|Trey James, Jaden Hameed & Keon Henderson|
Last year, they were already one of the top 7th grades teams in the state, who could more than hold their own on a national level; however, with 3 key roster upgrades for the upcoming season, 2017 could be a big year for Coach Marty Finta’s All-Ohio Red 2021 squad. Gone are Alex Williams, a big bodied slasher from Dayton and Quincy Clark, the team’s steady floor general from Gahanna. The biggest addition to Finta’s team is Trey James, a 6’10 athletic, space eater from Kentucky who will provide rim protection, rebounding and additional low post scoring. We last saw James in action during the Ohio vs Kentucky All-Star Game and the Buckeye Prep Elite Showcase in September, where he showcased his ability to block shots, grab rebounds and score. For the record, James played with Al Mobley’s All-Ohio Red 7th grade team last year.
Also new to the team is 5’11 Jaden Hameed, a strong, athletic combo guard from Cleveland, who will add a more robust scoring punch with his ability to attack the cup and finish. He joined the team late last season and made an immediate impact, but Keon Henderson, a dynamic 5’10 PG from Detroit, will join the team full-time in 2017. Last season, Henderson provided both a scoring option as well playing making ability, and showed flashes of greatness. Another addition to the squad is Cleveland’s Collin Albert, a 5’7 PG who will add additional depth and shooting at the guard position. In addition, Albert has been described as a fearless defensive specialist who is willing to guard the opponent’s best player. Rounding out All-Ohio’s roster additions is 5’8 Caden Edmondson, a very athletic combo guard who’s quick and defends at a high level.
With the return of 6’5 Brent Walker (Huber Heights), 6’1 Wil Sizer (Cincinnati) and 6’2 Elijah English (Gahanna), All-Ohio will have the biggest front court in the state. Add 6’3 Isaiah May to the list and Finta’s squad will have 6 players over 6’0 tall. Also returning is 6‘0 Gabe Finta, (Columbus) the team’s best 3-point shooter. With a roster that includes, size, multiple scoring options, elite defenders and solid guard play, Finta is excited about his team’s potential. “Our team has been assembled with top talent, and we will focus on team ball,” Finta said. “We will have good attitudes, a 10-man rotation and we will play heavy and intense defense,” continued Finta. According to Finta, his team’s keys to success require “team oriented play, coachability, and parent’s willingness to allow their sons to be coached,” offered Finta.
When we release our pre-season team rankings in March it will be hard not to give All-Ohio Red 2021 the nod as the #1 ranked team in the state based on the quality of their roster additions. As far as Finta is concerned, it’s not even close [the #1 spot]. “I don’t see anybody close. This team will be tough to beat. I wouldn’t want to coach against us,” proclaimed Coach Finta. In anticipation of their dominance next season, Finta has upgraded their schedule to include more competitive tournaments. Not only is Finta looking to play the other top teams around the state; he wants to play them in pool play! Joining Finta on the bench will be assistant coaches Anton Hameed and Harry Albert, both of whom coached with All-Ohio Northeast last season.
We’re confident that when the rest of the coaches and players in this class read Finta’s comments there will be no shortage of motivation, especially from the likes of All-Ohio Purple, last’s season #1 ranked team, the NEO Shooting Stars and the Ohio Basketball Club! You can catch All-Ohio in action when they debut their new team at the Buckeye Prep Invitational March 31st through April 2nd in Columbus. Can you say “Super Pool?” We can’t wait to see this team take the floor in March!