), listed at 6-foot-9, 250 pounds, is an absolute force down low. He’s strong, nimble, and knows exactly how to utilize his 7-foot-4 wingspan. Stewart is coming off a great junior campaign with national powerhouse La Lumiere (IN), and will be looking to improve on 2017 EYBL 18-game averages of 11.0 points and 8.8 rebounds. Speaking of junior campaigns, Girard (247 3-star) enjoyed one for the ages. The 6-foot-1 scoring guard averaged a whopping 50 points per game for Glens Falls (NY) high school, turning in one of the best individual seasons in New York state high school history. Girard averaged 10.2 points per game in the 2017 EYBL while hitting 42 three-pointers, and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the explosive high-major prospect lead the circuit in scoring.

T E AM I N F O

2017 R E C O R D: 10- 6 DIR E C TOR: JI M H A RT C OAC H: JI M H A RT

T H E X - FACTO R For the first time in a long time, the City Rocks will enter the season as one of the favorites to win the Peach Jam crown. Stewart and Girard form one of the most dynamic duos on the circuit, and both will be season-long candidates to land on all-EYBL teams. There isn’t a noticeable a ‘red-flag’ on the roster, so the most notable setback in the Rocks’ way is themselves. They’ll be pre-ranked in the preseason D1 Power 10, and will have a giant target on their backs as they make their way through Division A. Do we think the Rocks will be rattled? Nope, and you shouldn’t either.

12


CIT Y ROCKS ROSTER NO.

NAME

POS.

HEIGHT WEIGHT

HIGH SCHOOL

YEAR

1

August Mahoney

G

6'4

170

Albany Academy

2019

3

Mika Adams-Woods

G

6'3

185

New Hampton

2019

4

Symir Torrence

G

6'4

185

Vermont Academy

2020

5

Andre Jackson

G

6'7

175

Albany Academy

2020

8

Myles Wilmoth

F

6'9

205

St. Andrew's School

2020

10

Noah Hutchins

G

6'0

165

The Park School

2019

11

Joseph Girard III

G

6'2

170

Glen Falls

2019

12

Miles Brown

G

6'0

165

Northstar Christian

2019

13

Gerald Drumgoole

F

6'6

210

Irondequoit

2019

15

Xavier Mayo

F

6'8

215

The Hill School

2019

23

Jake Cook

F

6'9

180

Shaker

2019

32

Andrew Delaney

G

6'6

200

Blair Academy

2019

33

Isaiah Stewart II

F

6'9

250

La Lumiere

2019

13


UPLAY CANADA TO RO N TO ,

C A N A DA

OVERVIEW The 2017 season was UPLAY’s first on the circuit, and they entered the season with sky-high expectations behind consensus No. 1 recruit RJ Barrett. Unfortunately for UPLAY, Barrett could only play half of the season, while star point guard Andrew Nembhard sat out the season after intestinal surgery. Long story short, the pieces didn’t properly fall into place for UPLAY in 2017, and they’ll have a chance to make up for it in their encore campaign. They’ll enter the circuit with a talented, hungry 12-man rotation led by a pair of UPLAY veterans. A Peach Jam bid is on their mind in year two, and judging by their roster on paper, anything less would be a disappointment. THE BACKCOURT: AJ Lawson will spend a lot of time with the ball in his hands, leading a group of six highlycompetitive guards. 6-foot-1 uber-aggressive junior Fofo Adetogun joined the squad in late March, is a major threat to breakout on the national stage. Also joining the group si 6-foot-6 scoring guard Tre Edwards, who averaged 13.1 points per game on a loaded 2017-18 Hamilton Heights (TN) squad. Junior Tyler Sagl is a marksmen from deep, and the 6-foot-5 junior will be counted on to consistently deliver from the perimeter. 6-foot-5 scorer Jaden Campbell, the SIAA Offensive Player of the Year at The Rock School in Gainesville Florida, “will also play significant minutes for UPLAY, as will 5-foot-11 junior guard Noah Wharton (Ridley College). Thomasi Gilgeous-Alexander, the brother of Kentucky star freshman Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, rounds out the rotation for UPLAY, and the 6-foot-5 guard shouldn’t stay under-the-radar for long. THE FRONT COURT: Six prospects form UPLAY’s gigantic frontcourt, led by Miller and fellow 2017 veteran Tyrese Samuel. The 6-foot-10 junior averaged 10.7 points and 5.1 rebounds for UPLAY last season, and will once again be a feature piece among the forwards. Samuel showed out with Lawson at Basketball Without Borders, and looks to be playing the best basketball of his young life. Much like Samuel, 6-foot-10 junior big man Jaden Bediako (247 No. 156) is only scratching the surface of his potential. Bediako will be a force on the boards, and will be joined in the frontcourt by 6-foot-9 junior Malcolm Bailey (Ridley College) Junior Wheza Panzo, a 6-foot-6 swingman, averaged 9.6 points and 6.3 rebounds for Hamilton Heights, and will be one of the better energy guys on the circuit.

T H E S TA R Juniors AJ Lawson and Emmanuel Miller are the aforementioned veterans, both running with UPLAY in the back half of last year’s EYBL season. The 6-foot-7 Lawson (247 No. 96) is an excellent playmaker and distributor, and is on the short-list for most likely to break out in 2018. Lawson starred for GTA Prep in Canada’s National Prep Association, earning the top-ranked player in North Pole Hoops’ 2019 class rankings. Miller (247 composite 3-star) averaged 11.2 points and 6.2 rebounds in four games for UPLAY in 2017, and the 6-foot-6 small forward will be looking to take on a feature role in 2018. These two will be a nightmare both in transition and attacking the rim, and their versatility and length allow them to defend multiple positions. Expect huge weasons from Lawson and

T E AM I N F O

2017 R E C O R D: 3- 14 DIR E C TOR: DWAYN E WASHI N GTON

T H E X - FACTO R This team has talent, depth and versatility. Unless something strange happens, UPLAY should definitely contend for a Peach Jam bid, and possibly make a run at the division. Lawson, Miller and Samuel form a pretty dynamic trio, and with the different weapons at their disposal, UPLAY should be fairly difficult to stop for opposing defenses. All of that being said, UPLAY is going to need to up their defensive efficiency if they expect to reach Peach Jam. Their defense was belowaverage a year ago, and if they want a shot at Division A, they need to improve. They have the necessary size and length to be a good defensive team, and they’ll have to make it a point of emphasis as they head into Dallas.

14


U P L AY C A N A DA R O S T E R NO.

NAME

POS.

HEIGHT WEIGHT

HIGH SCHOOL

YEAR

1

Fofo Adetogun

G

6'1

190

Notre Dame

2019

2

Noah Wharton

G

6'0

165

Ridley College

2019

3

Wheza Panzo

F

6'6

180

Hamilton Heights

2019

4

Jaden Campbell

G

6'5

175

The Rock

2019

5

Emmanuel Miller

F

6'6

200

La Lumiere

2019

6

AJ Lawson

G

6'7

170

GTA Prep

2019

7

Tyrese Samuel

F

6'8

210

Wasatch Academy

2019

9

Tre Edwards

G

6'6

175

Hamilton Heights

2019

10

Thomasi Gilgeous-Alexander

G

6'5

160

Hamilton Heights

2019

11

Jaden Bediako

F

6'10

230

Ridley College

2019

14

Tyler Sagl

G

6'5

175

Lincoln Prep

2019

15

Malcolm Bailey

F

6'9

195

Ridley College

2019

15


SEATTLE ROTARY S E AT T L E ,

WA S H I N GTO N

OVERVIEW Seattle Rotary was unable to put together a full season in 2017, faltering during the back half of their schedule after showing some promise to start the season. Rotary has put together one of their most talented rosters in years, and will be desperately looking to qualify for Peach Jam - a feat that hasn’t been accomplished by this program since the early part of the decade. Big man Jaden McDaniels will lead a nine-man rotation that will be more talented, athletic, and experienced than rosters of years past. Seattle’s Elite Youth Basketball League affiliate is one of the most storied programs in grassroots basketball, and they’ve gone far too long without eating peaches in July. THE BACKCOURT: 6-foot-4 junior guard Noah Williams returns from last year’s squad, and he’ll assume a role with increased responsibility. At 6-foot-6, Williams (247 3-star) provides Rotary with a physical, aggressive guard who excels at attacking the rim. Williams is sneaky athletic while operating as a skilled facilitator, an asset of his game that should come in handy with the supporting cast at his disposal. The second EYBL veteran in Rotary’s set of guards is 6-foot-5 junior Marcus Tsohonis, an alumni of Portland Basketball Club in 2017. Tsohonis (247 3-star) will combine with Williams to make one of the larger backcourt tandems on the circuit, and they should complement each other nicely. The Grant (OR) product is the only out-of-state player on the roster, and he should play big minutes. 6-foot-5 RaeQuan Battle is a terrific scoring option off the bench, and will do the majority of his damage slashing and making plays around the bucket. Rainier Beach (WA) junior teammates Kenny Curtis (5foot-8) and Stevie Smith (6-foot-5) round out the rotation and will look to provide sparks off the bench. THE FRONT COURT: Jaden McDaniels will be joined by another budding star, Paulo Banchero. A 6-foot-8, 215-pound freshman from O’Dea (WA) high school, Banchero is the real deal. Banchero averaged 14.1 points and 10.2 rebounds this past high school season, showcasing the ability to stand-out and dominate against players two years his elder. Banchero can definitely hold his own physically and skill-wise in the EYBL, and has a chance to be the most promising freshman participating in this year’s circuit. Regardless of his age, Banchero will be expected to contribute both immediately and efficiently. 6-foot-8 Nate Stokes will reclassify and play big minutes off the bench for Rotary, and 6-foot-5 junior Jishai Miller will provide an athletic option on the wing. McDaniels and Banchero will be quite a physically-imposing duo, and staying out of foul trouble will be a necessity.

T H E S TA R If you’re looking for a breakout big man, look no further than the aforementioned McDaniels (247 Composite No. 65). The 6-foot-9 junior will showcase his evolving game on the big stage, and he’ll likely see his stock skyrocket. A high-motor prospect adept at finishing through contact, McDaniels’ versatility on both ends of the floor will be a major key for Rotary. Jaden is the the younger brother of recently NBA draft-declared Jalen McDaniels, and has every opportunity in front of him to follow in his brother’s footsteps. Every bit of his production is going to be needed, especially on the glass. It will be a major surprise if Rotary’s big man doesn’t land on an all-session team by year’s end.

TEAM INFO

2017 R E C OR D: 4- 12 DIR E C TOR: DARYL L H E N N I N G S C OAC H: DAYRL L H E N N I N GS

T H E X - FACTO R Each year, Rotary doesn’t have much of a problem scoring. The problem? They haven’t played defense with any consistency. This group has all the makings of a strong defensive unit, and looked primed to turn it around defensively. Fully-equipped with elite length and athleticism at every position, Rotary will have no excuses if they falter on defense in 2018. If they want to make a run at Peach Jam, they will need to be locked in defensively from the season’s outset.

16


SEATTLE ROTARY ROS TER NO.

NAME

POS.

HEIGHT WEIGHT

HIGH SCHOOL

YEAR

1

Kenny Curtis

G

5'8

150

Rainier Beach

2019

2

Jaden McDaniels

F

6'10

200

Federal Way

2019

3

Marcus Tsohonis

G

6'4

180

Jefferson

2019

4

Noah Williams

G

6'5

185

O'Dea

2019

5

Paolo Banchero

F

6'8

220

O'Dea

2021

8

Nate Stokes

F

6'7

225

South Kent

2019

12

Jishai Miller

F

6'3

195

Federal Way

2019

23

Stevie Smith

G

6'5

180

Rainier Beach

2019

24

RaeQuan Battle

G

6'5

200

Marysville-Pilchuck

2019

17


WOODZ ELITE FAY E T T E V I L L E ,

A R K A N SA S

OVERVIEW The Woodz Elite will make their debut in the 2018 NIKE Elite Youth Basketball League, recently rebranding their elite program from the Arkansas Wings. The Malik Monk-backed program will feature an 11-man rotation equipped with all the pieces needed to make a run at Peach Jam. A good portion of their rotation returns from a season ago, which should accelerate the team chemistry for Woodz Elite. Director Marcus Monk has this program running like a well-oiled machine, and they’ll be looking to continue the storied success that the Wings built the past three decades. THE BACKCOURT: Mylik Wilson and Collin Moore give Woodz Elite a terrific start to their backcourt, and will be complemented by four underrated prospects. Har-Ber (AR) guard Tylor Perry returns after running with MOKAN Elite last season, and he’ll be much more than the role player he was utilized as last year. The 5-foot-11 Perry will team up with junior Collin Cooper. The 6-foot-2 Cooper is a solid perimeter option for Woodz and put up some big games during his junior season at Fayetteville (AR) high school. 6-foot-3 Terry Clardy provides Monk and crew with a strong, physical guard capable impacting the game on both ends. Zarek Thomas is the only underclassman on the roster, recently reclassifying to the 2020 class after a transfer from South Grand Prairie (TX) to Redemption Life (OK). This six-man unit has all the tools required to get the job done and make a return to Peach Jam. THE FRONT COURT: The Woodz frontcourt runs five deep, and will feature more than enough size and athleticism to compete against the league’s more formidable frontcourts. 6-foot-6 swingman Michael Shanks played a significant role for last year’s Wings’ squad, and he’ll be looking to improve on four-game Peach Jam averages of 7.8 points and 4.2 rebounds. Shanks improved his offensive versatility substantially during the 2017-18 high school campaign for Bentonville (AR), but will mainly be relied upon for his defense and rebounding ability. 6-foot-11 junior Jason Jitoboh will provide much-needed enforcement in the paint, while fellow juniors KJ Stewart (6-foot-9) and Akol Mawein (6-foot-8) equip Woodz with ideal depth. 6-foot-4 junior Greg Johnson rounds out a rotation that will need a lift in production offensively if they expect to rack up wins this season.

T H E S TA R This lineup is extremely balanced, led by junior scoring guard Mylik Wilson. Hailing from Rayville (LA) high school, Wilson took home the All-NELA Boys player of the Year award after averaging 18 points and eight rebounds during their title run. Wilson (247 Composite No. 98) dazzled at the E16 Peach Jam a year ago, averaging 20.5 points, 7.5 rebounds, 5.5 assists and 2.8 steals in four games. Standing at 6-foot-3 and showcasing a versatile offensive skillset, Wilson is the most likely candidate to lead this squad in scoring. The other threat to lead in scoring is Collins Moore, who averaged 18 points, 4.0 rebounds and 2.5 assists at last year’s Peach. Moore showcased his explosive scoring ability during the high school season for North Little Rock, and the Woodz will likely need every bit of his production as they look to return to Peach Jam.

T E AM I N F O

2017 R E C O R D: N / A DIR E C TOR: MARCU S M O N K

T H E X - FACTO R Like a season ago, Wilson and Moore will hold the majority of the scoring burden, and the Woodz’ seasonlong success will likely be determined by the efficiency and production of their two guards. Chemistry shouldn’t be an issue for this duo, as they’ve already showcased the ability to play together at a high level. Anything less than a trip to Peach Jam would be a giant bummer for this crew, and if Wilson and Moore show up like they did a year ago, Woodz Elite has nothing to be worried about. A trip to Peach Jam is in their crosshairs, now it’s time to deliver.

18


WOODZ ELITE ROSTER NAME

POS.

YEAR

HEIGHT

WEIGHT

HIGH SCHOOL

Mylik Wilson

G

2019

6'3

160

Rayville (LA)

Collin Moore

G

2019

6'4

180

North Little Rock

Michael Shanks

F

2019

6'6

195

Bentonville

Jason Jitoboh

F

2019

6'11

270

Hamilton Heights (TN)

Collin Cooper

G

2019

6'2

175

Fayetteville

Tylor Perry

G

2019

5'11

160

Har-Ber

KJ Stewart

F

2019

6'9

220

Van Buren

Greg Johnson

F

2019

6'4

185

Little Rock Hall

Akol Mawein

F

2019

6'8

180

SW Christian

Terry Clardy Jr

G

2019

6'3

195

Conway

Zarek Thomas

G

2020

6'2

170

Redemption Life (OK)

19


MOKAN ELITE K A N SA S

C I T Y,

M I S S OU R I

OVERVIEW A year removed from their 2016 Peach Jam title run, Kansas City’s NIKE Elite Youth Basketball representative turned in another terrific campaign in 2017, spending the majority of the EYBL season on top of the D1 Power 10. Missouri star freshman Jontay Porter enjoyed a terrific campaign, leading a thin rotation to an 11-5 record and another Peach Jam birth. Once again, MOKAN has reloaded with a rotation full of Division 1 prospects, and figures to have more depth than squads in the recent past. Year in and year out, MOKAN is one of the most well-coached, disciplined squads on the circuit, mainly due to their ability to practice together throughout March and April. Director Matt Suther’s bunch features two returnees, a variety of 16U veterans and one underclassmen. On paper, it looks like another Peach Jam run is in place for MOKAN, as they are certified contenders to take home their division. THE BACKCOURT: Junior Grant Sherfield joins the fray in 2018, making his way over from the Adidas circuit. A 6-foot-2 point guard with natural play-making ability, Sherfield (247 No. 52) could just as easily be listed in the ’star’ section for this group, but deferred to Hall due to his experience. That being said, Sherfield is as important to this rotation as any player on the roster. Formerly of North Crowley high school in Texas, Sherfield transferred to Sunrise Christian in March, which should expedite the chemistry-creation process for MOKAN’s group. Rock Bridge (MO) junior Dujuan Harris (247 2-star) is a proven winner, leading his high school squad to a 27-2 campaign in 2017-18. Harris is a die-hard competitor and valued teammate, and he should see his stock soar if he plays like he did this high school season. 5-foot-11 junior DeAndre Sorrells (247 2-star) will see minutes off the bench, as will 6-foot-4 shooter Christian Braun. 5-foot-10 Javaunte Hawkins and 5-foot-11 Carlos Paez round out a six-man rotation in which role-development may take some time. Most of their guards are capable of playing the 1 or the 2, so MOKAN should have solid versatility within the backcourt. THE FRONT COURT: Dante figures to be the staple of this frontcourt, and will see as many minutes as his gas tank and defensive ability will allow. It is vital that Dante consistently stays out of foul trouble, as MOKAN doesn’t have much depth in the frontcourt. The 6-foot-7 Hall is capable of playing the small forward or power forward positions, and will likely see minutes in both spots depending on the game. 6-foot-10 big man Roman Wilson (247 3-star) also returns from 2017, and figures to be a very productive bench asset for MOKAN. Wilson is a plus defender and will be expected to rebound at a high rate. 6-foot-5 junior Isiaih Mosley, Harris’ teammate at Rock Bridge, will be a tremendous complement to Hall on the wing. Mosley (247 3-star) loves to get out in transition, and is capable of guarding three different positions. 6-foot-7 do-it-all forward Jarrett Hensley rounds out the rotation, and will likely need to play big if Dante or Wilson find themselves in foul trouble. There is a tremendous amount of versatility in this lineup, as all five members of the frontcourt are capable of playing multiple positions.

T H E S TA R The star duties for MOKAN will be split between an EYBL veteran, Malik Hall, and the only sophomore on the squad, N’Faly Dante. Hall (247 No. 54) played a huge role for MOKAN as a sophomore, averaging 10.7 points, 5.9 rebounds and 1.7 assists. Hall has improved leaps and bounds during the 2017-18 high school season at Wichita, Kansas powerhouse Sunrise Christian, making it very likely that he builds on both those averages and leadership capabilities. Dante (247 No. 10), teammates with Hall at Sunrise, is an physical specimen and has scouts and college coaches alike salivating about his potential. The 6-foot-11, 235-pound forward runs the floor like a gazelle, has terrific natural shot-blocking ability and perhaps most importantly, plays harder than anyone else on the court. Dante will be making his 17U debut in April, instantly becoming one of the most promising prospects to suit up in this year’s circuit. The world will find out very quickly just how good Dante is, likely coming at the expense of some talented EYBL front courts.

TEAM INFO

2017 R E C O R D: 11- 5 DIR E C TOR: MATT S U T H E R C OAC H: C H R I S N E F F

T H E X - FACTO R At first glance, there aren’t many red flags with this MOKAN group. They’re deep, experienced and should have terrific team chemistry by the time the circuit rolls around on April 20th. Last season’s squad had a true leader in Jontay Porter - constantly talking and communicating on defense - and this year’s squad will be looking for someone to take on that same responsibility. The most likely candidate is Hall, as he’s been there before, and is one of the main floor leaders at Sunrise Christian - a team with exceptional team cohesion. Hall will be assisted in the leadership capacity by floor generals Sherfield, Harris, Paez and Sorrells, with one of them likely to step up as a voice for the team. To put it quite simply, if their biggest issue is finding a floor leader, MOKAN should be breathing easy. They have more than enough talent to make another divisional title and Peach Jam run.

20


MOKAN ELITE ROSTER NO.

NAME

POS.

HEIGHT WEIGHT

HIGH SCHOOL

YEAR

0

Christian Bruan

G

6'4

180

Blue Valley Northwest

2019

1

Carlos Paez

G

5'11

155

Sunrise Christian

2019

3

Javaunte Hawkins

G

5'10

150

Lee's Summit North

2019

4

Isiaih Mosley

F

6'5

190

Rock Bridge

2019

5

Dajuan Harris

G

6'1

170

Rock Bridge

2019

7

Malik Hall

F

6'7

190

Sunrise Christian

2019

9

DeAndre Sorrells

G

5'11

160

Grandview

2019

10

Jarrett Hensley

F

6'7

190

Shawnee Mission North

2019

11

Grant Sherfield

G

6'2

180

Sunrise Christian

2019

15

Roman Wilson

F

6'10

210

Park Hill (MO)

2019

24

N'Faly Dante

F

6'11

230

Sunrise Christian

2020

21


BRADLEY BEAL ELITE S T.

LO U I S ,

M I S S O U R I

OVERVIEW Bradley Beal Elite had a tremendous run in 2017, riding the talents of star guard Darius Garland. BBE rattled off eight consecutive wins to close out the regular season. Their success continued into Peach Jam, winning all five pool play games by double-figures. Their run ended in the semifinals, losing in heartbreaking fashion to Team Takeover. Ultimately, BBE won 14 straight games in the toughest circuit in the world, and all eight graduates will be attending college full-ride scholarships, including four to high-major programs. BBE returns two veterans surrounded by a wealth of talented EYBL newcomers, so similar success should be expected from the EYBL’s St. Louis representative in 2018. THE BACKCOURT: Junior guard Mario McKinney Jr. will take over point guard duties from the departing Garland, and BBE should be in steady hands. A 6-foot3 Vashon (MO) product, McKinney (247 4-star) is a dynamic scoring guard that is receiving looks from highmajor schools across the country. The Public High Player of the Year figures to be one of the more explosive point guards in the EYBL, and he will have plenty of help. East St. Louis (IL) junior Terrence Hargrove (247 4-star) will pair nicely alongside McKinney, giving BBE an athletic scorer on the wing. Budding sophomore star Moses Moody (247 No. 28) crosses state lines to give BBE another lethal scorer and versatile defender. Moody, a 6-foot-5 combo guard, was named 7A State Championship MVP after leading North Little Rock (AR) to a title in early March. Juniors Devan Cambridge (6foot-5), Yuri Collins (5-foot-11) and Keyyaun Batchman (6-foot) are all Division I prospects and will play key roles off the bench as BBE always utilizes a deep, steady rotation. THE FRONT COURT: Liddell is expected to be the focal point offensively, and he’s joined by fellow EYBL veteran Francis Okoro (247 No. 34). The 6-foot-9 big man is actually ranked higher than Liddell on most recruiting sites, mainly due to his freakish athleticism, length and natural defensive ability. Okoro should breathe a sigh of relief entering the EYBL, as the talented big man faced constant double and triple teams during the high school season. Okoro will undoubtedly be one of the top rebounders and shotblockers in the EYBL, and should make a ton of noise around the rim offensively. BBE has always been a ‘defense first’ type of program, and Liddell and Okoro give them arguably the top shot-blocking duo on the circuit. Christian Brothers College (MO) junior Josh Wallace (6-foot-6) provides some beef off the bench, while Hargrove and Moody are expected to see time in the frontcourt.

T H E S TA R 6-foot-7 junior EJ Liddell (247 4-star) returns for BBE, and the talented veteran is primed for a huge encore campaign. Liddell won Illinois Mr. Basketball and Gatorade State Player of the Year behind per-game averages of 20.8 points, 8.0 rebounds, 6.0 blocks and 2.8 assists. Long and athletic, Liddell is a menace defensively and added depth to his offensive arsenal during the high school season. Liddell joined the 17U EYBL halfway through last season, and will be looking to improve on 15-game averages of 9.5 points, 4.2 rebounds and 1.4 blocks. Liddell is a legitimate Player of the Year candidate, and figures to have his candidacy improved by his stellar supporting cast.

TEAM INFO

2017 R E C OR D: 16- 6 DIR E C TOR: TI M H O LLOWAY C OAC H: CORE Y F R A Z I E R

T H E X - FACTO R BBE is loaded up with two veterans and multiple rising seniors who have been with the program for years. They only carry one underclassmen - the talented Moody - and his development could determine how good this team can be. Moody is accustomed to operating as the best player on the court, and quite frankly, hasn’t had the opportunity to show how productive he can be playing alongside elite talent. He’s a dynamic threat across the board - especially athletically - and will operate as a ‘jack-of-all-trades’ weapon for head coach Corey Frazier. His scoring will likely take a backseat to his other skills, but one thing is certain: BBE’s sophomore will be one of the most talented underclassmen on the circuit.

22


BRADLEY BEAL ELITE ROSTER NO.

NAME

POS.

HEIGHT WEIGHT

HIGH SCHOOL

YEAR

3

Yuri Collins

G

5'11

175

St. Mary's

2019

5

Mario McKinney Jr

G

6'3

180

Vashon

2019

10

Moses Moody

G

6'5

180

North Little Rock (AR)

2020

11

Devan Cambridge

G

6'5

180

Believe Prep (TN)

2019

21

Keyyaun Batchman

G

6'0

160

Chaminade

2019

22

Terrence Hargrove Jr

G

6'7

185

East St. Louis

2019

23

Francis Okoro

F

6'9

225

Normal West

2019

31

Josh Wallace

F

6'6

205

CBC

2019

32

EJ Liddell

F

6'8

220

Belleville West

2019

23


MEBO TEAM HOOD M E R I D I A N ,

M I S S I S S I P P I

OVERVIEW The Rodney Hood-sponsored Mississippi Express Basketball Organization (MEBO) made their 17U organizational debut in 2017, fighting their way to a 6-10 finish behind SEC commits Robert Woodard (Mississippi State), Jared Butler (Alabama) and DJ Stewart (Mississippi State). ‘MEBO Team Hood’ showed well for themselves in their first year, but were unable to sustain season-long success after a .500 start through the first two sessions. Once again, MEBO will bring a roster chock-full of the top talent in Mississippi, and they’ll be relying on a lineup completely made up of 2019 graduates. MEBO looked terrific in preEYBL action, and should have plenty of optimism about obtaining a Peach Jam bid in their encore season. THE BACKCOURT: Austin Crowley and Brandon Weatherspoon will operate as certified high-major prospects, and MEBO will have terrific alternatives when they hit the bench. 5-foot-8 speedster Danny Weatherspoon will be a great change-of-pace option for MEBO, fresh off averaging 14.6 points, 4.2 assists and 2.0 assists at Greenville during the past high school season. Lanier (MS) junior Earl Smith is a big time scorer, and the 6-foot-5 point guard will likely have some huge games in an uptempo offense. The same can be said for 6-foot-2 junior Traemond Pittman, who played a big role for a State runner-ups Meridian (32-2). There is a lot of talent - especially offensively among this five-man unit, and they’ll need to be firing on all cylinders come April 20th. THE FRONT COURT: Just like the backcourt, MEBO’s frontcourt will feature five talented prospects that will be looking to replace the production of the departing Woodard. 6-foot-8 junior John Rawls will play a big role in the paint for MEBO, and is a very physical player and an absolutely dominant rebounder. Rawls averaged 15.6 points, 10.3 rebounds and 2.8 blocks in 23 games for East Marion (MS), and will be looking to build his name on the national stage. Jaylen Forbes is an explosive scorer, proven by his 28.4 point-per-game average this past high school season for Florence (MS). A 6-foot-5 swingman, Forbes excels in transition and finishing at the rim, and might end up making us look dumb for not including him in the ‘star’ section. 6-foot-6 junior forward Shamar Brown played a large role for state-champion Olive Branch (MS), and will be a big asset on the boards and in transition. 6-foot-8 Carver (AL) product Demond Robinson, MEBO’s only out-ofstate product, provides MEBO with some more beef on the interior, and will get big minutes alongside Rawls. 6-foot-5 Darrius ‘Chip’ Clark rounds out the frontcourt, performing very well for MEBO in last year’s E16 finals.

T H E S TA R This will be a ‘star-by-committee’ approach, which suits this rotation of guards well. The most likely option to be a focal point is junior guard Austin Crowley (247 No. 95). The 6-foot-6 Crowley starred for MEBO’s 16s last season, and transferred mid-high school season from West Point (MS) to national powerhouse Sunrise Christian (KS). He’ll be a battle-tested option for MEBO, as will Brandon Weatherspoon - the Canton (MS) product is the younger brother of Quindary and Nick Weatherspoon of Mississippi State. Standing at 6-foot-4 and holding offers from Georgetown and Tennessee, Weatherspoon has a terrific opportunity to showcase his scoring skills to every high-major coach in America. Quite honestly, MEBO has 4-5 players capable of breaking out, so keep an eye on their first team in Dallas and Indianapolis.

T E AM I N F O

2017 R E C O R D: 6- 10 DIR E C TOR: RI C K Y HOO D J R . C OAC H: L AMON D ROY

T H E X - FACTO R MEBO has plenty of capable scorers on the roster, and will play will a relentless amount of energy on both ends of the floor. The questions remains, can they play solid enough defense to rack up victories in the EYBL? They allowed 70+ in eight games last season, including games 89, 87, 81, 86, 95 and 78 points allowed. MEBO only won three games in which their opponent scored 70+, so it’s clear that out-scoring their opponents isn’t going to be a viable option. A lot of the defensive responsibility is going to fall on their relatively thin frontcourt, so Rawls, Robinson, Brown and Clark will desperately need to stay out of foul trouble. They have plenty of talent and athleticism to play with any squad in the EYBL, but they’ll need a season-long focus on the defensive end of the floor if they want to secure a bid to Peach Jam.

24


MEBO TEAM HOOD ROSTER NO.

NAME

POS.

HEIGHT WEIGHT

HIGH SCHOOL

YEAR

0

D’Antonio Deloach

F

6'5

195

Noxubee County

2019

1

Brandon Weatherspoon

G

6'5

185

Canton

2019

2

Earl Smith

G

6'4

145

Lanier

2019

3

Danny Washington

G

5'8

165

Greenville

2019

5

Austin Crowley

G

6'6

180

Sunrise Christian

2019

10

Shamar Brown

F

6'6

190

Olive Branch

2019

11

Darrius Clark

F

6'5

180

Gentry

2019

12

Jaylen Forbes

F

6'5

190

Florence

2019

15

Calvin Temple

G

6'0

180

Center Hill

2019

23

Traemond Pittman

G

6'2

155

Meiridian

2019

24

John Rawls

F

6'8

200

East Marion

2019

25


CIA BOUNCE O N TA R I O ,

C A N A DA

OVERVIEW CIA Bounce rode the star powers of multi-year veterans Simi Shittu and Ignas Brazdeikis in 2017, resulting in an 8-8 record while narrowly recording a trip to Peach Jam. Shittu and Brazdeikis are set to move on to Vanderbilt and Michigan respectively, which will force CIA Bounce to turn over an almost entirely new roster. While their roster isn’t completely set, Bounce has a number of sought-after recruits set to lead the way, highlighted by super sophomores Addison Patterson and Matthew-Alexander Montcrieff. While they won’t have the certified ‘star power’ of last season, Director Tony McIntyre’s program is in great shape with their most recent crop of talent, and Toronto’s EYBL representative should make a play for a Peach Jam bid. THE BACKCOURT: Joel Brown had a rock-solid season for Brewster, and he should be accustomed to playing alongside elite talent, as the Bobcats feature a lineup entirely of Division 1 recruits. The 6-foot-2 Brown is a facilitator first, and will look to get his running mates involved early and often. Patterson is widely-regarded as a combo guard, but he’s more than capable of running the point if Brown is off the floor. There aren’t many prospects that can match Patterson’s skill-set in the 2020 class, and he’ll be a season-long matchup problem for the opposition. Junior TRC Academy products Adam Francolini and Avan Nava will see time in the backcourt, as will fellow juniors JJ Sedore, Jorrel Grent, Kobey Lam and Connor Vreeken. It will be interesting to see how the minutes get distributed in this nine-man backcourt. THE FRONT COURT: Montcrieff has a chance to absolutely blow up this spring and summer. Just like Patterson, Montcrieff is considered a can’t-miss prospect, and should operate as one of the top underclassmen in the country. 6-foot-10 Ben Hendriks is a major part of the frontcourt. Hendriks is a postpresence for Athlete Institute (AI) during the high school season, and should be a big presence on the boards. His high school teammate Jevonnie Scott will help beef up the frontcourt, as will junior David Muenkat. The 220-pound Scott should be a physical force for Bounce, and excelled in an energy role this season for Athlete Institute. 6-foot-8 combo guard Caleb Houstan, an eighth-grader from the 2022 class, will play significant minutes for McIntyre and company. Houstan is widelyregarded as the next superstar out of Canada, and has the opportunity of a lifetime playing 17U EYBL at such a young age. Rounding out the frontcourt is South Kent (CT) junior Dane Quest. The 6-foot-6 swingman should see plenty of minutes of the Bounce bench.

T H E S TA R Both Patterson and Montcrieff should be standouts for Bounce, with veteran point guard Joel Brown playing a featured role in the offense. The 6-foot-7 Patterson (247 4-star) has tremendous size and length for a combo guard with his skills, and he undoubtedly will be a focal point in Bounce’s offensive gameplan. The Athlete Institute (CAN) product can get buckets with the best of them, and has a chance to be one of the leading scorers in the EYBL. Just like Patterson, the 6-foot-7 Montcrieff (247 4-star) is an easy prospect to get excited about. Long and lanky, Montcrieff is a terror in transition, while providing Bounce with elite an elite defensive presence capable of guarding three positions. Brown will be the floor general of the bunch, and has a chance to turn into a star in his own right. The Brewster Academy (NH) product averaged 4.2 points, 4.2 assists and 2.2 rebounds per game in five Peach Jam games in 2017, and he’ll have a whole new set of responsibilities on the upcoming circuit.

TEAM INFO

2017 R E C O R D: 8- 8 DIR E C TOR: TON Y M C I N T Y R E C OAC H: TON Y M C I N T Y R E

T H E X - FACTO R Underclassmen Patterson and Montcrieff will make this squad tick. Both are elite prospects, and they’ll need some substantial assistance if this group wants to make a bid for Peach Jam. The EYBL season is a marathon - not a sprint - so Bounce will be using their first two sessions to carve out roles. They’ll be looking for as many wins as they can, a task that will be made much easier if Patterson and Montcrieff perform up to expectations. Just as important as their stars, is going to be their ability to adapt to roles. Like most CIA Bounce teams of past, the 2018 squad carries a rather large roster, so McIntyre will need to determine who he can trust in his rotation, and he’ll have to do it quickly.

26


CIA BOUNCE ROSTER NO.

NAME

POS.

YEAR

HEIGHT

WEIGHT

HIGH SCHOOL

11

Matthew Moncrieff

G

2020

6'7

190

Orangeville Prep

3

Addison Patterson

G

2020

6'7

185

Athlete Institute

2

Joel Brown

G

2019

6'2

170

Brewster Academy

13

Ben Hendriks

F

2019

6'10

210

Athlete Institute

1

Adam Francolini

G

2019

6'6

180

TRC Academy

6

Avan Nava

G

2019

6'2

170

TRC Academy

7

Connor Vreeken

G

2019

6'4

180

Frontenac Secondary

4

Dane Quest

F

2019

6'6

190

South Kent

8

David Muenkat

F

2019

6'7

200

St. Marcellinus

9

JJ Sedore

G

2019

6'2

175

Athlete Institute

5

Jorrel Grant

G

2019

6'3

175

The Nation Prep

10

Kobey Lam

G

2019

6'3

170

Athlete Institute

12

Jevonnie Scott

F

2019

6'7

220

Athlete Institute

0

Caleb Houstan

G

2022

6'8

180

St. Marcellinus

27


ROSE CITY REBELS P O RT L A N D ,

O R E G ON

OVERVIEW

The Rose City Rebels will be making the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League debut in 2018, replacing Portland Basketball Club as Oregon’s 17U circuit representative. PBC didn’t have a successful go of it in 2017, as Portland’s EYBL representative has always seemed to have trouble getting off their feet in the modern day circuit. Rose City has a budding star in Grant (OR) junior Aaron Deloney, and the 6-foot scoring guard is widely regarded as the top prospect in the state. His high school teammate Ty Rankin will also be featured, giving Rose City a nice duo to help lead them into 2018. THE BACKCOURT: The backcourt will be led by Deloney and Rankin, and they should have some excellent team chemistry heading into 2018. The pair led Grant to a 24-5 record while scoring a one-point OHSA 6A state championship victory over state powerhouse Jefferson. They’ll share on-ball duties, and head coach Kumbeno Memory will likely ride the hot hand. 6-foot-2 junior guard Alex Schumacher will be instant offense for Rose City, equally as talented of a facilitator as he is a scorer. This group will be looking to add a piece or two before the season, and will need to rely on their two studs for a good amount of their production. THE FRONT COURT: The frontcourt is currently made up of three prospects, Andrew Graves (6-foot-10), Mason Miller (6-foot-7) and Keifer Edwards (6-foot-6). Each forward brings something different to the table, with Graves most likely to be the best on defense for Rose City. Miller enjoyed a strong season for Thurston (OR) high school and has a chance to massively improve his stock, as he’s a relatively unknown commodity on the national level. Edwards is also an underrated prospect looking for national recognition, as the unsigned class of 2018 graduate will also have a chance to shine in front of college coaches. This group will have their work cut out of them, and will be looking to expand before the season starts.

T H E S TA R

Deloney is a high-major talent, and with a limited supporting cast - at least scoring wise - he has a chance to put up some impressive statistics in 2018. Deloney is an aggressive combo guard that likes to push in transition, and he’s displayed the ability to be an efficient on-court leader. He and Rankin play off each other very effectively, a trend they’ll have to continue if they plan to win consistently in the EYBL.

TEAM INFO

2017 R E C OR D: N / A DIR E C TOR: K E N D RI C K WI LLI A M S C OAC H: KUMB E N O S M E M O RY

T H E X - FACTO R

Honestly, it’s difficult to get a pulse on this squad without a full roster in tact. They have the makings of a competitive roster, and if Deloney is the player we think he is, Rose City will be plenty competitive against their division. Check back later as we will have more of their roster shortly.

28


ROSE CIT Y REBELS ROSTER NAME

POS.

YEAR

HEIGHT

WEIGHT

HIGH SCHOOL

Aaron Deloney

G

2019

6'0

165

Grant

Ty Rankin

G

2019

6'2

185

Grant

Alex Schumacher

G

2019

6'2

170

Skyview

Keifer Edwards

F

2018

6'6

180

Crater

Andrew Graves

F

2019

6'10

185

Jefferson

Mason Miller

F

2019

6'7

185

Thurston

29


30


D I V I SION B

31


RENAISSANCE B ROO K LY N ,

N E W

YO R K

OVERVIEW The New York Renaissance will be entering their third year on the NIKE Elite Youth Basketball League circuit, nine months removed from being snubbed for the final Peach Jam wildcard berth. Their 8-8 regular season record wasn’t good enough, despite five of those wins being over Peach Jam contenders. Therefore, the Renaissance will undoubtedly enter 2018 with a chip on their shoulder, looking to put up their best showing in the EYBL to date. Director Andy Borman has assembled a roster that should contend for a Divisional title, and with the added star power of 5-star junior Jalen Lecque, they should make a lot of noise in July. Regardless of what they do on the court, the Renaissance will almost assuredly graduate their entire 2019 class with full-ride scholarships. THE BACKCOURT: The New York Renaissance have one of the best backcourts in the country. Lecque will lead the talented group with his elite athleticism and scoring ability. This is his first year with the Renaissance, but judging off his preseason performance with them, he looks more than comfortable. Class of 2020 guard Nate Tabor will be moving up from 16U to 17U this year, and will be playing his first organized basketball after missing his sophomore year at Sacred Heart (CT) with a torn meniscus. Tabor (247 5-star) has capability of playing the point guard position at 6-foot-5, and can impact a game in a variety of ways. Another big addition the Renaissance made was Ethan Morton. Morton, ranked 59th in the class of 2020 according to 247 Sports, has good size for his position and has a very smooth stroke. Class of 2019 guard Alejandro Vasquez brings them toughness and impressive playmaking ability. Tyler Bertram was a key addition for the New York squad with how well he can shoot the ball, and Daniel Klosk will provide key minutes off the bench. THE FRONT COURT: Three big men will run the show for the Renaissance’s frontcourt in center Kofi Cockburn, Moussa Cisse and Kareem Reid. Cockburn (247 No. 44) averaged 11.6 points and 9.2 rebounds, shooting 59.2% from the floor in 16 games last season. His huge frame coupled with his strength and athleticism makes him a force whenever he is on the floor, and he’ll be a consistent candidate for all-session honors. Cisse is one of the top prospects in the class of 2021, showcasing a high-motor on both ends of the floor while moving very well for someone standing at 6-foot-11. Kareem Reid will be crucial for the Renaissance this year. Reid (247 3-star), who reclassified from the class of 2019 to 2020, is a good athlete and his game has continued to evolve. This trio of big men should do a lot of damage this year, and they’ll be assisted by Tabor and Morton when the Renaissance decides to go small.

T H E S TA R Lecque (247 Sports No. 12) will be their go-to guy for the Renaissance, and if you’ve never seen him play, one thing is certain; he’s worth the price of admission. The 6-foot-4 walking human-highlight reel absolutely blew up in last year’s EYBL, averaging 17.0 points, 3.8 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 16 games for the Southern Stampede. He can score in a variety of ways, has an ultra-quick first step and is developing into an elite defender. Lecque feels prepared heading into EYBL play. “I have experience now since I played last year with the Southern Stampede,” said Lecque. “I’m now a two year EYBL veteran so I can use my experience from last year to show me how much work I have to put in to make it to Peach Jam. Now all I have to do is put that together, do well as a team and we’ll be good.”

TEAM INFO

2017 R E C O R D: 8- 8 DI R E C TOR: AN DY BO R M A N R C OAC H: AN DY BO R M A N

T H E X - FACTO R Kofi Cockburn is the most crucial piece to the Renaissance this season because of how much responsibility will fall on his shoulders. He exceeded expectation in last year’s EYBL, and will take on a leadership role in 2018. Cockburn will continue to mentor Moussa Cisse, just like he did this past high school season at Christ The King (N.Y.). With his strength, athleticism and much improved scoring ability, Cockburn enters the EYBL as one of most dominant players at his position. Head Coach Andy Borman expects Cockburn to do what he does best for them. “He wants me to run the floor, rebound and what I normally do,” Cockburn said. “If I do that everything else is going to fall into place for me.”

32


RENAISSANCE ROSTER NO.

NAME

POS.

HEIGHT WEIGHT

HIGH SCHOOL

YEAR

1

Jalen Lecque

G

6'4

185

Christ School (NC)

2019

2

Ty Rivers

G

6'5

185

Monsignor Scanlan

2019

4

Kareem Reid

F

6'8

210

Putnam Science Academy

2020

5

Daniel Klosk

G

6'1

160

Wilbraham and Monson

2019

10

Jonathan Kuminga

F

6'7

210

Huntington Prep

2021

11

Nate Tabor

G

6'5

200

Sacred Heart (CT)

2020

15

Ethan Morton

G

6'4

195

Butler (PA)

2020

20

Tyler Bertram

G

6'4

165

Vermont Academy

2019

21

Kofi Cockburn

C

6'11

250

Christ the King

2019

33

Moussa Cisse

F

7'0

210

Christ the King

2021

33


LAS VEGAS PROSPECTS L A S

V E GA S ,

N E VA DA

OVERVIEW The Prospects struggled to find offensive consistency in 2017, failing to score more than 60 points in ten of their games. The Prospects will attempt to quickly erase last year from their EYBL memory banks, and this year’s roster should accomplish it. Why? Because Director Anthony Brown and company went to work in the offseason. The 2018 Prospects feature Nevada’s top-ranked prospect in the 2019, 2020, and 2021 graduating classes; Jalen Hill (247 3-star), Julian Strawther (247 5-star) and Jaden Hardy (247 5-star). They have some terrific pieces surrounding their three studs, and are more than equipped to make a run back to July’s Peach Jam in North Augusta, South Carolina. THE BACKCOURT: Strawther will have the ball in his hands a lot, so you can definitely consider him a member of the backcourt. His versatility is arguably the strongest asset of the game, and he’ll be a matchup nightmare for the opposition. The 6-foot-4 Hardy will also demand the ball in his hands, and the Detroit native is poised to open a lot of eyes this spring and summer. The younger brother of UNLV guard Amauri Hardy, Jaden averaged 25 points per game as a freshman for Coronado (NV), showcasing a playmaking ability well-beyond his years. 5-foot-10 guard Jonathan Daniels will see significant minutes alongside Strawther and Hardy, as will dual-sport athlete Jaxen Turner. A 6-foot-3 3-star defensive back, Turner is an excellent athlete that will bring a high motor to the Prospects’ backcourt. Turner’s spent the early spring tearing up national elite football camps, and will be a major sparkplug for Brown and company. THE FRONT COURT: Hill and Strawther won’t leave the court very often, but when they do, the Prospects have some quality depth to assist them with production. 6-foot-8 combo forward Edward ‘Squid’ Turner enjoyed a terrific junior season for Foothill (CA), averaging 15.2 points, 11.5 rebounds, 5.2 blocks and 2.0 steals per game. Turner is an excellent athlete with natural defensive ability, and while he’ll be relied upon down low, he’s showcased the ability to step out and knock down jumpers. 6-foot-8 Darren Jones is the second dualsport athlete on the roster, doubling as a 4-star wide receiver on the gridiron. Jones is a spectacular athlete with unbelievable straight-line speed, and he put up some pretty outrageous statistics during the 2017 high school season for Cajon (CA); 102 receptions, 2094 yards and 28 touchdowns. He’s been compared to Randy Moss, who was a heck of a basketball player in his own right. It’s going to be a lot of fun watching Jones operate in transition, as he will be one of the best natural athletes in the country. 6-foot-7 junior forward Bryce Johnson rounds out the four-man rotation, and will be needed to contribute off the bench. Johnson averaged 17.8 points.

T H E S TA R Strawther is a budding superstar, and will likely make a play for top player in the 2020 class by the time the summer is complete. The 6-foot-7 had numerous 40-point outbursts during the high school season for Liberty (NV), showcasing a dynamic scoring ability that will definitely translate to the bright lights of the EYBL. Expect Strawther to put up some impressive individual statistics, while making all of his teammates better. The 6-foot-7 Hill has been a focal point of the Prospects for years, and he’ll be featured alongside Strawther. Hill averaged 16.2 points, 5.1 rebonds and 2.4 assists per game for Clark (NV) in 2017-18. Las Vegas’ Nike Elite Youth Basketball League representative is in great hands with these two leading the way, and the Prospects should have no problem scoring

T E AM I N F O

2017 R E C OR D: 3- 13 DIR E C TOR: AN TH O N Y B ROWN C OAC H: QUN I CY P O ND E X T E R

T H E X - FACTO R Strawther and Hill are going to keep the Prospects competitive, but their season-long success will be determined by their supporting cast - and their health. Hardy has a great opportunity to step up as the third scorer in the lineup, while Turner and Jones provide a level of toughness that will be difficult for the opposition to match. The Prospects will be very limited if Strawther, Hill or a member of their backcourt goes down with an injury, so our fingers are crossed that they make it through the season unscathed. They won’t be the deepest squad on the roster, but if they can develop an efficient pecking order behind Strawther and Hill, the Prospects will be in fine shape regarding a Peach Jam bid.

34


LV P R O S P E C T S R O S T E R

NO.

NAME

POS.

HEIGHT WEIGHT

HIGH SCHOOL

YEAR

1

Julian Strawther

G

6'7

210

Liberty

2020

2

Jaelen House

G

6'1

160

Shadow Mountain

2019

3

Jaden Hardy

G

6'4

185

Coronado

2021

4

Jaxen Turner

G

6'2

175

Rancho Verde

2019

11

Jonathan Daniels

G

5'10

160

Paraclete

2019

23

Jalen Hill

F

6'7

165

Clark

2019

30

Kevin Kremer

G

6'4

190

Pleasant Valley

2019

32

Squid Turner

F

6'8

185

Foothill

2019

40

Joshua Assiff

F

6'7

185

Valencia

2019

45

Bryce Johnson

F

6'7

200

St. Mary's

2019

50

Braxton Meah

C

6'11

210

Layton Christian

2019

55

Rick Issanza

C

7'1

215

Bella Vista Prep

2019

Darren Jones

F

6'8

185

Cajon

2019

35


PLAYAZ CLUB PAT E R S O N ,

N E W

J E R S E Y

OVERVIEW The New Jersey Playaz return to the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League (EYBL) this season with another strong group of players. They have proven to be one of the most consistent teams in the country year-to-year, and always put a competitive product on the court. Some of this team’s strengths include their toughness and backcourt depth, featuring juniors Al-Amir Dawes, Tavon Jones, Clarence Nadolny. One thing you know you will always get from a Playaz team is that when the ball tips, it’s going to be a dog fight from start to finish. Director Jimmy Salmon and his Playaz Club have become a Peach Jam staple, and anything less in 2018 would be considered a massive disappointment. THE BACKCOURT: The NJ Playaz backcourt is their best feature this season. Their depth is top notch and will be hard to stop. Dawes (247 No. 163), returns to the Playaz after averaging 8.4 points per game last season. Tavon Jones is back with the Playaz this EYBL season, bringing toughness and experience to the table. Jones (247 3-star) averaged 10.9 points, 4.1 rebounds and 2.4 assists for the Playaz a year ago, and will be counted on to exceed that production. Jones is a strong defender, and his two-way ability will be counted on heavily in 2018. Junior guard Clarence Nadolny is a new addition to this year’s squad. He is the biggest sleeper on this team with his high-level scoring ability. Guards Jake Betlow and Jayson Earle will also make strong contributions for the Playaz, with Betlow being a lights-out shooter from distance. This five-man backcourt will be extremely competitive. THE FRONT COURT: The Playaz frontcourt will consist of Justin Winston, Tyrel Bladen and Zach Freemantle. This trio will all contribute in their own way, with Winston (247 3-star) bringing them versatility with his ball-handling and finishing ability. The Playaz will rely on him for big minutes this season, as will Bladen, who ran with the 17u team last year. Bladen is an impressive athlete who can make a big impact on both ends of the ball. Freemantle’s skill set is what stands out most about his game, and he could have a breakout season with how well he played during the high school season for Bergen Catholic (NJ). The Playaz’s frontcourt will have experience on their side this season, and they’ll potentially to add more one big man before circuit play starts.

T H E S TA R The NJ Playaz star this year is Dawes. The 6-foot-1 lead guard has 17U experience from last year, so he should be ready to run with this year’s group. With his high level playmaking ability, Dawes gives his team a fighting chance against just about anyone in the EYBL. He does a great job finishing around the rim and becoming a knock down shooter. He thinks as long as his team plays together they put themselves to win the Peach Jam. “I think what we need to focus on as a whole is chemistry,” Dawes said. “That is important especially in the EYBL with teams who have been together since sixth grade. We are just working on our chemistry so once we get that figured out we will put ourselves in a good position to win the Peach Jam.”

TEAM INFO

2017 R E C O R D: 9- 7 DI R E C TOR: J I MMY SA LM O N C OAC H: V I N CE J OH N S O N

T H E X - FACTO R Winston will be the x-factor for the Playaz this season. The junior swingman is a plus athlete who can really score the ball on the perimeter. Winston has continued to develop and is becoming a bit more disciplined, especially defensively. Playaz head coach Vince Johnson will need Winston fully-locked in if the Playaz intend to compete for a Peach Jam bid. With his size and skill-set, Winston will be a matchup problem for most teams and that should equate to some impressive averages. The Playaz small forward is definitely someone to keep on your radar this EYBL season.

36


P L AYA Z C L U B R O S T E R NO.

NAME

POS.

HEIGHT WEIGHT

HIGH SCHOOL

YEAR

0

Justin Winston

F

6'7

175

Immaculate Conception

2019

1

Tavon Jones

G

6'3

170

Linden School

2018

2

Al-Amir Dawes

G

6'1

175

Patrick School

2019

3

Jake Betlow

G

6'2

175

St. Benedict's

2019

4

Clarence Nadolny

G

6'4

180

Our Savior New American

2019

11

Tyrel Bladen

F

6'9

210

Coatesville

2019

12

Jayson Earle

G

6'5

195

Bergen Catholic

2019

32

Zach Freemantle

F

6'8

200

Bergen Catholic

2019

37


TEAM TAKEOVER WA S H I N GTON ,

D C

OVERVIEW Team Takeover (DC) had a terrific season in 2017, advancing all the way to the Peach Jam championship game after an 11-5 regular season mark. Although Takeover ultimately fell short in their chase for their second Peach Jam Championship, last season can still be considered a huge success. Why? Because Takeover did what they always do; send their players to college. All seven of their graduates will go to a Division 1 school, with five of them heading to a high-major program. The success should continue in a big way in 2018, as Takeover sports one of the most talented rosters in the country. Seven members of their rotation appear in 247 Sports’ 2019 and 2020 rankings, with six of them being in the top 100 - three in each class. On paper, this team is absolutely terrifying, and a certified contender for the Peach Jam championship. THE BACKCOURT: 6-foot-4 Anthony Harris played all 24 games for Takeover last season, averaging 6.8 points, 2.1 rebounds and 1.7 assists in an energy role. Harris is picking up high-major offers left and right, and a big reason why is his defense - Harris will be one of the best on-ball defenders on the circuit. Roach made a four-game cameo for Takeover in 2017, averaged a modest 5.5 points in four games. The 6-foot-2 floor general moved back down to the E16 squad for Peach Jam, putting up five-game averages of 15.2 points, 4.2 rebounds and 3.2 assists. Morsell, a recent verbal-pledge to Virginia, starred alongside Roach, averaging 12.7 points, 2.7 points and 2.0 steals. Moore (247 No. 66) took home Metropolitan Junior Player of the Year, and should fit in nicely next to his running mates. 6-foot-4 junior Josh Watts and 6-foot Jahmir Young (247 3-star) round out the group, and will likely take on the same energy roles they had on last year’s 16U squad. Quite frankly, there isn’t enough room in this preview to accurately portray how good this backcourt is. THE FRONT COURT: Hunter Dickinson is a huge reason why DeMatha took home the WCAC title, taking home Most Valuable Player honors after dropping 18 points and 10 rebounds in the championship win over O’Connell. The 7-foot sophomore has a very advanced skill-set offensively, and provides Takeover with a talented passing big man. Dickinson will be one of the best true post players on the circuit, and will be a focal point of Takeover’s offense. The 6-foot-7, 220-pound Williams (247 No. 60) had a huge season for Gonzaga (DC), and will provide Takeover with an uber-talented stretchfour capable of completely taking over a game. 6-foot-8 junior EJ Jarvis (247 3-star) and 6-foot-7 junior Charles Thompson both played significant minutes on the Takeover 16U squad a year ago, and will take on similar roles for the 17U squad. 6-foot-8 Josh Oduro will also see minutes in the five-man frontcourt. There’s no doubt that Takeover will play small with their ridiculously talented backcourt, and might be forced into doing so if Dickinson or Williams gets into foul trouble.

T H E S TA R Takeover doesn’t have a true ‘star’, as they feature six different players capable of taking over a game. Juniors Justin Moore, Anthony Harris and Casey Morsell join sophomores Jeremy Roach, Hunter Dickinson and Terrance Williams, creating what will be a constant headache for opposing defenses. Roach (247 No. 13) is the highest ranked of the bunch, and the 6-foot-2 guard actually received minutes for Takeover as a freshman last year. Dickinson (247 5-star) and Harris (247 Composite No. 71) also ran as underclassmen last season, and that experience should go a long ways when gearing up for year two. Head coach Keith Stevens will ride the hot hand with this group, and it’s unlikely that all six guys will be ‘off’ in the same game. The common denominator of this group? All of them play high school ball in the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference (WCAC), arguably the toughest private school league in the country.

T E AM I N F O

2017 R E C OR D: 11- 5 DI R E C TOR: KE I TH S T E VE N S C OAC H: KE I TH S T E VE N S

T H E X - FACTO R Team Takeover has never had a losing season in the EYBL, and there is zero chance they start this season. This squad is talented, highly-competitive and will play some of the best defense in the country. If they can stay in-tact for the entire season, Stevens’ latest group of DMV superstars should be able to top last year’s regular-season record. They might be a bit small, but their lethal crop of versatile guards minimizes that issue. Defenses will need to pick their poison when approaching Takeover’s offense, as it’s literally impossible to take away all of their weapons. Stevens’ group will enter 2018 with a huge target on their back, and if this year is like year’s past, they’ll welcome that target with open arms.

38


TEAM TAKEOVER ROS TER NO.

NAME

POS.

HEIGHT WEIGHT

HIGH SCHOOL

YEAR

1

Jeremy Roach

G

6'2

165

Paul VI

2020

3

Anthony Harris

G

6'4

185

Paul VI

2019

4

Jahmir Young

G

6'0

160

DeMatha Catholic

2019

5

Justin Moore

G

6'4

190

DeMatha Catholic

2019

10

Terrance Williams

F

6'7

220

Gonzaga

2020

12

Josh Watts

G

6'4

180

Gonzaga

2019

13

Casey Morsell

G

6'3

180

St. John's College

2019

15

EJ Jarvis

F

6'8

210

Maret School

2019

22

Josh Oduru

F

6'8

185

Paul VI

2019

24

Hunter Dickinson

F

7'0

225

DeMatha Catholic

2020

32

Charles Thompson

F

6'7

250

St. Stephen's St. Agnes

2019

39


TEAM FINAL P H I L A D E PL P H I A ,

P E N N SY LVA N I A

OVERVIEW Stars Cam Reddish (Duke commit) and Louis King (Oregon) led a relatively thin Team Final (PA) squad to the Peach Jam play-in game, where they ultimately came up short against Nike Team Florida. Philadelphia’s EYBL representative turns over an almost brand new roster in 2018, and Team Final’s staff has plenty of reason to be excited about their potential. Three sophomores will contribute in a 10-man rotation, one that includes a seven ranked players for 247 Sports. Team Final is a grassroots basketball powerhouse - highlighted by their five alumni in the National Championship game - so if they come up short for a Peach Jam bid, it will be a very tough pill to swallow. While they won’t have the star power from a year ago, they have a much more balanced lineup, and figure to be as tough as ever. THE BACKCOURT: Including Khalif Battle and Lynn Greer, Team Final will trot out a four-man backcourt, split evenly with two juniors and two sophomores. Battle, a 6-foot-4 Trenton Catholic (NJ) high school product, plays much like his brother; aggressive yet composed. He’s been skyrocketing up the rankings, and he’ll have a chance to continue that upward trend. Greer will be a staple in the backcourt, as will fellow sophomore AJ Hoggard (247 composite No. 77). The 6-foot-3, 190-pound combo guard utilizes his frame well, and will provide Team Final with a very physical option in the backcourt. Hoggard is also a talented distributor, and he’ll be leaned on to spread the ball around. 6-foot-5 point guard Lucas Monroe will see big minutes off the bench for Team Final, and the mid-major recruit will have a big opportunity to improve his stock in a relatively thin rotation THE FRONT COURT: Team Final will lean heavily on Seth Lundy (247 composite No. 120) and Ajak (247 composite No. 158), and they’ll be complemented by four other forwards. 6-foot-8 sophomore Mikeal BrownJones (247 No. 84) returns after averaging 6.3 points and 3.2 rebounds in 2017. Brown-Jones played as a freshman - a rarity in the EYBL - and that experience should be crucial as he prepares for his second season. 6-foot-8 power forward Peter Sorber is criminallyunderrated, and Team Final will need him to be efficient on the boards. 6-foot-7 junior combo forwards Kvonn Cramer (247 3-star) and Konrad Kiszka round out the balanced six-man rotation. This lineup will need to play their way into specific roles while relying on the veteran leadership of Ajak and Brown-Jones to start the season. This is one of the more formidable frontcourts in Division B.

T H E S TA R While there isn’t a bonafide ‘star’ on the roster, Team Final is equipped with several potential candidates to lead the team, both in the backcourt and frontcourt. Junior Khalif Battle (247 4-star), younger brother of Syracuse star Tyus Battle, will be featured among the guards. The Trentonian First-team All-Area guard will share the scoring duties with super sophomore Lynn Greer III (247 No. 23). Greer helped lead Roman Catholic (PA) to the Catholic League and PIAA Titles this season, and the 6-foot3 relentless competitor scored 458 points (15.3 PPG) during the process Junior swingman Seth Lundy - Greer’s teammate at Roman - will be another featured piece for Team Final. 2017 returner Jon Bol Ajak has proven to be a highly-productive forward, and has a chance to shine in Final’s frontcourt

T E AM I N F O

2017 R E C O R D: 7- 9 DIR E C TOR: RO B B ROWN C OAC H: AARON B U RT

T H E X - FACTO R Last season Team Final showed flashes of brilliance, but it came after a lackluster 1-4 start to the season. If Team Final wants to secure an outright bid to this year’s Peach Jam, they’ll need to start fast. Anything less than a 2-2 split against a four-game schedule in Dallas would be a major setback for this group, as the schedule won’t get easier in sessions two, three and four. Team Final features more than enough talent to compete with anyone in grassroots, and they’ll be one of the more physical squads on the circuit. Setting the tone early and often will be imperative for this group, as a slow start could mean an empty July.

40


TEAM FINAL ROSTER NO.

NAME

POS.

HEIGHT WEIGHT

HIGH SCHOOL

YEAR

0

Jon Bol Ajak

F

6'10

210

Paoli, PA

2019

1

Khalif Battle

G

6'4

180

Metuchen, NJ

2019

2

Seth Lundy

F

6'6

200

Philadelphia, PA

2019

3

Lynn Greer

G

6'3

165

Philadelphia, PA

2020

10

Konrad Kiszka

F

6'7

180

Newton, PA

2019

11

AJ Hoggard

G

6'3

190

Wayne, PA

2020

21

Kvonn Cramer

F

6'7

170

Wilmington, DE

2019

22

Lucas Monroe

G

6'5

175

Abington, PA

2019

23

Mikeal Brown-Jones

F

6'8

210

Philadelphia, PA

2020

32

Peter Sorber

F

6'8

220

Lawrence Township, NJ

2019

41


BABC BOS TON ,

M A S SAC H U S E T TS

OVERVIEW Boston Amateur Basketball Club (BABC) found their stride in 2017, riding Villanova commit Cole Swider and their lauded pressure defense to a Peach Jam berth and a 10-6 regular season record. Most of their roster will be moving onto college on full-ride scholarships, and BABC’s next group has a chance to continue the grassroot basketball program’s remarkably consistent success. Director Leo Papile is excited about his newest 17U rotation, which will be led by two veterans who are taking on increased roles. Like always, BABC will play a tough, grind-it-out style of basketball, and will aim to keep the score in the 50s. Papile’s club is one of very few programs who implement a full-court press in every game they play, a trait that every BABC squad has upheld for what seems like forever. They won’t necessarily overwhelm you with star power or glam, but BABC is a threat to every opponent they play, mainly because they play with such a unique style of basketball. THE BACKCOURT: Brycen Goodine is their go-to option offensively, and he’ll be equipped with several BABC program veterans as he prepares for his encore EYBL season. Junior guard Chris Herren Jr - son of former NBAplayer Chris Herren - will see big minutes for BABC. An under-the-radar guard from Tabor Academy, Herren is a plus shooter and goes a nice job of getting his teammates involved. 6-foot point guard Quest Harris is one of four underclassmen on the roster, operating as the only sophomore in the backcourt. Harris is a quick, shifty lead guard who should take on a similar role to smaller guards Maurice Works and Shandon Brown from the 2017 roster. Three juniors - Dame Perry (5-foot-10), Mykel Derring (6-foot-1) and Ben Eke (6-foot-2) - complete the six-man rotation. Papile will likely need one of his backcourt prospects to step up offensively if BABC expects to maintain their offensive efficiency from a year ago. THE FRONT COURT: Just like the backcourt, BABC’s frontcourt runs six deep and will be relying on that committee to replace the production that Swider was responsible for in 2017. 6-foot-7 Darion Jordan-Thomas returns alongside Goodine for BABC, and the junior is expected to take on a much larger role in 2018. Out of Proctor Academy (MA), he plays with relentless energy and toughness, two key attributes which make him perfect for Papile’s zone. Jordan-Thomas is a capable scorer on offense but will likely make the majority of his offensive noise in transition. Junior forwards Kyle Murphy (6-foot-6), Mitch Doherty (6-foot-7), Matt Cross (6-foot-7) and Taisaun Doherty-Green (6-foot-6) will all see big minutes for Papile, with each prospect attempting to carve out a niche within the rotation. 6-foot-10, 240-pound Josh Ogundele rounds out the frontcourt, and hailing from across the Atlantic, the London native is arguably the most promising prospect on the roster. Ogundele recently established himself in the 2020 graduating class, so it’s likely we’ll be seeing two years of EYBL action from Ogundele. It only takes one or two EYBL games to put yourself on the map, and with his elite height and size Ogundele could see his stock soar rapidly.

T H E S TA R The latest BABC bunch will be led by Brycen Goodine, a veteran of the 2017 crew and a verbal pledge to Syracuse University. Goodine (247 4-star) is a long, athletic guard, and will be operating as the most talented scorer on BABC. The 6-foot-4 Goodine prides himself on his defense and will be a major cog in BABC’s press, mainly due to the fact that he has become so accustomed to playing it. An improving shooter, Goodine will make his mark attacking the basket and involving his teammates in transition. He was awarded Gatorade Player of the Year in Rhode Island, averaging () for the St. Andrew’s School. Papile loves the intangibles that Goodine brings to his EYBL squad, and will be thoroughly depending on him for leadership both on and off the court.

T E AM I N F O

2017 R E C OR D: 10- 6 DIR E C TOR: L E O PA PI LLE

T H E X - FACTO R For BABC, the defense is ever-present. Their non-stop press is capable of transforming elite teams into mortals, and it allows BABC to camouflage their deficiencies in other facets of the game. This year’s squad will be no different, as they have the necessary personnel to create season-long havoc with their defense. That being said, every team needs to score and on paper BABC has fewer scoring options than most programs. They will be on the hunt for a consistent second and third scorer, and if they struggle to find them it will be the Bryce Goodine show early and often in Dallas and Indianapolis. Offensive firepower aside, this group will be a pleasure to watch if you enjoy defense. Like most seasons, their ability to consistently frustrate teams will be their calling card and will likely be the primary reason they qualify for Peach Jam.

42


BABC ROSTER NO.

NAME

POS.

HEIGHT WEIGHT

HIGH SCHOOL

YEAR

1

Ben Eke

G

6'2

175

The Master's School

2019

2

Brycen Goodine

G

6'4

175

St. Andrew's School

2019

4

Quest Harris

G

6'0

175

Worcester Academy

2020

5

Eric Beckett

G

6'4

Tilton School

2019

11

Mykel Derring

G

6'1

180

Proctor Academy

2019

12

Dame Perry

G

5'10

165

Bishop Stang

2019

13

Kyle Murphy

F

6'6

200

Cushing Academy

2019

41

Josh Ogundele

F

6'10

240

Worcester Academy

2020

42

Darion Jordan-Thomas

F

6'7

180

Proctor Academy

2019

43

Mitch Doherty

F

6'7

185

Worcester Academy

2019

45

Matt Cross

F

6'7

180

Cushing Academy

2020

43


NEW YORK LIGHTNING N E W

YO R K ,

N E W

YO R K

OVERVIEW The New York Lightning are coming off a big season, as they qualified for Peach Jam with a 10-6 season. Seton Hall commits Jared Rhoden and Anthony Nelson did a great job leading them to a huge year. The Lightning’s toughness and effort is always top notch and people should expect the same this year with guards like Posh Alexander and DeShawn Davis. Lightning Program Director Dana Dingle likes his team this year. “This year’s team will be tough and hard-nosed and looking to prove itself to the league,” Dingle said, also touching upon what he will focus on with this year’s group. “We will focus on defense and rebounding because that is what will keep us in games.” THE BACKCOURT: Post Alexander, 247 Sports Composite’s 89th Ranked player in the Country, and Davis will lead NY Lightning’s backcourt. Just like Alexander, Davis is an excellent athlete with a great burst, and does a great job utilizing this on the defensive end as he picks up opponents up full court. The 6-foot-3 Davis is a tough New York City native who is most adept at slashing to the basket. 6-foot-3 junior Jordan Dingle returns to the Lightning and will once again give his team significant minutes. With his strength, he is a threat on both sides of the ball. The Lightning made a key addition to their backcourt in 6-foot-4 junior Jason Eubank. Eubank brings them size and versatility, and the First Love Christian (PA) product appears to be just tapping into his potential. THE FRONT COURT: The Lightning have a good history with their big men. Former standout Angel Delgado recently won the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar award, which is awarded to the best big man in the country. This year class of 2019 duo Bernard Kouma and Fredelin De La Cruz will run the show for the NY Lightning’s frontcourt. Kouma stands at 6-foot-9 and has developed a great deal in the past year. He will have a lot of responsibility this season, but judging off this high school season with Our Saviour Lutheran he is more than ready. The 6-foot-7 Fredelin De La Cruz brings toughness and great instincts. He gave Dingle great contributions off the bench last year and will undertake a bigger role this year. George Varmah is a new addition to the Lightning who will get decent time right away, and provide some energy and rebounding off the bench.

T H E S TA R Alexander is the NY Lightning’s star player this year. Alexander had a great debut on the circuit last year as he averaged 8.2 points, 2.6 assists and 2.2 rebounds in 21 games. He enjoyed a terrific sophomore season for Our Saviour Lutheran (NY), finishing as the second-leading scorer behind Rhoden. With his elite athleticism and always-attacking mindset, he is one of the best guards in his graduating class. He’s improved his jump shot and basketball I.Q., and is now more than capable of running the show. He is definitely a player to watch this EYBL season, and should be a contender for all-EYBL honors.

T E AM I N F O

2017 R E C OR D: 10- 6 DIR E C TOR: DAN A D I N GLE C OAC H: SH AN D UE M C N E I L

T H E X - FACTO R This year’s X-Factor for the Lightning is Bernard Kouma. As mentioned before, Kouma will have a big role on this year’s team. He will lead the Lightning’s frontcourt and will have to be very productive on both ends for his team - especially on the boards. Kouma has improved his conditioning and skill set so he is well equipped to take on the grueling Nike EYBL schedule, which is filled with talented big men. He is another name to watch this year, and will need to do his best to consistently stay out of foul trouble.

44


NY LIGHTNING ROSTER NAME

POS.

YEAR

HEIGHT

WEIGHT

HIGH SCHOOL

George Varmah

F

2019

6'6

Posh Alexander

G

2020

6'2

170

Our Saviour Lutheran

Bernard Kouma

F

2019

6'10

200

Our Saviour Lutheran

Dashawn Davis

G

2019

6'3

175

Our Saviour Lutheran

JJ Eubank

G

2019

6'4

175

First Love

Jordan Dingle

G

2019

6'3

185

Blair Academy

Fredelin De La Cruz

F

2019

6'7

220

Redemption Christian

Thurgood Marshall

45


TEAM MELO BA LT I M O R E ,

M A RY L A N D

OVERVIEW Team Melo (MD) enjoyed one of the best program debuts in NIKE Elite Youth Basketball League history in 2017. The Carmelo Anthony-sponsored Baltimore EYBL representative finished with a 9-7 regular season record, qualifying for Peach Jam after winning six of their final eight games. They were winless in Peach Jam, but showed very well for themselves, losing all five by an average of five points per game. Regardless of their on-court performances, the season can be considered a success due to one fact; seven of their graduating seniors are heading to Division 1 programs, and all 11 members will eventually sign to play in college. They’ll try to get over the pool play hump in 2017, and they’ll be doing so with another roster full of Division 1 talent. THE BACKCOURT: RJ Blakney and Jay Heath will be focal points of the offense, as will floor general Jonathan McGriff (247 composite 3-star). McGriff ran the show for national powerhouse Huntington Prep (WV) during the regular season, showcasing the skills and moxie to be a point guard at the high-major level. The 5-foot-10 McGriff will look to continue his upward trajectory as a prospect, and he’ll do so surrounded by some elite weapons on the wing. Juniors Teon Gardner (6-foot-3), Ronell Giles (6-foot-4) and Jalen Rucker (5-foot-9) are rock-solid options off the bench, and will play significant minutes in the 11-man rotation. The diminutive Rucker recently surpassed the 1,000 point mark in high school, while Gardner and Giles each enjoyed stellar junior campaigns. 6-foot-8 sophomore Anthony Thomas is the only underclassmen on the roster, and will likely spend the majority of his minutes at the small forward position. THE FRONT COURT: Last year Team Melo entered the EYBL with a bunch of underrated forwards, and they’ll do the same in 2018. The difference is, they’ll have a highly ranked underclassman leading the way in Justin Lewis. A 6-foot-8 forward hailing from Baltimore Polytechnic Institute, Lewis (247 No. 53) is a terrific athlete and exhibits a high motor. Jason Murphy (St. Frances) will join Lewis and play big minutes in the frontcourt, as will McDowell School (PA) product Olanrewaju Olamuyiwa. A 6-foot-10 junior, Olamuyiwa will provide a defensive-stopper for a a frontline that lacks ideal beef. 6-foot-5 Braxton Foreman is set to reclass, and will see minutes off the bench. Team Melo should be just fine, as they feature four players over 6-foot-8 and an extremely athletic set of wings. Blakney, Price and Thomas provide Team Melo with some interchangeability between the guards and the forwards, so they’ll likely have to experiment with

T H E S TA R Similar to last season, Team Melo will adhere to their personnel and operate with a ‘star-by-committee’ approach. 6-foot-5 juniors Marvin Price (247 No. 91) and RJ Blakney (247 No. 88) are the highest-ranked recruits on the roster, and will form quite the duo on the wing. Price, who recently transferred back to Patterson (MD) after a brief stint at Huntington Prep (WV), is expected to be a featured scorer for Melo. Blakney is is a confident, high-flying slasher who does his best work in transition. 6-foot-3 junior Jay Heath (247 composite 3-star) has ‘star’ potential for Melo, and proved to be a relentless offensive weapon for Woodrow Wilson (DC) during 2017-18. There are a few other names on the roster that could break out for Team Melo, which is a solid problem to have as they begin their second EYBL run.

TEAM INFO

2017 R E C O R D: 9- 7 DI R E C TOR: RO B E RT ‘ BAY’ F R A Z I E R C OAC H: D O N AL D D U N C A N

T H E X - FACTO R Occasionally when a team competes in the EYBL, it takes some time to settle into specific roles. In the EYBL, you don’t have time, so it will be imperative that Team Melo finds their stride before stepping foot in Dallas. They have plenty of talent on paper, but will need a combination of Heath, Price, Blakney and McGriff to become leaders from the season’s outset. Blakney, Price, heath and McGriff are a four-headed backcourt monster that will need to be evenly fed, and if they find some cohesion, they will become one of the top backcourts on the circuit. Regardless of how they mesh offensively, this squad is going to bring it on defense, which means they should remain competitive in every game they play. A return to Peach Jam is an expectation for this group, and they have a great chance to make noise in Division B.

46


TEAM MELO ROSTER NAME

POS.

YEAR

HEIGHT

WEIGHT

HIGH SCHOOL

Jay Heath

G

2019

6'3

180

Woodrow Wilson

Jalen Rucker

G

2019

5'9

Jason Murphy

F

2019

6'8

210

St. Frances Academy

Marvin Price

F

2019

6'5

210

Patterson

RJ Blakney

G

2019

6'5

180

St. Maria Goretti

Teon Gardner

G

2019

6'3

170

Edmondson

Jonathan McGriff

G

2019

5'10

165

Huntington Prep

Olanrewaju Olamuyiwa

F

2019

6'10

220

McDowell School

Anthony Thomas

G

2020

6'8

185

Tennessee Prep

Braxton Foreman

F

2019

6'5

220

Governor Thomas Johnson

Justin Lewis

F

2020

6'8

230

Poly

Ronell Giles

G

2019

6'4

185

Pallotti

Gilman

47


PSA CARDINALS N E W

YO R K ,

N E W

YO R K

OVERVIEW Another season, another tremendous showing from New York City’s budding EYBL powerhouse. On the court, the Cardinals finished with an 11-5 regular season record. They bowed out after a 3-2 showing at Peach Jam, but Director Munch WIlliams and company still had plenty of reason to smile after the season ended; nine of their graduating seniors signed Division 1 scholarships, including five to high-major conferences. They’ll be a Peach Jam contender once again in 2018, riding the talents of two-time EYBL veteran Cole Anthony. PSA will feature seven prospects with a 247Sports ‘star’ next to their name, and their talents should only be increased by playing alongside Anthony. The Cardinals have developed into a perennial Peach Jam contender, and the story will be no different in 2018. One mark they can’t top from 2017 is their number of graduates (9), as the Cardinals only feature eight rising seniors. THE BACKCOURT: Anthony will be the floor leader, and he has plenty of reason to be exciting by his surrounding guards. Junior Joe Toussaint (247 3-star) returns for his second season on the circuit, looking to improve on modest 2017 averages of 4.0 points and 2.6 assists per game. The 6-foot Toussaint is only getting better, evidenced by 2017-18 campaign at Cardinal Hayes (NY, which) included season averages of 21.7 points, 7.5 assists, 4.8 rebounds and 3.1 steals. MacDuffie (MA) junior James Bouknight (247 No. 72) enters the fray in 2018, and the 6-foot-4 high-major prospect should provide the Cardinals with elite athleticism and a threat from the perimeter. Long Island Lutheran (NY) junior Tyson Etienne rounds out the backcourt, fresh of 201718 per-game averages of 16.5 points and 4.1 assists. The 6-foot-3 Etienne is criminally-underrated, and should flourish in PSA’s offense. THE FRONT COURT: PSA’s frontcourt in 2018 is deep and talented, and includes several names that have been with the program for years. Ismael Massoud (247 No. 110) is their highest-ranked junior, and the 6-foot-8 prospect will play a prominent role in a five-man rotation. Massoud averaged 16.2 points and 6.4 rebounds for MacDuffie (MA) in 2017-18, and will be joined by fellow MacDuffie product, 6-foot-9 Richard Springs (247 No. 65). Springs is the only 2020 graduate on the roster, which means something, as PSA rarely calls up an underclassmen to the 17U circuit. Expect 6-foot-9 junior Max Lorca-Lloyd (247 3-star) to be a highly productive big for PSA, evidenced by his strong junior campaign (10.4 PPG, 10.1 RPG, 3.3 BPG) for northeast NEPSAC powerhouse Northfield Mount Hermon. 6-foot-9 juniors Essam Mostafa (247 3-star) and Joel Soriano round out a well-sized frontcourt, and it would be a solid bet that one of them turns into a reliable frontcourt contributor. As stated before, this group has a lot depth, and the individual talents of each big men complement each other very well.

T H E S TA R The aforementioned Anthony has developed into an absolute superstar on the NIKE circuit, and he’ll be looking to have a special third season in the EYBL. Last season, the 6-foot-3 Anthony averaged 18.6 points, 6.7 assists, 3.7 rebounds and 2.5 assists in 20 games, saving his best for Peach Jam, where the then-sophomore put up five-game averages of 25.6 points, 5.6 assists and 4.6 rebounds. Simply put, Anthony is one of the best lead guards on the circuit, and is capable of beating you in many different capacities. With the talent surrounding him this season, it would not be a stretch to see Anthony lead the circuit in assists while also increasing his scoring average. His offense is all-EYBL worthy, but you could make the argument that his defense is just as good. Anthony took home 2017 Defensive Player of the Year honors in 2017, averaging 2.2 steals per game while constantly locking down the opposition’s best backcourt talent. The Archbishop Molloy (NY) product will be very, very good in 2018, and is on the preseason short list to take home Most Valuable Player.

TEAM INFO

2017 R E C OR D: 16- 6 DIR E C TOR: MARK C A RT E R C OAC H: MUN C H WI LLI A M S

T H E X - FACTO R The 2018 PSA Cardinals have the necessary talent and depth to compete against anyone in the EYBL, but it will be important for them to carve out their specific roles during the first two sessions. Anthony is obviously the floor general, but PSA will need to find a reliable second and third scorer, and will also need a couple members of their frontcourt to separate themselves from the pack. The average height of a PSA rotation player is just a hair under 6-foot-7, so their size will definitely be troublesome in certain matchups. It likely won’t take long for PSA to find their stride, and with the ridiculously good defense they always play, they are a strong candidate to take home the division.

48


PSA CARDINALS ROSTER NO.

NAME

POS.

HEIGHT WEIGHT

HIGH SCHOOL

YEAR

1

Tyson Etienne

G

6'3

180

Long Island Lutheran

2019

3

Cole Anthony

G

6'3

175

Archbishop Molloy

2019

4

James Bouknight

G

6'5

185

MacDuffie School

2019

5

Joe Toussaint

G

6'0

170

Cardinal Hayes

2019

10

Richie Springs

F

6'9

200

MacDuffie School

2020

11

Max Lorca-Lloyd

F

6'9

205

Northfield Mount Hermon

2019

12

Jayden Reaves

G

6'2

170

Millbrook School

2019

22

Joel Soriano

F

6'9

195

Archbishop Stepinac

2019

23

Essam Mostafa

F

6'9

225

Long Island Lutheran

2019

25

Ismael Massoud

F

6'8

195

MacDuffie School

2019

49


EXPRESSIONS BOS TON ,

M A S SAC H U S E T TS

OVERVIEW Expressions Elite (MA) surprised a lot of people in 2017, finishing with an 11-5 regular season record behind a lineup loaded of underrated prospects. They failed to advance out of pool play, but nonetheless last year should be considered a success as they graduated numerous prospects to Division I schools. Director Todd Quarles has assembled a talented, deep rotation featuring a league-high 14 players. A trip to Peach Jam is definitely an expectation for this program, and they’ll be led by veteran point guard Noah Fernandes. There’s a lot to be excited about with this group, but they won’t be sneaking up on anyone this season. THE BACKCOURT: Fernandes and Clarke will be staples in the backcourt, and they’ll be joined by six other guards - all juniors. 6-foot-4 Daman Tate will step in for his older brother Dana, who starred on last year’s team. Tate has been with the Expressions program for years, and will be looking to add to offers like Rhode Island and Richmond. Alonzo Linton (English), Waldo Soares (O’Bryant) and Aireus Raspberry (Cranston East) are electric scorers at the local level, and Expressions will need one or two of them to parlay that into efficient EYBL success. All three are relatively underthe-radar recruits with a chance to build their individual resumes. 6-foot-2 Jalen Samuels, younger brother of a previous alum and recent national champion Jermaine Samuels, is also a long-time Expressions member who will receive minutes off the bench. 6-foot-2 Gould Academy (ME) product Daniel Buie rounds out a rotation that won’t be lacking depth. THE FRONT COURT: While not quite as stacked to the brim as the backcourt, Expressions’ set of big men run fairly deep. Including Mitchell, the Expressions frontcourt will feature five prospects, with Dyondre Dominguez being the lone underclassmen. Dominguez (6-foot-8) is a promising swingman, and just recently started to tap into his sky-high potential during his sophomore season at New Hampton School (NH). He’s playing up in age for a reason, and we expect Dominguez to be one of the more productive underclassmen on the circuit. 6-foot-6 junior Preston Santos will also receive big minutes, and the 247 3-star recruit will provide an active defender capable of impacting a game in a number of fashions. Juniors Joe Pridgen (6-foot-5) and Connor Peterson (6-foot-6) briefly saw time with 17U a year ago and will provide solid options on the wing. 6-foot-10 junior Bas Leyte, also a New Hampton School product, rounds out the six-man rotation.

T H E S TA R Fernandes will have the ball in his hands a lot for Expressions, making him not only their floor general, but also the most likely candidate to lead them in scoring. Fernandes played solid as an underclassmen last year alongside Creightonbound Marcus Zegarowski, and will be taking over leadership duties from his departing teammate. The 6-foot-1 junior will be looking to improve on averages of 6.6 points, 2.9 rebounds and 2.0 assists in the 2017 EYBL. 6-foot9 junior Tre Mitchell is coming off a breakout high school season at Woodstock Academy (CT), and will be a go-toguy in Expressions’ frontcourt. Mitchell (247 Composite No. 100) is a load on the interior, and will likely put up some gaudy rebounding numbers. Freshman Terrence Clark (247 5-star) has star written all over him, but will likely take a back seat to his more experienced elders in 2018.

TEAM INFO

2017 R E C O R D: 11- 5 DIR E C TOR: TOD D Q UA R LE S C OAC H: TOD D Q UA R LE S

T H E X - FACTO R Mitchell is new to the Expressions program, and his presence in the rotation changes the whole dynamic for their season outlook. Mitchell is a highly-coveted recruit, already holding 25 Division I scholarship offers - his most recent from Vanderbilt. He’s capable of dominating the game on the interior, and will be a huge value added defensively for Expressions. If he has the impact on the rotation that we think he will, Expressions should rack up more than enough wins to advance to Peach Jam. Also crucial to Expressions’ success is the emergence of another scorer. Fernandes and Mitchell will carry a lot of the load, and the emergence of a solid supporting cast will only solidify their Peach Jam chances.

50


EXPRESSIONS ROSTER NO.

NAME

POS.

HEIGHT WEIGHT

HIGH SCHOOL

YEAR

0

Daniel Buie

G

6'2

160

Gould Academy (ME)

2019

1

Dyondre Dominguez

F

6'8

190

New Hampton

2020

2

Alonzo Linton

G

6'5

180

English

2019

4

Preston Santos

F

6'6

190

Brooks School

2019

5

Terrence Clarke

G

6'6

185

Rivers School

2021

10

Aireus Raspberry

G

6'0

160

Cranston East

2019

11

Noah Fernandes

G

6'0

175

Tabor Academy

2019

15

Rivaldo Soares

G

6'5

180

O'Bryant

2019

21

Jalen Samuels

G

6'2

155

Franklin

2019

23

Joe Pridgen

F

6'5

180

Governor's Academy

2019

24

Connor Peterson

F

6'6

190

Tabor Academy

2019

30

Bas Leyte

F

6'10

210

New Hampton

2019

33

Tre Mitchell

F

6'9

250

Woodstock Academy

2019

51


52


DI V I SIO N C

53


MAC IRVIN FIRE C H I C AG O ,

I L L I N O I S

OVERVIEW The last two seasons have been a struggle for the Mac Irvin Fire, unable to qualify for Peach Jam behind some talented rosters. Perhaps no program is more excited for 2018, as the Fire feature a boatload of talent as they look to make their return to North Augusta. Chicago native Kahlil Whitney returns home to the Fire, fresh off helping Roselle Catholic (NJ) high school to an NJSIAA State Championship title. Whitney (247 No. 56) will have plenty of assistance in leading the fire, and their 10-man roster should be able to make some noise in a loaded Division C. Simply put, this is too good of a program to repeatedly miss out on July’s Peach Jam, and we expect their drought to come to an end in 2018. THE BACKCOURT: Whitney will spend time at the shooting guard and small forward positions, and his versatility will come in handy, as he’s capable of defending multiple positions. Rising star Adam Miller will have the ball in his hands frequently, and the 6-foot4 Morgan Park (IL) guard is widely-regarded as Illinois’ top ranked recruit in 2020. Miller (247 5-star) loves to attack the rim and his an improving shooter, and he’ll operate as one of the best on-ball defenders in the country. 5-foot-11 Markese Jacobs, a verbal-commitment to Kansas, will operate alongside Miller. A long-time veteran of the Fire, Jacobs (247 4-star) is an excellent athlete, and a perfect transition player for the uptempo Chicago club. Junior Anthony Fairlee starred down state for Springfield Southeast (IL), and the 6-foot-5 superathlete should be highly-productive in an energy role for the Fire. Marquise Walker (6-foot) and Deonte Billups (6-foot-4) are both veterans of last year’s 16U group, and will play significant minutes for the Fire. There is a ton of talent in this group, and it will be interesting to see how the minutes are distributed. THE FRONT COURT: Whitney will spend time on the wing, joining juniors Terrence Shannon (6-foot-6) and Rashaun Agee (6-foot-7). Like their teammates, Shannon and Agee are both super athletic prospects who like to get up and down in transition. They will be able to impact the game without having a play called for them, and should be valuable commodities on defense. 6-foot-11, 255-pound Treyon Johnson joins 6-foot-8, 240-pound Sydney Curry to provide some much needed beef in the Fire’s frontcourt. Both Johnson and Curry will be called upon for strong defense and rebounding. The Fire will likely play small a lot of the time, but they have frontcourt depth at their disposal if they need it.

T H E S TA R The star(s) of this group are Whitney and Miller. Both are highly-ranked in their respective classes, and both will need to be super-productive if the Fire want to get back to their winning ways in 2018. Whitney has a chance to be special, and if he remains a focal point throughout the season, he should rack up numbers garnering all-EYBL recognition. Miller is one of the best young guards on the circuit, and if he can effectively play alongside Whitney, Mac Irvin could find themselves in good shape.

T E AM I N F O

2017 R E C OR D: 3- 13 DIR E C TOR: MI K E I RVI N C OAC H: MI K E I RVI N

T H E X - FACTO R This team will be a lot of fun to watch, mainly due to their style-of-play and their freakish athleticism. They will challenge anyone to play at their tempo, and they are well-equipped to run you out of the gym. The key to their season is going to come down to their stars. If Whitney and Miller are rolling, the rest of the squad should follow suit. It’s been a while since Mac Irvin was the hunted instead of the hunter, and provided they keep their health in tact, they should find themselves back in the top half of the standings.

54


MAC IRVIN FIRE ROS TER NAME

POS.

YEAR

HEIGHT

WEIGHT

HIGH SCHOOL

Kahlil Whitney

G

2019

6'7

195

Roselle Catholic

Adam Miller

G

2020

6'4

175

Morgan Park

Markese Jacobs

G

2019

5'11

170

Uplift

Marquise Walker

G

2019

6'0

180

Curie

Deonte Billups

G

2019

6'4

190

Moline

Treyon Johnson

C

2019

6'11

255

Prosser

Terrence Shannon Jr

F

2019

6'6

190

Lincoln Park

Rashaun Agee

F

2019

6'7

190

Bogan

Anthony Fairlee

G

2019

6'5

185

Springfield Southeast

Sydney Curry

F

2019

6'8

240

Horizon Christian

55


E1T1 UNITED O R L A N D O ,

F LO R I DA

OVERVIEW E1T1 was terrific last season, finishing the regular season with a 12-4 behind stars Emmitt Williams (LSU commit), Will Richardson (Oregon commit) and Antwann Jones (Texas A&M commit). Head coach Steve Reece and company advanced all the way to the final eight, bowing out to the eventual champion Oakland Soldiers. In what seems like clockwork, E1T1 will bring an immensely-talented lineup to the EYBL and should have no problem competing for a bid to Peach Jam - a tournament they haven’t missed since the EYBL’s inception in 2010. Juniors CJ Walker and Tre Mann have a chance to be special for the Orlando squad, and their production should result in plenty of wins for E1T1. THE BACKCOURT: Mann is great, and he’ll have some talented running mates - six of them in total. 6-foot3 junior Marsei Caston is a likely candidate to blow up this spring and summer, already showing out for E1T1 during their invitational event. Reece is extremely high on Caston, and expects him to be a focal point of the backcourt. 6-foot-4 combo guards Isiah Kirby and Johnnie Williams will battle for significant minutes, as will 2017 veteran Jimmy Beane. Carrollwood Day (FL) product Malcolm Whitlow could be a wildcard, coming off 2017-18 per-game high school averages of 31.8 points, 8.9 rebounds, 6.7 assists and 2.5 steals. 6-foot-2 scoring guard Lance Erving rounds out the rotation, and played a big role in E1T1 bringing home the championship of their own invitational tournament. He’s a certified high-major prospect, and should enjoy a breakout spring. THE FRONT COURT: Walker is going to be a potential superstar, but he’s going to need some assistance moving forward. 6-foot-8, 265-pound big man Rifen Miguel is one of the largest prospects on the circuit this year, and the young man has nimble feet, a high motor and a physicality to his game that is refreshing to see in today’s game. He is going to be a load to handle for most opposing frontcourts, and will likely make a huge splash on the boards. If he can stay out of foul trouble, the Angolan-native Miguel will consistently have his skills on display this spring. 6-foot-9 junior RJ Duhart averaged 15 points and 10 rebounds for Atlantic (FL), and will provide much-needed relief for Miguel and Walker. This unit will definitely play small, but their guards are more than good enough to make up for it.

T H E S TA R Mann (247 No. 37) and Walker (247 Composite No. 88) will share star duties for E1T1, and this duo will be a headache for opposing defenses. The 6-foot-1 Mann averaged, 20 points, 5.6 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 2.0 steals during the 2017-18 high school season for The Villages Charter School (FL), and is widely considered one of the top playmaking guards in the 2019 class. Walker just got done earning back-to-back State Championship Most Valuable Player awards, helping lead Orlando Christian Prep to two straight state titles. Walker is only scratching the surface of his potential, and if his 2017-18 performances for OCP are any indication, the 6-foot-7 swingman will be a darkhorse for All-EYBL honors. We can say this with a high level of certainty: there aren’t 87 players better than Walker in the 2019 class.

T E AM I N F O

2017 R E C O R D: 12- 4 DIR E C TOR: S TE VE R E E C E C OAC H: S TE VE R E E C E

T H E X - FACTO R Mann and Walker will be one of the most formidable duos on the circuit, and if they show up to play in each game, E1T1 can beat anyone. Both are highly competitive, high-IQ basketball players and they are more than ready to lead this version of E1T1. Reece has coached a lot of star players, and if a set of prospects have his unwavering stamp of approval, than we can’t help but follow suit. Mann has a chance to be one of the leading scorers on the circuit, while Walker’s versatility will be on full display. This group will be fun to watch, and will likely do a lot of winning in Division C.

56


E1T1 FIRE ROSTER NAME

POS.

YEAR

HEIGHT

WEIGHT

HIGH SCHOOL

Isiah Kirby

G

2019

6'4

180

Cypress Bay

Tre Mann

G

2019

6'1

155

The Villages

CJ Walker

F

2019

6'7

180

Orlando Christian Prep

Jimmy Beane

G

2019

6'5

Rifen Miguel

F

2019

6'8

265

West Oaks

Marsei Caston

G

2019

6'3

170

Potters House

Johnnie Williams

G

2019

6'4

180

Booker

Lance Erving

G

2019

6'2

170

Leesburg

RJ Duhart

F

2019

6'9

230

Atlantic

Malcolm Whitlow

G

2019

6'1

180

Carrollwood Day

Potters House

57


SPIECE INDY HEAT I N D I A N A P OL I S ,

I N D I A N A

OVERVIEW The Indy Heat had a rare down year in 2017, failing to secure a bid to Peach Jam despite a very talented roster. Head coach Jason Delaney is very excited about his upcoming all-2019 group, and has plenty of reason to be. Their 2018 group welcomes a highly-successful E16 group from a year ago, set to star alongside junior Keion Brooks Jr - the Heat’s leading scorer for 17U a year ago. Like most seasons, the Indy Heat have one of the thinnest rotations on the circuit, rostering only nine players. The plus side to that strategy? All nine players contribute, and all nine should have a well-carved out role by session one. Their E16 group lost in the 2017 Peach Jam semifinals while featuring almost primarily Division 1 players. This group will be wellcoached, highly-efficient and will feature some of the best team chemistry in the nation. While they may not have the raw talent as other EYBL programs, the Indy Heat have composed a team full of winners, and they’ll likely be doing a lot of it in 2018. THE BACKCOURT: A pair of 6-foot juniors lead the backcourt for the Indy Heat, led by Zionsville (IN) product Isaiah Thompson. The younger brother of Purdue’s PJ Thompson - also an alumni of the Indy Heat - Isaiah has turned into a high-major prospect in his own right. Also verbally-committed to Purdue, Thompson plays similarly to his brother, operating with a competitiveness level that is difficult to match. Ethan Brittain-Watts is set to run alongside Thompson in the backcourt, operating as one of the more underrated guards in the country. Brittain-Watts had a successful E16 Peach Jam run, averaging over 40 points per game combined in four contests. Juniors Simon Banks (Brebeuf Jesuit) and Jalen Windham will play big roles in the nine-man rotation, each coming off strong 2017-18 high school campaigns. The 6-foot-1 Banks averaged 15.7 points, 4.4 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game, while Windham averaged 14.0 points, 3.4 rebounds and 2.3 assists. Both Banks and Windham have a massive opportunity to improve their stock this spring and summer. The four-man rotation lacks ideal size, but features plenty of talent capable of picking up wins in the EYBL. THE FRONT COURT: The Keion Brooks/Trayce JacksonDavis duo is one of highest-ranked front courts in the nation, and they’re likely going to be a force in the frontcourt for the Indy Heat. Both forwards are sneaky athletic, extremely efficient rebounders, and both are capable of stretching the defense on the perimeter. If they can learn to effectively operate alongside one another, defending them will be like taking calculus. 6-foot-9 big man John Michael-Mulloy (247 3-star) figures to start at center for the Heat, and the Butler verbal commit gives them a true center in their rotation. Michael-Mulloy impacts the game in a variety of ways, and will be counting on big time on the defensive glass. A pair of out-of-state combo forwards round out the rotation; 6-foot-5 Crestview (OH) product Javin Etzler, and 6-foot-6 Williamston (MI) star Sean Cobb. Both are back from last year’s highly-successful squad, and both should be accustomed to operating alongside the rest of the rotation.

T H E S TA R 6-foot-8 Brooks will be their go-to guy offensively, and his versatility will be key for this group. Brooks (247 No. 22) averaged 18.2 points and 6.8 rebounds in 16 games as a sophomore last season, focusing on his scoring in an offensivelychallenged rotation. Brooks’ offensive game only get better during the 2017-18 high school season at North Side (IN), but he won’t have the same offensive pressure on him in 2018. Fellow 6-foot-8 junior Trayce Jackson-Davis (247 No. 30) will start alongside Brooks in the frontcourt, and the lefty’s presence is one of the biggest reasons why Brooks should be excited. The Center Grove (IN) product has a chance to turn into a star in his own right, and should complement Brooks perfectly. Along with Jackson-Davis, Brooks has plenty of talented pieces surrounding him, and will likely get to showcase his facilitating ability as a point-forward. Brooks doesn’t operate with an ego, and should be chomping at the bit to start running with the rest of his graduating class.

T E AM I N F O

2017 R E C O R D: 7- 9 DIR E C TOR: TOD D H E N S LE Y C OAC H: JASON D E L A N E Y

T H E X - FACTO R Like many other squads, there aren’t many noticeable flaws within Indy Heat’s lineup. Rather, the biggest flaw is what isn’t there; depth. Losing Brooks or Jackson-Davis would be a killer for Spiece, who will desperately need to stay healthy, as one or two injuries could debilitate this squad mightily. Staying out of foul trouble will also be key for this veteran crew, as their lineup will take a drastic hit if they lose a guard or key forward for big stretches of time. Quite honestly, if injuries are the biggest worry for the Heat, they’re doing just fine. On paper, there aren’t many squads who can match their depth and talent, and if their team chemistry comes together like we think it will, they will be a bonafide contender for the Peach Jam crown.

58


INDY HEAT ROS TER NO.

NAME

POS.

HEIGHT WEIGHT

HIGH SCHOOL

YEAR

3

Ethan Brittain-Watts

G

6'1

180

Culver Military

2019

4

Harold Bennett

G

5'11

160

Attucks

2019

5

Javin Etzler

F

6'7

210

Crestview (OH)

2019

6

Simon Banks

G

6'2

195

Brebeuf Jesuit

2019

10

Jalen Windham

G

6'4

195

Ben Davis

2019

11

Isaiah Thompson

G

6'0

170

Zionsville

2019

12

Keion Brooks Jr

F

6'8

195

South Bend Riley

2019

23

Trayce Jackson-Davis

F

6'8

215

Center Grove

2019

32

Sean Cobb

F

6'7

220

Williamston (MI)

2019

33

John Michael-Mulloy

F

6'10

215

Carmel

2019

59


HOWARD PULLEY M I N N E A P OL I S ,

M I N N E S OTA

OVERVIEW The Howard Pulley Panthers put together one of their best seasons in program history in 2017, rattling off 13 consecutive wins in between three losses, while advancing all the way to the Peach Jam Final Eight. The Panthers will be forced to turn to brand new leadership, as do-it-all point guard Tre Jones (Duke commit) graduates after assembling one of the best individual careers in EYBL history - just like his older brother Tyus. Pulley will be relying on a bevy of role players from last year’s squad to maintain the momentum they’ve built up as a program, and they’ll do it under the tutelage of long-time head coach Antwan ‘Luv’ Harris. This will be the first time since the EYBL’s inception in 2010 that Pulley won’t have a Jones brother in their program. One thing is certain; this team will play hard, and play smart. All Harris-led teams do, which means they have a real shot at qualifying for Peach Jam. THE BACKCOURT: Sophomore Blaise Beauchamp returns after playing very sparingly for the Panthers in 2017, and he’ll do so in a feature role. Beauchamp is rail thin and will struggle with the physicality of the EYBL, but he is a certified bucket-getter on offense. The 6-foot-1 combo guard averaged 14.9 points in 25 games for Hopkins (MN) during the high school season, and has been the leading scorer for Pulley during pre-EYBL action. Antwan Kimmons will man the point for Pulley, and the 6-foot junior is as competitive as they come. In 26 games for Tartan (MN) during the 201718 high school season, Kimmons averaged 19.9 points, 6.4 rebounds, 4.9 assists and 1.7 steals. Kimmons will open eyes with his defense, operating as one of the best on-ball defenders in the state of Minnesota. 6-foot-4 junior Bennett Otto will start and provide a reliable playmaker and defender, while juniors Jaeden King (6-foot-6) and Jalen Justice (6-foot-2) will enter a season-long battle for the billing as Pulley’s top shooter. 6-foot-1, 195-pound sophomore Lu’Cye Patterson is the wildcard of the group. He’s playing up in age for a reason - he is highly talented and can shoot the heck out of the ball. However, it will likely take some time for him to adjust to the physicality of the EYBL. THE FRONT COURT: David Roddy will essentially operate as a second point guard in the halfcourt, providing muchneeded versatility for the Panthers. Fellow 2018 Panthers’ veteran Courtney Brown Jr. employs many of the same intangibles as Roddy, and the 6-foot-6 junior will also see an increase in role in 2018. Brown averaged 21.0 points per game this past high school season for East Ridge (MN) after averaging just over seven points per game in last summer’s Peach Jam. Junior Nobal Days (247 No. 57) makes his way across state lines to join the Panthers in 2018. The 6-foot-9 Racine Park (WI) product will operate as the highest-ranked player on the roster. Days should fit into Pulley’s system perfectly; he’s highly-skilled, runs the floor with ease and is an elite defender. All three members of Pulley’s frontcourt have a chance to lead them in scoring in any given game, and they’ll all be playing major minutes. 6-foot-7 junior Alex John, younger brother of former Pulley star and current Marquette sophomore Theo John, will provide depth off the bench. This group will be very undersized in comparison to other squads, but if Roddy, Days and Brown can consistently stay out of foul trouble, their lack of height may not be noticeable.

T H E S TA R Jones is gone, as are Minnesota commits Daniel Oturu, Jarvis Omersa and Gabe Kalscheur. This means that the Panthers have to replace essentially all of their production, except that of their fourth-leading scorer from a year ago, David Roddy. A 6-foot6, 250-pound point-forward, Roddy averaged 9.6 points, 3.6 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 20 games in 2017. This year, he’ll be the go-to option for Pulley, and the Breck (MN) product is more than ready. Roddy stars as a quarterback - which he’s also being recruited for - and runs track to complement his basketball skills. He put up 25 points per game for Breck, and will operate as the on-court leader for the Panthers. Roddy has a lot of Bonzie Colson in his game - undersized but highly skilled. We think that he could have a similar meteoric rise like the one Colson had for BABC (MA) in the 2013 EYBL, and that could translate into plenty of wins for Pulley.

T E AM I N F O

2017 R E C ORD: 16- 6 DIR E C TOR: RE N E PU LLE Y C OAC H: AN WAN ‘ LUV ’ H A R R I S

T H E X - FACTO R Director Rene Pulley thinks highly of his young group, but he knows the only way they’re going to have success is if Roddy, Brown and Days play up to their potential. Roddy and Brown will need to quickly adapt to their new roles, while Days is working every day to fit in with his new running mates. Howard Pulley always plays disciplined, hard-nosed basketball, and the entire team will hold each other accountable. Regardless of their talent level, Pulley always seems to be a threat, and they should be considered as such in 2018.

60


H OWA R D P U L L E Y R O S T E R NO.

NAME

POS.

HEIGHT WEIGHT

HIGH SCHOOL

YEAR

1

Julian Wright

G

5'10

150

De La Salle

2019

2

Blaise Beauchamp

G

6'1

160

Hopkins

2020

10

Jalen Miller

G

6'0

155

Cooper

2019

11

Antwan Kimmons

G

6'0

185

Tartan

2019

12

Bennett Otto

G

6'4

185

Champlin Park

2019

13

Jalen Justice

G

6'2

170

Robbinsdale Cooper

2019

22

Jaeden King

G

6'6

185

Cretin-Derham Hall

2019

23

David Roddy

F

6'6

255

Breck

2019

24

Courtney Brown Jr

F

6'6

200

East Ridge

2019

31

Lu'Cye Patterson

G

6'2

195

Brooklyn Center

2020

32

Nobal Days

F

6'9

200

Racine Park

2019

33

Alex John

F

6'7

215

Champlin Park

2019

61


MEANSTREETS C H I C AG O ,

I L L I N O I S

OVERVIEW The MeanStreets of Chicago had a solid 2017 regular season, qualifying for Peach Jam thanks to the help of second half addition Darius Bazley. The G-League bound forward operated as one of the best swingmen in the EYBL, as did Brian Bowen two seasons ago for MeanStreets. The point is, the Chicago-based EYBL representative does a great job with elite wings. It appears they’ve done it again, as they’ll add junior star forward Romeo Weems to the fray in 2018. Weems is a game changer for head coach Tyrone Slaughter, and will be the go-to-guy in a 10-man rotation. MeanStreets has surrounded Weems with a plethora of talent, and if things go to plan, MeanStreets should have no problem qualifying for Peach Jam. THE BACKCOURT: MeanStreets’ four-man backcourt is made up evenly of in-state and out-of-state prospects. 6-foot-4 junior guards Armaan Franklin and Brandon Newman will represent Indiana for MeanStreets, and both combo guards have the chance to massively improve their stock on the circuit. Franklin, a star at Cathedral high school in Indianapolis, recently picked up an offer from newly-hired Louisville Head Coach Chris Mack - and there should be plenty more to follow. Newman averaged 24.8 points and 9.5 rebounds per game for Valparaiso (IN) during the 2017-18 high school season, showcasing all-around versatility in his game that should adapt well to EYBL action. Evanston (IL) star junior Lance Jones led his squad to a semifinal finish in the 4A state tournament, averaging 15.0 points, four rebounds and three assists for the season. The 6-foot-3 Jones should have the ball in his hands a ton, and with this supporting cast, he will have every chance to rack up the assists. Bolingbrook (IL) junior point guard Joseph Yesufu rounds out the rotation, providing MeanStreets with a 5-foot-8 speedster as their backup point guard. Yesufu looked terrific in their pre-EYBL action and should be one of the more effective change-of-pace guards on the circuit. THE FRONT COURT: Romeo Weems hasn’t had the luxury of playing alongside guards like Franklin, Newman and Jones, so it’s very likely that his game will only get better this spring. 6-foot-7 juniors Chris Payton (Bloomington), Tray Jackson (Detroit Western) and Chris White (Marian Catholic) will split the remaining frontcourt minutes, as will 6-foot-6 Thornton (IL) junior Keeshawn Chambers. Payton (247 3-star) provides a physical presence for MeanStreets, and will likely play big minutes on a squad with no true center. White averaged 10.4 points and 6.5 rebounds as a junior, and he should rack up some decent production in a reserve role. This group is undersized, but should make up for it with their athleticism and versatility on both ends of the floor.

T H E S TA R Weems (247 No. 38) is the star of this group, and he’s likely just scratching the surface of his potential. The 6-foot7 do-it-all forward will have the offense filtered through him, and for very good reason. The New Haven (MI) product averaged 23.5 points, 10.8 rebounds, 5.3 assist and 4.8 steals in 2017-18, showcasing one of the most versatile overall floorgames in the 2019 class. Weems, a member of the USA basketball U16 squad, already has plenty of national recognition and should continue to rise up the rankings if he plays like he’s capable of. Expect Weems to be a contender for all-session teams, as well as a candidate for all-EYBL honors by the time June rolls around.

TEAM INFO

2017 R E C O R D: 11- 5 DI R E C TOR: TAI S T R E E TS C OAC H: T YRON E SL AU GH T E R

T H E X - FACTO R MeanStreets has one of the smaller rotations on the circuit, as none of their players stand taller than 6-foot7. Their length and athleticism on the wing should help minimize this flaw, but there will definitely be points in the season where they get bullied down low. Payton is going to need to play big without getting into foul trouble, while the rest of the undersized frontcourt will have to adapt to defending bigger, highly-skilled opposition. Do we think this is a season-killer for MeanStreets? Absolutely not. In grassroots basketball, you win with highly-skilled guards and strong defense. MeanStreets already has one of those attributes secured, so if they can figure out a way to be efficient defensively despite their size, this Weemsled bunch should create some noise in their division. A trip to Peach Jam is expected at this point - anything less should be considered a major head-scratcher.

62


MEANSTREETS ROSTER NAME

POS.

YEAR

HEIGHT

WEIGHT

HIGH SCHOOL

Tray Jackson

F

2019

6'7

200

Sunrise Christian

Armaan Franklin

G

2019

6'4

185

Cathedral (IN)

Brandon Newman

G

2019

6'4

180

Valparaiso (IN)

Lance Jones

G

2019

6'3

175

Evanston (IL)

Romeo Weems

F

2019

6'7

215

New Haven (MI)

Joseph Yesufu

G

2019

5'9

150

Bolingbrook (IL)

Chris Payton

F

2019

6'7

200

Bloomington

Chris White

F

2019

6'7

180

Marian Catholic

Keeshawn Chambers

F

2019

6'6

200

Thornton

63


GEORGIA STARS AT L A N TA ,

G E ORG I A

OVERVIEW The Georgia Stars struggled in 2017, turning in a sub-.500 regular season record and failing to secure a bid to Peach Jam. If their 2018 roster is any indication, last season’s pitfalls will be quickly forgotten. Long-time director Norm Parker and recruiting gurus Chris Richards and Cory Underwood have assembled one of the best rotations in America - one that could reasonably win them their second Peach Jam title in four years. The term ‘loaded’ would be an understatement when describing the 2018 version of the Stars. According to 247 Sports, the Stars’ rotation will feature one 5-star recruit, four 4-star recruits and four role players who should fit in perfectly. The Stars have talent for days and will undoubtedly enter the season as one of the favorites to bring home the Peach Jam trophy in July. THE BACKCOURT: A pair of talented juniors lead the backcourt for the Stars, and they’ll be on the court a ton. Point guard duties will be handled by Kira Lewis, a 6-foot3 floor general widely considered as the top lead guard in Mississippi’s 2019 class. When Parker offered the Stars’ floor general role to Lewis, the former 16U MEBO Express product couldn’t turn it down. Lewis (247 No. 120) averaged 28.5 points, 5.9 rebounds and 4.6 assists per game for Hazel Green (MS) High School and will have the opportunity to facilitate to some tremendously talented teammates. 6-foot-6 swingman Marcus Watson (247 No. 87) is a physical force on the wing, and is likely to have a huge spring and summer for the Stars. Watson is a matchup nightmare for defenses, as his size, strength and athleticism make him a complicated equation to solve. Christian Academy (SC) product Mike Green, also in possession of several scholarship offers, will provide a major spark off the bench, as will Mt. Bethel (GA) junior Coleman Boyd. THE FRONT COURT: Trendon Watford leads the frontcourt while Watson will certainly see time at the small forward slot. Both prospects do a lot of their damage in transition, as does 6-foot-7 junior swingman Zimife Nwokeji (247 No. 77). Verbally committed to Florida State, Nwokeji is a highly-skilled forward who plays a lot like Watford. Competing against EYBL talent should do wonders for Nwokeji’s development, and he should see some major openings as defenses have to prepare for his teammates. 6-foot-9 junior DJ Burns (247 No. 74) will start at center for the Stars, providing them a skilled big man on both ends of the floor. Burns is listed at 255 pounds, making him one of bigger frontcourt options on the entire circuit. Even bigger is Moulaye Sissoko, a 6-foot-11 center who shares the paint with Burns. The junior played for MEBO Elite (MS) last season, averaging 6.3 points and 7.0 rebounds. Both Burns and Sissoko should be a consistent threat on the boards, especially cleaning up for their teammates on the offensive end. Boyd’s Mt. Bethel (GA) teammates Stanley Eze (2019) and Jordan Meka (2020) round out the rotation, providing athletic options off the bench.

T H E S TA R Junior forward Trendon Watford is entering his third season on the circuit, deciding to join the Stars in late March. Put simply, the addition of Watford turned a good rotation into ‘scary good.’ Starring for the Alabama Challenge in 2016 and Nike Team Florida a year ago, Watford is looking to parlay his EYBL experience into a memorable final campaign. In 2017, the extremely versatile Watford averaged 14.1 points, 5.0 rebounds and 1.7 assists in 21 games, sharing go-to duties with 2019 No. 2 recruit Vernon Carey Jr. Watford will be ‘the guy’ for the 2018 Stars, and while he’ll certainly put up some impressive scoring numbers, Watford has to be salivating at the opportunity of utilizing his talented teammates. It’s not every day that a fivestar recruit gets to run alongside five top-100 players in his graduating class, but Watford will get to experience just that in 2018. He may not put up as gaudy numbers as his skillset permits, but Watford will gladly take that trade-off if it means more wins.

T E AM I N F O

2017 R E C O R D: 5- 12 DIR E C TOR: N O RM PA R K E R C OAC H: C H RI S RI C H A R D S

T H E X - FACTO R With a group as loaded as the Stars, it’s difficult to pinpoint a red flag. With no noticeable marks on their roster, the biggest drawback for the Stars is likely team chemistry. Featuring six players ranked in the top 120 is a great problem to have, but keeping everyone happy is a completely different story. Lewis and Watson will do their best to distribute to their weapons, but at the end of the day, there is only one basketball on the court. Ultimately, we don’t think this is going to be a problem as none of their core players have ever been labeled with an ego. That being said, spreading the offensive love will have to be the key goal for the point guards, and the opposition will likely have to pick and choose which player they want to stop. If Watford plays like the facilitator he has proven to be, he could score zero points and the team could still win by 20. If team cohesion isn’t a problem, you could be reading about the next Peach Jam champs.

64


GEORGIA S TARS ROS TER NO.

NAME

POS.

HEIGHT WEIGHT

HIGH SCHOOL

YEAR

1

Coleman Boyd

G

6'1

185

Mt. Bethel

2019

2

Trendon Watford

F

6'9

200

Mountain Brook

2019

3

Kira Lewis Jr

G

6'3

165

Hazel Green

2019

4

Zimife Nwokeji

F|G

6'8

180

Maclay (FL)

2019

10

Marcus Watson

F

6'6

205

Buford

2019

11

Mike Green

G

6'2

185

Christian Academy

2019

21

Jordan Meka

F

6'9

195

Mt. Bethel

2020

23

Stanley Eze

F

6'5

185

Mt. Bethel

2019

32

DJ Burns

F

6'9

255

York Prep

2019

34

Moulaye Sissoko

C

6'11

230

Lincoln Academy

2019

65


THE FAMILY DETROIT D E T RO I T,

M I C H I GA N

OVERVIEW Last season started with a stumble for The Family Detroit, recording an 0-5 record to start their 2017 campaign. They rebounded to win seven of their last 11 games, catching fire offensively while riding the leadership of David DeJulius (Michigan commit), Duane Washington (Ohio State commit) and Gabe Brown (Michigan State commit). Unfortunately for Detroit’s Nike Elite Youth Basketball League affiliate, the rough start cost them a shot at Peach Jam. They’ll enter 2018 with another talented roster chock-full of local talent, led by junior star Rocket Watts. Their last Peach Jam appearance was in 2015, so they’ll undoubtedly be entering 2018 with a chip on their shoulder. THE BACKCOURT: Rocket Watts leads the backcourt along with four other talented junior prospects. Drew Lowder (ESPN 3-star) will play major minutes alongside Watts, and much like his teammate, the 6-foot Lowder is electric with the ball in his hands. Lowder enjoyed a terrific junior season, putting up some impressive scoring performances while starring for Pioneer (MI) high school in Ann Arbor. 6-foot-3 junior Donavan Moore transferred to Michigan from Illinois before his junior season, and the combo guard didn’t skip a beat, leading West Bloomfield (MI) in scoring while establishing himself as one of the best guards in the state. Moore’s physicality and aggressiveness will be welcomed characteristics in a relatively undersized rotation. 5-foot-11 juniors B. Artis White and Tariq Shepherd have both been with The Family program for some time, and will look to provide sparks off the bench. THE FRONT COURT: There’s a lot to like about The Family’s frontcourt. 6-foot-10 sophomore Isaiah Jackson is the only underclassmen on the roster, and he’s playing up in age for good season. Jackson (ESPN No. 23) is a long, athletic combo forward capable of stretching the defense with an improving jump shot. His natural bounce and athleticism will go a long ways in the EYBL, and he has a major chance to improve his stock. Fellow 6-foot-10 prospect Caleb Hodgson, a junior from Dansville (MI), will see big minutes alongside Jackson. Hodgson carries a 4.0 GPA, holds numerous college offers and will be looking to use this spring and summer to turn himself into a certified high-major prospect. 6-foot-6 juniors Myron Gardner and Demetrius Champion will contribute on the wing, as will 6-foot-7 Rob Carpenter. Recently reclassifying to the 2019 class, the Mt. Zion-bound Carpenter should provide The Family with a versatile forward and a solid rebounding option.

T H E S TA R Watts (247 Composite No. 57) is an offensive machine, and will operate as the focal point of The Family’s offensive plans. A 6-foot-2, 185-pound combo guard hailing from Old Redford (MI) high school, Watts put up 24-game averages of 27 points, six rebounds, five assists and three steals during the 2017-18 high school season. Watts does a bit of everything on the court, and The Family’s coaching staff will be heavily relying on his scoring and playmaking abilities. He was selected to play on the USA Basketball U16 squad, an honor that cements his spot as one of the top recruits in 2019. Expect Watts to score, facilitate, and showcase his improving on-ball defense. Watts has a real chance at leading the circuit in scoring, especially if they play as up-tempo as last season.

T E AM I N F O

2017 R E C O R D: 7- 9 DIR E C TOR: B J WA LK E R

T H E X - FACTO R This unit cannot afford to start slow like last year’s bunch. It will be on high school teammates Watts and Jackson - the highest-ranked recruits on The Family - to lead the way. This roster features more than enough talent to claim a Peach Jam bid, but they’ll need to exhibit an improved level of consistency starting from the opening tip. They face a fairly daunting schedule, and will desperately need at least a 2-2 split during the EYBL’s first session in Dallas. Why do desperate? They will need all the momentum they can get as they prepare to face their four rivals - Spiece, MeanStreets, All Ohio Red and Mac Irvin Fire - during session number two.

66


T H E FA M I LY D E T R O I T R O S T E R NO.

NAME

POS.

HEIGHT WEIGHT

HIGH SCHOOL

YEAR

0

Demetriuss Champion

F

6'6

200

Detroit Country Day

2019

1

Drew Lowder

G

6'0

180

Pioneer

2019

2

Donavan Moore

G

6'3

160

West Bloomfield

2019

3

Rocket Watts

G

6'2

180

Old Redford

2019

4

Myron Gardner

F

6'6

185

Detroit Loyola

2019

5

Tariq Shepherd

G

5'11

155

East English Village

2019

11

B. Artis-White

G

5'11

160

Canton

2019

12

Rob Carpenter

F

6'7

195

Mt. Zion Prep

2019

23

Isaiah Jackson

F

6'10

200

Old Redford

2020

32

Caleb Hodgson

F

6'10

225

Dansville

2019

35

Terry Armstrong

G

6'7

190

Bella Vista Prep

2019

67


TEAM CP3 W I N S TO N - SA L E M ,

N O RT H

C A RO L I N A

OVERVIEW Team CP3 puts a talented group on the floor every season, and 2017 was no different. Behind nine Division 1 commits, CP3 turned in a 13-3 regular season record including a 10-game win-streak. They fell flat on their face in Peach Jam, which is uncharacteristic of WinstonSalem’s Nike EYBL affiliate. Luckily, their 16U unit was very successful, taking home the E16 Peach Jam Championship behind an extremely talented rotation. Most of their 16U champions will make their way up to 17U, and as defending champs of their age group, they’ll undoubtedly have a target on their back. Their roster isn’t completely set, and they are looking to add one or two more talented players before the EYBL tips off on April 20th. THE BACKCOURT: Guard Antavion Collum will lead a CP3 backcourt that will run five deep. Collum, a 6-foot-8 junior looking to transition to point guard, was a feature piece on last year’s 16U run. He averaged 9.0 points and 8.0 rebounds per game in bracket play, parlaying that success into a terrific junior season for Tennessee Prep. Collum (247 3-star) has high-major offers across the board, and should be a major breakout player on the 17U level while seeing a rise up the rankings. 6-foot1 twin brothers Keyshaun and Kobe Langley will see major minutes in the backcourt, and the uber-athletic 3-star recruits will get up and down the floor with the best of them. Junior guards Chaz Gwyn and Nick Brown round out the current rotation of guards, and they should have some of the best team chemistry on the circuit. They’re talented, hungry and accustomed to playing alongside one another. THE FRONT COURT: Wendell Moore is a do-it-all swingman who can stretch a defense with his jump-shot, or if he decides, straight-up bully people in the lane. Moore won’t often check out of the game, and CP3 will need him to stay out of foul trouble. The rest of the forwards run three deep, with Collum likely to see time at the small forward spot defensively if CP3 goes smaller. 6-foot-8, 245-pound junior BJ Mack averaged 8.2 points and 4.8 rebounds during last year’s 16U run, and figures to be playing the best basketball of his life after spending the past two years at prestigious Oak Hill (VA). 6-foot-8 Dericko Williams provides some depth and athleticism for CP3, and Kinston (NC) native will play big minutes, looking to improve on six-game 2017 Peach Jam averages of 6.7 points and 5.0 rebounds. CP3 will be looking to add some depth to their frontcourt, but what they have now is plenty talented enough to make a run at their division.

T H E S TA R Wendell Moore (247 5-star) was a big reason CP3 won the E16 title a year ago. Moore averaged 15.2 points, 9.5 rebounds and 3.3 assists in six Peach Jam games, leading CP3 to a 12-1 regular season record during the prior spring. The Cox Mill (NC) star junior continued his stellar play into the high school season, where his evolving versatility oozes through his 32-game season averages; 25.4 points, 7.3 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 2.3 steals. Those numbers resulted in a 29-3 record and a state championship victory, so Moore hasn’t felt the taste of defeat at the end of a season in a while. CP3 is in great hands with Moore leading the way, and he’s a certified All-EYBL contender.

T E AM I N F O

2017 R E C OR D: 13- 3 DIR E C TOR: C J PAU L C OAC H: J O N A DA M S

T H E X - FACTO R As long as the budding superstar Moore is on the court, CP3 will be a threat to anyone in the league. Time and again, Moore has showcased the ability to completely dominate a game, and he can accomplish that feat without having to score. His versatility will be a treat to watch and it should result in some fairly impressive season-long statistics for the junior. It would be a major surprise if Moore didn’t wind up on numerous all-session teams, and just as surprising if he didn’t keep up his winning ways. Moore and his running mates will have a target on their back as 16U champions, which is almost assuredly is welcomed with open arms by this entire program. Just like every season, it’s Peach Jam or bust for Chris Paul’s NIKE EYBL affiliate.

68


TEAM CP3 ROSTER NO.

NAME

POS.

HEIGHT WEIGHT

HIGH SCHOOL

YEAR

0

Keyshaun Langley

G

6'1

150

Wesleyan Christian

2019

1

Kobe Langley

G

6'1

150

Wesleyan Christian

2019

2

Chaz Gwyn

G

6'1

160

Winston-Salem Prep

2019

4

Emmanuel Izunabor

F

6'10

210

Fayetteville Academy

2019

5

Dericko Williams

F

6'8

200

Kinston

2019

10

Nick Brown

G

6'3

160

Westchester Country Day

2019

11

Wendell Moore

F

6'5

210

Cox Mill

2019

12

Isaiah Wilkins

F

6'4

185

Mount Tabor

2019

23

Dude Collum

G

6'8

210

Tennessee Prep

2019

33

BJ Mack

F

6'7

250

Oak Hill

2019

69


ALL OHIO RED CO LU M B U S ,

OVERVIEW All Ohio Red had a season to remember in 2017, finishing with a 13-3 regular season record behind the star power of Foster Loyer (Michigan State commit), Dane Goodwin (Notre Dame commit) and Thomas Kithier (Michigan State commit). They stumbled in pool play at Peach Jam, but that doesn’t minimize the massive amount of success the 2018 graduating class had. AOR only returns one veteran from a year ago, so they’ll be depending on a number of newcomers to maintain the success level that Ohio’s EYBL representative is accustomed to. This group has more than enough talent to qualify for Peach Jam in ‘18 and should create problems in divisional play. It will be difficult to replicate their success from a year ago, but it is never a smart wager to bet against one of the EYBL’s longest running programs. THE BACKCOURT: Loyer, Goodwin and the other departing seniors are going to be a tall task to replace, and AOR has several underrated junior prospects looking to pick up that production. Brush (OH) junior DJ Dial recently surpassed 1,000 career points, and the 5-foot-10 guard currently holds three scholarship offers. Pickerington Central (OH) junior Javohn Garcia was rock solid in 2017-18, averaging 13.0 points, 6.1 assists and 5.0 rebounds, and put up 20 points, seven assists and six rebounds in their state Final Four defeat. 6-foot-4 Josh Corbin is the biggest of the bunch, and will likely be tasked with locking down the opponent’s top scoring guard. A pair of Taft (OH) juniors - Chris’Seon Stringer (6-foot-3) and DeMarco Bradley Jr. (5-foot-9) - round out the rotation of guards. Both Stringer and Bradley are dual-sport athletes on the court and the gridiron, and should bring a good amount of toughness to this rotation. Stringer is listed at 6-foot-3, 200 pounds, so his physicality will be much-needed on the defensive end. THE FRONT COURT: This group is absolutely enormous. Including Alonzo Gaffney, the All Ohio Red frontcourt features six players listed at 6-foot-7 or taller. 6-foot8 Brison Waller, teammates with Gaffney at Garfield Heights, is a plus athlete and should take on the same energy role he plays in high school. 6-foot-11 Abba Lawal is just tapping into his potential, and will have a massive opportunity to improve his stock against the best competition in the country. Tre Williams is the lone returner from last year’s squad, and the versatile 6-foot-7 big man will take on a role with increased responsibility in 2018. Williams will run on the wing with 6-foot-6 Wheelersburg (OH) product Tanner Holden, a fast-rising prospect who should see his stock increase. 6-foot-8 power forward Keshawn Heard rounds out the six-man rotation, one that should present plenty of problems to frontcourt opposition throughout the circuit.

O H I O

T H E S TA R Junior Alonzo Gaffney is AOR’s highest-ranked prospect, and will be their go-to-guy offensively from the outset. The 6-foot-9 Garfield Heights (OH) product and recent Ohio State commit is a matchup nightmare, as his size, athleticism and developing skills enable him to beat his opponent in numerous ways. He scored in double-figures in all but one league game in high school, averaging 15.5 points per contest. Gaffney’s perimeter game is developing and if he continues that upward trajectory, he has a chance to put up some gaudy scary numbers in a featured role. The talented junior got off to a hot start in pre-EYBL grassroots action, and AOR will be relying on him to keep them competitive as the rest of their roster assimilates to EYBL action. Gaffney was one of the biggest offseason additions to any EYBL program and should be a threat to land on the All-Session team with each circuit

T E AM I N F O

2017 R E C OR D: 13- 3 DIR E C TOR: J E RRY WATS ON

T H E X - FACTO R AOR might not need to score as much as they have needed to in years past, as their defense should be among the league’s best. However, there will certainly be games in which they need to score with regularity given the strength of the teams on the circuit. Gaffney has proven to be a gifted offensive performer, but AOR will need to develop a consistent second and third scorer. Garcia, Dial, Corbin and Holden have all displayed spurts of impressive offense in high school, but they’ll undoubtedly have a transition process playing against EYBL talent. Keep a monitor on this group through the first two sessions, as their search for reliable scoring options will likely take some time to pan out.

70


ALL OHIO RED ROSTER NO.

NAME

POS.

HEIGHT WEIGHT

HIGH SCHOOL

YEAR

1

Chris'Seon Stringer

G

6'3

200

Taft

2019

3

DeMarco Bradley Jr

G

5'8

160

Taft

2019

5

Alonzo Gaffney

F

6'10

195

Garfield Heights

2019

10

Josh Corbin

G

6'4

185

Lincoln

2019

11

Abba Lawal

F

6'11

180

Withrow

2019

12

Javohn Garcia

G

6'2

175

Pickerington Central

2019

21

Keshawn Heard

F

6'7

190

Newark

2019

22

Brison Waller

F

6'8

190

Garfield Heights

2019

23

Tre Williams

F

6'6

190

Reynoldsburg

2019

25

Tanner Holden

F

6'6

180

Wheelersburg, OH

2019

33

DJ Dial

G

5'9

155

Brush

2019

71


TEAM UNITED C H A R LOT T E ,

N O RT H

C A ROL I N A

OVERVIEW Team United struggled to a winless season in 2017, unable to find any offensive chemistry from the outset. Luckily for Charlotte’s NIKE Elite Youth Basketball League representative, they’ll have every chance to make last season a distant memory, as they enter 2018 with a much-improved roster. EYBL veteran junior Patrick Williams (247 No. 92) junior star Juwan Gary (247 composite No. 47) to lead an all-2019 rotation - one should contend for a Peach Jam bid. This group will be entering the circuit with a chip on their shoulder, featuring a lineup consisting of 10 players that complement each other nicely. A good start is vital for Team United, and they won’t have it easy, starting their season against the defending Peach Jam champion Oakland Soldiers, The Family, Boo Williams and the Indy Heat. THE BACKCOURT: Williams is a true shooting guard, so it’s a good thing Cartier Jernigan - Williams’ point guard West Charlotte - will be joining him on the circuit. Jernigan put up averages of 16.0 points. 5.6 rebounds and 4.6 assists, and will be distributing to a much more talented crop of running mates. Gary also brings his high school point guard with him, as 5-foot-10 Gray Collegiate junior Khalil Robinson (247 3-star) will also play big minutes in Team United’s rotation. Capable of scoring in bunches, Robinson put up impressive 2017-18 high school averages of 11.6 points and 5.9 assists per game. Both Robinson and Jernigan will need to adapt quickly to the EYBL’s pace-of-play, and both will need to be focused on playmaking for their teammates. 6-foot3 junior guard Jalen Barr averaged 13.8 points and 5.6 rebounds for Olympic (NC) during the high school season, and is set to join 6-foot-5 Liberty Heights (NC) junior James Hampton as energy options off the bench. THE FRONT COURT: Gary will be a focal point offensively for a frontcourt that has ideal size, but lacks ideal depth. Gary is capable of playing big if need be, and he’ll need to focus on his rebounding productivity in a group that only features four players. 6-foot-8 stretch forward Nicholas Evtimov leads the big men, operating a super productive big man during the high school season for NCISAA 3A State-Champion Greensboro Day (NC). 6-foot-11 Wesleyan Christan (NC) center DeAndre Wilkins (247 composite 3-star) faced off against Evtimov in that title game, and will be looking to improve on the limited minutes he saw in 2017. 6-foot8 junior Khuath Gatkuouth II is the wildcard of the frontcourt, and the South Sudanese product will have every chance to make his name known on the national stage. This goes without saying, but it will be imperative that this group stays out of foul trouble.

T H E S TA R Unlike last season, Team United will have multiple go-toguys. The aforementioned Williams and Gary will share ‘star’ duties for Team United, but both are complete team-players and offer versatility on both ends. Williams averaged 20.7 points. 7.7 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.8 steals per game for West Charlotte in 2017-18, showcasing an all-around offensive game that should translate to EYBL play. He averaged 6.7 points and 3.4 rebounds in last year’s EYBL, and figures to shatter those numbers in 2018. The 6-foot-6 Gary was sensational in leading his Gray Collegiate War Eagles to a SCHSL AA State Championship, averaging 20.5 points, 8.3 points and 1.9 steals. This duo should complement each other very well, and both have a chance to lead Team United in scoring.

T E AM I N F O

2017 R E C OR D: 0- 16 DI R E C TOR: JACOBY DAVI S C OAC H: E DWARD CO OK E

T H E X - FACTO R For Team United squad, there’s nowhere to go but up, and they have a major opportunity to put together an impressive one-year turnaround. For that to happen, they’re going to have to defend their tails off. They were the league’s worst defensive unit in 2017, and while they have a completely different roster in 2018, it’s imperative that they enter 2018 with a completely different mindset. They will have plenty of options offensively, but probably not enough to outscore people, so their ability to lock in defensively is a must as they look to return to eating peaches in July.

72


TEAM UNITED ROSTER NO.

NAME

POS.

HEIGHT WEIGHT

HIGH SCHOOL

YEAR

1

Khalil Robinson

G

5'10

155

Gray Collegiate

2019

2

Cartier Jernigan

G

6'1

170

West Charlotte

2019

3

Juwan Gary

F|G

6'6

205

Gray Collegiate

2019

4

Patrick Williams

G

6'7

175

West Charlotte

2019

5

Caleb Stone-Carrawell

F

6'6

185

Cox Mill

2019

6

James Hampton

G

6'5

185

Liberty Heights

2019

10

Jalen Barr

G

6'3

190

Olympic

2019

11

Dallaz Corbitt

F

6'7

220

Gray Collegiate

2019

12

Nicholas Evtimov

F

6'8

220

Greensboro Day

2019

24

DeAndre Wilkins

F

6'11

250

Wesleyan Christian

2019

73


74


D I V I SION D

75


NIKE PHAMILY P H OE N I X ,

A R I Z O N A

OVERVIEW The 2017 regular season didn’t go as planned for the Nike Phamily (AZ), limping to a 3-13 finish despite the absolute and utter dominance of Marvin Bagley III. NIKE deemed that his star power warranted a Peach Jam wildcard berth, where the Phamily redeemed themselves, finishing with a respectable 3-2 record in pool play. Bagley reclassified after Peach Jam and went onto have one of the best freshman seasons in college basketball history. The Los Angeles-based Nike Elite Youth Basketball representative will look to rebuild and reload in 2018, and welcome back a trio of veterans alongside some talented newcomers. This team will fight and scrap for a Peach Jam bid, and might not be done adding pieces to their roster. THE BACKCOURT: EJ Jackson is going to have the ball in his hands quite often, as will juniors Carey Page and Roy Clarke. Teammates at Fremont (CA) high school, Page and Clarke are both well-sized guards who have displayed the ability to score in bunches. 5-foot-11 juniors Jaden and JoVon McClanahan starred for the Oakland Soldiers 16U squad from a year ago, and helped guide Salesian (CA) to a 30-2 record during the 2017-18 high school season. The brothers’ McClanahan are both two-way players who compete with poise, and their interchangeability will be vital for the Phamily’s backcourt. 5-foot-9 Lawndale (CA) product DJ Gilmore will provide a spark plug off the bench for a backcourt that features a total of eight guards. 6-foot-3 junior Noah Fernando is coming off an electric junior season for Heritage Christian, one that saw him put up per-game averages of 23.5 points, 8.3 rebounds, 2.2 steals and 2.1 assists. THE FRONT COURT: Junior Andre Fields is set to reclassify to the 2019 class, and the 6-foot-8 big man will be a consistent double-double threat for the Phamily. Fields averaged 12.4 points and 8.4 rebounds during the high school season, and will need to be a major factor on the boards. Bagley is a versatile prospect, and the sophomore guard will definitely see time at the small forward slot. Frank will be relied upon to score, run the floor and efficiently defend without fouling. His contributions on defense will go a long ways on this undersized unit. The 6-foot-5 Page and 6-foot-4 Clarke will definitely see time in the frontcourt, and their versatility will be desperately needed. Page averaged 18.5 points, 9.7 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 2.8 steals in 31 games, while Clarke put up per-game averages of 19.3 points. 8.5 rebounds, 5.3 assists and 3.5 steals. This will be one of the more undersized units on the circuit, but it has been proven time and again that elite guards can be enough to carry a team in the EYBL.

T H E S TA R There isn’t a notable star for the Phamily, and that may play into their favor as they look to replace Bagley’s ridiculous production level. Junior guard EJ Jackson is back from last season, and he played his best basketball at Peach Jam, averaging 10.6 points, 4.6 rebounds and 2.8 assists in five games. The 5-foot-10 Jackson is ultra-quick in transition and has already proven the ability to run a team. 6-foot-7 sophomore Terren Frank also returns from last season, fresh off winning the CIF Open Championship for Sierra Canyon (CA) last month. Frank, a 6-foot-7 swingman oozing with potential, will be a featured component of the Phamily’s offensive plans. Marvin’s younger brother Marcus Bagley averaged a hair under six points per game a year ago, and the ever-growing 6-foot-8 prospect will see plenty of looks.

T E AM I N F O

2017 R E C OR D: 3- 13 DIR E C TOR: MARV I N BAG LE Y J R .

T H E X - FACTO R This team will be able to score the ball, but they’re going to need to step up their defensive production in a big way. The lack of size on this roster begs the question; do they have enough bigs to effectively defend? Their unbalanced roster will definitely create defensive matchup issues, and they’ll need to figure out an answer quickly, as EYBL teams will definitely find a way to capitalize. If Page and Clarke can both extend their versatility to guarding the small and power forward positions, then the Phamily should be in okay shape. Simply put, this squad doesn’t have any room for error. They need to be razor-focused defensively from the outset.

76


N I K E P H A M I LY R O S T E R NAME

POS.

YEAR

HEIGHT

WEIGHT

HIGH SCHOOL

EJ Jackson

G

2019

5'10

165

Desert Vista

Terren Frank

F

2020

6'8

200

Sierra Canyon

Noah Fernando

G

2019

6'3

170

Heritage Christian

Carey Page

G

2019

6'5

150

Fremont

Roy Clarke

G

2019

6'4

170

Fremont

Marcus Bagley

G

2020

6'8

190

Ravenscroft

Jaden McClanahan

G

2019

5'11

170

Salesian

JoVon McClanahan

G

2019

5'11

165

Salesian

Demarjae Gilmore

G

2019

5'9

150

Lawndale

Andre Fields

C

2019

6'8

Warren

77


THE TRUTH LO S

A N G E L E S ,

C A L I F OR N I A

OVERVIEW The Truth is set to make their NIKE Elite Youth Basketball League debut on April 20th, and they’ll be making their entrance with a roster that is certifiably ‘circuit ready.’ Director Jason Crowe has done an impressive job developing the Paul Pierce-sponsored program in only a few years, and he has some gems on his squad. The majority of their 16U roster returns from a year ago, led by talented junior forwards Jaime Jaquez Jr and Carl Lewis. They’ll be a well-coached bunch, and the addition of a few talented pieces, The Truth has every reason to believe they’ll be eating Peaches in July. THE BACKCOURT: Super sophomore Josh Christopher (247Sports 11th Ranked prospect) and big brother Caleb joined the club in early March, and their addition made this club a lot better. Starting for Mayfair (CA) during the 2017-18 high school season, the younger Christopher put up impressive per-game averages 25.9 points, 6.5 rebounds, 4.0 steals and 3.6 assists. Caleb, who is reclassifying to the 2019 class and attending Middlebrooks Academy, was also highly-productive, putting up averages of 13.7 points, 6.3 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 2.8 steals per game. 6-foot-3 combo guard Jaden Shackelford has played terrific this spring, and the junior is capable of beating you with his scoring or facilitating skills. Junior Leuzinger (CA) guard John Clausell will have the ball in his hands a ton, and his production should be lifted by being able to facilitate to the rest of the rotation. 6-foot-6 junior guard Braelee Albert took home the CIA Division 2AA Player of the Year, and will receive big minutes off the bench for The Truth. THE FRONT COURT: Jaime Jaquez and Carl Lewis will be the heart of the frontcourt, and will be responsible for the majority of the production if they intend to enter the 17U EYBL with a winning product on the floor. 6-foot-8 swingman Kirk Smith Jr was with the 16U Peach Jam group from a year ago, and should provide solid production on both ends. Josh Christopher will see time at the small forward position, as The Truth has a lot of different lineup options when they go small. It will be imperative that Lewis stays out of foul trouble, as his presence on the floor is a mandate if The Truth wants to be competitive against the frontcourts in their division. 6-foot-8 Jacob Eyman recently reclassified to 2019, set to join Hillcrest Prep (AZ) in the fall after his second EYBL season. Eyman played in a reserve role for the Las Vegas Prospects a year ago, and will be a morethan-serviceable backup to Lewis.

T H E S TA R Jaquez (247 Composite No. 69) and Lewis (247 No. 31) will split feature roles for The Truth, with both having the capabilities of completely taking over a game. Jaquez averaged 31.0 points, 12.8 rebounds and 2.8 steals in 27 games for Camarillo in 2017-18, while Lewis was a double-double machine for Lynwood (CA). The 6-foot10, 250-pound Lewis has the capability of bullying sometimes completely overpowering - the opposition, while the 6-foot-6 Jaquez is a versatile threat offensively and an improving defender. Both forwards employ very different playing styles on the court, but share one thing in common; numerous high-major scholarship offers. Their ascension as prospects should continue this spring and summer, one which should include a lot of winning.

T E AM I N F O

2017 R E C ORD: N / A DI R E C TOR: JASON C ROWE

T H E X - FACTO R This group has a lot of pressure on them to perform, and for good reason. They’ve excelled at every level they’ve played at together, and with the addition of the Christopher brothers, this spring and summer should be no different. The first two sessions will be very telling for this group - will the bright lights bring out the best in them? We think they will, and it’s safe to expect Jaquez and Lewis to be contenders for All-Session teams at every circuit stop. Paul Pierce has done a tremendous job in building this program. And plays a very visible role for this organization. Mr. Pierce would be the first to tell you; it’s Peach Jam or bust for this group.

78


THE TRUTH ROSTER NO.

NAME

POS.

HEIGHT WEIGHT

HIGH SCHOOL

YEAR

0

John Clausell

G

5'7

140

Leuzinger

2019

1

Jaden Shackelford

G

6'3

175

Hesperia

2019

3

Caleb Christopher

G

6'1

175

Cooper Academy

2019

4

Jacob Eyman

F

6'8

205

Hillcrest Prep

2019

5

Braelee Albert

G|F

6'6

20

Brentwood

2019

10

Kirk Smith Jr

F

6'8

190

Fairfax

2019

13

Josh Christopher

G

6'4

190

Mayfair

2020

24

Jaime Jaquez Jr.

F

6'6

200

Camarillo

2019

32

Carl Lewis

C

6'10

230

Lynwood

2019

79


OAKLAND SOLDIERS OA K L A N D ,

OVERVIEW

2 017

P E AC H

The Soldiers became the first two-time Peach Jam champion in 2017, as the grassroots basketball world watched Oakland’s EYBL representative rattle off one of the best runs in league history. Head coach Marshall Collins, who took home EYBL Coach of the Year honors, blended a talented albeit underrated group into a juggernaut. Peach Jam Most Valuable Player James Akinjo teamed with the likes of Taeshon Cherry (Arizona State commit) and Kihei Clark (Virginia commit) to finish the special run, highlighted on page (). The Soldiers turn over a brand new roster in 2018, but there are a lot similar elements from their 2017 roster. They’ll once again have a roster entirely of rising seniors, and won’t be counting on one player to make or break their season. Led by some familiar names, It will be a collective effort for the Soldiers as they look to defend their Peach Jam crown. THE BACKCOURT: Scotty Pippen will see big minutes in the backcourt, as will Boogie Ellis (247 No. 84) and Gianni Hunt (247 3-star). The 6-foot-2 Ellis was awarded Prep Hoops San Diego Player of the Year and San Diego Section Player of the Year, averaging 24 points, six rebounds and six assists per game for Mission Bay (CA). Meanwhile, Hunt ran with Cal Supreme in last year’s EYBL, and the underrated 6-foot1 lead guard has a chance to blow up in a big way. 5-foot-8 Ezra Manjon of Heritage (CA) will provide a spark off the bench, as will 6-foot-5 athlete DJ CarterHollinger. This group may be a tad undersized, but the Soldiers feature enough talent to match last year’s win total. Instant production from the trio of Ellis, Hunt and Pippen will be massively important if the Soldiers want to match their Peach Jam success from a year ago. THE FRONT COURT: Christian Koloko (247 No. 96) provides the Soldiers with a true rim-protector, an asset they didn’t have on last year’s Peach Jam championship team. The 7-foot center arrived to America from Cameroon in the early fall, but had to sit out the first semester of play at Birmingham due to CIF rules. Koloko has significant upside, and will likely find himself in a featured role for the Soldiers. Martin will start at the small forward, while 6-foot-10 rising senior Raymond Hawkins is the lone returner from last year’s Peach Jam squad. 6-foot-7 Aaron Murphy averaged 10.5 points and 6.8 rebounds for Modesto Christian, and figures to be a great energy player off the bench for Collins and company. The rotation is rounded out by CarterHollinger, and 6-foot-8 St. Ignatius (CA) product Neal Begovich. This group features six talented players who will work to carve out a niche in the first two sessions.

C A L I F OR N I A

JA M

C H A M P I ON S

T H E S TA R The Soldiers are one of the few teams without a bonafide star on their roster, so they’ll be a operating as a true committee when the season tips off. The aforementioned familiar names are Kenyon Martin Jr and Scotty Pippen Jr, sons of NBA veterans and budding talents in their own right. The 6-foot-7 Martin and the 6-foot-1 Pippen are fresh off leading Sierra Canyon (CA) to the CIF Open Championship, and will be looking to parlay that success onto the EYBL circuit. This rotation will go 10-deep, and will likely be able to beat you from many different facets of the court. Director Mark Olivier has assembled a roster with ideal size - featuring five players over 6-foot-7 - including 7-foot defensive-stopper Christian Koloko. This rotation will likely take a session or two to work itself out, and it’s safe to expect that a star or two emerges.

T E AM I N F O

2017 R E C O R D: 9- 7 DIR E C TOR: MARK O LI VI E R C OAC H: MARSH AL L COLLI N S

T H E X - FACTO R Like many squads in the EYBL, this group is going to need to form some chemistry. Last year’s group almost waited too long to form their proper chemistry, relying on a rally in session four to even qualify for the Peach Jam title run. Martin and Pippen are accustomed to playing with one another on the court, and when that’s added to Collins’ clear ability to gel a group together, we don’t think team cohesion is going to be a problem for this group. All four guards enjoy involving their teammates, and they’ll likely ride the hot hand on a game-by-game basis. There’s a lot to like about this rotation, and anything less than a trip back to Peach Jam would be a massive disappointment.

80


OAKL AND SOLDIERS ROS TER NAME

POS.

YEAR

HEIGHT

WEIGHT

HIGH SCHOOL

Raymond Hawkins

F

2019

6'9

220

Bishop O'Dowd

Ezra Manjon

G

2019

5'8

160

Heritage

Neal Begovich

F

2019

6'8

190

St. Ignatius

KJ Martin

F

2019

6'7

190

Sierra Canyon

Aaron Murphy

F

2019

6'7

200

Modesto Christian

Gianni Hunt

G

2019

6'2

170

Bishop Montgomery

Scotty Pippen

G

2019

6'1

165

Sierra Canyon

Boogie Ellis

G

2019

6'2

165

Mission Bay

Christian Koloko

C

2019

7'0

200

Birmingham

DJ Carter-Hollinger

F

2019

6'5

185

Foothills Christian

Jimmy Bell

C

2019

7'0

250

Bella Vista

Kamiri Smith

G

2019

6'2

160

Mission

81


PRO SKILLS DA L L A S ,

T E X A S

OVERVIEW It was a tail of two seasons for Pro Skills in 2017, and unfortunately for the Dallas-based EYBL representative, the bad came before the good. Pro Skills started the season 0-8, struggling to find any offense. They turned it around in a huge way during the back half of their schedule, finishing the final two sessions with a 5-3 record. They’ll be looking to continue that momentum into the 2018 season, and they’ll do so behind an 11-man Pro Skills’ rotation that features talent across the board. Pro Skills always brings a crop of players on the cusp of a breakout, and we expect more of the same with this group. They won’t have ideal size, but this Pro Skills group will be super scrappy, and is a certified darkhorse in Division D. THE BACKCOURT: Including Justin Webster, seven different players will contribute in Pro Skills’ backcourt. Juniors Jordan Wright and Jordyn Adams - both 247 3-star recruits - have a chance to turn into major contributors for Pro Skills. The 6-foot-6 Wright is playing the best basketball of his life, fresh off averaging 26 points, 12 rebounds and five assists for state champion Dunham School (LA).. Adams enjoyed a stellar junior campaign for Silsbee (TX), averaging 23.1 points, 6.3 rebounds and 2.4 assists in 38 games. Adams helped Silbee win the Texas 4A State Championship. 6-foot-1 junior guard Norris Williams II is a gifted playmaker and will see big minute at the point. Rounding out the rotation are twin guards from Houston Eisenhower (TX) high school, Ja’Mare and Ja’Mere Redus. Both are strong, sturdy 6-foot-1 guards who like to attack offensively. They’ll be major factors when Pro Skills decides to turn up the defensive pressure. Sophomore wing Jonathan Alexandre was added to the group in early April, fresh off earning Top 50 Performer honors at the Pangos All South Freshman and Sophomore camp last summer. THE FRONT COURT: The Pro Skills’ frontcourt features four players, which indicates that Wright and McCain could see plenty of minutes at the small forward slot. 6-foot8 junior forward Sama’zha Hart provides them with a versatile, athletic forward who loves to run the floor. 6-foot-6 Shoemaker (TX) product Jwan Roberts is a shot-blocking machine, and should operate as the perfect energy guy in Pro Skills’ frontcourt. A pair of Louisiana prospects - Moses Ngodock (6-foot-7) and Tylan Pope (6-foot-6) - round out the frontcourt. Both Ngodock and Pope are extremely athletic forwards who should excel in transition with the guards. Ngodock offers great post moves, a high motor and a whole lot of on-court intelligence - the Northshore (LA) product holds a 3.5 GPA and put up a 30 on his ACT. His numbers aren’t bad either; the junior averaged 21 points and 15 rebounds this past season. Pope, who averaged 25 points and 18 rebounds for Franklinton (LA) during the 2017-18 high school season, has a solid mid-range game and is capable of guarding three positions defensively. There is a lot of talent here, and it’s safe to expect numerous members of this frontcourt to break out this spring and summer.

T H E S TA R Justin Webster is the lone returner for Pro Skills, and he’ll be a focal point of the game plan. The son of head coach Jeff Webster, the junior Webster (ESPN 4-star) will lead a guard-heavy Pro Skills group against a rigorous schedule. Webster averaged 14.8 points in 2017 while knocking down 35 3-pointers, so he’ll be entering the season as one of the circuit’s more dangerous shooters. He parlayed his sophomore EYBL campaign into a strong junior campaign at Prestwood Christian (TX), one that saw him average 20.6 points, 3.7 rebounds and 2.3 assists in 35 games. There will certainly be other options for Pro Skills, but Webster is the most likely candidate to lead them on both ends of the floor.

T E AM I N F O

2017 R E C ORD: 5- 11 DI R E C TOR: J E FF W E B S T E R C OAC H: J E FF W E B S T E R

T H E X - FACTO R Division D will feature a ton of size in the frontcourt, which is arguably the weakest aspect of the Pro Skills’ roster. They’ll make up for their lack of beef with tremendous athleticism and length, and Webster will have to hope that the core of his frontcourt can consistently stay out of foul trouble. This group will undoubtedly have a chip on their shoulder as they enter 2018, and while they might not feature the ‘star’ power of other groups, Pro Skills will play every possession like it’s their last. Barring another 0-8 start to the season, Pro Skills should battle their way through divisional play and remain in the conversation for a Peach Jam bid throughout the season.

82


PRO SKILLS ROSTER NO.

NAME

POS.

HEIGHT WEIGHT

HIGH SCHOOL

YEAR

0

Justin Webster

G

6'1

170

Prestonwood Christian

2019

1

Sama'zha Hart

F

6'8

185

Pinkston

2019

2

Ja'Mere Redus

G

6'0

180

Eisenhower

2019

3

Ja’Mare Redus

G

6'0

155

Eisenhower

2019

4

Jordan Wright

G

6'6

205

Dunham School (LA)

2019

5

Jordyn Adams

G

6'2

175

Silsbee

2019

6

Tylan Pope

F

6'6

190

Franklinton (LA)

2019

8

Jwan Roberts

F

6'6

200

Shoemaker

2019

23

Norris Williams II

G

6'1

160

Archbishop Hannan (LA)

2019

24

Moses Ngodock

F

6'7

220

Northshore (LA)

2019

30

Jonathan Alexandre

F

6'5

175

Legacy Christian

2020

35

Jamal Hayward

C

6'10

260

Peabody

2019

83


HOUSTON HOOPS H O U S TO N ,

T E X A S

OVERVIEW Houston Hoops turned a modest 8-8 regular season into a deep Peach Jam, advancing out of pool play behind the strong play behind a seven-man rotation - five of them averaging in double-figures. They ended their run in North Augusta with a 4-2 record, exceeding our expectations while representing south Texas very well. Another reason why last year was a giant success? All seven seniors have signed to play at a Division 1 school. This season’s version of the Hoops will use the same formula as 2017, as the Hoops will only run with eight players. All eight will contribute, with four of them being EYBL veterans. The Hoops always finds a way to compete and make it to Peach Jam, and we’d be surprised if they didn’t do the same this summer. THE BACKCOURT: De’Vion Harmon and Chris Harris will lead a five-man backcourt, and all five will have a chance to contribute. Harris is a well-sized backcourt option at 6-foot-4, and the same can be said for Donovan Williams. The 6-foot-5 Williams was named to the TABC Boys’ All State Team after a terrific junior campaign for Fort Bend Elkins (TX), and with a nickname like ‘Stretch’, you better know Williams can shoot it from deep. Williams has a quick release and isn’t shy to chuck it, which will be needed in the Hoops’ thin lineup. Williams should increase his stock this spring and summer, and if he can use his athleticism and length to become a viable scoring option, the Hoops will have a pretty stellar offensive trio. Freshman Arthur Kaluma, a 6-foot-7 hybrid with some jaw-dropping athletic ability. Kaluma is also in the fold, an above-the-rim player capable of wreaking havoc in transition. At 6-foot-7, his defensive versatility should be key for the Hoops. Rounding out the backcourt is junior guard La’Vonte Shenault, a 247 Sports 3-star recruit on the gridiron and a lockdown defender on the basketball court. Shenault a big, physical guard that helps turn the Hoops into a one of the better defensive groups in the country. These guys will be tough as nails, and will relentlessly lock you down for 32 minutes. THE FRONT COURT: The Hoops’ frontcourt features four underrated prospects that should shine on the 17U circuit. 6-foot-8 swingman Dylan Disu is going to be one of the biggest surprises in the EYBL, and some schools have already caught on, highlighted by his recent high-major offers from Georgia Tech and Stanford. Disu has guard skills, can stretch the floor with the long ball, and operates well in transition. 6-foot-7 combo forward Bryce Okpoh ran briefly with RM5 last season, and holds an offer from Oklahoma State. Okpoh is best in transition and attacking the glass, and will need to produce at a high rate for the relatively thin Hoops’ frontcourt. 6-foot-10 center Dearon Tucker starred with Harris at South Garland, and will provide much-needed rim protection for the Hoops. Tucker averaged 8.5 points and 6.7 rebounds for South Garland, and will desperately need to stay out of foul trouble. Tucker isn’t the best athlete in the world, but is one of the most fundamentally-sound big men on the circuit.

T H E S TA R EYBL veterans and college commits De’Vion Harmon (Oklahoma) and Chris Harris Jr (Texas A&M) will star for the Hoops, one year after helping RM5 to a nice run in Peach Jam Pool Play. The 6-foot Harmon (247 Composite No. 42) averaged 9.4 points, 3.9 rebounds and 3.1 assists in 17 games last season, and will have the key to the Hoops’ car during his second EYBL run. The 6-foot-1 Harmon continued his terrific play during the high school season for Guyer (TX), leading them to a season-long top 25 ranking behind averages of 15.7 points, 5.6 assists, 2.8 rebounds and 1.7 steals. Harris (247 3-star) averaged 10.9 points and 3.1 rebounds in last year’s EYBL, parlaying that success into 2017-18 high school averages of 19.2 points, 4.5 rebounds and 2.0 assists for powerhouse South Garland (TX). Both could be stars in their own right, and they should have some of the best backcourt chemistry on the circuit.

T E AM I N F O

2017 R E C O R D: 8- 8 DI R E C TOR: H AL PA S T N E R C OAC H: TI M SC H UM AC H E R

T H E X - FACTO R This will be one of the thinnest rotations on the circuit, so maintaining their health will be vital between April and May. They will play fast and loose on offense, relying on the chemistry between Harmon and Harris to lead them to some major wins. Their guard-heavy lineup will create season-long matchup issues, which is the main benefit of their short rotation. Simply put, they will also need to be efficient with their fouling. The physicality of the EYBL is fairly relentless, so there will undoubtedly be games where the Hoops will struggle with their lack of depth. If they lose one of their starters to injury, the Hoops could be in a bit of trouble, and may force them to add another to their roster. They have enough talent to compete for a Peach Jam bid, so if they can keep their health in tact and play effective defense without fouling, the Hoops should have a chance to make another deep run in North Augusta.

84


HOUSTON HOOPS ROSTER NO.

NAME

POS.

HEIGHT WEIGHT

HIGH SCHOOL

YEAR

1

La'Vontae Shenault

G

6'2

185

DeSoto

2019

2

Arthur Kaluma

F

6'7

190

Universal Academy

2021

3

Dylan Disu

F

6'8

185

Hendrickson

2019

5

Chris Harris

G

6'4

155

South Garland

2019

10

Donovan Williams

G

6'5

180

Fort Bend Elkins

2019

11

De'Vion Harmon

G

6'1

190

Guyer

2019

23

Bryce Okpoh

F

6'7

190

The Colony

2019

24

Dearon Tucker

F

6'10

225

South Garland

2019

85


TEAM WHYNOT LO S

A N G E L E S ,

C A L I F OR N I A

OVERVIEW Russell Westbrook’s brand new Nike Elite Youth Basketball program will make their 17U debut in 2018. Team WhyNot (CA) is led by head coach and director Reggie Morris, and on paper, he’s assembled a very talented lineup that should be instantly competitive in the EYBL. Star junior Cassius Stanley will be returning to the EYBL for the first time since playing with Supreme in 2016, and he’ll be the default leader for a WhyNot squad that will go 10 deep. It’s incredibly hard to qualify for Peach Jam in your first EYBL season, but talent talks, and WhyNot has plenty of it. Team WhyNot will be an exciting watch in 2018, and it will be fun to see how involved Westbrook is with his brand new EYBL program. THE BACKCOURT: The offense will filter through Stanley, and he’ll have five backcourt mates that will help with production. Makani Whiteside (247 3-star) is coming off a great junior season for Taft (CA), and should be in for a big spring. The 6-foot-3 junior guard is a menace defensively, and will offer solid versatility on offense. 6-foot-3 guard Joseph Octave averaged 27.3 points per game for Mary (CA) high school, bringing his career scoring total up to 2043 points. Octave can put the ball in the basket, and will be a threat to score in bunches for WhyNot (CA). Doctor Bradley, a 6-foot-7 combo guard from Serra (CA), is a major contender to break out for WhyNot. Bradley is improving with the ball in his hands, and should be a major weapon operating in transition. Jordan Brinson (6-foot-3), Iverson Molinar (6-foot-3) and 2017 Nike Phamily alum Ofure Ujadughele (6-foot-3) round out the rotation, with Ujadughele averaging 7.1 points and 3.8 rebounds in 20 games. THE FRONT COURT: Team WhyNot’s frontcourt runs four deep, with Stanley, Bradley and Ujadughele both capable of playing the small forward slot. 6-foot-9 junior Romelle Mansel is an intriguing prospect in the frontcourt, and will be relied upon for defense and rebounding. The Del Ray All League First-Team selection will be a consistent threat for a double-double, as will fellow junior big man Antwan January. Standing at 6-foot-11, January (247 Composite 3-star) is the tallest member of Team WhyNot and runs the floor well for a player his size. Juniors Alimamy Koroma (6-foot-8) and Will Crawford (6-foot-6) will see major minutes for Morris and company, and both are efficient defenders with high motors. They don’t have ideal depth, but with six players over 6-foot-6, WhyNot has plenty of size and length to compete in the EYBL.

T H E S TA R Stanley (247 5-star) has stated he’s very excited to be back on the EYBL circuit, and the feeling is mutual, as it will be a pleasure to watch the 6-foot-5 combo guard go to work. Stanley is an uber-athletic combo guard capable of beating you in numerous different ways, and best of all, he is a winner. Stanley is fresh off guiding Sierra Canyon (CA) to the 2017-18 CIF Open Division Championship - the state’s top honor. It would be a surprise if Stanley didn’t contend for all-session honors with each circuit stop, and if he stays healthy, his presence in WhyNot’s lineup makes them a legitimate contender to earn a Peach Jam berth.

T E AM I N F O

2017 R E C O R D: N / A DIR E C TOR: RE G G I E M O R R I S C OAC H: RE G G I E M O R R I S

T H E X - FACTO R The talent has been assembled, but it’s always difficult to gauge how a team is going to mesh. Ten players from ten different schools make up WhyNot’s rotation, making it imperative that they learn to play with one another. Stanley has a chance to put up some impressive numbers, but he’s going to need his supporting cast to rise their play under the bright lights of the EYBL The 17U circuit is rather unforgiving, so starting slow can’t be in the cards for Morris and crew. If they can play to each other’s strengths, Team WhyNot has a chance to follow in Team Melo’s footsteps and qualify for Peach Jam during their first year on circuit.

86


TEAM WHY NOT ROSTER NAME

POS.

YEAR

HEIGHT

WEIGHT

HIGH SCHOOL

Joseph Octave

G

2019

6'3

185

Mary

Cassius Stanley

G

2019

6'6

185

Sierra Canyon

Jordan Brinson

G

2019

6'3

170

Westchester

Makani Whiteside

G

2019

6'3

185

Taft

Romelle Mansel

F

2019

6'9

210

St. Bernard

Alimamy Koroma

F

2019

6'8

200

Prolfic Prep

Antwan January

F

2019

6'11

255

Beverly Hills

Will Crawford

F

2019

6'6

220

Bishop Montgomery

Doctor Bradley

G

2019

6'7

180

Serra

Ofure Ujadughele

G

2018

6'3

195

Chino Hills

Jovan Blacksher

G

2019

6’1

165

Shadow Mountain

Shemar Morrow

G/F

2020

6’4

190

Shadow Mountain

Stephan Gabriel

F

2019

6’8

205

Hillcrest Prep

87


DRIVE NATION DA L L A S ,

T E X A S

OVERVIEW Drive Nation (TX) will make their NIKE EYBL debut in 2018, owned and operated by long-time NBA veterans Jermaine O’Neal and Mo Williams. We’ll put this very simply; there’s not enough room in this preview to accurately convey how good Drive Nation’s rotation is on paper. Their nine-man rotation features eight players ranked inside 247 Sports Top 275, including five in the top 110. An argument can be made about their lack of size, but you need an elite backcourt to win in the EYBL and Drive Nation has just that. Just like Athletes of Tomorrow, Drive Nation has a real chance to step in and dominate Peach Jam in their inaugural season. This squad should be a tremendous showing of the talent in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, and will be a contender for the Division title. THE BACKCOURT: Just like the opening stated, there’s not enough words to explain the talent within this juniorladen backcourt. 6-foot-2 combo guard Avery Anderson III (247 No. 79) will complement Tyrese Maxey at the point guard position and is very comfortable operating off the ball. He is a weapon in transition, and is more than capable of getting hot from behind-the-arc. 6-foot-5 freak athlete Jahmius Ramsey (247 No. 91) is a wreckingball in transition, and should be a primary beneficiary of running alongside the other guards. An elite defender, Ramsey doesn’t need the ball in his hands to affect the game offensively. 6-foot-7 junior Samuell Williamson (247 No. 107) will see time in the frontcourt, but has all the credentials of an elite guard. The Rockwall (TX) product has great vision in the open court and has an impressive handle for his size. But wait - there’s more! 6-foot-5 Tre’ Williams can score in bunches and will be a valuable weapon off the bench. He averaged just under 15 points per game for Wasatch Academy (UT) and has proven he can be a lockdown defender. Alec Grandstaff, Williamson’s backcourt teammate at Rockwall, rounds out the group, giving Drive Nation an elite shooter off the bench. THE FRONT COURT: 6-foot-11 junior Drew Timme (247 No. 108) ran with Nike Pro Skills as a sophomore in last year’s EYBL, averaging 12.2 points and 8.3 rebounds while shooting 60 percent from the floor. Here is where it gets scary; Timme has grown two inches since then, and has gotten into much better shape. The Pearce High School (TX) product is a certified high-major prospect and has a chance to put up some pretty gaudy numbers. Do-it-all forward Montavious Murphy (247 3-star) is a menace on both ends, and much of his production can be attributed to his high energy level. The 6-foot-8 Murphy has never had the opportunity to run with such talented guards, so he has to be salivating when thinking about getting out in transition. IMG’s Ramsey will also see time in the frontcourt when Drive Nation goes small.

T H E S TA R Tyrese Maxey (247 No. 13) committed to play for Drive Nation in late March, putting the finishing touches on one of the most talented rosters in the country. Maxey is coming off a tremendous 2017-18 high school campaign for South Garland (36-4), where he put up averages of 21.8 points, 7.0 rebounds and 3.1 assists in 40 games, including a 46-point performance in the season finale. Maxey is a veteran of the 2017 EYBL, starring for RM5 during their Peach Jam run. As far as returning production goes, Maxey is among the elite, averaging 16.4 points. 3.4 assists, 3.1 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 21 total games in 2017. He is a contender for All-EYBL at every session stop, and with a ridiculously talented supporting cast he will likely prove to the basketball world that he is an elite point guard. He will have the ball in his hands a ton, and that is good news for fans of great basketball.

T E AM I N F O

2017 R E C OR D: N / A DI R E C TOR: J E RMAI N E O’ N E A L DI R E C TOR: J E RMAI N E O’ N E A L

T H E X - FACTO R So much talent, only one basketball. While we don’t think this will be a problem in a nine-man rotation, it may take some time to properly carve out roles and for the rotation learn each other’s tendencies. Maxey plays with zero ego, so we can’t imagine the ball won’t be spread around evenly. It’s always a challenge to mesh together this much talent, but here’s why we think it won’t be a problem - the shot clock. This rotation was assembled to get out and run, and most of these players were held back in Texas by not having a shot clock. The EYBL is often played at a frenetic pace, and that benefits this Drive Nation lineup as much as any squad on the circuit. It’s safe to expect Drive Nation to have their name near the top of the division standings, and if the chemistry blossoms like we think it will this squad will be among the favorites for a title.

88


DRIVE N ATION ROS TER NAME

POS.

YEAR

HEIGHT

WEIGHT

HIGH SCHOOL

Tyrese Maxey

G

2019

6'3

185

South Garland

Jahmius Ramsey

G

2019

6'5

185

IMG Academy

Samuell Williamson

F

2019

6'7

180

Rockwall

Avery Anderson III

G

2019

6'4

175

Northwest

Drew Timme

F

2019

6'11

210

JJ Pearce

Montavious Murphy

F

2019

6'9

195

Klein Collins

Alec Grandstaff

G

2019

6'2

165

Rockwall

Tre Williams III

G

2019

6'5

185

Wasatch Academy

89


NIKE TEAM FLORIDA O R L A N D O ,

F LO R I DA

OVERVIEW Nike Team Florida (NTF) returned to the 17U NIKE EYBL in 2017 after sitting out the two previous seasons. The Fort Lauderdale-based EYBL representative made their comeback with a talented, albeit young, roster by qualifying for the Peach Jam’s Play-in game. They took out Team Final in the play-in and exited Peach Jam after pool play, turning in a relatively successful 2017 campaign. Superstar junior Vernon Carey Jr (247 No. 2) is back for NTF, and the 6-foot-10, 255-pound big man will be one of the toughest matchups on the circuit. A good amount of their 2017 group returns, and with the addition of a couple talented juniors, NTF has every reason to believe they will advance further than a year ago. If this squad misses Peach Jam, something crazy happened. THE BACKCOURT: Rock-solid veteran point guard Kyle Sturdivant (247 3-star), fresh off leading high school Norcross (GA) to a 2017-18 GHSA 7A Championship game. Sturdivant was impressive as an underclassmen in 2017, averaging 10.0 points, 3.9 assists and 2.4 rebounds in 22 games as the floor general for NTF. He has plenty of options to work with in 2018 - including one of the best big men in the country - so we have every reason to believe that Sturdivant will improve his averages across the board. Sophomore Noah Farrakhan (247 Composite No. 30) enters as a huge late addition to the squad, and the 6-foot-1 combo guard as a smooth operator with the ball in his hands. He’ll be tasked with a playmaking role for NTF, and figures to be one of the better on-ball defenders on the circuit. 6-foot-1 junior Byron Smith will see major minutes, and his 28-game 2017-18 high school averages of 15.1 points. 5.2 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 2.5 steals indicate he’s going to be highly efficient. Junior Logan Alters returns to the group, providing a lights out shooter from the perimeter, while junior Malcolm Farrington will look to provide an offensive spark off the bench. THE FRONT COURT: Carey is their go-to option, and he’ll have some very talented partners-in-crime. 6-foot-8 sophomore Scottie Barnes (247 No. 7) stars with Carey at the University School (FL), and helped lead the Sharks to a National Championship runner-up performance at GEICO Nationals. He put up 24 points and 10 rebounds in the loss, cementing his spot as one of the premier recruits in the 2020 class. 6-foot-7 junior Jordan Mitchell missed the 2017-18 high school season for powerhouse Montverde (FL) with a knee injury, and will be looking to return to the court in a big way with NTF. The versatile Mitchell (247 Composite No. 60) will be looking to improve on modest averages of 5.3 points and 3.0 rebounds for All Ohio Red in 2017. 6-foot-8 forward DeAntoni Gordon - a Wichita State verbal commitment - rounds out the frontcourt in the big way. Gordon is a terrific athlete and loves to get up and down in transition, which should make him a perfect complement to the rest of the rotation.

T H E S TA R Carey is an absolute beast, and will have the offense filtered through him. The deceptively-athletic Carey has very nimble feet for a player his size, and throws defenses off simply due to him being left-handed. The son of longtime Miami Dolphin offensive linemen Vernon Carey Sr, the younger Vernon looks and acts the part of a superstar, and will have every chance to continue that ascension this spring and summer. He runs the floor like a gazelle, finishes well with contact and does a great job of staying out of foul trouble. If he goes down, NTF will be in a lot of trouble, but they’ll be one of the most talented squads on the circuit with him in the lineup. Carey will be looking to improve on 2017 averages of 17.1 points and 5.6 rebounds in 22 games.

T E AM I N F O

2017 R E C O R D: 8- 8 DI R E C TOR: AD RI AN S OSA J R . C OAC H: AD RI AN S OSA J R .

T H E X - FACTO R Head coach Adrian Sosa - also the coach of University School - has an immensely talented roster in front of him. Nike Team Florida doesn’t have any noticeable red flags, and their chemistry should be fast-tracked due to four members playing on the same high school squad. This roster is well-coached, features veterans and has athleticism for days. What does that equal for NTF in 2018? Quite simply, some pretty lofty expectations. They’ll be leaning on Mr. Carey to lead them to Peach Jam gold, and with four top 60 recruits surrounding him, NTF’s star should be in good shape. Expect Carey to contend for League MVP honors, and for NTF to spend the season ranked among the circuit’s best.

90


NIKE TEAM FLORIDA ROS TER NO.

NAME

POS.

HEIGHT WEIGHT

HIGH SCHOOL

YEAR

0

Noah Farrakhan

G

6'1

165

IMG Academy

2020

1

Logan Alters

G

6'1

155

University School

2019

2

DeAntoni Gordon

F

6'8

180

LeFlore

2019

3

Kyle Sturdivant

G

6'2

170

Norcross

2019

4

Scott Barnes

F

6'8

195

University School

2020

5

Byron Smith

G

6'1

175

The Villages

2019

10

Malcolm Farrington

G

6'3

175

Believe Prep

2019

15

Jalil Beaubrun

F

6'8

230

University School

2019

22

Vernon Carey Jr

F

6'10

250

University School

2019

23

Jordan Mitchell

F

6'7

200

Montverde Academy

2019

91


AOT RUNNING REBELS AT L A N TA ,

G E ORG I A

OVERVIEW Athletes of Tomorrow will be making their 17U Elite Youth Basketball League debut in 2018, fresh off a E16 Peach Jam runner-up finish in 2017. AOT brings an absolutely loaded roster into the EYBL, and they are expected to compete for a Peach Jam Championship from the get-go. Eight of their ten rostered players attend McEachern High School (Powder Springs, GA), guiding the Indians to a 26-3 record and a top-ten ranking nationally throughout the season. Their rotation is accustomed to playing with one-another, leading one to believe that AOT should have some of the best team chemistry in the EYBL. On paper, they have everything that’s needed to win in the 17U EYBL. For now, we wait for them to prove it. THE BACKCOURT: The backcourt will be led by sophomore Sharife Cooper, who was Okoro and Smith’s point guard at McEachern. The 6’1 Cooper (247 4-star) is lightning-quick in transition, can consistently knock down shots from the perimeter, and is usually a terrific distributor. The 6-foot-5 Smith, who recently transferred to McEachern from Indiana prep powerhouse La Lumiere, will be a major weapon on the perimeter and in transition. Smith enters the EYBL with the label of sharpshooter, and he should have plenty of open looks in this rotation. The talent doesn’t stop there, as Northwood Temple (NC) junior John Wright makes his way across state lines, giving AOT another serious threat on the perimeter, as well as a rock-solid lead guard. Fellow McEachern products Quinton McElroy (6-foot-1) and Devin Gordon (6-foot-4) will have roles off the bench in a 10-man rotation, similar to their roles during the high school season. THE FRONT COURT: Isaac Okoro and Brandon Boston form one of the more promising wing duos on the circuit, and their talents are very interchangeable. If both young men are clicking, the rest of the frontcourt should see a lot of success. Juniors Babatunde Akingbola (247 3-star) and Jared Jones (247 3-star) make up the beef of AOT’s rotation, both starring in McEachern’s frontcourt during the high school season. The 6-foot-8 Akingbola is verbally committed to Auburn, while the 6-foot-9 Jones will certainly parlay his talents into a high-major scholarship. Both big men are more than capable of putting up big time numbers on the boards, and both will be depended on to stay out of foul trouble defensively for the team to succeed. AOT becomes one of the smaller teams on the circuit if they lose one of their big men, so staying healthy will be a major key to their success in 2018. Smith will likely see time in the small forward spot, as will his McEachern teammate Brandon Suggs.

T H E S TA R The Running Rebels will come at you in waves, but their heaviest hitter is junior Isaac Okoro (247 No. 33). The 6-foot-5 swingman is constantly in attack-mode, utilizing an incredibly athletic frame with an aggressive mindset offensively. Okoro presents a challenge for opposing defenses, as he can beat you off-the-dribble, in the post, or from the perimeter. The offense will run through Okoro, who should get plenty of help from fellow 5-star swingman BJ Boston (247 No. 18) and junior Charles Smith IV (247 No. 73). Put simply, there isn’t a shortage of star power for the debuting Rebels, and opposing defenses will likely need to pick their poison.

T E AM I N F O

2017 R E C OR D: 16- 6 DIR E C TOR: AD RI AN S OSA J R . C OAC H: AD RI AN S OSA J R .

T H E X - FACTO R The aforementioned Suggs will be huge for AOT during the 2018 campaign, much like he was for McEachern during their highly successful run in 2017-18. The 6-foot-7 forward does all of the little things, plays with relentless effort and is capable of scoring in bunches. He is a problem for defenses in transition, and figures to be a major beneficiary of the opposition’s emphasis put on Okoro, Boston and Smith. Suggs’ overall skill-set also includes versatility defensively, as he is more than capable of guarding the 2 through 4 positions. Suggs won’t get the publicity and notoriety of his teammates, but his productivity and energy will be a major piece of AOT’s potential success in 2018.

92


AOT RUNNING REBELS ROSTER NO.

NAME

POS.

HEIGHT WEIGHT

HIGH SCHOOL

YEAR

1

Quinton McElroy

G

6'1

175

McEachern

2019

2

Sharife Cooper

G

6'1

165

McEachern

2020

3

Brandon Boston

G

6'6

170

Norcross

2020

4

Brandon Suggs

F

6'6

175

McEachern

2019

8

Alyn Breed

G

6'3

165

McEachern

2020

10

John Wright

G

6'2

170

Northwood Temple

2019

11

Babatunde Akingbola

F

6'8

220

McEachern

2019

23

Isaac Okoro

F

6'5

200

McEachern

2019

24

Charles Smith IV

G

6'5

180

McEachern

2019

30

Jared Jones

F

6'9

230

McEachern

2019

Christian Brown

F

6'6

200

Lower Richland

2019

93


BOO WILLIAMS H A M P TO N ,

V I RG I N I A

OVERVIEW The legendary Hampton-based EYBL program Boo Williams Summer League (BWSL) returned to form in 2017, riding Kentucky-bound Keldon Johnson to an 18-5 record and a Final Four finish at Peach Jam. Boo’s 2018 rotation includes two returning veterans, two standouts from their successful 16U team from a year ago, and a crop of newcomers that should keep Boo right at the top of the standings. The ceiling of Boo’s success comes down to one thing; can they replace Johnson’s production without another true superstar? Matching their 13-3 record from a year ago will be a tall task, but they have more than enough talent to compete for a Peach Jam bid and divisional title. THE BACKCOURT: 6-foot-3 sophomore Cameron Thomas (247 No. 39) lit up the E16 Peach Jam a year ago, racking up averages of 28.2 points and 4.8 rebounds in four games. His teammate Michael Christmas (247 3-star, a 6-foot-6 junior from Landstown (VA), also makes the move to 17U. Christmas also had a successful Peach Jam in 2017, averaging 15.8 points and 9.5 rebounds, and will likely be a huge beneficiary running alongside Thomas. 6-foot-6 junior Gibson Jimerson will play big minutes off the bench, and will be a big offensive threat. Jimerson averaged 25 points and 8.5 rebounds during the high school season, and is a terrific shooter from behind-the-arc. Thomas has a chance to be special and is a terrific option to replace a good portion of Johnson’s departing offensive production. Freshman point guard Carter Whitt, widelyregarded as the top 2021 prospect in the state of North Carolina, joined Boo’s 17U squad after Zion Harmon’s departure to the Bluff City Legends. Boo wouldn’t be calling him up if he wasn’t ready, and Whitt could play a crucial role for Boo as the season unfolds. THE FRONT COURT: Aundre Hyatt, a two-year EYBL veteran, will certainly spend time in the backcourt mainly because the 6-foot-7 will enter 2018 as one of the top perimeter shooters on the circuit. 6-foot7, 275-pound big man Anderson Mirambeaux also returns, looking to improve on 2017 production of 7.0 points and 4.9 rebounds. Mirambeaux is a great athlete for a prospect his size, and will provide Boo with some much-needed beef on the interior. Massanutten Military (VA) junior forwards Mahamadou Diawara (247 3-star) and Mekhi Long (6-foot-6) join the fold, and will both receive big minutes in a 10-man rotation. Rounding out the rotation is 6-foot-8 Tariq Bolagun, who will assume the same energy role he had on last year’s squad

T H E S TA R Aundre Hyatt (247 4-star) returns to the lineup, and the 6-foot-7 junior will look to put up some big numbers during his third EYBL season. Starring for the NY Lightning in 2016 and Boo Williams a year ago, Hyatt keeps adding pieces to his game - one that centers around his sweet shooting stroke. Hyatt averaged 11.6 points and 4.2 rebounds in 2017 while knocking down 57 triples - an average of 2.5 per game. There are a few other candidates on the roster that could end up starring for Boo, but Hyatt is definitely the safest bet. He’ll step onto the court in Dallas as one of the best shooters in the country, and his mere presence on the court should open up opportunities for his teammates.

T E AM I N F O

2017 R E C OR D: 13- 3 DI R E C TOR: BO O W I LLI A M S C OAC H: BO O W I LLI A M S

T H E X - FACTO R First and foremost, Boo needs to stay healthy. If they lose Hyatt or Thomas, they will be in a heap of trouble. A 10man rotation in the EYBL is plenty deep, but they are much deeper in the frontcourt than they are in the backcourt. Picking up the pieces of Johnson’s departing contributions would be difficult for any program, but let’s be real; Boo Williams is different. Hampton’s EYBL program is a different animal, and aside from a couple of seasons, they reload every year. Half of their rotation has a ‘star’ next to their name in 247 Sports’ rankings, so excuses will be at a premium if Boo struggles in 2018. Thomas is one of the best underclassmen in the country, and when combined with Hyatt and Mirambeaux’s anticipated production, there’s plenty of reasons for Boo supporters to be optimistic in 2018.

94


BOO WILLIAMS ROSTER NO.

NAME

POS.

HEIGHT WEIGHT

HIGH SCHOOL

YEAR

3

Chase Coleman

G

5'8

135

Maury

2019

5

Mahamadou Diawara

F

6'9

230

Massanutten Military

2019

10

Mekhi Long

F

6'6

195

Massanutten Military

2019

11

Carter Whitt

G

6'3

170

Leesburg

2021

15

Aundre Hyatt

G

6'7

210

Miller School

2019

20

Tariq Bolagun

F

6'9

210

Miller School

2019

22

Gibson Jimerson

G

6'6

210

St. Christopher

2019

23

Michael Christmas

G

6'6

195

Landstown

2019

24

Cameron Thomas

G

6'3

165

Oscar Smith

2020

40

Anderson Mirambeaux

F

6'7

275

Teays Valley

2019

95


D1CIRCUIT

PLAYER Q&A’S

96


D1CIRCUIT

PLAYER FEATURES

97


JA ME S W I S E M A N B LU FF C I T Y LE G E NDS BY: ALEC KINSKY

Wiseman, the consensus number one player in the 2019 graduating class, set the local basketball twitter-verse ablaze after he announced an offer from Memphis.

J

ames Wiseman celebrated his 17th birthday last week.

He rang in his 17th by trending on twitter. Typical teenage stuff. Wiseman, the consensus number one player in the 2019 graduating class, set the local basketball twitter-verse ablaze after he announced an offer from Memphis. A college offer isn’t usually significant news for the No.1 recruit in the country. By the time Wiseman is done with his prep basketball career, he should be

able to hand-select the university he’d like to attend.

Obviously, Hardaway and his coaching staff will have a leg up in the recruitment of Wiseman, Why is the Memphis offer special? as well as a lot of the other local talent. To say that’s unfair is If you’re a fan of grassroots absurd, and a complete disregard basketball, the answer is obvious. for what Penny has meant to Memphis’ basketball. Wiseman’s grassroots and high school coach the past season In order to understand why - NBA legend Penny Hardaway Penny’s tutelage would be so just took over as the head coach important for a player like of the Tigers. Ready to lead his Wiseman, you must understand alma-mater back to college hoops how game-changing Hardaway supremacy, Hardaway didn’t was as a player. Let us paint a waste any time on the recruiting brief picture, fully-knowing it’s trail. He is ready to unite old impossible to explain Hardaway’s and new Memphis fans while on-court brilliance in one building them back into a Power 5 paragraph. program.

98


The 6-foot-7 point guard transcended basketball during his time on the court, starting with his high school career at Memphis Treadwell. He took home Parade National Player of the Year in 1990, averaging 36.6 points, 10.1 rebounds, 6.2 assists, 3.9 steals and 2.8 blocks per game. He was a two-time All-American at Memphis, and did it with a bullet lodged in his foot after being robbed at gunpoint. He was the first of his kind - a 6-foot-7 superathlete with elite point guard skills. In 2003, he became a proud Tigers’ graduate. He since has provided funding to build the University of Memphis Sports Hall of Fame. Up until taking over the head coaching reigns at Memphis, Hardaway had been leading local Memphis’ grassroots program, the ‘Bluff City Legends’ since 2010. Gaining instant traction with Hardaway’s backing, Bluff City switched their name to Team Penny in 2012. The name change started their transition into a grassroots basketball powerhouse while Hardaway simultaneously coached high school powerhouse Memphis East. And sandwiched between all of that, he was a four-time NBA allstar. DuJuan Taylor, the Bluff City Legends Director and longtime friend of Hardaway, put it simply and accurately. “Penny Hardaway is Memphis basketball,” Taylor stated.w For Wiseman, it’s not just an offer from Memphis. It’s an offer to continue to play basketball under the guidance of a legend, and a man that has turned his life goal into helping young men achieve their dreams.

The past two seasons have been massively important for Wiseman’s development. Upon joining the Team Penny program, the staff knew they had an elite prospect on their hands. His size and athleticism were already elite, but getting his skillset up to speed was now the year-round responsibility of Penny and the coaching staff.

”WHEN HE FIRST CAME HERE, HE OBVIOUSLY HAD A TON OF UPSIDE. PENNY REALIZED THAT IMMEDIATELY, AND WANTED TO TURN IT INTO A REALITY.” “When he first came here, he obviously had a ton of upside,” Taylor said. “Penny realized that immediately, and wanted to turn it into a reality.” Fast forward to today, and Wiseman is as real as it gets. Now listed at 7-foot, 240-pounds, Wiseman looks and plays like future number one pick. He has multiple tools in his offensive bag, can stretch the defense with his jumper and is an elite rim protector. He runs the floor like a gazelle and is adept at finishing with contact. He’s every bit of his number one ranking, and passes the eye test with ease.

Sure, his coaching staff and surroundings have played a huge role in his development, but Taylor points to Wiseman’s personal makeup as to why all of his budding success has been possible. “It’s just been a pleasure to watch him, because he works so hard and he’s such a great kid,” Taylor said. “He’s so coachable, and that’s been the difference.” Wiseman will star on Bluff City Legends this season with fellow Penny veterans DJ Jeffries (Kentucky commit) & Chandler Lawson (4-star), and will start the season ranked atop the EYBL. He has one more spring and summer left before he makes his college decision, and Memphis is about to have a lot of company in the Wiseman offer pool. Wiseman cherishes every college offer he attains. He has one more spring and summer of summer ball remaining, and while Memphis is certainly a contender, Wiseman has a wide open recruitment. One aspect of Hardaway’s hiring that gets overlooked is how his current players, like Wiseman, will adjust without him on the sideline. Wiseman now officially has the chance to reunite with Hardaway next year and represent his hometown team, but one thing has already been accomplished as far as Taylor is concerned. “He’s what everyone thought he was going to be,” Taylor professed.

“When you look at where he was “The most dominant player in high school.” when he got here, to where he is now, the difference is huge,” Taylor explained. “We’ve watched that turn into reality.”

99


Q&A

KENYON MARTIN JR. OAKLAND SOLDIERS

BY: ALLIE KRIN GS

How excited are you to play in the EYBL? Very excited, since last year and 16s I’ve been working on everything, do what I need to do, and getting ready to go out and show what I’ve been working on.

with them.

Outside of basketball, what Talk a little about your dad, kind of advice does he give what kind of impact has he you? had on your life? Everything. He tells me he wants He’s had a big impact since he to see me succeed. Sometimes, played in the NBA and knows I think, “he’s not right” but then the game really well. He knows at the end of the day, I think he What are those areas you’re what I can do and what I can’t do. really knows what he’s talking Throughout my games if he knows about. I’m going through the same working to improve? I’ve been working on ball handling I can do a certain move to get stuff he did and I try to listen to and shooting. I knew I could go to an easy bucket he can coach me him at all times. the basket last year, but I’ve been throughout the game. working on my game and working What about the rest of your on adding these other things to be Is he one of the shouting family? Are they pretty into parents or is he pretty unstoppable. the game? subtle? Yeah, my little brother who’s 13 What went into your decision He’s on the sides and he just says just started his workouts. I’ve been what I should be doing. I don’t to join the Soldiers? working out with him a lot. He have to look for him. He’s pretty I really wanted to play the wing. comes to my games a lot and he subtle, sometimes if the referees They came to a lot of my games, looks up to me a lot, and he tries are bad, he becomes louder than I to do what I do. In a good way, showed support, and that really expected. affected my decision to go play obviously.

100


What’s that like being a role model for him? It’s a lot of pressure, with my dad being in the NBA, people expect me to do as great as him. Plus, my brother is looking up to me and wanting to play basketball and I just want to do it the best way. Aside from ballhandling, what are you looking to improve during the EYBL? Shooting. Be able to go off the dribble and shoot. That’s really the main thing I’ve been working on this season and this summer. What’s one part of your game you feel really good about moving into EYBL? Making it to the basket. I can make it to the basket at will. Playing on the 16s and watching the 17s, just watching what they do, a lot of them I play like, and seeing what I can this year. Me getting to the basket.

USA TODAY

Who’s your favorite NBA player? I don’t really have a favorite, but I like players like Kevin Durant, Paul George, and Ben Simmons.

I can be at and how they do everything. What’s going to make the EYBLE season a success for you? I want my personal performance to be well, but really I want another Peach Jam championship like last year. I want to be the best team in the EYBL.

Who would you compare your play style to the NBA? Ben Simmons. I love passing the ball, giving my teammates shots, and getting to the basket, and making good plays. I want to get When you’re not playing my teammates involved, get them going before I get myself involved. basketball, what are you doing? I play a lot of video games. With such a basketball I’m really into Fortnite, 2k and heavy family, do you still have that love for the game? Madden. Sometimes I play with Do you ever worry you’ll get teammates, but always playing online. burnt out? The love for the game is still there. I heard it’s tough to get wins When I was younger I would think, “Do I really want to play?” in Fortnite. Any under your belt? and now it is just part of my Yeah, I have a lot of wins in day, I wake up and want to play Fortnite. I spend of a lot of time on basketball. If I’m not playing, I’m that. watching. I try to watch as much NBA as I Can so I can see where

101


Q&A

MAX LORCA

PSA CARDINALS

What do you think will be the biggest difference playing 17U as opposed to the lower levels? I think it’ll definitely be the physicality and speed of the game. Describe what the PSA program means to you and why you chose them? I’ve been with them since 7th grade and they’ve helped me develop since day one. I know I’ll be able to succeed in the system that we have.

compliment each other. What are your expectations for you guys this year and what will it take for you guys to get to peach jam? We want to win Peach Jam and to get there we’re gonna have to play hard, smart, and together. How does playing at NMH and in the NEPSAC prepare you for the competition of the EYBL? I feel like the NEPSAC is the best high school conference in the country because you’re going against top tier talent night in and night out, and it’s the same thing for EYBL, so I would say the competition level is pretty high in both, which gets me ready to play against the best players in the country for 4-5 games a weekend.

How is it playing with a leader like Cole? What ways do you think he will help most with your overall game/ approach? I think it’ll definitely make me be more aggressive playing with him. I’ve known Cole for awhile now so I think we have a good understanding What skills do you bring to the of how we play and how we

Q&A

table that add to your team the most? I feel that my shot blocking, rebounding, and ability to finish at the rim will help us win. Any teams or players you’re most looking forward to playing? I’m looking forward to every game and playing against all of my matchups this spring and summer because I feel like I have a lot to prove and I also love to win. If you could have dinner with three people alive or dead, who would they be? A Boogie because he’s my favorite artist, Barack Obama because he is one of the most influential people I’ve seen in my lifetime, and my grandma because I wasn’t able to spend much time with her.

CAM THOMAS

Do you have any nerves about playing 17U being so young or do you think you’re prepared after tearing up 16U last year? I don’t have any nerves playing on the 17s I don’t really think age means anything. I prepared myself physically and mentally to play on the 17s and I’m just ready for the season to begin.

BOO WILLIAMS

Keldon have totally different games even though our roles are the same I am not trying to be him. I think we can be just as successful as last year.

You’re known as a great shooter; how does it feel when you know it’s going down every time it leaves your hand? I work on my game everyday so when I shoot I feel like it is going What do you think your role will be with the team this year in every time and in basketball you and how is that different from have to make shots to win games and making shots is a big part of your high school team? basketball. My role with the team this year is to score the ball, make plays, and What are your personal goals defend. for the summer in terms of skill set, recruitment, etc? How does it feel taking over I haven’t really thought about it, I for Keldon and the success just want to play well and I want to they had last year? compete at a high level and that’s I don’t look at it as that me and

on the EYBLl circuit. My recruitment will happen if I play the way I know I can. I can’t wait to get on the circuit this year. What are you looking for in a program at the next level? Coaching is very, very important to me and a team that fits my style of play and they really want me in their program. Which college or pro player do you watch the most? Kobe Bryant is my favorite player of all time; I study everything he does on the court since he retired I watch Devin Booker. What’s something about your game you want to prove you can do? Playing point guard. 102


JA LEN L E C QU E N E W YOR K R E N A I S SA N CE BY: PAT L AWLESS

Jalen Lecque made his Nike Elite Youth Basketball League 17U debut last season with the Southern Stampede. This year, the consensus Five-Star guard returns to the league, but with a new team in the New York Renaissance.

T

he class of 2019 standout made a statement last year by averaging 17 points per game, and with this experience, he is ready to have an even bigger year this year.

vocal. I also have to make sure to always stay in kill mode.”

teammates.

“The New York Renaissance is an organization who lets their players play,” he said. “The coaches let their guys play through their mistakes. They “I have experience now since I have very competitive teams who played last year with the Southern want to win so that is what my type Stampede,” said Lecque. “I’m now a of game style plays to. The big men two-year EYBL veteran, so I can use are good and we are good as a team my experience from last year to show because we play really well together. me how much work I have to put in to “I’m way better as a point guard and We are just preparing by playing make it to Peach Jam. Now all I have my handles have gotten better,” he in different events and practicing to to do is put that together, do well as a said. “My shot has also improved and make sure we’ll be good.” team and we’ll be good.” I take better shots. I’ve just made sure to improve all-around this year.” The Nike EYBL has established itself as With his athleticism and scoring a platform that is in a league of their ability, he is a special prospect. He has his sights on a couple own. Lecque can’t say enough great Lecque prides himself on certain of personal and team goals this things of how the EYBL benefits the parts of his game. He also makes upcoming grassroots season. players in it. sure to keep in mind what he wants to improve on to get the most out of “The personal goals I have for “What really excites me is how himself. this year is being more vocal as a competitive the EYBL is,” Lecque said. teammate,” said Lecque. “I want to “I think the league does a great job “I do really well at scoring the show that I can do everything on the bringing exposure to the players. basketball and I feel like I’m court and for my team it’s to make Last year I was doing well and I was underrated at finding my teammates,” a strong push at the Peach Jam. We starting to get my name out there on Lecque said. “I make sure to find want to win it all and I want to have a the EYBL. I wanted to do even better shooters and feed the big men. I make great season for my team.” this year by playing against the best big plays on both ends by blocking players in the country. That’s why I shots and playing great man to man Lecque can’t wait to suit up for the went to the EYBL.” defense. I’ve been working on being Renaissance because of how much 103 more of a leader and being more he believes in his coaches and Since last grassroots season, Lecque’s name has only gotten bigger. His dominant play at The Christ School (N.C.) has made him one of the premier names in the 2019 class. He put a lot of work into all facets of his game this past high school season.


Q&A

JUSTIN WEBSTER PRO SKILLS

What will your role be with the squad this spring and do you feel any pressure as kind of the go-to guy? My role this year is to help lead my team to wins and take over that leadership role whether its to score when we need a basket or play defense I have to help lead my team in the right direction as much as possible. What are your expectations for the team this year and what will it take for you guys to get to Peach Jam? The expectations are high of course; our main goal is to first make it to the Peach Jam but our ultimate goal is to win Peach Jam and for us to make it we have to play together like a family. What was the moment when you realized basketball could

Q&A

open doors for you? I think it was my 7th or 8th grade year I could start seeing my talent and my skill level over shadow the many kids I was playing against and I started recognizing that I am pretty good at playing this game of basketball. What’s your pregame routine like? I have to listen to at least 2 R&B songs before every game and also I have to do 25 push-ups before every game.

has to be able to trust me and put me in the situations that can help me get to that next level, the support for the sport has to be there and also I need to know by going there I’m going to get a good education. What’s your team in 2k and why? What about their game plan/players makes you play with them? Minnesota Timberwolves!! i like how they use Jimmy Butler and Andrew Wiggins as playmakers around the perimeter and how Karl Anthony Towns controls the paint.

What’s your go-to move when If there’s one thing you want the game is on the line? Between the legs a couple times with people to say about you as a player after seeing you what a little James Harden side step. would it be? What are you looking for in a He gets the job done, he plays hard and he’s a dog!! program at the next level? I’m just looking for one school that’s going to believe in me, The coach

EJ JACKSON

What’s the biggest difference between hs ball and grassroots? The biggest difference i would say would be the speed of the game.

NIKE PHAMILY

How was it running with Marvin Bagley last year and how did you become a better player/distributor? Playing with Marvin was great. Marvin wasn’t just a teammate, Which NBA or college he’s my big brother. Playing with players do you watch the Marvin made me better player most of? and it was challenge for myself I watch a lot of Chris Paul and because I’ve never played with What’s your go to move with anyone like him. James Harden. I watch CP3 because he’s a tough small guard. the game on the line and your team needs a bucket? I watch James because he’s just Have you prepared any In and out crossover, get to the different and he’s from Cali too. differently since you have elbow side step jumper. that year of experience What’s your pregame under your belt? What are you looking for in routine like? Yes. Everything has changed I feel a program at the next level? like. I feel like I have become a On game day as soon as I wake A great opportunity to be able to better overall player. My motor up i play music by Mozzy and distribute for the next level. only him the whole day. I watch has changed a lot too for the highlights of James Harden. I don’t better. like eating on game day for some reason but if i do i can only eat Subway and get a chicken bacon ranch with everything on it and an orange and be okay. I usually get some shots up before the game or a little workout early out the day. Then lastly I take a nap before my game. Then it’s game time.

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Q&A

JOEL BROWN

Talk about playing on the circuit last year. How has that experience affected your prep for this spring? Last year playing on the circuit was an eye opener for me. Being called up to play a year up in the best league was an experience I don’t take for granted. Playing against the top teams and players in America was great for me to showcase my abilities against the best but also learn and grow.

CIA BOUNCE

want to see Canadians be successful makes you want to go even harder and do well. Canada is finally starting to get the attention with basketball it deserves.

Do you pay attention to the rankings at all? And if so does it motivate you even more to prove yourself against the top ranked guys? What’s the biggest thing No, I don’t really care to pay you’ve been working to attention to rankings because it improve? doesn’t really identify you as a I’ve been working to become player. Many guys who haven’t more of a vocal leader been ranked have succeeded especially with the team we as much or even better than have this summer we got young guys who have. To be honest guys so I must be a leader and if you ranked or not, I’m going push everyone. How about your decision to play against you hard to transfer to Brewster? regardless. What first inspired you What went into the to go after a career in decision? basketball? My decision was based off I used to play soccer but then the relationship Coach Smith my close friend and I, our had with recent players who parents signed us up for a little played for CIA Bounce that I personally knew. So I had many basketball league and from there I fell in love. But growing conversations with them about their experience and from there up I used to watch a lot of Vince Carter when he was on I felt it was the best decision for me. Also, Brewster being a the Raptors so I was inspired by him, but there wasn’t anybody historic program that has won numerous prep championships in my family besides my aunt who was a big time track and NEPSAC championships, runner doing something big in a I wanted to join and be part of something special. Also, the sport so I decided to be the first and got a lot of compliments of recent players Coach Smith how good I have become so I has coached have excelled continued to follow my passion. in the NCAA and some guys have played in the NBA and overseas. I knew he could help What’s one aspect of your game that you think is me prepare for the next level. underrated? Something that’s underrated What does it mean to about my game is the ability represent Canada? offensive players and and be It means a lot, I represent ahead of plays before they Canada with great pride. happen. I expect myself to lead Always having a target on your back because many don’t the team in steals this year.

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Q&A

T YRESE MAXEY

Family life? Any basketball? What’s mom/dads thoughts on basketball Grew up with both grandmothers and both parents and three sisters. I’m the third sibling. My older sisters they are just smart, they aren’t athletic at all. My younger sister plays volleyball. She is pretty good at that, she’s pretty tall. My mom ran track, played basketball, and volleyball. She did it all. How did you get your start in basketball? My dad put it in my hands early. My first game was age 3. He just kept working with me and I loved it early and I still love it now.

DRIVE NATION (TX)

What are you doing outside of basketball? I just got done playing Fortnite, I finished fourth and I got mad. I play some 2k. This past week, I just started playing. I like to hang out with my family, I love going to the movies with family, I go downstairs and I love to watch black and white movies with my elderly grandmothers. I love spending time with friends. I don’t like to be alone. You seem really close with your grandmothers, is it really important to make them proud with basketball?

It’s important, but they’re proud of me regardless of how I do on the court. They want me to be the best I can be as a person. Do you always use emojis? What’s your favorite emoji? All the time, even with college coaches, but the bag (backpack) is my favorite one. We call ourselves the baggage claim boys. (explain that) It’s a group of kids that all play basketball and one day they came up with baggage claim boys ‘cause you gotta put your bag on before you go to work.

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T YRESE MAXEY CONT. What kind of influence does your dad have on you? Big influence, he’s been through it before, he was a D1 athlete at Washington State, and he knows what I should look for and what style. He helps me a lot, especially when it comes to basketball. Same position? Yes. We both play point guard, but he was a lot smaller than me. What kind of goals do you have for this season? I want to become a better leader. I think this team will help me. The challenges of bringing different personalities together, bringing us all together as a unit, and seeing how far we can make it.

leader. Does that put any pressure on you? What are your thoughts? No pressure, I am just going to go have fun and play like I’ve been playing and hope that the outcome is how we want it as far as making a deep run to peach jam, all the rest will come.

happen. It was one of those games where you have to step up for your teammates if they’re struggling. Playing with him so long, I know his moves and when he wants to get in his spots, I can’t really explain it. It flows (playing with Chris)

What’s most important to you when deciding on a What do you think really school? differentiates you as a Of course the coach is a big part player? in recruiting, my dad always As far as highschool, I try to tells me when the coach comes keep everything mellow and to watch me play to always happy. I never want to put my talk to the coach. Follow the teammates down as far as my play, it’s really important, you role, I try to keep everyone on want to fit right in the coaches the same page. I keep their system and you start flowing emotions in check. I keep them right when you get in. I want happy. to major in broadcasting How do you keep everyone and communications. Sports broadcasting, because I want to happy? Are you telling be on TV and I like to talk, crack jokes? jokes and have fun. I tell a little jokes, especially my high school and sometimes my AAU. Basketball is something you should enjoy. You shouldn’t be stressed, I love playing basketball, and I love hanging out with my friends.

What area of your game do you hope to improve this season? I want to get better at everything, I need a little bit of everything. I want to work on my pace as far as running a team, making the right reads, making sure everyone is involved and in the right spot. That’s what it will take to make it a better team. You took South Garland to the State Semis, and What area of your game despite the loss, put up do you feel really confident 46 points. When the about? going got tough, how I feel confident about my did you keep going? defense, that’s a big thing I I didn’t want to lose. We take pride in. Guarding the best weren’t shooting well as a player on every team. Coming team early in that game, off ball screen. I am getting I knew Chris Harris was better at finding my teammates, struggling early, I knew running the open lane. I could put the team on my back and I just rolled You’re somebody that with it. I did everything I people look to as a could to help will us to a potential EYBL scoring win, unfortunately it didn’t

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Q&A

MALIK HALL

MOKAN ELITE

How will your experience in the EYBL last year help you this year and what did you learn? I believe that last year will help me a ton for this year because it showed me what I have to do to be successful this year. I learned that you just have to be aggressive and can’t back down from any team no matter who is on the team. How are you preparing differently this season knowing all of that now? I have been working on my mentality to an all out every game for a long time now and it is now the a high level point so I’m just trying to make sure my team has the same thought process. Talk about the season this year with Sunrise. You guys had some pretty big wins, what was your favorite game and how did you guys find success against some of the country’s best? We had an amazing season this

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year everyone just bought into the program so that we could win games and hopefully compete for a nation championship. My favorite game by far had to be against Oak Hill. When you think of prep basketball you think Oak Hill so knocking them off was big time for our school and me.

What are you looking for in a program in college and what do you hope to show to coaches this spring and summer? I am looking for a connection with the school and coaches because choosing a school is like getting married you got to love What skills have you added to then a whole lot so you can stay your game since last year? committed. I am trying to show the My jump shot Is more consistent and coaches that I can do it all. Anything my handles are tighter. they need I will be able to provide. When was the moment when you realized you had a future in basketball and what motivates you to take it all the way to the NBA? I didn’t really realize until my freshman season that I could do this for real if I tried hard. My family and my friends motivate me. I have always loved taking care of the people who are closest to me. They made me who I am so I would like to repay them by making it and being able to give them the things that they want.

What does he MOKAN program mean to you? It means a lot. They helped me be shown at a level that I haven’t been shown before. What’s one thing that you want everyone to know about how you play the game? I want them to know I am an artist when it comes to the game. I love the motion of things and the way it is portrayed.

MYLIK WILSON

Describe your team for this EYBL season and what your style will be? Well coach told me we are suppose to get some more players to fit in with me and the program. My shooting, coming off the screens and getting an open shot.

WOODZ ELITE

your game that you want people to know you can do that is underrated? My defense is very underrated

I think it’s just more great players out there than high school, some like a college-type level.

What would you say you bring to the game that no So how’s recruitment been going? What are you looking other player does? for in a program at the next I really can’t say but I really do a lot of things for my team on both level? Who do you watch a lot of to It’s been good so far just trying to ends. study their game? get back on the circuit and I just If there’s three words Lebron James, how he can be able wanna fit in with the right team. someone would use to to control the game by his play describe your style of play making. Also Russell Westbrook, What do you expect will be what would they be? his whole game. the big difference between Smooth, Crafty, Athletic. high school and EYBL What’s something about competition? 108


Q&A

BRANDON WEATHERSPOON MEBO ELITE

How have your brothers influenced you in basketball and helped your game? They always been hard on me and push me coming up so whatever they go through now I kind of already what to be aspect.

How about for MEBO this spring? I’ll just try to fit in and play a huge role for MEBO and make it to Peach Jam and win.

What’s the strongest and weakest parts of your game What influenced you to transfer to a different school right now? Strongest is my shooting and the than your brothers? I’m from Canton and my old coach weakest is my defense. left so I decided to come home. How’s recruitment going? What are the most important What do you think your factors for you in a program role will be next season for at the next level? Canton? My recruitment is going well, I will be leading those guys to and my important factors are my a state championship and teach playing time and what role I will them what I know and help the play. younger guys learn the game.

Q&A

Who are your influences on and off the court? My brothers and my family. I try to do things my brothers haven’t done in high school to separate myself from them and that’s caused me to do great things. What’s something outside of ball you’re passionate about? Nothing; I eat and sleep basketball. What will it take for you guys to win Peach Jam this year? Playing together and locking up it on the defensive end.

DE’VION HARMON

What made you switch over to Houston Hoops and what do you anticipate your role will be this season? Sticking with the Family... Coach Josh, Matt, Chris, Bryce, Dearon. That’s Family for life. How do you think your role will be different this year from last year with RM5? Just get to play a little more freely. Get to go hoop, we’re hoopers. I love to hoop; that’s fun right there. What are the biggest differences between high school ball and the EYBL? SHOT CLOCK. That’s the BIGGEST difference. How frustrating was it to lose

HOUSTON HOOPS

in the playoffs when they kind of held the ball and do you think hs ball should implement that? I think we should definitely have a shot clock, but besides that... Allen had a game plan and they executed. That’s why they’re State Champs. Talk a bit about your decision to commit to the Sooners... what were the deciding factors? Just being able to stay close to home. My parents get to come to every single game and it’s only a drive away. My mom means everything to me, that’s my twin. She’s never missed a game, and she never will. And I get to represent my family, myself, my home city, my

home state... Right there in the 405. What are the skills you hope to show people this summer that may be underrated? My shooting... I’m not saying I’m Steph Curry or Trae Young, but it’s pretty close. What NBA or college players do you emulate the most? College wise Trae Young from OU. And NBA, James Harden, Kyrie (Irving), Russ (Westbrook), and Steve Nash. What are you primary goals for Hoops and from a personal standpoint by the end of the summer? Just get better everyday and win Peach Jam.

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CO LE A N T HON Y PSA C A R DI N A L S BY: PAT L AWLESS

Cole Anthony heads into this Nike Elite Youth Basketball League season as one of the marquee names in the country.

T

he class of 2019 PSA Cardinals point guard led the NYC powerhouse to an 11-5 record, averaging 16.3 points and 7 assists per game. This was Anthony’s second year playing 17U so he will be a part of a select club of players this season to play 17U on the EYBL for three years. He is more than thankful for this opportunity. “It’s something that I’ve been lucky to be able to go through,” Anthony said. “I can name

maybe three other kids that have been able to go through this experience. It’s just really a blessing to go through this. It’s great having this experience behind your belt and just going out there and having fun.” Anthony has made adjustments with his play on the court from last grassroots season. He’s going to use his experience the past two years to lead his team to their one goal.

“I’m going into this year as a leader,” he said. “I feel like I tried to lead last year, but I didn’t do as good of a job as I possibly could. This year I know the system like the back of my hand, I’m going to bring a lot of positive energy and do anything to lead my team to a Peach Jam Championship.” The junior standout has loved suiting up for the PSA Cardinals. Anthony believes their loyalty to each player in the program is what makes them special.

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“The PSA Cardinals is the best AAU program in the country without a doubt,” he said. “They take care of every single kid in the program, there’s no man left behind in this program. They take care of their players and always make sure they are good.” What stands out most to him about this year’s team is their unselfishness. He is thrilled to see everyone already playing as a unit before the EYBL season kicks off. “We have a bunch of kids who are willing to come in, buy into the system and want to see each other succeed,” said Anthony. “There is so much positive energy within this group. There is no hate with this group because as I said everyone wants to see the person to the side of them succeed. When you can get that much positive energy it is truly something special.” Anthony also added that his team’s effort is at a high level this year, which is always a key factor in the grueling schedule of the Nike EYBL. “We have a bunch of guys that are going to come in and play as hard as they can,” he said. “No one on this team takes plays off and I feel that’s underappreciated because you see players who take plays off

and just rely on their skill. This year we don’t have anyone like that and it’s a blessing to be on a team like that.”

“I’M GOING TO BRING A LOT OF POSITIVE ENERGY AND DO ANYTHING TO LEAD MY TEAM TO A PEACH JAM CHAMPIONSHIP.”

Cardinals so he has a very good idea of what it takes to get there. “It takes a lot of grit to win it all,” he told D1 Circuit. “It takes a team full of guys who are willing to buy in. It’s something that not every team is going to have the opportunity of achieving because it takes a lot of heart.” Playing on the EYBL circuit with PSA has been a one of a kind experience for Anthony.

“I’m just excited to play on the Nike EYBL circuit again,” Anthony said. “Playing with the PSA Cardinals on the EYBL circuit has been the most The PSA Cardinals point guard fun and best experience that I’ve doesn’t take for granted how special had my the Nike EYBL is. To him the EYBL whole life in represents something more than just basketball.” the talent. “What makes the Nike EYBL what it is, is being able to walk into the gym and going to any game and seeing a high-level game,” Anthony said. “You are going to see a ton of kids who are playing as hard as they can and it’s just the cream of the crop. It’s just like the NBA where everyone leaves it all out there and plays every game to win.” He reached the Peach Jam Championship his first year with the

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Q&A

KAHLIL WHITNEY MAC IRVIN FIRE

How was your high school season and how did it prepare you for the spring and summer on the circuit? This high school season we went undefeated in New Jersey and won every championship there was in the state. I averaged around 19 pts. The season prepared me by showing me what it takes to win and the sacrifice you have to make to be a winner.

Mac Irvin with the lineage of great players in the past? It means a lot; I look up to the players that played for this program before me and I’m just trying to be in the line with those great players.

right now? Strongest are my athleticism. & shooting. One thing I’m working on is my ball handling.

How was the transition to Roselle and is life any different from Chicago? What’s something underrated The transition was a little rough about your game that you because I came from a program want to show this year? where it was just me so I had to My ability to dominate the game. learn how to play with other good players. Playing behind seniors What’s your favorite aspect Who inspires you the most to was rough even though I started, I of playing in the EYBL? be great? just had to learn how to play with The talent level, every game you’re My mom. Just seeing her work high energy at all times. playing against somebody good everyday trying to provide for me and it just makes you bring out and my brother. It makes me go What are you looking to your competitive nature all the harder so I can be able to take prove in the EYBL? time. care of her when I get older. That I am the most dominant player in the country! What does it mean to you What’s the strongest and to represent Chicago and weakest parts of your game

Q&A

NOAH FERNANDES

How did you improve your game from last summer to now? I’ve been in the gym a lot the past year just lifting and making my body stronger first, and I have improved my efficiency offensively and by working on my quickness and strength my defense has improved. How will your role expand this year? I think last year I played off the ball a little more obviously because Marcus was proven to be one of the best guards in the circuit, so this year I’m going to be stepping into that role and I’m very excited for it. How do you think playing last year will help you

EXPRESSIONS ELITE

coming in? I think it will help because I know what to expect at this level, I know what the games are like, and that will be good for me to help my teammates into adjusting to this new level of competitiveness. What players do you emulate and watch a lot of? I watch a lot of Kyrie Irving, just how he controls the game and his ball control is insane, but I’ve also been watching a little bit of Trae Young and how he carries that Oklahoma team. Any players you’re hoping to face this season? It will be fun to play against babc because of Brycen Goodine and Chris Herren because they are some of my better friends and it

will be cool to compete with them. What’s your biggest personal goal for basketball by the end of summer? My biggest personal goal is to make my name known around the country. But in order to do that I am going to have to play hard every game and win games with my team.

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Q&A

JON BOL AJAK TEAM FINAL

How was it coming in for Peach Jam last year and how will that experience help you coming into the season? It was an awesome feeling to be thrown in that fire last year. But now I know what it takes to win a game at Peach Jam. Coming in to this season I’m ready mentally. Who do you watch in college or NBA that influences you the most? I watch a lot of people but offensively I watch Dirk and in college defensively I like Mikal Bridges.

Q&A

What skills are you working on the most in your workouts recently? Shooting and ball handling as well as lifting. Who first influenced you to play ball? My older brother and Luol Deng. I idolized him as a kid because he came from the same country as me. What are your goals for the summer from a personal and recruitment standpoint? I have got a lot to prove, I just wanna put my name out there for people to know who I am and what

I can do. What are your expectations for the team this spring/ summer? Sky is the limit for this team, our goal is to not only getting into Peach Jam but also win the whole thing. What will your guys’ style be like? The way our team is form is opposite from the previous year, where we only had two stars that we depended on making plays, on this year’s team everyone can make a play we are very deep.

NOAH WILLIAMS

Nate Bucsko: What are the main skills you are working on with your game right now? Right now I’m just working on becoming a stronger player and being more vocal on both sides of the ball. As a leader I have to be the loudest on the defensive end. I’m always working on my ball handling and making shots consistently.

SEATTLE ROTARY

point to do over the last few years? Growing up my dad always told me I can impact the game in other ways besides scoring. I’ve played on teams where i wasn’t the top scorer, so I had to produce in other areas to help my team win games. From bringing high energy on defense, to crashing the glass, to having that extensive leadership. I love building Are you approaching year 2 in up my teammates and getting the EYBL differently than this everyone involved. That’s what time last year? makes the game fun. Being able to Yes this year I feel more prepared go out there and compete at a high and I know what to expect. I’m real level with your brothers. excited! I’ve been in the gym daily, putting in major work. Last year, When did you first realize you I was one of the younger guys on had a future in basketball? the top team, so I got to learn from I would say in like 7th grade when some of the older guys and also I talked to Coach (Lorenzo) Romar learn from my own mistakes. The for the first time and he told me biggest things I took away from last I could be good at this game if year on the circuit is to be patient, I keep grinding. But back then I play confident, and to have fun out was still going back and forth from there. basketball to football so I didn’t know what to do. You’re kind of a do-it-all type player. Did you always What kind of style will you have that ability to impact all guys be playing this year and aspects of the game or is that what will it take for you guys something you’ve made a to make it to Peach Jam?

We’re going to come out and compete each game. I take defense real seriously, so we will need to defend at a high level. Going against top players from across the country, defense is key to winning games. We got a group that likes to run the floor, so we will push the break a lot. Everyone should see a ton of dunks and highlights from us this year. What are you looking for in a program at the next level? I want to play somewhere I can have a strong impact and grow as a player on and off the court. A program that not only WANTS me but a program that NEEDS me. What are some of your other interests outside of hoops? I want to own my own business one day. Describe your game in a few sentences. Versatile guard, athletic guard, who can shoot the three. Hard working leader, who’s unselfish and does whatever it takes to win. 113


Q&A

KIRA LEWIS JR. GEORGIA STARS

How excited are you to run in the 17U EYBL? What have you heard about it? I’m very excited, in my opinion it’s the best circuit in the country. You play the best players in the country and every game is an important one to try and qualify for Peach Jam. It’s a different animal. What went into your decision to join the Georgia Stars? That decision came down to having a man like (Director) Norman Parker wanting me to run the show for his 17U team. Also, there’s just great players surrounding me. Do you feel like your game elevate when you run with elite teammates?

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Yes sir. When you play with guys (laughs) no I haven’t played Fortnite that have the same skillsets, it makes yet. I’m still a 2K guy. you a better player in return. Who’s your go-to team? What do you do best as a Cavaliers. basketball player right now? I think the best thing I do is use my What’s most important when speed to my advantage to get past you’re deciding a school? defenders to either score, or get it to Coach? Academics? Playing one of my teammates. time? All of those things are important, I Any goals for the upcoming want to go to a place that is family circuit? oriented. I want to try and show everybody that I consider myself as one of the Any idea what you want to top point guards in the country. I just study? want to lead my team. I’ve looked into engineering or athletic training be? Any big hobbies? Assuming Fortnite like every other player we’ve interviewed?

JAIME JAQUEZ THE TRUTH

How excited are you to run on the 17U circuit? I’m super excited to play on the 17U circuit, it’s something that I’ve always wanted to do.

What do you do best on the court right now? I would say the best thing I do on the court right now is score and rebound.

How important has The Truth been to your development as a player? Playing with The Truth has been a huge part of my development as a player. I’ve been with them since I was a freshman and they have taught me a lot about basketball. I wouldn’t be the player I am without them.

Do you model your game after anyone? I try to take a little bit of each player that I watch, and try to incorporate that into my game.

When did you first realize you wanted to do something more with basketball? Around my 8th grade year I started to think I could really go places with How did your junior campaign basketball. go at Camarillo? I fell short of my expectations. What’s most important when I expected to go deeper in the you’re picking a college? playoffs and make a big run. I’m looking for a college that’s the right fit for me.

You like to do anything off the court? Any hobbies? Things I like to do off the court would have to be play video games, watch movies and go out with friends. Let me guess, Fortnite? (laughs) Yep, that’s my game. I wasn’t big into video games until I played that game. Any idea what you want to study in college? I’m not sure yet, maybe business. Last question - you get to eat dinner with three people, dead or alive. Who you got? LeBron James, Michael Jackson and Albert Einstein

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CJ WALKER

E1T1 UNITED

How excited are you to run in the 17U EYBL? What have you heard about it coming in? I’m very excited to be back in the EYBL with my brothers of E1T1. Coach Reece and Coach Tony are great coaches who prepare their players each game to play hard, but most importantly, showcase their individual skill set. 17U is tough, grown-men type of play.

defense is also a plus.

You’re coming off backto-back state titles & most valuable player awards. How did that feel and how much fun did you have making that title run? It feels great to earn back-to-back MVPS, I give all the credit to my coaches and teammates. We formed a bond with each other over these last two years, so to cap off a second straight state title is icing on the cake.

Do you model your game off anyone? Yes, I love watching KD, Kevin Knox, Jayson Tatum, and my teammate Nassir.

If you could go anywhere in the world, where and why? Beijing, China. I hear it’s beautiful and the Chinese way of life is different.

Any idea what you want to study in college? I’m not sure yet, maybe business management.

What would be your go-to superpower? To grant people three wishes, I always like helping people.

My fifth grade year I started to fall in love with the game, but it’s really when I moved to Florida Do you feel like your game elevates when you play with in the sixth grade. I met coach Marcus who has his own AAU and against elite talent? Yes it does, because the cream of team, and he’s been by my side ever since. He’s my right hand the crop comes out in high level man, he and my dad handle all of games, and EYBL is always highmy training, AAU and recruiting, level. so they realized I can go far with basketball and I’ve just followed Favorite pair of kicks? their plan. I love playing in the Kobes

Any hobbies you like to keep up off the court? Basketball is all I know. But I used What do you feel like do you to skateboard a lot, doing a lot of best on the court right now? risky tricks. Attacking the basket, finishing at the rim and cleaning the glass When did you first realize by getting blocks and rebounds. that you’d be able to do I love getting the rebound and something major in your life starting the break. My help side with basketball?

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What’s going to make it a successful summer for you? My goal for high school was to win a state championship, and Peach Jam is the goal (in the EYBL). I’ also looking to attract blue blood schools and see all of my teammates get offers.

WENDELL MOORE

What’s it like to play for Chris Paul? What influence has he had on you? It has been a great experience. I’ve been there since 7th grade, and have nothing but love for the guys and it’s all love back. CP3 is a great NBA player. I’m trying to model Chris’s game and always coaching him up

TEAM CP3

Do you take pride in Favorite player to play representing North Carolina? against ? Of coursee. It’s the Hoopstate, and I Coby White (Team CP3) would be want to put on for his state my favorite. What’s most important when picking a college? Whatever is the best decision for me, a lot of factors go into that.

If you could play with any NBA player, from the past or present, who it be? Paul George & Lebron James, those are two of my idols.

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DAVID RODDY

Heading into your third year of the EYBL, how excited are you and how are you preparing? It’s great, I’m very excited. We have new faces everywhere, we have three main core guys coming back so that’s going to be a pretty big challenge. We’ll just have to lead with our experience. We’re preparing mentally, trying to get all of the new guys coming into the program up to speed with Coach Luv. The first practice was pretty shaky, but we just have to flood them with as much information as possible. As soon as we start, we only have four or five practices before the first session. And then eight games in four days. We’re probably going to be texting them

HOWARD PULLEY

the sets, saying you gotta study this before the next practice or you’re going to be behind. So just those things like that, getting all the information ready.

by example, and now I know how to lead because of them.

Talk about leading the big guys, and leading by example there… You mention you have a Just competing with them every core coming back. You’re day. I’ve played big since middle stepping into a leadership school, so I know all about the role, how excited are you for big man positions. We’re going that? to be moving around a lot this I’m very excited for that. This past season. We have to get them high school year with Breck was a into the mentaily of going 100% very tough year. I learned a lot as every time, or they’re going to get a leader and as a person. It grew schooled. It’s all the little things my character a lot. Tre (Jones), that are so key playing in this Jarvis (Omersa), Daniel (Oturu), league. Gabe (Kalscheur) taught me so much last year, I just sat back and watch how they ran practices, how they led the road trips. They led

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DAVID RODDY CONT. Do you feel like you’re ahead of the game having the ‘big man’ skills at a young age? Yeah definitely, at a young age, everyone wanted me to stay inside. Now that I’m older, I’m not 7-foot and things like that, so I’m a pretty good mismatch and I’ve learned to adapt. I learned the hard way by sitting. Watching everyone else play helped, watching Gary (Trent Jr) and his post moves, all of that helped. Last year you had some really good games to end the season. Are you looking to parlay those performances into this season? Definitely. Growing my confidence was the main thing, which is needed for anyone playing up in age. But now I’m playing guys my age so I know where I really fit in. I’m really excited, I’m hoping

this transition will be even better I’m keeping options open right for me. I just have to be consistent now, I have a little bit more time to throughout the whole EYBL season. gather everything and think about it. I’m going to be talking to my What’s the biggest difference family a lot over the summer and between HS and EYBL? going into the fall to choose which Definitely just the pace and the path I’m going to take. intensity. You have to go hard every single play. And you have What do you like to do off to stick to the plan, if we get out of the court? sync, everything shuts down, and Definitely hang out with friends. they go on a run. From school to track to basketball, I don’t have that much time to Do you pride yourself on the hang out with friends. sets you run with Pulley, and how well-coached you are? Curious, What do you do in Yeah definitely, we’re very track? fundamental in everything we do. I do the 100 meter, 200 meter, We practice twice a week which shot-put and discus. The 100 and is very rare for EYBL teams. We 200 are just for my conditioning, put the work in, we’re disciplined, really helps me on the basketball have strong fundamentals, it’s court. It helps me conditioning great. It’s a college offense. wise, it’s a great social sport. I love it. It’s definitely a very Speaking of college, you’re important part of my athletic a football player too, where career. does that stand for you?

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Q&A

DJ JEFFRIES

BLUFF CITY LEGENDS

How will your past EYBL experience carry over to this season and help you as a player and leader? I think I’ve learned a lot from last year it showed me that i got to play at a high level at all times and I’m working on being a better vocal leader. Do you feel like you have a target on your back as one of the top ranked players in the country? Absolutely it motivates me to go hard every single game and that’s what I’m gunna do.

younger guys How has your game improved playing for Team Penny and what are your thoughts on Penny taking the Memphis coaching job? I think I’m comfortable with the league now and I think I’m a better overall player now and I think it’s good for the community because he can get the local talent to stay home.

Talk about your decision to commit to Kentucky. What went into the decision, how was Coach Cal a factor in the whole process? How will your role be different this year for Bluff City I made the decision because I’ve always been a Coach Cal fan and how are you helping the growing up so when I got the offer young guys get ready for the it was a dream come true. Seeing circuit? him coming out and making me a I think I’m going to be more of a scorer this year and a leader to the priority made the decision easier.

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What are your goals for the summer and what will it take for you guys to win Peach Jam? Well my main goal is to win Peach Jam and to do that we just have to work hard and play with our hearts every game. What current pro players inspire you? Kevin Durant and LeBron. What’s something about your game that you feel is underrated? I’ll probably say my defense. Describe how you play the game in a few sentences. I think I play the game very versatile and can play anywhere on the court pretty much.

EJ LIDDELL

How’s it feel to be a state champion? It’s amazing. Everyone in the state of Illinois knows about us being the best team in the state. Southern Illinois teams don’t usually win so it’s amazing. Talk a little about the momentum you have heading into the EYBL, your second season. Are you preparing any differently? I’m going to come in with that chip on my shoulder and show everyone why I should be one of the top players in the country. I’m going to have a bigger role with the team this season, so I’m going to continue to work on all of my skills. A lot of people haven’t seen what I can fully do yet. I came in and played my

BRADLEY BEAL ELITE

role. Since it’s my second season, I know what to look forward to and the level of competition I have to play against. You guys are pre-ranked fairly high. Do you like that spotlight? I love having a target on our backs. We get to show people why we’re ranked so high. What do you feel like you do best on the court right now? I feel like I’m a great scorer from anywhere on the court. I improved my game, my ball handling and I can shoot off the dribble. How would you say the EYBL is different from HS ball? Just more talented players and not

that mean weaknesses on most teams. It’s more up and down, the tempo is fast. You enjoy playing with a shot clock? Yeah, we don’t have a shot clock in Illinois, I wish we did so teams wouldn’t just hold the ball. What needs to be there for you when picking a college? I have to have a good relationship with the coach and I need to fit into the system. What are you most looking forward to in college outside of hoops? I’m just looking forward to the college life, I want to have as much fun as possible while I’m there.

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ROMEO WEEMS MEANSTREETS

How excited are you to run in the 17U circuit? I’m really excited for the competitiveness and the exposure. I played last year in 16s so I know it’s gonna be fun and I know I have to work for everything. What went into your decision to join MeanStreets? I just think it’s going to be a better situation for me. What do you feel like you do best on the floor right now? I think I rebound well, defending and bring energy. Offensively I can score inside and shoot it a lot better now.

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What excites you most about your final year of grassroots basketball? The competition, and playing top kids around the country. I want to prove that I’m one of the top players in the country, and how much I improved since last year on both ends of the floor. What was the U16 USA basketball experience like? Yeah it was fun, something I had never done before. I learned a lot of new stuff.

I want to get better and have a coach that will push me and stay on me to get better. I want to learn new things to be better on and off the court, and I want a coach that will hopefully get me ready for the league. Did you play any other sports growing up? Yeah I played football, this year was my last year. It helped me with my toughness for sure.

If not the NBA, what’s your dream job? Maybe a own a business or What’s more important to you something. when deciding on a school?

AJ L AWSON

How do you feel about you junior season with GTA Prep? Do you feel it was successful? What did you improve on during the season? My season with GTA Prep was a successful season but I wanted to win Nationals at NPA, we came in second. Other than that, I had a good season and so did my team. During the season I improved my pick and roll game and I learned how to lead a team better by being more vocal and leading by example.

UPLAY CANADA

You’ve grown 5.5 inches in the last 2 years, how’s that changed your approach to the game? It changed the way I play, it made me realize I can shoot over guys now. I also got more athletic after growing, I could dunk over people. When I grew it made me change my shot a little but that was minor.

So why do you play basketball? Any specific reason that has always driven you? How do you feel about your Well my parents put me in play in basketball without basketball when I was about 5 years borders last month? old and I loved the game since I I feel my play at basketball without was a kid. Also, I play because I borders global was pretty good, want to make a living out of this overall I did pretty well. I just wished game and repay my parents for all the first day I played better, but as the hard work they’ve done for me the games went on I feel I showed throughout all these years of my life. what I could do and my potential. I shot the ball pretty well & I What are you most excited controlled the game well. I’m happy to prove to people, or to I got selected as an all star but I still yourself, this year in the EYBL? have more work to do! I’m most excited to show people I’m

a big time player that can control a team with my game and I can’t wait to play against the top guys so I can show my talent. When it’s all said and done - what will make your basketball career a success in your eyes? In my eyes, when it’s all said and done I want to have competed with the highest level players and to become an NBA all star by proving myself through all the hard work dedication Any favorite NBA players? Or any NBA players you compare yourself to? My favorite NBA player right now is Russell Westbrook because he is just a monster. People say I play like Penny Hardaway Any pre game rituals you do to get you ready for a game? I try to meditate before each game so I can visualize what I need to do. Also, I pray before each game.

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JOE GIRARD

What are you most looking forward to about the upcoming EYBL season? The goal is to make peach jam but I am looking forward to the grind leading up to it. Last year we made it to the Elite Eight at Peach Jam and the goal is to better this year. With returning multiple starters there are lots of expectations but I think we’re ready. Also am looking forward to the opportunity to play for The City Rocks again. Great coaches and a great program. What is it like to average 50 points a game? Do you feel pressure that you have to go out there and score that much each night? It was kind of crazy. I don’t even think about having to do it because we score around 8590 pts a game and the style of play we have fits perfectly for my game. Also, having to shoot a lot of 3’s which works perfect for me as well. The fact that we’re an offensive minded team helps a lot. How crazy has it been to see your recruitment blow up over the last few months? Super crazy as well. In just one week i got 6 high major offers due to the high school season i was having and the EYBL season I had last year. Once I was able to continue my success during the High School season this year it made them open their yes. I feel like I play well off the ball and on the ball and that attracts college coaches since I am able to play combo guard. It’s finally hitting me but I’ll never forget that one week. It is impressive and I definitely take pride in it.

CITY ROCKS

Is there anyone you try to emulate your game after? Well Jimmer Ferdette went to the same high school I do. He obviously blew up in college and then played in the NBA for 5+ seasons. I grew up watching him so I always wanted to be like him. And obviously Trae Young and Steph Curry have changed basketball by being able to make shots from 30-40 feet. Being somewhat undersized like them I have been able to pick up on the things those guys do to create space for myself. Also feel like a do a good job, like they do, being able to balance scoring with getting teammates involved.

become more of a complete player. Making the right decisions at the right time and not trying to make home run passes. It’s much harder to get away with stuff like that in the EYBL and at the next level. Then on the defensive end, making sure I don’t take any plays off. Every bucket in the EYBL matters. Ball handling is big for me as well. I just want to become the best player i can be.

Being one of the premier scorers on your team, how have you adjusted to the leadership role that comes along with being one of the go to guys? Ive always been a leader. Been a captain since freshman year, and captain on football team What are some benefits playing along side a guy like since sophomore year. I’m a QB as well so I have been forced Isaiah Stewart? Any chance to be a leader. People see my for a package deal at the stat line and think that’s all i next level for you two? care about but if you come to a Yeah thats my dude. We’ve game and watch me play you’ll become really close over the see I’m super vocal by talking to years especially since we starting playing together at the 15U level. teammates and making them be The first time we met was at a CP3 the best they can be. I am super competitive. Whether it’s sports, camp in 8th grade and the bond video games or even a math test, just continues to get closer and I always want to win and perform closer. He’s a beast inside. I like at my best. I’ve won state and to call him Patrick Ewing because section championships which have he plays like him. He has a high both helped me become a better motor, beast on the boards, and the way he plays makes it easy for leader. me because he’s drawing double teams. The likelihood of us going Any visits lined up this to same college is pretty high but we both have to do what’s best for spring? Not at the moment. Thinking about ourselves. taking my 5 official visits though. Playing football as well makes my What are a few things schedule super busy so it’s hard to you’re going to try and get better at this summer to take plan them out in advance. your game to the next level? All aspects of the game just to

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Q&A

ROMELLE MANSEL TEAM WHY NOT

How excited are you to run in the EYBL? What made you pick Team WhyNot for your final year of grassroots? I am very excited to play in the 17U EYBL this year for my final travel ball season, I just want to get better. The decision was hard whether to choose The Truth or Team WhyNot, but my mom and I have talks about it and we decided on where it would be best for me and go develop my game, and play some good basketball.

get guys good, open looks and try to open and set up my teammates. Anything you’re looking to improve on? My jumpshot! What’s most important to you when picking a school? Location, education, the coach and good basketball is really what I want in a school.

Excited to chop it up with Russ? Yes, whenever I get the chance to I definitely will.

Any hobbies off the court? I like playing video games, hanging out with family and friends, and sleeping.

What do you feel like you do best on the court right now? I feel like I am the bester talker we have on the floor. I just do my best to

What will ultimately make basketball a success for you? My end goal is to have good connections with the right people, so

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that I have something to fall back on after basketball is over, and still be able able to provide for my family and live my best life. I play right now to get a college scholarship so my mom doesn’t have to pay for my education anymore. I just want to give back to her, and my immediate family for all they have given to me. If you could go anywhere right now, where would you go? Dubai. That’s a dream of mine, hopefully take my fiance or wife. You get to go to dinner with three people, dead or alive. Who’s your pick? My great grandma who’s passed, LeBron and Shaq.

TANNER HOLDEN ALL OHIO RED

How excited are you to run in the 17U EYBL? What have you heard about it? I’m more than excited to player under the big lights on the biggest circuit in the country. This is the time that I get my exposure. Vetrans from the circuit all say don’t take a single play or game off, because that play/game that you take off could be the deciding factor for a coach to offer or just skip you and move onto the next guy. So bringing it every game in the EYBL is always a key that is told to me for the simple fact that in this circuit, we all have the same goal, and thats to sign a National Letter of Intent to play for a D1 college. So the big thing for me going into the EYBL is compete no matter who we go up against and just always go all out.

can play the 1-4, handle it, shoot it, drive it and most importantly get my teammates get shots by creating and dishing off.

Sell yourself as a player. What do you do best? I would sell myself as a very versatile player who can do everything. I

Any player you like to model your game after? I try to model my offensive game after James Harden, and then my

Anything you’re working on in particular? I’m working on being able to create shots for myself off the dribble, and working every day to make my shot consistent, to where it becomes second nature to me every time I play. What’s most important to you when picking a school? I’m looking for a school that is good in academics, and then athletically I need a school where I fit in. How the coaching staff runs everything (is important), then the success they bring in year in and year out.

overall game to Kobe Bryant. Just how he approaches every game with the killer mindset or “Mamba Mentality.” That’s the thing I love about him and that’s why he’s my favorite player. Besides a career in hoops, what’s your dream job? I would like to be a physical therapist, or a basketball coach at a high level. Any particular goals this season? My individual goals would be to pick up a lot of offers, but my team goal and ultimate goal would be to win Peach Jam at the end of the year. You get to eat dinner with three people, dead or alive. Who you got? Martin Luther King, Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan.

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I SAI A H S T E WA R T C I T Y RO C KS BY: N ATE BUCSKO

Basketball is such a fun and entertaining game to watch, that it can become easy to forget the physical contact and risk of injury players subject themselves to on every play. While comebacks happen, there is never a guarantee that a player will return to previous form after a serious injury.

F

or City Rocks (NY) star junior forward Isaiah Stewart, the comeback has been real. After a devastating leg injury, Stewart returned to average 11 points and 8 rebounds for a team that surprised many making a deep run into Peach Jam. Following his freshman season playing for Team USA, Stewart separated his hamstring from his leg completely. While he had surgery to repair it, the road back to the court was long and daunting

as soon as he could get after it in his rehab. “The process was lonely, but during that time I got really close with God and prayed every night,” said Stewart. “I still do and thank Him for giving me a chance to play the game I love with a passion again.” During this process, Stewart received a tremendous amount of support from a variety of places, including Team USA and his family

and teammates. Without them, questions like “Is it worth it?” would surely have crept up in his thoughts. “My close friends and family made sure I was maintaining focus, along with Team USA,” Stewart recalled. “And the City Rocks, who are my family, made sure I was progressing and staying positive. My teammates and coaches checked in on me every day of the week even though I wasn’t practicing.”

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The beauty of grassroots basketball and especially the EYBL is that teams are truly a family and the support from Stewart’s City Rocks brothers is a testament to that. However, a former EYBL star who suffered through not just one but two gruesome leg injuries of his own reaching out to the bruising forward takes the tight-knit culture of the circuit to a special level. “Harry Giles reached out to me and sent me a message to attack rehab like my life depended on it and that’s exactly what I did,” beamed Stewart recounting the conversation he had with the former Team CP3 superstar. “Seeing him make it to where he is now right there just pushed me to make a strong comeback.” As he worked his way through even being able to walk again, Stewart’s anticipation to return to the court swelled. This long wait only made the achievement that much sweeter, and in Stewart’s eyes it couldn’t come a moment sooner. “It was at practice when I could finally start running and jumping and my teammates cheered me on; it was nothing but smiles that day,” Stewart said with a smile of his own. “My first game back getting to play with my brothers again was amazing and we came back from 23 points down and won in OT.” Following a successful end of his season at McQuaid, Stewart returned as a force and leader in the frontcourt for a City Rocks squad that was already loaded with talented scorers on the perimeter.

They would finish 10-6 and advance into bracket play before ultimately falling short of a title. Stewart parlayed his EYBL success into a terrific junior season, transferring to La Lumiere to help the defending national champions return to GEICO Nationals. This season, Stewart plans on picking up right where they left off. “There’s never going to be easy games so you have to bring it every game,” said Stewart. “As one of the vets who has been here before I know I’ll be looked to as a leader and someone who can lead us win it all.

“THE PROCESS WAS LONELY, BUT DURING THAT TIME I GOT REALLY CLOSE WITH GOD AND PRAYED EVERY NIGHT. I STILL DO AND THANK HIM FOR GIVING ME A CHANCE TO PLAY THE GAME I LOVE WITH A PASSION AGAIN.” “Last season we were the underdog but we are getting starters back and I’m looking to have another strong season and end it with a Peach Jam championship.”

Key to that jump into the EYBL elite as legitimate title contenders will be Stewart’s own development from double-double machine to a force facing up to the basket. This is the part of his game he has been working at the hardest and one that he knows will make him an even more sought after prospect at the next level. “I want people to know this spring that I can face up and shoot the ball; I know my bread and butter is down low but I’ve been putting up a lot of shots so I’m looking forward to that.” There is no doubt Stewart will be a major x-factor for City Rocks in a deep field on the road to Peach Jam. His story and comeback last season alone serves as inspiration for any youth athlete who has suffered a serious setback, and the chip on his shoulder only grows larger with every game he plays knowing how close he came to having the game taken away completely. What has never changed is how Stewart plays the game, and EYBL fans will get more of the same in 2018. “I’m a hard worker, and I play the game hard until the clock runs out. I love to get out and run, and I don’t waste any opportunities I get.” The City Rocks are happier than anyone that Stewart has another opportunity to prove his love for the beautiful game.

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Q&A

POSH ALEXANDER NEW YORK LIGHTNING

This is your 2nd year doing 17u on the Nike EYBL. What’s that experience like getting the opportunity to once again play on that big stage? The second time playing in it feels great. Last year was a great experience. It showed me how to be more of a leader and having Anthony Nelson in front of me. He showed me how to play the point guard role, to be more vocal and run the show. Now it’s my time and I’m trying to lead my team in any way I can.

up the pace and getting my team involved more off the ball. You have had a couple of practices with the Lightning. What are some of the things you have seen from your team and what do you like about them this year? I like that my team plays hard on defense. We have kids that are athletic and can do it all. I feel like this is going to be a great season for us this year. I feel like we are going to achieve our goal.

what we can do. Everyone we play against we have to play our hardest. How will you use your experience from last year playing in the EYBL to this season? I learned that every game you can’t just attack the paint. You have to slow up the game, take jump shots, move up the ball, create open shots and play smarter with the clock.

What will coaches Dana Dingle and Shandue McNeill With many people sleeping on expect from you this season? What would you say are the biggest things in the difference you guys again this year, does They basically tell me that this is my team. They want me to lead in your game this year versus that add any motivation to your play this season? everyone and show them what they last year? That does add a lot of motivation. If have to do because I already had I was just going into the paint. This they want to sleep on us, we have the experience last year. I have to year I kind of changed my game play tough and do what I do. by slowing down the game, picking to come out and show the country

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SHARIFE COOPER

You now will be moving on from 16u to 17u. What are the adjustments your team needs to make to prepare for this change? There will definitely be a physicality change and a change where we will have to make smart and winning plays if we want to do damage in this tough league, but it’s something I believe we are ready for. What do you see as your role on this team? My role is to facilitate and get everyone involved. Also to keep everyone happy and dominate and score at the same time. What are your best qualities on the court? My best qualities are being able to shoot, drive and keeping everyone

AOT RUNNING REBELS

involved in what’s going. I also make the winning play over a flashy play and am an overall winner. What would you say makes the EYBL circuit standout and produce such great talent? The EYBL will always stand out by just the past years it’s had being that there’s so many great players in college and in the league that came from the EYBL. It just brings us joy and excitement for the new comers trying to follow that path. Your team AOT has a lot of talent and have been playing together for a long time. How does your chemistry help your play on the floor? That’s one of our best qualities as a team. Even though everyone can probably lead a team in scoring

we all are unselfish and know how to play off of each other. We’ve played so long together it’s just second nature. For those that don’t know the AOT program. How would you describe it? AOT is a family based program. We are all like brothers, even our parents are like family so that plays a big part on how we play and how we look out for each other. Why are you guys serious contenders to win it all this year? We are a contender because we got competitors over here. Everybody will do whatever it takes to win and being that we have chemistry only makes our chances stronger.

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KOFI COCKBURN RENAISSANCE

What excites you most about this EYBL season? Our players, we have a very talented team and everyone can produce. We just need to lock down on defense and we’re going to be a great team. What do you pride yourself most on when on the court? I take pride in my strength and athleticism. I also like being dominant whenever I’m out there. What would you said makes this team as special as it is? The pieces we have. We have players with athleticism, we have

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shooters and big guards who can all play. That makes this team special.

fun.

The EYBL isn’t for everyone. What are you guys doing What will Coach Andy to prepare for the top notch Borman expect from you this competition you are going to season? face? He wants me to run the floor, We are just working out hard rebound and what I normally do. by getting in the gym. We are If I do that everything else is going getting to know each other well by to fall into place for me. playing with one another more. The Peach Jam is everyone’s goal. What do you need to do to win it all? We need to be locked in whenever we are on the court. We need to play hard, share the ball and have

TAVON JONES

You played last year on the 17U level with the NJ Playaz. How will that help you this year? I think it’s going to help me a lot. Last year was a great experience, but I unfortunately only got to play one session since I injured my knee. I think this is a redemption year to get back to play AAU and perform on a high level.

PLAYAZ CLUB

the coaches said that your responsibility would be this season? They expect me to do the same job I did with my high school team at Linden this year. I have to make sure these guys are on track to do what they have to do and just be a positive role model to these young guys.

What have you seen from From your experience, what this year’s team so far? have you seen that it takes I think the thing we are going to to be successful on 17u EYBL? focus on is playing together. We It takes hard work and great are all talented, we all can score, talent. When you’re playing 16u but I think the big part is playing and 15u there are games that you together. We need to make sure can breeze through and get by. we do the little things and we On 17u every game is hard and should be fine from there. at the end of the day you have to qualify for Peach Jam so that’s the What has Program Director goal. Jimmy Salmon and 17u Head Coach Vince Johnson told As a veteran what have, you guys to focus on this

season? I think the most important part is defense in AAU. A lot of kids think they are too good to play defense and only play offense. When you are contending for a Peach Jam title, you have to play defense. This is something that our coaches have stressed to us. What are you looking to get out of this AAU season? My personal goals are one, to redeem myself because I’m not content on how last season ended and I’m very blessed to have another opportunity. My second is to perform at the best of my abilities. I want people to recognize not only who I am, but who the Playaz organization is as a whole. My third and final goal is to simply win Peach Jam.

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Q&A

FRANCIS OKORO BRADLEY BEAL ELITE

How will your experience last year help you coming into this season? It will help a lot, knowing everybody will be as athletic and skilled. It’s more will and mindset. Also keeping the lead when we are up, and try to play more as a team because it hurts when you don’t win games.

What’s the best part of the EYBL? Making it to Peach Jam & playing for the title against the best.

What will your role on the team be and how will you guys play this year? We should be really good this year! My role is to be a leader, bringing the team together and What skills have you letting them know is not just getting added since last season or to Peach Jam it’s more about strengthened? winning it. I will try to make sure Ball handling, and my shot we are on the same page, and looks really good now that I have have the same goals. I’m excited more confidence shooting the ball. to play with them and it’s my job Also my passing improved a lot I to lead the team by sacrificing my averaged about 5 assists. Finally, own selfish goal for the goals of my post game is more consistent. the team.

Q&A

Which NBA or college players do you study the most? LeBron and Giannis. What’s something you want coaches to take away from how you play the game? Every college coach that I have talked to has their own style and different plans for me so just my whole skillset. If you could have dinner with three people living or deceased, who would they be? Kareem Abdul-Jabbarl, Kobe and J Cole.

MARCUS TSOHONIS

How is the recovery from your hand injury going? Well it’s my finger so my recovery will be better than a full hand injury. I had surgery about two weeks ago and right now it’s a half cast and I get this off this Thursday and after that it’s just about hand therapy.

SEATTLE ROTARY

of your game you hope to prove people wrong with this season? One aspect I will say is improving is my off-the-dribble three point Who is your favorite athlete? shots and just improving from I would have to say Floyd the behind the arc. This spring/ Mayweather because he works summer people will see my jumper hard and shows up in big moments falling. and doesn’t fear one soul. How will that impact your What does a successful What will your role be on the summer look like for you training for the circuit and team this spring and summer from a personal and team will you be ready come the and how will it be different first session? standpoint? from last seasons role? Personally with my mindset I will A successful summer will be me be just fine and be back to normal; This year I feel I will take the role be collecting ton of offers and of being a point guard and I can it might be tough but I will be from just a personal standpoint in good for these sessions coming up. also play the two but more for my head I feel that I’ve improved colleges a bigger point guard is from last year to this year. And of what people have been telling How will your experience course for a team standpoint we me is good. More of last year I last year help you coming need to reach the Peach Jam for played a lot of the two but that’s into this spring? the first time ever. cause we had a smaller guard. I found out quickly that every game matters and those close games where you could have won, What’s an underrated aspect you can’t get them back. I’m really looking forward to reach Peach Jam and have a great spring/ summer.

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Q&A

JALEN HILL

LAS VEGAS PROSPECTS

How excited are you to run in the EYBL? I’m very excited, the EYBL will be great. I feel like we’ll be a real good team this year. How long have you been running with the Prospects? I’ve been running with the prospects since my freshman year, on their 15 and under team. Does it excite you representing Las Vegas on the national level? Yeah, it’s great. The Prospects are the team to beat out here. So I feel like we gotta go out there and represent on the national stage. How did your junior season

Q&A

go at Clark? Junior year went good, we lost in regionals but I think we can get them (Bishop Gorman) next year. What did you feel like you improved on? I feel like I really improved on my jumpshot in general, my pullup jumper, and my ball handling throughout this season. What are you looking to improve on most this EYBL season? I think playing against the best players in the nation will improve my overall game, top to bottom. EYBL has the best players, and this will be a great season for everyone to get a chance to

compete against the best. What are you looking for in a college? What’s most important? Playing time and a good education. I want to go somewhere where I can play right away, and also somewhere that I will improve off the court. What NBA player would you compare yourself to, and who’s your favorite player? Honestly I feel like I just have to be myself. I do watch Lebron though and want to be like him. I want to be a do-it-all playmaker for my team.

MARVIN PRICE

What went into your decision to join the EYBL and what are you most looking forward to? Main thing that went into my decision is to get the best exposure and just play against the best people. Also I never played EYBL so I want to experience it. I am mostly looking forward to the atmosphere of the games and the sites they are located. What do you bring to the table nobody else in the country does? I feel like I do everything well, I get the job done in a different way, not fancy but fun to watch at the same time. Also I want to win so I’m willing to do anything when it comes to that. Would you rather get the game winning bucket, pass or steal?

TEAM MELO

I’d say game winning steal, cause every night buckets might not fall. So locking in on defense is important and will show I’m capable of making big plays not just offensively. What current team in the NBA represents your game and why? I say the Rockets because they just get up and down and play. What went into your decision to transfer from Huntington and did it affect your choice of team for grassroots? Well mostly to be closer to family during bad moments, and no it didn’t I planned on playing Nike either way. How does being a lefty help your game in your opinion and are you left handed in

other sports/life? Or just ball? I feel as though being left handed just makes it harder to guard me. I feel like even if they play me right it’s hard to see which way I’m going to go. And I’m left handed in everything. How do you feel you stack up against other players in your class and do you feel you’re underrated? Yes I feel very underrated, because I always compete with the best, and even outplay them. I feel as though because my game isn’t the flashiest looking I don’t get much love. What kind of player do you want the country to know you are by the end of the summer? As an assassin that just goes hard, makes his teammates better, and somebody who people are intimidated by.

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Q&A

KEION BROOKS JR.

You averaged 18.2 ppg and 6.8 RPG- you’ve had the success, and you’ve got the experience, how are you approaching this year differently? I want to go in and have a leadership role. Last year, we didn’t make the Peach jam, this year I want to lead my teammates, because last year we weren’t able to. How excited are you to play with new teammates?

SPIECE INDY HEAT

I’m very excited - a lot of my teammates haven’t played on the 17U EYBL. I’m intrigued to see how they handle it. I believe they will handle it very well and that we will have a good season.

on the EYBL at all and help them when they have their struggles.

Does that stress you out at all/put pressure on you knowing that they haven’t played in this league? Your new squad made 16U No, I have faith in them. After Peach Jam and advanced we get out there and get to the semis- what do you playing, they’ll adjust and be think you can bring to that ready to play. I don’t feel the game? pressure to be a leader, that’s Leadership skills - being the naturally in me. only one that’s played on the 17U- the others haven’t played

128


Do you have any goals for the season? Win the Peach Jam. We have the team to do it. We have the coaching staff to do it. If we do what we are asked of by the coaches, we can go out and win the whole thing. What do you like to do off the court? Hang out with my family, watch movies. I just watched Black Panther- different than most superhero movies and it actually had a good plot with it.

Are you one of those people always thinking of the next best invention or a business idea? Yeah, I’m always trying to think three steps ahead. Congratulations, you were awarded the Tiffany Gooden award last night (Top basketball player). Very excited to win that, being the second generation player to win it- my dad won it in ‘95. So, it was cool to make history.

me. I acknowledged those that came to support me. Prom’s coming up… are you going? I won’t be in town. I’m pretty disappointed.. My girlfriend really wanted to go, but duty calls.

Favorite basketball movie? Air-bud, Love and Basketball, Like Mike, Space Jam, Hoosiers, Coach Carter, Semi Pro. Semi Pro is hilarious, anybody that knows me, knows I love He Got Game. I like Did you have to make an What are you considering acceptance speech? What Denzel Washington, one of my favorite actors, and to have when it comes to schools?/ did it sound like? Ray Allen in it and actually What excites you the I had points I wanted to touch playing a highschool player. It most? on, but once I got up there, I mirrors what our high school, Besides basketball, I’m looking just winged it. My principal, for a school with a good two of my teammates who were high profile athletes are going through right now to pressure business program. I will be a also there being recognized, you and pick a college right business major and do some mom, dad and youngest now. entrepreneurship type things. brother were there supporting

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Q&A

HUNTER DICKINSON TEAM TAKEOVER

How does your experience in the EYBL help you with your prep for this season and leading the young guys? Last year’s experience was very helpful in that I saw what the grind is like (going through practices, games, travel, etc.) and now I’m almost used to it. Instead of having to experience all this for the first time like some of my other teammates I’ve already gotten my feet wet to it. Having the experience also helps me lead the less experienced players because they don’t know what 17u EYBL is like and I’m trying help they understand how difficult this league really is. What are the biggest things you hope to prove on the court this summer? That I am the best big man in the country. Also a Big man that

Q&A

can play a vital role in a team’s Recruitment has been very good success. Finally, to redeem our loss so far. It is starting to really ramp in the championship from last year. up. I want a college that has a coach I have a good relationship What will your guys style of with and that i can trust. I also play be like and what will it want a school that has been take for you guys to win it known for producing NBA bigs. all? Coach Keith always likes to run a If there’s one thing about high uptempo offense and I think the way you play you want the key to winning It all is up to people to know, what would whether or not we want to buy it be? into what the coaches are telling My IQ I really pride myself on my us to do. basketball smartness. Any teams or matchups you’re most looking forward to? Team Penny, us two are probably considered the top 2 teams so it would be a fun one. How’s recruitment going? What are you looking for in a program at the next level?

Have you thought about a possible career after hoops? I’m really interested in Video Broadcast Journalism. What will ultimately make basketball a success for you when it’s all said and done? My will to continue to get better at everything.

TRAYCE JACKSON-DAVIS

What are you most looking forward to about playing in the EYBL? I think it’s going to be a great experience playing against the best competition on the best circuit. How will the depth and competition level of the circuit help take your game to new heights? It’s going to really elevate my game playing against high level talent. What NBA or college players do you watch the most of

SPIECE INDY HEAT

and study? Anthony Davis, just from a standpoint in his development.

jumper is a part of your arsenal? I’ve been in the gym everyday, but now it’s time to start taking in Development with defense game shots especially over this first then his offensive game? aau season to build my confidence Well he started as a guard for when school ball starts back then grew into a post and then up, but everything I’m doing will developed those guard skills be in the offense because at the again. I’m trying to develop my end of the day I want to win. outside game from the inside out, kind of like he did. What are your biggest strengths out there especially What have you been doing in the paint? in workouts and game I’m really good at finishing and situations to work toward using the glass, and I’m a really that? Anything different in good passer out of the paint. your approach to show your

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D1 CIRCUIT GIVEAWAY

JORDAN HYDRO 6’S ENTER TO WIN HERE D 1 C I RC U I T. CO M

WINNER WILL BE SELECTED AT RANDOM ON WEDNESDAY APRIL 18TH AT 1PM EST

131


Q&A

ISSAC OKORO

AOT RUNNING REBELS

The Running Rebels are making the EYBL debut this season, what are your thoughts on that? I feel like we have a really good chance of showing people that we are coming back for the EYBL championships this year instead of losing in the championship like last year.

that chemistry for a long time, we know who to hit and how to play with each other.

Why do you feel like this group has a good chance to head back to the Championship? Offseason we are all on the same high school team and we have

How would you describe the chemistry on the Running Rebels team? Chemistry is great. We know how people react to stuff. Everybody knows stuff about each other.

How excited are you to take AOT to the highest level of grassroots basketball? It’s great. Just knowing that every day I go workout with my family. It’s great to work out with them.

There’s no drop off when someone from the bench comes up. We’ve been playing with each other since we were about 5 or 6 years old. What kind of goals do you have for this season? I want to be one of the top players in my class. Also just working on my skillset and getting better as a player. What area of your game do you hope to improve this season? I want to improve on my shooting and sharpen my ball handling.

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What area of your game do you feel really confident about? I feel really about confident about taking the ball to the rim. When I take the ball to the rim, it attracts more to the defender and it’s easier to find my teammates and score the ball.

Sounds like you’re in the gym a lot, how many hours? 3 hours a day during the school year, but during the summer but we go throughout the day.

What’s most important to you when deciding on a school? Team chemistry and just the coach What do you think really that really wants me to be at the differentiates you as a college. Not just because of who player? I am, but really gets to know me, I feel like I’m an all-around player. and the fan base. I want the fans I think I can always guard the best to want me to come to the school player. Whatever my team needs too. me to do, I can do that so we can win the game. Are there any specific programs you would want Talk about your leadership a school to have? (school on the team. interests?) I try to keep everyone focused. I I want a good academic school try to get them in the gym every also, a good church around there day to get them to work on what that I can go to. they need to work on. It can be hard, because we can work out Family life? Any basketball? 2-3 times a day and they might What’s mom/dads thoughts want to rest, but I’ll convince them on basketball to come get a few shots in or do My parents aren’t really the something. basketball type, but they keep involved. I have 2 sisters and 1

brother. My brother wants to be a doctor and my sister wants to be real estate and my other sister is still deciding. I’m the youngest. If your parents aren’t basketball people, how did you get started? My parents just put me in any sport as a young kid. I played soccer first and then football, they put me in basketball. I was always the tallest on the team, so I wasn’t good, but they used me for rebounds and blocking shots. I really was bad back then. I couldn’t even dribble the ball. If I caught the ball I would double dribble and travel with it. What are you doing outside of basketball? Hang out with teammates or play Fortnite. It’s challenging, but I’m a decent player. Every game, I want to get 3 or 4 kills.

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EYBL SESSION 1

EYBL SESSION 1 – APRIL 20-22, 2018

ALL GAMES AT DRIVE NATION (2550 Rental Car Dr., Irving, TX 75261)

Home teams are listed first and wear light colors DIVISION A

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.

Bluff City Legends (TN) Brad Beal Elite (MO) MoKan Elite (KS) Albany City Rocks (NY) UPlay Canada (ON) CIA Bounce (ON) Mississippi Express (MS) Woodz Elite (AR) Seattle Rotary (WA) Rose City Rebels (OR)

DIVISION B

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.

DIVISION C

Team Takeover (DC) PSA Cardinals (NY) NY Renaissance (NY) Team Final (PA) Expressions Elite (MA) BABC (MA) NY Lightning (NY) NJ Playaz (NJ) Team Melo (MD) Las Vegas Prospects (NV)

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.

FRIDAY – APRIL 20, 2018

Time 6:30 PM 8:00 PM 9:30 PM

Court 1 Bluff City v NY Lightning City Rocks v Team Takeover CP3 v AOT

Court 2 Brad Beal v PSA Cards UPlay v BABC Rose City v LV Prospects

Time 8:00 AM 9:30 AM 11:00 AM 12:30 PM 2:00 PM 3:30 PM 5:00 PM 6:30 PM 8:00 PM

Court 1 Pro Skills v Drive Nation Expressions v City Rocks The Truth v Hou Hoops The Family v Team United -UPlay v Team Takeover City Rocks v BABC Hou Hoops v Pro Skills Mac Irvin v E1T1

Court 2 PSA Cards v Bluff City NY Rens v CIA Bounce Team Florida v CP3 Nike Phamily v Mac Irvin -Brad Beal v Team Melo MS Express v Expressions Drive Nation v The Truth AOT v The Family

Time 8:00 AM 9:30 AM 11:00 AM 12:30 PM 2:00 PM

Court 1 Bluff City v Team Takeover The Family v Team WhyNot BABC v Seattle Rotary GA Stars v Pro Skills NY Rens v City Rocks

Court 2 The Truth v Pro Skills Expressions v Rose City PSA Cards v MS Express Indy Heat v Team United Mac Irvin v Drive Nation

DIVISION D

CP3 (NC) Indy Heat (IN) GA Stars (GA) Each 1 Teach 1 (FL) The Family (MI) Team United (NC) All Ohio Red (OH) Howard Pulley (MN) MeanStreets (IL) Mac Irvin Fire (IL)

Court 3 MS Express v NY Rens Seattle Rotary v Team Melo H Pulley v Boo Wms

SATURDAY – APRIL 21, 2018 Court 3 Team Final v Brad Beal NJ Playaz v UPlay Soldiers v All Ohio LV Prospects v Seattle Rotary -Bluff City v Team Final CP3 v MeanStreets Rose City v NY Rens H Pulley v Nike Phamily

SUNDAY – APRIL 22, 2018

Court 3 Drive Nation v Hou Hoops AOT v All Ohio NJ Playaz v Brad Beal LV Prospects v Woodz Elite All Ohio v Team WhyNot

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.

Athletes Of Tomorrow (GA) Boo Williams (VA) Nike Team Florida (FL) The Truth (CA) Oakland Soldiers (CA) Drive Nation (TX) Houston Hoops (TX) Pro Skills (TX) Team WhyNot (CA) Nike Phamily (CA)

Court 4 Woodz Elite v Team Final CIA Bounce v Expressions The Family v Team Florida

Court 5 MoKan v NJ Playaz Indy Heat v Nike Phamily Team United v Soldiers

Court 4 Team Melo v Woodz Elite BABC v MS Express Boo Wms v E1T1 NY Lightning v Rose City -Woodz Elite v NJ Playaz Team WhyNot v Soldiers Seattle Rotary v NY Lightning Team Florida v Indy Heat

Court 5 Team Takeover v MoKan GA Stars v AOT MeanStreets v Team WhyNot Indy Heat v H Pulley -MoKan v PSA Cards All Ohio v GA Stars CIA Bounce v LV Prospects Team United v Boo Wms

Court 4 Team Final v MoKan E1T1 v Nike Phamily Team Melo v UPlay Soldiers v CP3 Hou Hoops v MeanStreets

Court 5 MeanStreets v GA Stars Boo Wms v Mac Irvin NY Lightning v CIA Bounce H Pulley v Team Florida E1T1 v The Truth

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EYBL SESSION 2

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EYBL SESSION 3

136


EYBL SESSION 4

137


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D1CIRCUIT.COM

GIRLS EYBL S

T A N D I N G S

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142


NIKE EYBL IN THE NCAA TOURNAMENT COLLEGE

NAME

POS CLASS 

EYBL TEAM

Alabama

Herbert Jones

G

FR

Alabama Challenge (AL)

Alabama

Dazon Ingram

G

SO

Alabama Challenge (AL)

Alabama

Daniel Giddens

F

SO

E1T1 United (FL)

Alabama

Galin Smith

F

FR

Team Penny (TN)

Alabama

Collin Sexton

G

FR

Southern Stampede (GA)

Alabama

John Petty

G

FR

Team Penny (TN)

Alabama

Braxton Key

F

SO

Team Penny (TN)

Alabama

Avery Johnson Jr.

G

JR

Texas Titans (TX)

Alabama

Donta Hall

F

JR

Alabama Challenge (AL)

Arizona

Dylan Smith

G

SO

Alabama Challenge (AL)

Arizona

Allonzo Trier

G

JR

Athlete's First (OK)

Arizona

Deandre Ayton

F

FR

California Supreme (CA)

Arizona

Alex Barcello

G

FR

Oakland Soldiers (CA)

Arizona

Brandon Randolph

G

FR

PSA Cardinals (NY)

Arizona

Parker Jackson-Cartwright

G

SR

California Supreme (CA)

Arizona State

Zylan Cheatham

F

SO

California Supreme (CA)

Arizona State

Kimani Lawrence

F

FR

Expressions Elite (MA)

Arizona State

Remy Martin

G

FR

Oakland Soldiers (CA)

Arizona State

Mickey Mitchell

F

SO

Texas Titans (TX)

Arkansas

Daniel Gafford

F

FR

Arkansas Wings (AR)

Arkansas

Khalil Garland

G

FR

Team Penny (TN)

Arkansas

Anton Beard

G

SR

Team Penny (TN)

Auburn

Austin Wiley

C

SO

Alabama Challenge (AL)

Auburn

Jared Harper

G

SO

Georgia Stars (GA)

Auburn

Chuma Okeke

F

FR

Georgia Stars (GA)

Auburn

Davion Mitchell

G

FR

Georgia Stars (GA)

Bucknell

Paul Newman

C

FR

Team Final (PA)

Bucknell

Nana Foulland

C

SR

Team Final (PA)

Bucknell

Jordan Sechan

G

FR

NY Lightning (NY)

Buffalo

Davonta Jordan

G

SO

E1T1 United (FL)

Buffalo

Brock Bertram

C

FR

Howard Pulley (MN)

Buffalo

Jayvon Graves

G

FR

King James (OH)

Buffalo

Wes Clark

G

SR

The Family Detroit (MI)

Butler

Christian David

G

FR

CIA Bounce (CAN)

Butler

Henry Baddley

G

SO

King James (OH)

Butler

Joey Brunk

F

SO

King James (OH)

Butler

Nate Fowler

C

JR

King James (OH)

Butler

Tyler Wideman

F

SR

MeanStreets (IL)

Butler

Aaron Thompson

G

FR

Team Takeover (DC)

Charleston

Evan Bailey

F

SR

All Ohio Red (OH)

Charleston

Zep Jasper

G

FR

Southern Stampede (GA)

143


NIKE EYBL IN THE NCAA TOURNAMENT COLLEGE

NAME

POS CLASS 

EYBL TEAM

Cincinnati

Cane Broome

G

JR

Expressions Elite (MA)

Cincinnati

Kyle Washington

F

SR

Howard Pulley (MN)

Cincinnati

Jarron Cumberland

G

SO

King James (OH)

Cincinnati

Gary Clark

F

SR

Team CP3 (NC)

Cincinnati

Justin Jenifer

G

JR

Team Takeover (DC)

Clemson

Elijah Thomas

F

JR

Nike Team Texas (TX)

Clemson

Shelton Mitchell

G

JR

Team CP3 (NC)

Creighton

Jordan Scurry

G

SO

Expressions Elite (MA)

Creighton

Manny Suarez

C

SR

City Rocks (NY)

Duke

Grayson Allen

G

SR

E1T1 United (FL)

Duke

Gary Trent Jr.

G

FR

Howard Pulley (MN)

Duke

Marvin Bagley III

F

FR

Nike Phamily (AZ)

Duke

Marques Bolden

C

SO

Pro Skills (TX)

Duke

Wendell Carter Jr

F

FR

Team CP3 (NC)

Duke

Jordan Goldwire

G

FR

Team United (NC)

Duke

Alex O'Connell

G

FR

Team United (NC)

Duke

Trevon Duval

G

FR

Playaz Club (NJ)

Florida

Deaundrae Ballard

G

FR

Georgia Stars (GA)

Florida

Kevarrius Hayes

F

JR

Nike Team Florida (FL)

Florida

Keith Stone

F

SO

Nike Team Florida (FL)

Florida

Isaiah Stokes

F

FR

Team Penny (TN)

Florida

KeVaughn Allen

G

JR

Team Penny (TN)

Florida

Jalen Hudson

G

JR

The Family Detroit (MI)

Florida State

Terance Mann

G

JR

BABC (MA)

Florida State

Trent Forrest

G

SO

Georgia Stars (GA)

Florida State

Ike Obiagu

C

FR

Georgia Stars (GA)

Florida State

CJ Walker

G

SO

Spiece Indy Heat (IN)

Florida State

Phil Cofer

F

SR

Georgia Stars (GA)

Georgia State

Devin Mitchell

G

JR

Georgia Stars (GA)

Georgia State

Denis Alibegovic

G

FR

Mac Irvin Fire (IL)

Gonzaga

Zach Norvell Jr.

G

FR

Mac Irvin Fire (IL)

Gonzaga

Johnathan Williams

F

SR

Team Penny (TN)

Gonzaga

Silas Melson

G

SR

ICP Elite (OR)

Houston

Cedrick Alley Jr.

F

FR

Houston Hoops (TX)

Houston

Mike Adewunmi

G

FR

Nike Team Texas (TX)

Iona

E.J. Crawford

F

SO

Expressions Elite (MA)

Iona

Roland Griffin

F

JR

Playground Elite (WI)

Iona

Zach Lewis

G

SRbuc

NY Lightning (NY)

Kansas

Silvio De Sousa

F

FR

E1T1 United (FL)

Kansas

Udoka Azubuike

C

SO

Georgia Stars (GA)

Kansas

Malik Newman

G

SO

Jackson Tigers (MS)

144


NIKE EYBL IN THE NCAA TOURNAMENT COLLEGE

NAME

POS CLASS 

EYBL TEAM

Kansas

Charlie Moore

G

SO

Mac Irvin Fire (IL)

Kansas

Sam Cunliffe

G

SO

Northwest Xpress (WA)

Kansas

Dedric Lawson

F

JR

Team Penny (TN)

Kansas

K.J. Lawson

G

SO

Team Penny (TN)

Kansas State

Xavier Sneed

F

SO

St. Louis Eagles (MO)

Kansas State

Barry Brown

G

JR

E1T1 United (FL)

Kansas State

Patrick Muldoon

F

JR

MOKAN Elite (KS)

Kentucky

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander

G

FR

Arkansas Wings (AR)

Kentucky

Kevin Knox

F

FR

E1T1 United (FL)

Kentucky

Nick Richards

F

FR

Expressions Elite (MA)

Kentucky

Jarred Vanderbilt

F

FR

Houston Hoops (TX)

Kentucky

Hamidou Diallo

G

FR

Renaissance (NY)

Kentucky

PJ Washington

F

FR

Team Penny (TN)

Kentucky

Brad Calipari

G

SO

The Travelers (KY)

Kentucky

Quade Green

G

FR

PSA Cardinals (NY)

Lipscomb

Matt Rose

F

JR

The Travelers (KY)

Lipscomb

Andrew Fleming

G

SO

The Travelers (KY)

Lipscomb

Rob Marberry

F

JR

The Travelers (KY)

LIU-Brooklyn

Shyheim Hicks

G

FR

Expressions Elite (MA)

LIU-Brooklyn

Jashaun Agosto

G

SO

Seattle Rotary WA)

LIU-Brooklyn

Jamal Robinson

F

SR

Team Takeover (DC)

Loyola Chicago

Christian Negron

F

FR

Mac Irvin Fire (IL)

Loyola Chicago

Lucas Williamson

G

FR

MeanStreets (IL)

Loyola Chicago

Clayton Custer

G

JR

MOKAN Elite (KS)

Loyola Chicago

Ben Richardson

G

SR

MOKAN Elite (KS)

Loyola Chicago

Marques Townes

G

JR

Playaz Club (NJ)

Marshall

Christian Thieneman

F

SO

The Travelers (KY)

Miami (FL)

Bruce Brown Jr.

G

SO

BABC (MA)

Miami (FL)

Anthony Lawrence II

G

JR

E1T1 United (FL)

Miami (FL)

Rodney Miller Jr.

C

SO

New York Lightning (NY)

Miami (FL)

Lonnie Walker IV

G

FR

Team Final (PA)

Miami (FL)

Chris Lykes

G

FR

Team Takeover (DC)

Miami (FL)

Ja'Quan Newton

G

SR

Team Final (PA)

Michigan

Ibi Watson

G

SO

All Ohio Red (OH)

Michigan

Zavier Simpson

G

SO

King James (OH)

Michigan

Jordan Poole

G

FR

Mac Irvin Fire (IL)

Michigan

Charles Matthews

G

JR

MeanStreets (IL)

Michigan

Isaiah Livers

F

FR

MeanStreets (IL)

Michigan

Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman

G

SR

Team Final (PA)

Michigan

Jaaron Simmons

G

SR

All Ohio Red (OH)

145


NIKE EYBL IN THE NCAA TOURNAMENT COLLEGE

NAME

POS CLASS 

EYBL TEAM

Michigan State

Nick Ward

F

SO

All Ohio Red (OH)

Michigan State

Gavin Schilling

F

SR

Mac Irvin Fire (IL)

Michigan State

Lourawls Nairn Jr.

G

SR

MOKAN Elite (KS)

Michigan State

Matt McQuaid

G

JR

Nike Team Texas (TX)

Michigan State

Jaren Jackson Jr.

F

FR

Spiece Indy Heat (IN)

Michigan State

Xavier Tillman

F

FR

Spiece Indy Heat (IN)

Michigan State

Cassius Winston

G

SO

The Family Detroit (MI)

Michigan State

Brock Washington

G

FR

The Family Detroit (MI)

Michigan State

Miles Bridges

G

SO

The Family Detroit (MI)

Michigan State

Braden Burke

F

SO

The Family Detroit (MI)

Michigan State

Kyle Ahrens

G

JR

King James (OH)

Missouri

Jontay Porter

F

FR

MOKAN Elite (KS)

Missouri

Michael Porter Jr.

F

FR

MOKAN Elite (KS)

Missouri

Ronnie Suggs

G

JR

St. Louis Eagles (MO)

Missouri

Jordan Barnett

F

SR

St. Louis Eagles (MO)

Missouri

Jeremiah Tilmon

F

FR

St. Louis Eagles (MO)

Missouri

Mitchell Smith

F

SO

Arkansas Wings (AR)

Missouri

Terrence Phillips

G

JR

Team CP3 (NC)

Montana

Donaven Dorsey

G

JR

ICP Elite (OR)

Murray State

Shaq Buchanan

G

JR

Jackson Tigers (MS)

Murray State

Jalen Dupree

F

SO

Team Penny (TN)

NC State

Darius Hicks

F

SO

Alabama Challenge (AL)

NC State

Allerik Freeman

G

SR

Boo Williams (VA)

NC State

Markell Johnson

G

SO

King James (OH)

NC State

Lavar Batts Jr.

G

FR

Team CP3 (NC)

NC State

Lennard Freeman

F

SR

Team Takeover (DC)

NC State

C.J. Bryce

G

JR

Team United (NC)

NC State

Braxton Beverly

G

FR

The Travelers (KY)

NC State

Abdul-Malik Abu

F

SR

Expressions Elite (MA)

NC State

Blake Harris

G

FR

Team CP3 (NC)

NC State

Sam Hunt

G

SR

Team CP3 (NC)

Nevada

Nisre Zouzoua

G

JR

Expressions Elite (MA)

Nevada

Josh Hall

G

SO

California Supreme (CA)

Nevada

Elijah Foster

F

SR

Seattle Rotary (WA)

Nevada

Jordan Caroline

G

JR

St. Louis Eagles (MO)

New Mexico State

Zach Lofton

G

SR

Howard Pulley (MN)

New Mexico State

Shunn Buchanan

G

SO

Jackson Tigers (MS)

New Mexico State

A.J. Harris

G

SO

King James (OH)

New Mexico State

Johnathon Wilkins

F

SR

Spiece Indy Heat (IN)

North Carolina

Garrison Brooks

F

FR

Alabama Challenge (AL)

North Carolina

Kenny Williams

G

JR

Boo Williams (VA)

146


NIKE EYBL IN THE NCAA TOURNAMENT COLLEGE

NAME

POS CLASS 

EYBL TEAM

North Carolina

Andrew Platek

G

FR

City Rocks (NY)

North Carolina

Joel Berry II

G

SR

E1T1 United (FL)

North Carolina

Brandon Robinson

G

SO

Georgia Stars (GA)

North Carolina

Theo Pinson

F

SR

Team CP3 (NC)

North Carolina

Luke Maye

F

JR

Team United (NC)

Ohio State

Jae'Sean Tate

F

SR

All Ohio Red (OH)

Ohio State

Andre Wesson

F

SO

All Ohio Red (OH)

Ohio State

Kaleb Wesson

F

FR

All Ohio Red (OH)

Ohio State

Kam Williams

G

SR

Baltimore Elite (MD)

Ohio State

Kyle Young

F

FR

King James (OH)

Oklahoma

Khadeem Lattin

F

SR

Houston Hoops (TX)

Oklahoma

Trae Young

G

FR

MOKAN Elite (KS)

Oklahoma

Chris Giles

G

FR

Nike Team Texas (TX)

Oklahoma

Kristian Doolittle

F

FR

Team Griffin (OK)

Oklahoma

Brady Manek

F

FR

Team Griffin (OK)

Oklahoma

Christian James

G

JR

Houston Hoops (TX)

Penn

Ray Jerome

G

SO

City Rocks (NY)

Penn

Eddie Scott

G

FR

Team Takeover (DC)

Penn

Jelani Williams

G

FR

Team Takeover (DC)

Providence

Dajour Dickens

C

FR

Boo Williams (VA)

Providence

Kalif Young

F

SO

CIA Bounce (CAN)

Providence

Emmitt Holt

F

SR

City Rocks (NY)

Providence

Jalen Lindsey

G

SR

Southern Stampede (GA)

Providence

Rodney Bullock

F

SR

Team CP3 (NC)

Purdue

Isaac Haas

C

SR

Alabama Challenge (AL)

Purdue

Vincent Edwards

F

SR

All Ohio Red (OH)

Purdue

Carsen Edwards

G

SO

Houston Hoops (TX)

Purdue

Nojel Eastern

G

FR

MeanStreets (IL)

Purdue

P.J. Thompson

G

SR

Spiece Indy Heat (IN)

Rhode Island

Michael Tertsea

C

SO

Baltimore Elite (MD)

Rhode Island

Jared Terrell

G

SR

Expressions Elite (MA)

Rhode Island

Mike Layssard

F

SO

Nike Team Louisiana (LA)

Rhode Island

Christion Thompson

G

JR

Nike Team Louisiana (LA)

Rhode Island

Cyril Langevine

F

SO

Playaz Club (NJ)

Rhode Island

Fatts Russell

G

FR

Team Final (PA)

Rhode Island

Stanford Robinson

G

SR

Team Takeover (DC)

Rhode Island

E.C. Matthews

G

SR

The Family Detroit (MI)

San Diego State

Adam Seiko

G

FR

California Supreme (CA)

San Diego State

Jordan Schakel

G

FR

California Supreme (CA)

San Diego State

Montaque Gill-Caesar

G

JR

CIA Bounce (CAN)

San Diego State

Patrick Fisher

G

FR

BABC (MA)

147


NIKE EYBL IN THE NCAA TOURNAMENT COLLEGE

NAME

POS CLASS 

EYBL TEAM

Seton Hall

Jordan Walker

G

FR

New York Lightning (NY)

Seton Hall

Angel Delgado

C

SR

New York Lightning (NY)

Seton Hall

Michael Nzei

F

JR

Playaz Club (NJ)

Seton Hall

Myles Powell

G

SO

Playaz Club (NJ)

Seton Hall

Desi Rodriguez

F

SR

Playaz Club (NJ)

Seton Hall

Taurean Thompson

F

SO

Playaz Club (NJ)

Seton Hall

Philip Flory

G

FR

Playground Elite (WI)

Seton Hall

Quincy McKnight

G

JR

PSA Cardinals (NY)

Seton Hall

Khadeen Carrington

G

SR

New York Lightning (NY)

South Dakota State

Tevin King

G

JR

Mac Irvin Fire (IL)

South Dakota State

Chris Howell

G

JR

Playground Elite (WI)

St. Bonaventure

Nelson Kaputo

G

JR

CIA Bounce (CAN)

St. Bonaventure

Jalen Poyser

G

JR

CIA Bounce (CAN)

St. Bonaventure

LaDarien Griffin

F

JR

Nike Team Florida (FL)

St. Bonaventure

Idris Taqqee

G

SR

Expressions Elite (MA)

Stephen F. Austin

Leon Gilmore III

F

SR

Houston Hoops (TX)

Stephen F. Austin

Nathan Bain

F

SO

MOKAN Elite (KS)

Syracuse

Howard Washington

G

FR

City Rocks (NY)

Syracuse

Braedon Bayer

G

JR

City Rocks (NY)

Syracuse

Oshae Brissett

F

FR

LV Prospects (NV)

Syracuse

Tyus Battle

G

SO

PSA Cardinals (NY)

Syracuse

Frank Howard

G

JR

Team Takeover (DC)

TCU

Kouat Noi

F

FR

E1T1 United (FL)

TCU

RJ Nembhard

G

FR

Houston Hoops (TX)

TCU

Alex Robinson

G

JR

Texas Titans (TX)

Tennessee

Kyle Alexander

F

JR

CIA Bounce (CAN)

Tennessee

Lamonte Turner

G

SO

E1T1 United (FL)

Tennessee

Derrick Walker

F

FR

MOKAN Elite (KS)

Tennessee

Grant Williams

F

SO

Team CP3 (NC)

Texas

Matt Coleman

G

FR

Boo Williams (VA)

Texas

Elijah Mitrou-Long

G

JR

CIA Bounce (CAN)

Texas

Andrew Jones

G

SO

Pro Skills (TX)

Texas

Mohamed Bamba

F

FR

PSA Cardinals (NY)

Texas

Eric Davis Jr.

G

JR

The Family Detroit (MI)

Texas

Royce Hamm

F

FR

Houston Hoops (TX)

Texas A&M

Isiah Jasey

F

FR

Houston Hoops (TX)

Texas A&M

Robert Williams

F

SO

Houston Hoops (TX)

Texas A&M

Duane Wilson

G

SR

Playground Elite (WI)

Texas A&M

DJ Hogg

F

JR

Texas Titans (TX)

Texas A&M

Tyler Davis

C

JR

Texas Titans (TX)

Texas A&M

Jay Jay Chandler

G

FR

Houston Hoops (TX)

148


NIKE EYBL IN THE NCAA TOURNAMENT COLLEGE

NAME

POS CLASS 

EYBL TEAM

Texas Southern

Justin Hopkins

F

SO

Alabama Challenge (AL)

Texas Southern

Trayvon Reed

C

JR

E1T1 United (FL)

Texas Southern

Lamont Walker

F

SR

Mac Irvin FIre (IL)

Texas Tech

Avery Benson

G

FR

Arkansas Wings (AR)

Texas Tech

Keenan Evans

G

SR

Nike Team Texas (TX)

Texas Tech

Jarrett Culver

G

FR

Pro Skills (TX)

Texas Tech

Zhaire Smith

G

FR

RM5 Elite (TX)

Texas Tech

Tommy Hamilton IV

F

SR

Mac Irvin Fire (IL)

UCLA

Aaron Holiday

G

JR

California Supreme (CA)

UCLA

Cody Riley

F

FR

Nike Phamily (CA)

UCLA

Prince Ali

G

SO

Southern Stampede (GA)

UMBC

Arkel Lamar

F

SO

BABC (MA)

UMBC

Joe Sherburne

F

JR

Playground Elite (WI)

UMBC

Jairus Lyles

G

SR

Team Takeover (DC)

UNC Greensboro

Jelani Mofford

F

JR

CIA Bounce (CAN)

UNC Greensboro

Malik Massey

G

SO

Team United (NC)

UNC Greensboro

Lloyd Burgess

C

JR

Team United (NC)

Villanova

Jermaine Samuels

F

FR

Expressions Elite (MA)

Villanova

Omari Spellman

F

FR

PSA Cardinals (NY)

Villanova

Donte DiVincenzo

G

SO

Team Final (PA)

Villanova

Dhamir Cosby-Roundtree

F

FR

Team Final (PA)

Villanova

Mikal Bridges

G

JR

Team Final (PA)

Villanova

Dylan Painter

F

SO

Team Final (PA)

Villanova

Phil Booth

G

JR

Team Takeover (DC)

Villanova

Jalen Brunson

G

JR

Mac Irvin Fire (IL)

Virginia

Isaiah Wilkins

F

SR

Georgia Stars (GA)

Virginia

Marco Anthony

G

FR

Pro Skills (TX)

Virginia

Ty Jerome

G

SO

PSA Cardinals (NY)

Virginia

Justice Bartley

G

JR

Team United (NC)

Virginia

Devon Hall

G

SR

Boo Williams (VA)

Virginia Tech

Nickeil Alexander-Walker

G

FR

Arkansas Wings (AR)

Virginia Tech

Justin Robinson

G

JR

Boo Williams (VA)

Virginia Tech

Chris Clarke

F

JR

Boo Williams (VA)

Virginia Tech

Ahmed Hill

G

JR

Southern Stampede (GA)

West Virginia

Esa Ahmad

F

JR

All Ohio Red (OH)

West Virginia

Daxter Miles Jr.

G

SR

Baltimore Elite (MD)

West Virginia

James Bolden

G

SO

The Travelers (KY)

Wichita State

Shaquille Morris

C

SR

Athlete's First (OK)

Wichita State

Zach Brown

F

SR

Texas PRO (TX)

Wright State

James Manns

F

FR

All Ohio Red (OH)

Wright State

Tye Wilburn

G

JR

MeanStreets (IL)

Xavier

Trevon Bluiett

G

SR

Spiece Indy Heat (IN)

Xavier

Quentin Goodin

G

SO

St. Louis Eagles

Xavier

Tyrique Jones

F

SO

Expressions Elite (MA)

149


CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

150


2018 TOP RETURNERS NAME

TEAM

Chandler Lawson DJ Jeffries James Wiseman Zion Harmon Aundre Hyatt EJ Lidell Francis Okoro Isaiah Stewart Joe Girard II Avery Anderson III Drew Timme Tyrese Maxey Trendon Watford David Roddy Chris Harris Jr. De'Vion Harmon Malik Hall Posh Alexander Kyle Sturdivant Justin Webster Cole Anthony Kofi Cockburn Jalen Lecque Marcus Tsohonis Noah Williams Keion Brooks Jr. Jeremy Roach Hunter Dickinson Anthony Harris Cassius Stanley

Bluff City Legends Bluff City Legends Bluff City Legends Bluff City Legends Boo Williams Brad Beal Elite Brad Beal Elite City Rocks City Rocks Drive Nation Drive Nation Drive Nation Georgia Stars Howard Pulley Houston Hoops Houston Hoops Mokan Elite New York Lightning Nike Team Florida Pro Skills PSA Cardinals Renaissance Renaissance Seattle Rotary Seattle Rotary Spiece Indy Heat Team Takeover Team Takeover Team Takeover Team Why Not

2017 STATS CLICK CLICK CLICK CLICK CLICK CLICK CLICK CLICK CLICK CLICK CLICK CLICK CLICK CLICK CLICK CLICK CLICK CLICK CLICK CLICK CLICK CLICK CLICK CLICK CLICK CLICK CLICK CLICK CLICK

HERE HERE HERE HERE HERE HERE HERE HERE HERE HERE HERE HERE HERE HERE HERE HERE HERE HERE HERE HERE HERE HERE HERE HERE HERE HERE HERE HERE HERE 151


PEACH JAM HISTORY

YEAR

TEAM

NOTABLE PLAYERS

2017

Oakland Soldiers

Taeshon Cherry, James Akinjo, Amadou Sow

2016

MOKAN Elite

Michael Porter Jr, Trae Young, Carte'Are Gordon, Jontay Porter

2015

Georgia Stars

Wendell Carter Jr, Udoka Azubuike, Jared Harper, Brandon Robinson

2014

Playaz Club

Isaiah Briscoe, Trevon Duval, Temple Gibbs, Moustapha Diagne

2013

E1T1 United

D'Angelo Russell, Joel Berry, Grayson Allen

2012

Oakland Soldiers

Aaron Gordon, Jabari Bird

2011

BABC

Nerlens Noel, Georges Niang, Jake Layman

2010

Team Takeover

James Robinson, Michael Gbinije

2009

All Ohio Red

Jared Sullinger, Aaron Craft, Adreian Payne, Juwan Staten

2008

Boo Williams

Kendall Marshall, Andre Dawkins

2007

NY Gauchos

Kemba Walker

2006

MeanStreets

Derrick Rose, Eric Gordon

2005

Boo Williams

Scottie Reynolds

2004

Illinois Warriors

Julian Wright

2003

NY Gauchos

Sundiata Gaines, Russell Robinson

2002

All Ohio Red

Andrew Lavender

2001

Team Texas

Bracey Wright

2000

Wisconsin Playground

Travis Diener

1999

Riverside Church

Omar Cook

1998

Houston Jaguars

Taleik Brown

1997

Illinois Warriors

Quentin Richardson

1996

Riverside Church

Elton Brand, Ron Artest, Lamar Odom

152


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2018 Nike EYBL Preview Magazine: Welcome To The Circuit  

In-depth preview of the 2018 Nike EYBL Circuit.

2018 Nike EYBL Preview Magazine: Welcome To The Circuit  

In-depth preview of the 2018 Nike EYBL Circuit.