Wednesday, April 19, 2017

SMAC Goes 9-1 in 2 Weekends

SMAC Premier 2024
With a 9-1 overall record over the last 2 weekends, it’s safe to say that Coach Brad Down’s 2024 SMAC Premier squad is off to a great start to the 2017 season! The SMAC run started with a 4-1 finish at the Bearcat Classic in Cincinnati, where they lost to APEX (44-43) in the championship game. In that event, SMAC defeated Complete Player (55-54), Indiana Elite (38-35), Team Heavy (49-29), and All-Ohio Red (49-40). Standouts for the tourney included: Luke Skaljac, Derek Fairly, Devon Zabursky, Brock Beech, and Bryson Curry.

The following week, SMAC went undefeated on their way to the title of the Classic in Berea.  SMAC’s rout to the championship ran through SMAC Byers (43-17), OBC (49-34), SMAC Caleris (46-6), SMAC Showtime (44-35), and a rematch with OBC (48-22). Standouts were Luke Skajac and Derek Fairley.  So far this season, SMAC is packing a heafy 24-4 overall record.  SMAC’s early success should see them rise in the Buckeye Prep Power Rankings!

Monday, April 17, 2017

Wolves Win Easter Classic

This past weekend, the 2021 All-Ohio Wolves finished 5-0 on their way to the championship of the Easter Classic at Sports4Sports in Cincinnati. In order to win it all, the Wolves had to get by the Cincy Swish (65-15), AKN (48-34) Dayton Metro-English (48-37), SW Ohio Warriors (32-9) and Ballin Hard (42-39).  Standouts for the Wolves included Aaron Davis II, Michael York, Caleb Pitcock, William Trubisky, Mateo Lopez, and David Larkins.  After the weekend, the Wolves have logged in a 31-6 overall record.  Congrats to the Wolves for an impressive run!

Pro Bound Basketball Program Dedicated to helping kids

According to Ty Hairston, Founder and Director of the Probound Ohio Elite basketball program located in Blacklick (Ohio), his own educational and athletic background led him to start his program 8 years ago with the goals of “helping kids go to college.”  Starting with only 2 teams back in 2009, Hairston, a Kent State graduate, returned to central Ohio and began to notice a need for another basketball facility and another program designed to help kids play basketball at the highest levels.   With the help of Mike Duncan, Founder and Director of the storied Ohio Basketball Club based out of Cleveland, Probound and its now 13 teams in grade 2nd through 11th is a participant in the ultra-competitive Gauntlet circuit.

Hairston’s program started from humbling beginnings after he returned to Columbus from Cleveland.  Early on, he spent time working out of The Hoop, a local basketball landmark for many years, before he decided to open his own facility.  “I kept riding by this empty warehouse and then one day I decided to do my own thing,” Hairston said.  Now, Hairston has a vibrant facility that’s used for training, team practices and for hosting tournaments, camps and other youth events. After Hairston partnered with Dave Spiller, a former Ohio State coach and local workout guru, Probound’s high school program really took off.  In fact, in terms of competitiveness, Hairston’s 9th grade team nearly won the Dallas session of the Gauntlet series last season, and his middle school teams have proven to be very competitive over the past couple of years.

According to Dave Spiller, he joined Probound 3 years ago because “…he [Hairston] and I shared a common goal.  Ty’s a quality guy and we both wanted to make an impact on kid’s lives,” said Spiller. Spiller went on to draw a distinction between Proboud and other programs. “So many organizations are more wide open; are more about win-win versus helping kids,” Spiller continued. “Probound offers a more personal touch and the people he [Hairston] surrounds himself with are solid,” said Spiller.

Since Probound’s emergence onto the local basketball scene, several other basketball programs have taken notice and have tried to emulate their success. “After we got our Adidas sponsorship other programs started evaluating our success and now you see other program with shoe company sponsorship,” Hairston added.  Hairston’s goals are simple; he just wants to help kids get college scholarships and to go on to have successful lives.  I’ve helped hundreds of kids get college scholarships,” added Hairston.  From our vantage point, Hairston and his Probound Oho Elite program is living up to its mission of helping kids reach their hoop dreams!

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Lawrence Shines at All-Star Saturday Event

Idris Lawrence-Middle School MVP 
On Saturday, the 19th edition of Richard Crockett’s All-Star Saturday event tipped off at the Bruce Howard Recreation Center in Columbus. One of a 5-game slate on the day, the Middle School game was one of the most competitive, as the West squad prevailed 59-55 over the East.  Leading the way for the West was Idris Lawrence (PG/2021), who led the West in scoring with a game-high 14 points.  Behind Lawrence in scoring were Jalen Sullinger (11), Jake Lusk (8), Jordan Lowrey (7), TJ Pugh (7) and Peter Pedrozo (7).  The East team was led in scoring by Omari Effiong, who finished with a team-high 13 points, followed by Marcus Stewart (11),  Paul Wilson (10), Tyreese Hughley (10), Carter Jones (6),Wil Sizer (6), and Pat Daniels Jr. (2). 

Lawrence wasn’t the only MVP on the day, as Austin Bennett’s game-high 24 points earned him MVP honors of the High School game. Others playing well in the game included Debaji Walker (23 points), who was a dunking machine, Matt Smith (23 Points), and Antonine Blackshear (22 points).  We would be remised if we didn’t mention the body Bennett caught in the waning minutes of the High School game, when Bennett cocked it back and totally folded his jumping defender to the ground, undoubtedly, one of the best plays we’ve ever seen!

Talia Shaw’s game-high 24 points led the Girl’s East squad over the West 28-13.  For her efforts, Shaw was selected as MVP. We also really liked Shaw’s teammate, Kasie Burnside, who poured in 18 points of her own. In the 5-8 year old game, Khalil Terry took home MVP honors, while Dominique Aekins was the MVP in the 9-13 year old game. All-in all, it was a great day of hoops, and from all appearances, everybody in attendance enjoyed themselves!

Gym City Kings Claim Title

2nd Grade Gym City Kings
We have to give a shout out to the 2nd grade Gym City Kings for claiming the championship of the 8th Annual March Madness tournament at Sports Plus in Cincinnati the weekend before last.  The Dayton-based program finished 3-0 in route to the tournament championship. To win it all, Gym City took down the Lexington Wildcats 25-15; got by R4L (32-13) the first time, then beat them again (48-23) to take home the gold.  So far this season, the Gym City Kings are already an impressive 36-6.  Some of Gym City’s studs include: Darius Dennis, Dashaun Harris, Amileo Norvell Jr., Ja’kye Hoard, Kellen Brewer, Javion Dixion and D’Marriante Crane.  It’s still a little early to be covering this class, but it’s never too early to tell young players congratulations and to keep working hard!

Friday, April 14, 2017

All Star Saturday Tips Off Saturday

In its 19th year, Capital Transportation’s All-Star Saturday will get underway this Saturday at the Bruce Howard Recreation Center (2505 N. Cassidy Ave) in Columbus. As has become a tradition with this popular event, the day’s festivities will begin with a community Easter egg hunter, followed by a series of all-star basketball games in several age groups. DJ City from Power 107.5 will be returning to add his mix of hot music and comedy. Those who have attended the event in the past know how highly anticipated this event has become. All festivities are free to the public, and include free food, drinks, face painting and many other fun activities for the kids.

Make no mistake, All-Saturday is more than just an Easter egg hunt; it’s also about competitive basketball. Four games will tip off immediately after the hunt, starting with the 6-8 year olds, the 9-11 year olds, the middle school game (2:00pm); the high school girls game (2:30pm), followed by the high school boys (4:00pm). Buckeye Prep has again been asked to select the rosters for the middle and high school games. Participation in the games is free, and each player will receive a nice award and a game t-shirt.

With the help of Devon Howard, the high school rosters have been finalized. This event has always attracted the top players in central Ohio. Some of the players who have participated in the games include BJ Mullins, Jamel Cornley, Yancy Gates, Elijah Allen, Devon Moore, Jarred Sullinger, Trey Burke, Stevie Taylor, Rob Brandenburg, and Elijah Macon. This year, the following players will be participating in this year’s high school game:

West All-Stars: Gavin Brown, Danny Corbett, CJ Prater, Ant Mills, Debaji Walker, Austin Bennett, CJ Anthony, Quan Magwood, Brandon Waugh and Elijah Thomas.

East All-Stars: Matt Smith, Elijah Glenn, Tyler Ruff, Antonine Blackshear, Jake Garrison, Basit Seidu, Anthony Tyree, Marcus Johnson, Isaiah Kennedy, and Braylon Mitchell.

The following are the middle school rosters:

West All-Stars: Idris Lawson, Patrick Daniels Jr., AJ Glover, TJ Pugh, Jordan Lowrey, Jake Lusk, Jalen Sullenger, Cameron Cook, Mikale Massey, Petter Pedrozo, and Henry Hinkle.

East All-Stars: Alex Williams, Wil Sizer, Landon Tilman, Marcus Stewart, Omar Effiong, Tasos Cook, Carter Jones, Daaron Brown, Dez Watson, Paul Wilson and Tyresse.

If you're in town and want to see some competitive basketball, we suggest you make your way over to the Bruce Howard Recreational Center Saturday afternoon; you won't be sorry!

2017 All-Star Game Rosters
All-Star Saturday Website
2011 Event Pictures