|Murphy AC-Ready to Play!|
Kevin Jackson’s 6th grade Murphy AC squad will be one of 2 teams to represent the Buckeye state in the inaugural season of the NYBL. Along with All-Ohio Red, Jackson’s squad is set to compete against the top teams in the nation. Although Murphy AC has not really been tested at the national level, Jackson feels confident that his northern Ohio based squad can run with the big dogs like Team Izod/Sports U, Memphis War Eagles, Carolina Preps, South Carolina Hornets, Texas BU All-Stars, Worldwide, ETU Select Metrolina Havoc, Maryland’s Finest, West Virginia Xplosion ,Deron Williams Elite, New Heights and many others.
Jackson, his players and their parents are all very excited about the opportunity to participate in the league as one of only a handful teams that were “handpicked from around the region.” “We are excited to give our kids this platform [NYBL] to see what it takes to succeed at the highest level. There is nothing else like this [the league]. The buzz is out here in our area and I have kids knocking down my door [wanting to join the team]," stated Jackson.
So far, Jackson’s squad is 8-1 in winter league play, and the 9 games he’s played so far this winter represent the only experience his kids have had to play together. Despite the lack of experience, Jackson does not lack confidence. “With this group we will probably finish in the final four [of the NYBL],” stated Jackson. When asked how he plans to accomplish such a feat against arguably the top teams in the country Jackson added, “We are going to outwork everybody. We will be disciplined, in shape and we are going to get up in you. Not many teams will be able to stand the pressure the whole game,” Jackson continued.
|Shamaar Morrow-Could be Key|
Although Jackson’s roster is full of players who are not yet recognized at the national level, he is confident that his team will more than compete. “Sometimes it’s good not to have a superstar because it’s easier to get the kids to buy into the team concept,” said Jackson. Jackson may be counting on his players embracing the team concept, but he admits that his team’s success will rest on the shoulders of a couple of key players. At the point, Jackson’s son, Tevin Jackson, will be counted on to lead the team. Other key players include Shamaar Morrow (possibly the top 5th grader in the state), Josiah Hitchens (newly acquired) and Alfonzo Hale. Jackson was also real excited about Jaret Griffith, who he describes as one of the best shooters and most fundamental players he has seen in a long time. The rest of the Murphy AC roster includes: Darius Moss Jr., Alex Feeling, Alonzo Gaffney, Devon Grant, Anthony Bird and Devon Hightower.
After talking to several of the coaches in the league, I can assure you there is little respect for Murphy AC heading into league play. However, like Jackson, I’m not sure that’s such a bad thing. I don’t know how good this team will be, but I can assure you this, if Jackson can get half as much effort out of this squad as he did with that 7th grade group, I think some guys in the league are going to be in some trouble when the ball is tipped in Bethesda, MD come March 15th. Make sure you follow the action in the NYBL; it’s sure to be exciting!