Tournament of Champions - Event Recap
By Phil Kasiecki | Friday, June 1st, 2007

Tournament of Champions - Event Recap

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - Three New England teams competed at one of the spring's best tournaments on Memorial Day weekend, the Bob Gibbons Tournament of Champions.  The tournament annually features some of the best programs in America, and the competition overall is stiff as there is never a bad team.  While the New Englanders didn't collectively shine brighter than the rest, one team did very well and another scored a notable win.

The New England Playaz 16-under team went 0-3, losing to the Indiana-based SYF Rising Stars 62-42, Orlando-based Marquis Daniels Showtime Ballers 48-41, and dropping a tough 57-55 decision to the Midstate Ballerz Elite from Tennessee.  Marquis Daniels Showtime Ballers went on to the 16-under championship game.

Nate Lubick (6'8" Fr. PF, Southboro (MA) St. Mark's), who also played for the 17-under team, led the way in scoring at 13.3 points per game., while Givon Crump (6'5" So. SG-SF, Tilton (NH) School) chipped in 12.3 per outing and looked good shooting the ball.

The older Playaz fared better, sweeping through their pool and defeating a very good Georgia Elite team in the first round of the playoffs.  In pool play, they defeated Atlanta-based Hoop Planet 82-75, pulled out a 67-64 win at the last-second over New York Elite, and beat the Arkansas Hawks 79-65.  The jewel of their weekend was the 77-72 win over Georgia Elite, a deep team with a number of Division I prospects.  On Sunday morning, they bowed out to eventual champion Indiana Elite 89-69.

Nate Miles (6'7" Sr. SF, Notre Dame Prep) was an all-tournament selection after averaging 22 points per game, good for 12th in the 17-under division.  Among his support, TJ Robinson (6'7" Sr. SF, Bridgeport (CT) Kolbe Cathedral) averaged 11.2 points and Janzy Cruz (5'8" Sr. PG, Springfield (MA) High) averaged just under 10 points per game.

The Connecticut Basketball Club started the weekend with a big 80-78 win over powerful DC Assault on Friday night, one that created a good deal of buzz amongst media members in attendance.  They couldn't keep it up on Saturday, losing to the Atlanta-based Worldwide Renegades 68-48 and dropping a tough 80-78 decision to Philadelphia-based Hunting Park to close the weekend.

The guards carried them in the win over DC Assault.  UMass commit David Gibbs (6'4" Jr. SG, West Simsbury (CT) Masters Prep) gave DC Assault fits en route to 21 points in the win, while floor leader Chris Prescott (6'2" Jr. PG, West Hartford (CT) Northwest Catholic HS) found gaps on a number of occasions en route to 17 points.  Gibbs, whose nice scoring arsenal lacks little besides a consistent jumper, was selected to the all-tournament team, although he was third on the team in scoring as New Yorker Tony Taylor and Prescott each averaged 15.7 points in the three games.  Also impressing, though not in the scoring column as much, was Stanford Dulaire (6'5" Jr. SF, Hartford (CT) Watkinson HS).  He's athletic and has a good body, and was active and did well as a role player for this team, going for 14 points in the loss to the Worldwide Renegades.

Phil Kasiecki is the managing editor for  To read more of Phil’s stories about both high school and college basketball please visit