Team New England Wins Providence Jam Fest
The Hoop Group came to New England this weekend to host the Providence Jam Fest and when it was all said and done it was Team New England that took the tournament’s highest prize, the 17u Platinum division championship.
One of eight teams to receive an opening round bye, Team New England opened late Saturday afternoon with a pair of convincing wins over Riverside Hawks 65-48 and then SJ Hoops Elite 58-24.
Things got more competitive on Sunday morning though as they faced the Early Risers in the quarterfinals and came away with a 61-51 decision before running away from the New York Gauchos in the semifinals 60-39.
On the other side of the bracket, the D.C. Blue Devils were making a run of their own as they beat three straight teams by 18 or more points before holding off Castle Athletics in the semis 63-61. Gob Gabriel continued his big spring showing off his combination of size, length, and skill while Kevin Constant showed why he is on the verge of a big breakout summer.
The final would be similarly close before Team New England came away with the 70-66 decision to take the championship. Khadary Richmond, from South Shore High School in New York, was the team’s MVP on the weekend. A big guard with a long and lanky frame, Richmond has loads of natural potential. He was scoring by getting to the rim and hitting pull-ups alike while also showing off his playmaking skills.
Bensley Joseph got better with each passing game on the weekend and was at his best in the championship by creating tempo and knocking down some big shots. Meanwhile Moses Flowers continued to show why he is one of the most improved players in New England this spring, with not just his trademark athleticism but new three-point range as well. Cameron Shockley-Okeke, Judson Martindale, Daman Tate, Isaiah Richards, Femi Odulake, and Robinson Brown also made contributions throughout the weekend.