|San Diego Select 2020-Already 17-0 this Season|
In an age where super teams rule the circuit, San Diego Select 2020, with a roster of players who all reside in the city, has established itself as one of the top 7th grade teams in the country. Exhibit #1, San Diego Select is currently the 4th ranked team on the west coast according to West Coast Elite 25. Also, this past June, San Diego was 1 win away from playing in the 9th/11th place game after falling to Rip City 48-46 in the second round consolation bracket. In addition, AAU’s Power Rankings currently rank San Diego 11th nationally.
Exhibit #2, San Diego finished 74-6 last season with 6 tournament championships, including a title at the Aces Coca Cola Nationals in June, and a final 4 finish at the Gym Rats Presidents Day tourney in Portland, OR. Exhibit #3, San Diego is already 17-0 this season with 2 tournament championships. Additionally, a majority of the teams they have beaten so far this season were 8th grade teams. Finally, last season, San Diego participated in the National Youth Basketball League (NYBL) as a fill-in team in session #2 in Atlanta, GA, and over the course of the weekend, competed at a high level and finished the weekend 5-0 against a rugged South Division.
Coach Steve Wade’s team is well coached and well constructed, with a prototypical PG, a scoring wing and two rim protectors and rebounding machines. According to Wade, his team is founded on the concept of developing first and winning second. “We have a hand selected group of kids that have been together for 2 years. We practice a lot and we believe in 80% development and 20% winning. We are team first and I’m proud of the,” offered Wade.
|Alex Wade, Thomas Notarainni, Chibuzo Agob & Obinna Anyanwu|
Wade has a core of 6-8 players that he really feels good about. Anchoring the paint are twin towers Chibuzo Agob (6’3/PF/CA) and Obinna Anyanwu (6’3/C/CA). Both Agbo and Anyanwu are big, strong, athletic and aggressive, and provide San Diego with interior scoring, rebounding and rim protection. The coach’s son, Alex Wade (5’0/PG/CA), is a pure PG with a high basketball IQ and ability to get into the paint and find open teammates. He's diminutive, but Wade is quick, smart and knows how to run a team. Thomas Notarainni (6’0/WF/CA) is a scoring wing that can either drive to the cup or shoot from long range. Highly skilled with a scorer’s mentality, Notarainni can really light up the scoreboard when he gets hot. According to Wade, Notaraini has made a big jump in his development over the past several months and is poised for a breakout season. His playmaking ability has really increased," Wade said.
Wade is also really excited about the development of Benon “BJ” Riley (5’9/P/SG/CA), who is a returner from last year’s team. “BJ has really broke out. He has really developed, is more athletic and will be a big combo guard for us, this season” Wade said. Also returning is Kobe Sanders (5’5/SG/CA) who has continued to develop as a knock down 3-point shooter. "Kobe has a high IQ and really knocked down some big shots for us last season,” said Wade. New to the squad is Jack Rottler (6’2/WF/Orange County), who Wade feels will help with the team’s depth. The rest of the San Diego Select roster includes: DJ Carter-Holenger (6’2/SG/CA); Brandon Angel (5’8/SG/CA); and Ziarire Williams (5’9/SG/CA).
San Diego could have an opportunity to avenge its loss to Rip City this upcoming season, as both teams will be participating in the NYBL when the season tips off in March. Judging from their success in session # 2 last season, Select has a great chance to not only compete in the ultracompetitive NYBL, but also contend for a NYBL national championship. Coach Wade has high expectations for the NYBL this season. “The expectation going into it [NYBL] will be to win it. We will be a top 4 team,” said Wade. Although Wade’s ultimate goal is a NYBL National Championship, his goals also include a deep run at the AAU Nationals next year. “It’s [playing in the NYBL] about getting better,” Wade said. "We can’t find anything like this [competition] at AAU. We are looking to get battle tested [in the NYBL]. We will be the youngest team in the NYBL, and our kids will execute and play hard,” continued Wade. There are only a few more months until Wade’s team can begin working on their goals, and we plan to be there to cover the action.