#NEHF celebrates 15 years
This weekend's Northeast Hoops Festival will celebrate 15 years since the event debuted in 2008.
Until that point, the Providence Jam Fest had been an annual staple of the weekend in April when the ACT test was given, and thus was not part of the live period.
But in 2008, the Hoop Group opted to make the Providence Jam Fest a live event, thus creating a void for a premier tune-up event.
NERR stepped in to provide that. The first year welcomed 72 teams to Connecticut College.
The next year, NERR joined forces with Hoop Mountain to expand the field and bring it to Sacred Heart University and the surrounding Fairfield County area. Even then, the event was already drawing the premier competition in the northeast.
In fact, it was in 2009 that DaJuan Coleman rolled in with Syracuse Select, delivering a dominant performance that paved the way for his ascension to the top overall ranking in the national sophomore class.
A year later in 2010, the 137 team field featured the likes of CBC's Andre Drummond, CT Select's Kuran Iverson and Expressions Elite's Khem Birch and Ricardo Ledo, all of whom were national prospects.
The fifth annual Northeast Hoops Festival featured an influx of talent from New York including Long Island Lightning Gold and the Juice All-Stars while the Mass Rivals and New England Playaz joined CBC and Expressions among the top local teams. Drummond, Iverson, Kaleb Tarczewski, Jared Terrell, and Isaiah Whitehead were some of the standouts.
BABC joined the field in 2012 while the Rivals took the championship behind a breakout performance from Noah Vonleh as the event moved to the Hartford area. New England Playaz' Jarred Reuter, Expressions Elite's Abdul-Malik Abu, and Mid-Atlantic Select's Garland Owens were some of the prospects that made names for themselves that year.
In 2013, the PSA Cardinals made their first appearance in the event and brought with them the likes of Chris McCullough and Chiek Diallo, while Moustapha Diagne was another top national prospect from the tri-state area in attendance.
In 2014, in collaboration with Zero Gravity, the event moved to Massachusetts and became not just the top event in the region in terms of participating talent, but also one of the biggest events, annually attracting upwards of 400 teams.
Since that point, the very best programs in New England and New York have all attended including the likes of BABC, Expressions, Mass Rivals, Middlesex Magic, New Heights, New York Jayhawks, New York Rens, PSA Cardinals, and many many more.