#S16 All-Tournament Team – 9th Grade Division
The 9th grade division hosted a ton of talent in the greater New Haven area at this weekend’s Super 16 Showcase. The New York Rens took the top prize in the American Division, going undefeated for the weekend capped by a 68-51 win over the Hoosiers in the semifinals followed by a hard fought win over the New England Playaz in the championship game. The Playaz were also undefeated headed into the finals, following a 67-48 win over Rising Stars NYC in the other semi.
In the national bracket, Hardware City Elite defeated the Philly Freedom Stars in the championship. Hardware City advanced with a dramatic 62-60 overtime win over Mig’s Team while the Freedom Stars knocked off the New England Storm 57-42 on the other side of the bracket.
Super 16 Team
Isaiah Richards, NY Rens – The 6-foot-9 forward is the real deal. He’s a high caliber big whose combination of leaping ability and foot speed is engineered to amaze. He has big soft hands to catch anything in his range of motion and knows how to block shots and gain possession of the ball all in one play. He made a Sports Center-esque play when he caught a half-court inbounds pass for the alley-oop spike dunk over three defenders. Watch out for this kid, you’ll be hearing about him again for sure.
Phillip Joseph, NY Rens – A 6-foot-6 forward from the Phelps School, Joseph was physical and imposing on both ends throughout the weekend. He used his strength to bully his way into the paint and create and-one scoring opportunities all weekend and was simply a man among boys for long stretches. Even down the stretch on Sunday, defenders typically had a choice to make – foul him or watch him dunk it!
Hassan and Fousseyni Drame, NY Rens – The 6-foot-5 brothers form quite the tandem at the forward positions. They are both mobile and lengthy athletes, very fast and long which means it is easy for both of them to create turnovers and them turn them into fast break opportunities. Combine that with their ability to finish against contact at the rim and they’re impact players.
Daniel Dade, New England Playaz – Only an 8th grader, Dade is a serious long-term talent who already possesses the ability to impact a high level game. A hard-nosed southpaw with a high I.Q., he is both a solid outside shooting threat as well as someone who can attack gaps, collapse a defense and make plays for those around him.
Colt Delaney and Derek Collin, Black Bear North - This duo led the way for Black Bear North all weekend long, while Alex Brown stabilized the team from the point guard spot. Collin was active and aggressive all weekend long averaging 15 points and 8 rebounds per game while the 6-foot-4 Delaney was a complete monster on the glass. Virtually immovable in the paint, the New England newcomer by way of Texas certainly made a name for himself and is a guy to watch with his size 18 shoes.
Conner Raines, New England Playaz – Another 8th grader playing up with the freshmen, Raines too makes an impact beyond his years. A local Connecticut native who literally was feeling at home this weekend in New Haven, Raines has size and length to make plays in the open floor and around the rim with a significant upside still left to discover.
Dan Schalkman, New England Playaz – A young player who possesses both immediate production and future potential, Schlakman was a catalyst for the Playaz en route to their trip to the finals. He has soft hands and good touch, both facing the basket and around the rim, as well as the requisite motor to maximize his tools. He fights for every loose ball and rebound, does a good job in help defense and has a frame that is only going to continue to stretch and fill out.
Tyler St. Furcy, NYC Rising Stars – St. Furcy put on a defensive show on Saturday night. He has active hands that force turnovers and dives for every loose ball. While he is an opposing point guard’s worst nightmare on defense, St. Furcy also showed off his own court vision with a behind the back pass and tempo control. His two-way playmaking ability was part of the foundation of the Rising Stars’ success this weekend.
Dev Ostrowski, Hoosiers – He’s a local freshman from East Lyme (CT) who has already started to make a name for himself and it is easy to see why. The unselfish guard plays hard up and down the court forcing opponent miscues on defense and setting up easy baskets on offense with pinpoint passes and hawkeye court vision. With so much time left to mature and grow, the sky could be the limit.
Christian Beck, Mass Elite - He played more of a supporting role in the team's first win of the day on Saturday but quickly asserted himself in a starring role later that day with a 22 point performance. It was more of the same on Sunday as Beck led Mass Elite to a perfect 3-0 record in pool play and then to a spot in the quarterfinals, solidifying an impressive showing from Coach Polli's 9th graders.
Maurice Turner, Hardware City Elite – Turner was a leader throughout Hardware City Elite’s run to the National championship. He was a vocal leader who set the tone defensively, utilizing his length to apply great ball-pressure on opposing ball-handlers. That pressure helped his team get out in transition, where he both made the extra pass and finished well, while he was also able to show some crafty playmaking with the ball in his hands.
Jason Larranaga, New York Jayhawks – He simply does it all. He can shoot it lights out from range and also has off the chart athleticism. At 6-4 he can challenge the big boys in the post and commands double teams on the outside. With 3 years left before heading to the college ranks it’s hard to imagine Larranaga not making a name for himself.
Dante Bolden, Mig's Team - The southpaw forward was again a sparkplug for Mig's Team as they made their latest impressive run deep into Sunday's final rounds. Strong and aggressive inside the paint, Bolden in a volume rebounder with a soft touch that continues to extend away from the basket, making him an increasingly dangerous scoring threat.
Aireus Raspberry, CT Select – A strong southpaw point guard, Raspberry has everything to be a game changer. He can make court length precision passes and can control the game tempo. He uses his body to bully defenders on his way to the rim for buckets and is capable of making shots from the perimeter.
Pete Cheradine, Philly Freedom Stars – An athlete out of Moravian Academy (PA), Cheradine showed off bounce by grabbing rebounds and scoring off of put-backs. His offensive attack is versatile though with inside-out scoring ability and a shooting stroke that extends behind the arc.
Kiano Heath, NH Elite – The 6-7 big man out of Canada’s Ridley College certainly showed he deserved some press in the states. Heath is very much still a work in progress as he continues to grow into his body but there were clear glimpses of what he could become. He can keep up with the flow of the game and has a very high in game knowledge to go along with a developing arsenal of post moves.
Second Team All-Tournament
Sam Adusei, Central Mass Swarm Elite – A prototypical floor general, Adusei runs the show on both ends of the court. He gets after it defensively, sees the floor well on the offensive end and knocks down the open shot. He’s not ball dominant though and even showed a willingness to run the floor and fill lanes when another guard got the outlet.
Arie Breakfield, Rim Spartans Elite – The 6-foot-3 slasher was all over the court Saturday getting to the basket at will and using his athleticism to blow past other players. He showed some range as well, connecting on shots from behind the arc. Defensively, his long arms are an asset both competing for rebounds as well as sliding his feet on the perimeter.
James Brooks, Hoops Express – One of the weekend’s pleasant surprises, Brooks impressed on both ends of the floor this weekend. He showed off good court vision and handles with solid on-ball defense. Furthermore, when he stepped outside of the arc he couldn't miss from long range.
Ethan Brunelle, Central Mass Swarm Black – Brunelle has a basketball I.Q. far beyond his years. He’s an athletic big man who sees the floor, moves well without the basketball and finishes as well in the half-court as he does in transition. He possesses both an inside and outside game and is a budding mismatch problem.
Pearson Chapman, CT Playmakers – Chapman shoots the ball with range from behind the three-point line but also has enough handle to operate off the dribble. He owns a mature mindset on the defensive end of the floor, not just competing hard on the ball but also being active on the weak-side.
Nick Clarke, NE Storm – Clarke is a 6-foot-5 big man who creates space like few others and has the long arms to match. He grabs every rebound in sight and even snags some over taller opponents. He has a high I.Q. and so when he isn’t grabbing offensive put-backs he can pass out of the post and help teammates get easy buckets.
Rayven DeOliveira, Rhode Island Crush - DeOliveira single handedly willed his team to victory on Saturday morning by stretching the defense and connecting on several contested three pointers. He also is an awesome rebounder for his size. He has wide hips and uses it to his advantage when boxing out defensively.
Darius Diaz & Naishaun Jernigan, Mig's Team - Together with Bolden, they formed the "Big Three" that would serve as the foundation for Mig's Team all weekend long. One of the three always seemed to be making big plays, either going to the rim or coming up with a big steal, and when they were all clicking at the same time it was a recipe for dominance.
Marc Dolgin, Middlesex Magic – The Milton Academy guard continued to impress showing off his ever expanding skillset. He caught fire from behind the three-point line in Saturday night’s game, showing his ability to make shots in bunches. His tight handles and passing ability was a constant throughout the weekend though.
Riley Donovan, Drive4Stardum – His consistency was one of his best qualities as Donovan was able to impact the game in multiple ways regardless of the situation. He showed great offensive rebounding ability and worked well in the half-court trap as he made a couple of well-timed steals.
Richard Damas, CT Roughriders – The Bloomfield High School product has great size to bang down low and finish among extreme congestion in the paint. He’s extremely efficient when able to get deep catches but versatile enough to handle in the open floor and show an impressive all-around game.
Nicholas Fleetwood, CT Playmakers – One of the best shooters in the 9th grade field, Fleetwood opened the weekend with back-to-back threes in Saturday morning’s opener. While his shooting caught our attention, Fleetwood has the handle to drive and can also hang on the perimeter and move the rock.
T.J. Frank, AFB Freedom Purple – A versatile guard from Classical Magnet High School, Frank showed he can impact the game on both ends. He competes hard on the defensive end and does a good job of being a vocal leader. Offensively he’s skilled with both a good handle and nice perimeter jumper as well.
John Kempf, Not Even Famous – The 8th grader made his name known in a big way playing up with the 9th graders. He’s only around 5-foot-6 but keeps the ball on a string and makes sharp passes consistently. He is a floor leader and carries a maturity on the court that far exceeds his age.
Jake Knowlton, North Shore Bobcats Green – A product of Rockport High School, Knowlton is lengthy with great size to match. He alters a lot of shots on the defensive end, runs the floor well, finishes in transition and displayed a good mid-range stroke as well.
C.J. Lugo & Akil Sullivan, Team Sol-B2B – This tandem made a quality one-two punch for Team Sol-B2B all weekend long. They both took turns stepping up at various times but collectively they were able to lead their team through a highly competitive field and keeping them within striking distance for the majority of the tournament.
Malek Mims, Philly Freedom Stars – An 8th grader from Philadelphia, Mims is a natural athlete with great speed and handles. He showed off his court vision with a couple nice drive-and-kick passes before his sweet shooting stroke took over as he nailed long 3’s from the top of the key and challenged bigger players with pull-ups in the paint.
Nick Muche, Dream Elite – A sub-six-footer, Muche is one of those guys who is just a slight growth spurt away from making a name for himself on a consistent basis. He has good handle to operate off the dribble and also sees the floor well enough to make plays for his teammates.
Nillin Nirha, Rhode Island Thunder - The 6-foot-4 forward stood out among high level competition, refusing to get discouraged and playing with a high-motor from start to finish. He showed no fear attacking the rim, pushed the ball under heavy pressure from talented defenders and finished several lay-ups over length. He often times defended the best scorer on the floor and gave them trouble no matter how big or talented they were.
Xander Oates, North Shore Bobcats White – The Gloucester product showed a multi-faceted offensive arsenal with the ability to stretch the floor with his shooting range and yet still finish around the rim from various angles. He rebounded well on both ends and has the potential to be an equally versatile defender.
Adam Pacheo, New England Storm – He had the look and feel of a future floor leader for Tewksbury High School. He has all the requisite skills with a strong handle, the ability to knock down an open shot and defend the basketball but it was his feel for the game and willingness to make the extra pass which was most impressive.
Jacob Peters, CT Stars – He has good size and plays with a solid motor, competing on both ends. He rebounds the ball off both backboards and was a consistent scoring threat inside 15 feet, getting his own on the offensive glass, making various finishes around the rim and knocking down shots from the short corner.
Isaiah Santos, D. Athleticz Club – The high I.Q. guard put on a show early Saturday morning. His contributions go far beyond the stat sheet as his ability to force defenders and control the game tempo helped his team far more than anything else he could have done.
Danny Seraderian, Mass Elite – He’s continued to grow and develop his game. He showed a nice touch from the three-point line and good strength to play in the post. On defense his long arms help cut off passing lanes and put him in the fight for every loose ball and rebound. Seraderian’s biggest asset is his consistency and even though he holds himself to a very high standard, he’s always productive.
Andy Vittoria, Tri-State Thunder Red – Vittoria is a heady frontcourt player who provides both a talented passer up front as well as a heady decision maker. He owns a strong and athletic frame and can both finish around the rim and alter shots defensively. He even showed enough range to stretch opposing defenses at times.
Joseph Watkins, CT Knights - The offensive leader for the Knights throughout the weekend, Watkins was a consistent double figure scorer whose best work typically came en route to the rim. He was particularly impressive in a Saturday morning win over the North Shore Bobcats, but also played a key role in keeping the Knights within striking distance in both of their other games.
Darren Watson, All For One – The 5-foot-10 guard impressed with his defensive ability for AFO. He's physically bigger and much more aggressive than most opposing guards, which enabled him to force steals and subsequent run-outs. Built in the style of a poor man’s Russell Westbrook type, he plays 1000mpg every possession and uses his speed and strength to drive through contact.
Mikey West, New Haven Heat – West never seems to run out of energy as he is an extremely active on ball defender. He can disrupt the passing lanes and put pressure on the ball handler forcing turnovers and setting up transition buckets. West also a consistent knock-down shooter from behind the arc throughout the weekend.
Alex Williams, Drive4Stardum – An athlete out of South Winsor, the 6-foot-2 Williams can jump out of the gym, allowing him to make athletic plays on both ends of the floor. Along with his hops comes length that allows him to compete on the glass and score above the rim much like someone 4 inches taller.
Jalen Williams, AFB Freedom - A bouncy athlete for AFB Freedom, Williams gets it done. At 6-3 with length, he can pull down board over bigger defenders and disrupt passing lanes. On the offensive end Williams showed his ability attacking the rim and always looking for an open teammate.
Tyriq Woodson, CT Defenders – An undersized, but pure, point guard who understood what it was to control the tempo of the game, Woodson did his best to be a stabilizing force for the Defenders this weekend. He also mixed in some individual offense with the occasional three-pointer or open floor drive.
Alex Wong, Mass Elite Giddings – As level-headed as they come, Wong demonstrated great poise vs. pressure this weekend. He was able to make the right reads to keep his team organized and get them into offense. Then, he was able to get into the lane and finish floaters over taller defenders.