Thursday, January 19, 2017

Houston Having a Great Season

Nate Houston III-2022 Toledo
Playing up on the 8th grade GESU squad, Nathaniel Houston III (5’9/WF/2022/Toledo) is having an impressive school season so far.  In fact, Houston is averaging 15 points, 8 rebounds and 3 assists per game while playing against 8th graders.  This past weekend, Houston was one of the leading scorers (along with Fiesal Crumby Jr.) and helped lead his GESU team to the championship of Eddie Norrils' Bee Spotlight MLK Day Youth Tournament in Toledo.  In the championship game against a Brayden Lichtenburg led St Johns Academy team, Houston finished with 10 points, 4 rebounds and 2 assists.  In that same tournament, Houston had a high of 21 points, 7 rebounds and 7 assists.

We’ve seen Houston play on several occasions, both with his Toledo Wildcats team and at our September elite showcase, where he participated in the prestigious Ohio North vs South All-star Game and played his way into the final all-star game on Sunday.  Not only do we have Houston listed among the top 10-15 players in the state; we selected him as First Team All-Ohio last season.  We’ve always been impressed with Houston’s size and his ability to both power his way to the cup and hit from the perimeter.  At this point, it’s unclear where Houston will be playing AAU ball, as he will not be returning to the Toledo Wildcats this season.  We hope to get another look at Houston at out March 4th elite showcase.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Warriors Prevail at MLK Tourney

New Birth Warriors-6th Grade Dayton Airmen MLK Tourney Champion
On Monday, Scott Bradley’s New Birth Warriors went undefeated on their trek to the championship of Dayton Airmen MLK tournament in Dayton.  The Warriors’ 4-0 record included wins over the Dayton Airmen (35-18); Dayton Dreamers (55-3); MVP Dynasty (30-28) and the Dayton Gators (59-33).  The semifinal game against MVP Dynasty proved to be the biggest challenge for New Birth, as they had to erase an 11-point defect to get the win.

Standouts for New Birth included Bede Lori, who knocked down 4 treys in the championship game, and averaged 9.5 points per game throughout the event. Behind Lori were Jadi Cunningham (7 ppg), Davion Bridges (6 ppg), Carter Reese (5.7 ppg) and Alex Styles (5.2 ppg).  Congratulation to Coach Bradley, his coaching staff, players and fans for representing the Capital City.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Perie Putting up Big Numbers

Tae Perie-Akron 2021
It’s widely accepted that middle school basketball often lacks the level of competition most associated with AAU basketball.  With that said, when players drop big numbers on their winter teams it goes a long way in solidifying their overall talent.  Barberton Saint Augusta Middle School’s Tae Perie (5’7/SG/Akron/2021) is putting up gaudy numbers for his school team so far this season.  With games of 37, 40, 40 and a career high 53 points over the past 4 games, Perie is averaging an eye-popping 42.5 points per game in the last 4 games, and 39.5 PPG for the season.

Of course we’re no stranger to Perie’s talent, as we selected him to participate in the Ohio North vs South All-Star Game in September; have him ranked among the top 20 players in the state, and selected him as Forth Team All-Ohio last year.  In addition, Perie achieved all-star status at our elite showcases, including a MVP performance in the Top 40 All-Star game last September.  On his Ohio Basketball Club team Perie is one of its leaders and leading scorers.  Because of his outstanding play, Perie is one of the few 2021 players who have been recognized nationally.  Perie should have another opportunity to add to his resume at our upcoming March 4th elite showcase.

Monday, January 16, 2017

2023 Blue Chips off to Great Start

2023 North Coast Blue Chips-Tournament Champions
This past weekend at the Nike Gym Rats’ MLK tourney in Ft. Wayne, IN, David Lane’s North Coast Blue Chips (NCBC) team started the 2017 season off with a bang after finishing 6-0 on their way to the 6th grade title. After roaring though pool play with four 30-40 point victories, the Blue Chips would face a talented Maumee Bay Turf in the championship game.  Although the game was competitive early, NCBC would go on to get the 53-33 victory and the crown.  It should be noted that NCBC found themselves in a dog fight with a very talented MWA Elite (Michigan) in the semifinals.  Although they easily handled most of the teams they faced in the tournament, they only got my MWA Elite by 9 points (49-40). MWA Elite is powered by Anthony Benard, Tyler Jamison and Ryan Hurst.

The Blue Chips have added some pieces for this season including Ohio’s Ty Long who has had a big impact on the team’s post play, Chicago’s Amir Robinson, Cleveland’s LA Hayes and Cincinnati’s Chandler Starks.  Still there are Broney, Gabe Cupps, Chicago’s Koi Thurman, Dayton’s Sean Thigpen and Pittsburg’s Rodney Gallagher.  We look forward to catching the Blue Chips in action at our March 31st-April 2nd Buckeye Prep Invitational Tournament!

Maumee Bay Turf (MBT) may have fallen short in the title game, but a 4-2 record against some tough teams bodes well Brad Morrison’s team going forward. MBT was led by the efforts of CJ Hornbeak III, Luke Montgomery, Michael Greenlee Jr. Justyn Toler and Deric Janes.  MBT has a chance for a rematch, as they will also be attending our tournament March 31st-April 2nd.  Can’t wait to see that game!

For the record, NCBC’c 2024 team brought home a championship as well, going 5-0 over the weekend.  This championship comes on the heels of a tournament victory at the Winter Jam in Texas.

Finally, as a follow up to an earlier piece, the 7th grade Shaker Heights Raiders rode an undefeated (17-0) season to a GCC League Championship on Saturday.  On Saturday, the Raiders claimed the title with a 58-52 win over Solon Middle School.  In the championship game, Danny Young Jr. exploded for a game-high 31 points, followed by Jaylen Brown with 10 points, and Adam Diaz who finished with 8 points.  Congratulations Coach Kevin Foster, his players and fans for a fantastic season!

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Smith Continues to Fly Under the Radar

Jamel Smith II-2022 Dayton
In terms of basketball talent, the Dayton area always seems to produce their fair share of studs.  High school programs like Dunbar, Trotwood Madison and Wayne are always loaded with the area’s best players, and Jamel Smith II (5’6/WF/Dayton/2022) could be a force for one of those programs within the next couple of years. We’ve seen Smith ball on several occasions and we’ve always been impressed with his upside.  In fact, at our last 2 elite showcases, Smith balled his way into all-star games, and in the spring of last year, Smith even grabbed Top 5 honors.  This is what we had to say about Smith after the spring event, “It was our first time seeing him, but Jamel Smith II can play, as evidenced by his Top 5 selection.  We did not see a lot of him, but we will going forward.”

We’ve been most impressed with Smith’s athleticism, motor and ability to get to the basket.  Smith is also a good defender who excels at scoring in transition. This school season, Smith has his Trotwood middle school team undefeated at 9-0, and Smith is a big reason for his team’s success.  According to Smith’s middle school coach, Treshon Jones, his team is likely to go undefeated, with the only potential losses coming from Wayne and/or Centerville. That’s no surprise considering that Trotwood team is loaded with players who play AAU ball, including guys like Trey Dennis and Rico Colter.  As a side note, Dennis is a stud that has mostly flown under the radar since he has not yet broken out at elite camps and showcases.

In terms of Smith’s talent, Jones could not be more complimentary. “Jamel is tough, gives 100% effort on every play and is going to wok harder than anybody,” said Jones.  “He handles the ball well, can shoot it and is the leader on my teams,” continued coach Jones. Although Smith ran with MVP Dynasty last season, according to his mother, Smith is going to take a break from AAU basketball, and will instead,  concentrate on training and attending a few camps.  Although we selected Smith as Fifth Team All-Ohio last season, that was mainly do to a lack of exposure during the spring and summer.  We look forward to getting another look at Smith at our March 4th elite showcase.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Elite Showcase Alum Gets McDonalds Nomination

Jalen Miller-Lake Fenton HS-2017
In our long history of holding our elite showcases, many of our alumni have gone on to do great things.  Earlier this week, Jalen Miller (6’3/SG/Flint/2017) was nominated for the prestigious McDonalds All-American Game.  Miller is currently lighting it up for his Lake Fenton (Michigan) High School and people are taking notice.  We got our first look at Miller at our September elite showcase where his dominate play garnered him an all-star game selection.  That’s not all; Miller also excelled n the all-star game, which led to Top 5 honors.

Miller utilizes his strong frame to get to and finish at the rim. Because of his size and skill set, Miller is a match-up problem and is also able to play multiple positions. He can bang in the low post and still step outside for a jumper. Miller can also get his shot off the bonce or convert in catch and shoot situations. With what we’ve seen of Miller, college basketball should be in his future!  We would like to congratulate Miller on his nomination and wish him much success in the future!