ZG Beast of the East - Event Recap
The Zero Gravity Fall Circuit is now through three weeks of competition marking the season’s halfway point. An even field led to some very competitive basketball this weekend and the emergence of some young talent on teams across all age groups.
Mig’s Team of Springfield built off a championship last weekend to take the American title in the Varsity division in convincing fashion, they’re loaded with talent and having a great fall so far. The Cobras won the National division, and have also been a team that has racked up a good amount of wins this season.
The Rhode Island Rivals played some great basketball this weekend and won the 10th grade National division. The Boston Blazers went 4-0 on the weekend and came away with an International division trophy.
At the 9th grade level Mig’s Team captured their second American championship of the weekend while Too Much Game withstood a late comeback effort to finish out their quest for National title. In the International division it was the Central Mass Lions who came away on top.
Here's a look at some of the weekend's top individual performers:
Jack Spillane (DB Gladiators, 2018) Spillane is a wing player who specializes in getting to the basket. He showed that he is capable from three but is at his best when he’s driving the ball downhill towards the rim, and this weekend that was a very often occurrence.
Xavier McKenzie (City Hoop Dreams, 2022) Playing up in the 9th grade division McKenzie didn’t back down from any challenge, leading his team to the championship game. He can finish through contact with either hand better than you would expect and rarely makes mistakes with the basketball. He is surely a name to watch in the coming years.
Amani Swain (Boston Bobcats, 2020) Hybrid forward would probably be the best description of Swain’s game. He showed an ability to run an offense but also control the defensive glass. He’s a multi-faceted player who can slide into any line up combination smoothly and play multiple positions on both ends.
Kenny Flynn (CM Swarm, 2018) Flynn has a well-developed post game, he can finish with either hand of flush it home, as he had three dunks in one game on Saturday night. Rim protection and a jumper also are a part of Flynn’s package making him an ideal player in the middle.
Jacob Hanson-Bartlett (Cobras, 2018) Has an inside-out game makes it tough for other teams to matchup with him. He can post up and pound it inside but also make threes if defenders give him any space. He and teammate Sean Leahy both have all-around games that have got them a lot of wins so far in the ZG Fall Circuit.
Jack Rudolph (Take Charge, 2020) Showed the part of a reliable, steady playmaker this weekend and is also dangerous from deep. Rudolph guided his team this weekend and is consistently sound with his fundamentals.
Levi White (Mig’s Team, 2018) White has explosive athleticism at the rim which, combined with his aptitude for timing on defense, makes him a nightmare for guards to try to finish over in the paint. He is a capable mid-range shooter and can switch defensively in screen and rolls very effectively with good lateral speed.
Justin Feliciano (Mig’s Team, 2018) A stellar all-around floor general, but also showed an ability to play off the ball as his teammates, Darius Diaz and Kobe Parker, also can manage on-ball duties. Feliciano can either beat people off the dribble or pull up in defenders faces, pick your poison. He has good athleticism, is a creative passer, and has quick defensive hands.
Michael Bourne (Brockton Reign Elite, 2020) Bourne is simply a player that has a knack for putting the ball in the basket. He has been lethal from deep but also possesses a nice in between game where he uses a mid-range and floater game to score effectively.
Edwin Solis (AASA, 2018) A point-forward but also an assassin from deep. Solis is a tough guard for any team to find a matchup for. He’s bigger than all wings but is quicker than most bigs with an ability to create for his teammates from anywhere on the floor.
Elijah Claude (Too Much Game, 2021) Claude contributed all over the floor for his team this weekend. Always seemed to be in passing lanes and then running the other way for a fast break finish. He also showed that he can step outside and drill jumpers or use his length and athleticism to pump fake and finish over defenders in traffic.
Steven Karayan (Expressions, 2020) The engine that drove 10th grade Expressions to a title game though they fell to the RI Rivals. Karayan was lights out from beyond the arc all but also showed interior toughness, he provided his team with timely buckets all weekend.
Michael Levesque (RI Rivals, 2020) A speedy lead guard who excels in transition. For a sophomore, Levesque has an impeccable ability to go full speed, stop on a dime and drill a jumper in defenders’ faces. Propelled RI Rivals to a 10th grade championship and did so by being able to finish at every level offensively but also set his teammates up for easy looks.
Kobe Parker (Mig’s Team, 2018) Parker played the role of athletic slasher for Mig’s Team this weekend that was loaded with talent. Parker can really explode to the rim for a guard and always seemed to be in the right place, getting loose balls all over the floor.
Shyheim Odom (Boston Bobcats, 2022) At 6’4 he’s already bigger than kids his age but his skill development level is really what sets Odom apart. He looks comfortable everywhere on the floor and can control the flow of games at his own discretion.
Ray Bosquet (Too Much Game, 2021) Bosquet showed great instincts and athleticism this weekend for Too Much Game’s 9th grade team. He is a big who can guard most positions and consistently get by the defense using only a couple dribbles whether it is the open floor or flow of a half court offense.