Saturday, October 11, 2014

Slam City Elite Prepares for NYBL

Slam City Elite
Dubbed the “Terror Squad,” by some national media,  Bill Francis'  newly constructed Slam City Elite (class of 2020) has caused quite a stir around the country in only a few short weeks.  Boasting a roster full of nationally ranked players, the DMV based squad’s recent run through the Tri State Summer League in New York City has officially put teams on notice that there is another player on the scene and has announced their arrival to the nation.  Slam City’s most impressive prize to date was the 79-72 win over the #5 ranked New Your Gauchos.  This win was the first step in building a national “resume,” while providing some legitimacy to their preseason #1 ranking.   In addition to the victory over the Gauchos, Slam City Elite took down New Heights, the PSA Cardinals and Milbank during their stay in the Big Apple.

As one might expect, some of the “blue bloods” of the class have taken issue with all of the hype this newly formed team has already garnered, and some have let their feelings be known through various media outlets. One has to imagine that the reigning AAU National Champions, Oakland Solders and the reigning NYBL National Champions West Coast All-Stars are taking issue with all of the hype this young team is getting.  Clearly, WACG’s flamboyant coach, Carlos Williams has some serious concerns as evidenced by his frank comments in 2 recent interviews, where he questions Slam City’s resume and status as the top team.  

Mike Morris, head coach of the West Coast All-Stars is not real concerned about the hype Slam City is receiving. “At the end of the day, we have to lace them up and play,” said Morris. “I don’t see their [Slam City Elite] ranking as disrespectful [to us], we plan to earn what we get any ways. You have to settle it on the court,” continued Morris.  Juno Thomas, the head man for the Oakland Solders has respect for what Francis has put together, but feels the Solders are the number 1 team until they are beaten. "They [Slam City] has a great collection of talent; they have a couple of reclasses. A lot of teams are pattering themselves after the Solders, Thomas said.  "They can't be considered #1 until they play some of the top teams. They beat the Gauchos by 7 points which is really not that much; we beat them by 18 points at the [AAU] Nationals this year," said Thomas.  

T. Williams, J. Toles, C.Byers, AJ Hoggard & T. Brelsford
Stacking a team with multiple elite players is not a new phenomenon (i.e., Oakland Solders, WACG, etc.), but the Slam City Elite situation is a bit different, in that most of the players hale from the same area, and several of their top guys (Terrence Williams, Cameron Byers, AJ Hoggard and Tyler Brelsford) were recently elite players in the class of 2019, which has proven to be a very talented class. Also on their roster are Jordan Toles, a top 5 talent in the class.  Not only did Toles excel in the ultra competitive NYBL last season, his play in New York recently demonstrated his elite athleticism and significant upside potential, and confirmed his place among the best in the class. Also on that squad are Isaiah Todd, Montez McNeil, Ryan Conway, Demon Clowney and Austin Allison, all of whom are elite level players.  In fact, according to some, Todd could eventually be the best long-term prospect on the team, and that’s saying a whole lot!

Over the last 2 seasons, the NYBL has attracted the most elite teams in the country, as evidenced by the AAU National Championships our teams (Team CP3 & Oakland Solders) have garnered.  In 2015, with the addition of Slam City Elite in 2020 and DC Premiere in 2019, the league could crown another AAU National Champion, and is poised for another strong year.  With the return of our 2019 and 2020 NYBL National Champions (All-Ohio Red and West Coast All-Stars), the NYBL will remain the most competitive event in the country.  Can't wait for the ball to tip in March of 2015!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

NYBL 2019 National Rankings

The NYBL staff has worked very hard to compile the most complete and accurate National Basketball Class of 2019 Top 100 Ranking.  The NYBL staff has had the pleasure of watching and evaluating these players during the competitive second NYBL season, at the 7th Grade AAU Nationals in Memphis, TN, at the Basketball Spotlight Future Phenom Camp, at the Buckeye Prep Elite Showcase where the NYBL All Star Top 20, Top 40, and Top 60 games took place and at various other tournaments and camps around the country this past AAU season.  This ranking is a post season ranking that will be updated after this upcoming year’s AAU season around the same time.  When looking at our rankings we take into account the Performance, Production and Potential of the prospect.  Also the players IQ and Skill Set come into the equation when we evaluate players.  Although many things can change between a players 7th Grade year and his senior year of High School, we believe that this is a good starting point in the evaluation process for the talented players that are trying to earn college scholarships.  We understand that there will be debate that some players should be higher or lower in the rankings, and that players will move in and out of the class due to the reclassification phenomenon from year to year and certain players will get better and others will not, some will stop growing and others will spout up but it will be our goal to provide the best and most accurate list through our evaluation process.  So let’s dig in and analyze the Class of 2019 Top 100 National Basketball Rankings.

The Perimeter Rules but we are Starting to see Major Size Patrolling the Paint

Pierre, Moore, Sanders, Langley, Moseley, Antonie, Harris & Shouse
Right now the breakdown of the Top 100 is still heavily weighted to the perimeter.  Although the perimeter has more depth because the class if still young and developing, some players with major size are starting to make an impact on the circuit and in turn in the national rankings.  There are 22 Players that are 6’5” to 6’10” and another 11 players that are 6’4” which gives you a total of 33 players or a third of the Top 100 6’4” or taller.  There are 19 Point Guards, 30 Wing Guards, 24 Wing Forwards, 13 Power Forwards, and 14 Centers that comprise the Top 100.  The Wing Guard position (many call them Shooting Guard) is the deepest position in the class.  66 of the Top 100 played in the NYBL.  We have also included a 32 player Watch List of players that we are monitoring and could crack the Top 100 rankings when they are updated next fall.

Wing Forwards are Still the Cream of the Crop in 2019

R, Barrett, W. Moore, C. Lawson & S. Kenny
12 of the Top 23 players in the country are Wing Forwards led by 6’5” Rowan Barrett, Jr. who plays for the Canadian based Brampton Warriors and many feel that he will land in the USA for his High School career.  Barrett is also the overall #1 player in the 2019 class.  Barrett is followed by Wendell Moore, Shariff Kenny, Chandler Lawson, and Marvin Price as the Top 5 Wing Forwards in the class.

The Best Players Play on the Best Teams

Wendell Moore checks in as the Overall #3 prospect and second Wing Forward in the class.  He was injured during the NYBL Championship and AAU Nationals but CP3 had 6 other Top 100 players that allowed them to take second place in the NYBL and repeat as AAU National Champions.  Chris Hinton, Kobe Langley, Keyshaun Langley, Mike Green , Max Farthing, and Chaz Gwyn all are ranked 55 or higher and with the addition of 11th ranked Myles Pierre who is the #1 Wing Guard in the Class, CP3 looks poised again to 3Peat at the 8th Grade AAU Nationals in Orlando, FL.  34 of the Top 100 players played on a team that placed in the Top 10 at AAU Nationals in Memphis, TN.  Team CP3 (7), City Stars (3), All Ohio Red (6), Team Takeover (4), George Hill Rising Stars (5), Memphis War Eagles (3), Memphis Wildcats (1), DC Premier (3), WACG All Stars (2).  Note:  Terrance Williams and Tyler Brelsford would have made the Top 100 and given Team Takeover 6 players and make it 36 of the Top 100 but they have moved into the 2020 Class.

The DMV seems to Produce the Most Talent

16 of the Top 100 players hail from the DMV which is DC, Maryland and Northern VA.  Team Takeover #4 and DC Premier #9 are the top two programs and continue to churn out DI players.  The DMV produces approximately 75 DI players on a yearly basis.  Shariff Kenny (#4), Justin Moore (#12), Marvin Price (#14), Mekhi Mitchell (#18) are the Top 4 ranked players in the DMV and are all ranked in the Top 20 in the class.  Christian DePollar (#42) rounds out the Top 5 players in the DMV.

The West Coast Produced the Top Point Guards in 2019

T. Campbell, J. Francis, M. Walker, A. Nembhard, E. Jackson & K.  Langley
Tyger Campbell is the #1 Point Guard and #8 overall ranked player currently lives in Tennessee via the West CoastJovan Blacksher (#4 ranked PG) and EJ Jackson (#8 ranked PG) hail from Arizona and California respectively.  We know that the West Coast doesn’t get as much love compared to the East Coast but it is apparent that they did something right when it comes to the 2019 Point Guard class.  Many scouting services have these three point guards in their Top 5 Points Guards and Top 20 overall.

The NYBL will also be releasing National Rankings for the the Class of 2020 (Top 60) and the Class of 2021 (Top 25) in the next few weeks.  Also please check out the recent press release below with the announcement of the 3rd Season of the NYBL with Dates and Locations.

Friday, September 26, 2014

NYBL Press Release

National Youth Basketball League Returns for Third Season

Columbus, Ohio (September 26, 2014) – Season #3 of the National Youth Basketball League (NYBL) will once again reflect significant growth, both in terms of the number of divisions (3) as well as the number of teams (96).  With the addition of the class of 2021, 16 new teams in the class of 2020, and an additional 8 teams in 2019, the NYBL continues to trend upward. Not only will season #3 host more teams, but the quality of teams and the level of competition will remain high.

The 2015 NYBL season will again encompass 4 sessions and will feature 2 new sites and 2 traditional locations. As was the case the first two seasons, the 2015 campaign will tip off in the nation’s capital the weekend of March 21st-22nd; Session 2 is scheduled for April 25th and 26th in Richmond, Virginia; Session #3 is set for Pigeon Forge, Tennessee (just south of Knoxville) May 22nd-24th; and the league will conclude with the NYBL Finals the weekend of June 6th-7th in Columbus, Ohio. 

The NYBL’s motto, Elite Competition and Maximum Exposure, was on full display during the 2014 season. In fact, in terms of league competitiveness last season, NYBL teams again dominated at the AAU Nationals.  As evidence, in both the 6th & 7th grade AAU Nationals, NYBL teams (Team CP3 & Oakland Soldiers) took home national championships.  In addition, as was the case the first 2 seasons, the high level of exposure generated by the NYBL will be unprecedented and unmatched, as the league has re-established partnerships with many of the major media outlets that traditionally cover middle school basketball. Not only will media outlets such as the Buckeye Prep Report, Basketball Spotlight, Middle School Hoops, Prolific Performance, DMV Elite and Lineage of Champions be covering every move the NYBL makes next season, but the league’s official website will also be offering more coverage, including session-by-session recaps, top performer lists, player and team profiles, special feature stories as well as national individual and team rankings. Based on the number of NYBL players that are ranked in the recent top 100 national rankings, it’s clear that the NYBL-generated exposure has played a significant role in determining those rankings!

The season-three format will mirror season two. Specifically, each of the teams in their respective divisions will be divided into four, 5-10 team divisions (depending on the division), and during each of 4 sessions each team will play a total of 5 games (3 games on Saturday and 2 games on Sunday) against teams from an opposing division. Team standings, individual player stats, team and individual player profiles and photo galleries will be posted on the NYBL’s website ( At the conclusion of the first 3 sessions, the NYBL will culminate in a national championship in Columbus, Ohio the weekend of June 6th-7th 2015. Although others will attempt to match our success, the NYBL has built a solid foundation in just 2 years, has established a credible reputation, and still represents the standard by which middle school basketball leagues are judged!  Come join us in year three and experience the hottest event in middle school basketball!

2015 NYBL Session Dates & Locations:

Session #1                                March 21st - 22nd, 2015            Washington D.C.
Session #2                                April 25th-26th, 2015                Richmond, Virginia
Session #3                                May 22nd-24th, 2015                 Pigeon Forge, Tennessee
Session #4                                June 6th-7th, 2015                      Columbus, Ohio

All-Star Weekend                     September 19-20th, 2015          Columbus, Ohio

Thursday, September 18, 2014

NYBL All-Star Weekend Exceeds Expectations

By most accounts, the NYBL All-Star Weekend & Buckeye Prep Elite Showcase were a tremendous success!  With over 530 elite level players crammed inside the beutiful 8-court facility at Otterbein University in Westerville, Ohio, the atmosphere was electric and the competition was next level.  With that amount talent assembled in the gym the national media had to be in the house to document the action. Day one of the event was multi-dimensional, consisting of a series of 6 all-star games featuring the best players from the ultracompetitive National Youth Basketball League (NYBL); a riveting presentation by former Ohio State standout Sconnie Penn, and the traditional Buckeye Prep Elite showcase.

In terms of the NYBL games, the 2019 NYBL Top 40 Game tipped off first, and a Keyshaun Langley led West squad got the first win of the day with a 85-55 victory over the East. Butler Elite’s Matthew Brown paced the East with a game-high 22 points, while Cleveland’s Alfonse Hale led the West with 20 points.  Although Langley was the second leading scorer on his squad with 15 points, he was the driving force in the win.  Other standouts in the game included Quinn Cafferty (13), Larry Canady (9), Michael Moreno (13), Simon Banks (11), Amari Davis (9) and Cartier Jernigan (7).  For their efforts, both Langley and Brown were named MVP.

The 2019 Top 60 Game was a nail biter, with the East team edging the West 75-74.  All-Ohio Red’s Andre Gordon had a monster game to the tune of a gaudy 30 points in route to MVP honors. According to one observer, Gordon dominated the contest and was virtually unguardable.  The DMV’s Cameron Byers (2020) took home the MVP for the West with 15 points. The Lexington Hustle’s Jalen Burbage was the leading score for the West with 17 points. Other standouts included Charlie Large (15) and Jalen Gaffney (11).

There wasn’t must drama in the 2020 Top 20 Game, as the East ran away with an easy 88-64 victory over the West squad. Chuck Harris led all scorers with a game-high 16 points, while Paris Dawson paced the West with 15. Other standouts included Zion Harmon (12), Chance Mott (12), Jeremy Roach (10) and Jordan Toles (8). Both Harris and Dawson grabbed MVP honors. The 2019 Top 20 Game was another close contest, with the West taking down the East 73-69. The West was led in scoring by Terrance Williams and Isaiah Moseley, both of whom finished with 12 points. The East was led by Dexter Shouse who finished with a game-high15 points. Other standouts included Chris Harris (10), Bryan Antoine (11), Sydney Curry (11) and Chris’Sean Stringer (8).

Kobe Langley & Marquise Walker-MVPs
The two feature games of the day pitted the top kids from the NYBL against a team nationally ranked players from outside the league.  Billed as the “NYBL vs the Nation” games; both contests were chucked full of talent and proved to be as competitive as anticipated.  The class of 2020 was first to tip off and was highly contested until the final seconds ticked off the clock. In the end, Bill Francis’ elite squad had secured bragging rights with a 37-34 victory.  Although Hunter Jackson’s outburst in the later minutes of the game were key to the win, Donovan Billings’ game-high 14 points were the difference, and garnered him MVP accolades. Hunter Jackson finished with 10 points. Terrence Williams led the NYBL with 12 points, while Jordan McPhatter added 8. The NYBL roster included: Jordan Toles, Zion Harmon, Jeremy Roach, Tyler Brelsford, Jordan McPhatter, Charles Harris, Terrence Williams, Justin Powell, Isaiah LeBlanc, Latrelle Gonzales, Paris Dawson and Cameron Byers, while the Nation roster included: Tarik Booker, Nimori Burnette, Jaden Springer, Ryan Conway, Mike Saunders, Hunter Jackson, Donovan Billings, Reece Beekman, Raymond Terry and Dylan Branson.

The 2019 NYBL vs the Nation game was equally as impressive, but the NYBL squad would jump out to an early lead and hold it for much of the game, until finally notching a 36-32 win. Kobe Langley and Wendell Moore both paced the NYBL with 7 and 6 points respectively, while Marquise Walker was the high man for the Nation with 11 points.  The NYBL roster included: Myles Pierre, Bryan Sanders, Chris’Sean Stringer, Balsa Koprivicia, BJ Mack, Kobe Langley, Wendell Moore, Jeremiah Francis, Isaiah Moseley, Nobal Days and Chris Harris, while the the Nation rosters boasted: Marquise Walker, Sheriff Kenny, Tristan Miller, Makhi Mitchell, Makel Mitchell, Korbin Spencer, Daniel Rodriguez, Christian Depollar, Marvin Price and Makani Whiteside.

Brooks, Kenny, Moseley, Moore, Shouse, Sanders, Langley, Banks & Days
As competitive as the slate of NYBL all-star games proved to be, the Buckeye Prep Elite Showcase segment of the weekend was equally as competitive.  In addition to the Saturday all-star games, players had another opportunity to play themselves into final all-star games on Sunday, based on how their were ranked by their coaches over the course of 4 games. During the showcase games several players logged in standout performances.  We’re not sure anybody’s stock raised more the Indiana’s Keion Brooks, who arrived in Columbus on a mission.  Brooks has always been considered an elite player for quite some time, but his play at the showcase put him in top 10 discussions.  Brooks played hard, demonstrated a nice skill set and displayed his length and athleticism.  Oh yea, Brooks tried to dunk everything in sight.  His George Hill teammate, Dexter Shouse, also had a big weekend, and proved that his game his perimeter skills are evolving and that he can prosper further away from the bucket.  Shouse is big, strong and aggressive and can get to the cup on a regular basis.

North Carolina’s Kobe Langley was impressive all weekend.  Although he did not hang around for the final all-star game, he put in work during the NYBL all-star games and the showcase games.  Langley has a high basketball IQ, knows how to run a team and can score the rock of needed.  In addition, Langley is a good defender who rarely turns the ball over. Moore really impacted the NYBL vs the nation game on both ends of the floor.Wendell Moore’s performance was impressive and his play solidified his place among the top 10 players in the class.  Chicago’s Marquise Walker had another big weekend.  Walker’s handle is elite as are his play making skills.  In addition, he can get you buckets or find teammates for easy scores. Fun to watch; Walker is quietly moving up the rankings and has staked claim to top 10 status.

Maryland’s Sharif Kenny did nothing to hurt his stock, in fact, Kenny was all that was advertised.  At times, Kenny was simply too big and to strong to be guarded, while and dominating games.  From what we saw, Kenny has the skill set to do damage on the wing; he is a great looking prospect, and is clearly a top 5 player in the class.  Canada’s Isaiah Moseley continues to display an elite level game, and his play in Columbus was consist with what we saw during the NYBL season and a few weeks ago and the Future Phenom Camp. Very skilled, athletic and a playmaker best describes Moseley’s game.  Indiana’s Simon Banks was impressive this weekend and he re-emerged as one of the top guards in the class.  Team Florida’s Balsa Koprivcia and Bryan Sanders both had standout performance during the weekend.  Sanders’ size, strength and ability to handle the rock sets him apart from many in his class.  Koprivcia was much more aggressive this past weekend and his production reflected that.  In terms of upside, Koprivcia has high major potential.  Wisconsin’s Nobal Days drew the attention of several scouts over the weekend and what’s most impressive about Days’ game right now is his defense and shot blocking ability.  As he gets stronger and more offensively gifted, look for Day’s stock to rise significantly.  Already, days’ long-term potential is high major!

Jeremiah Francis, Alphonse Hale & Andre Gordon
Columbus’ Jeremiah Francis has consistently excelled in NYBL play and on the national camp circuit, and his performance this past weekend was just as impressive. Widely considered one of the top 1 or 2 floor generals in the country, Francis’ play supported those claims. With good size for his position, Francis goes strong to the cup and either finishes with contact or kicks the rock to a spot up shooter for a jumper.  Francis clearly understands the game and often makes the right decision.  He’s a hard-nosed defender who can also rebound the ball at a high rate.  Francis is a stat sheet stuffer.  His All-Ohio Red teammate, Andre Gordon, had a coming out party of sorts. Francis, Mitchell and Stringer got most of the love on that team, but Gordon’s 30-point outburst in the NYBL Top 60 all-star game announced his arrival.  Gordon is a strong guard who understands how to use his strength and body to get into the paint and score. In terms of guards in Ohio, Gordon is in the top 2-3 range, but deserves more national attention We have to give some props to Cleveland’s Alfonse Hale.  He does not get a lot of ink on that Ohio Basketball squad, but he is as productive as many of the more heralded players in the class.  Nationally, he is a virtual unknown, but at some point, that’s going to change.  Easily top 5 in Ohio.

Harmon, Jackson, Dawson, Toles, Billings, Williams, S. Johnson, M. Johnson & Wilson
We have spent most of this recap talking about the class of 2019, but the showcase was jammed packed with talent at every age division.  Guys like Cory Davis (2018), Kristian Pechac (2018), Justin Johnson, Shawn Christian, John Kirinick, Jeremiah Keene (2019), Zerek Thomas (2019), Tariq Aman (2019), Daniel Rodriguez (2019), JC Tharrington (2019), Hunter Jackson (2020), Zion Harmon (2021), Donovan Billings (2020), Jordan Toles (2020), Isaiah Kennedy (2020), Parris Dawson (2020), Cameron Byers (2020), Chance Mott (2020), Jordan McPhatter (2020) Christopher Ford (2020), Tyler Brelsford (2020), Cameron Byers (2020), Meechie Johnson (2021), Seth Wilson (2021), Noah Peoples (2021), Legend Greeter (2021), Khalil Brantley (2021), Sonny Johnson Jr. (2022), Aaron Davis (2021), Mike Saunders Jr. (2020), Andre Irvin (2021), Collin Albert (2021), Jackson Holt (2021), Paul McMillan Jr. (2022), Sean Jones (2022), KK Bradford (2022) and Khalil Luster (2022) all logged in standout performances.

With over 530 players in the gym it’s near impossible to see all of the players and to identify all of the standout performers who deserve some recognition.  With this in mind, we brought in several scouting service to help cover the event and evaluate players.  Hopefully, between all of the scouts present in the gym, players deserving of recognition will receive it.  Below are link to several articles and recaps featuring standout out performances during the event.

Friday, July 11, 2014

NYBL Extends Special Invitations to All-Star Weekend

By now, most every youth basketball fan has heard about the elite competition and maximum exposure offered by the National Youth Basketball League (NYBL).  Although many of the nation’s top teams and players participated in the league this year, there is a recognition there is still a lot of individual talent around the country waiting to be discovered. Consequently, the NYBL is extending “special invitations” to some of the top young ballers in the country to participate in the festivities, which are currently scheduled for September 13th & 14th in Columbus, Ohio.

These special invitations will offer an opportunity to play with and against the top players from the NYBL.  In addition, players will receive the same level of exposure afforded to the top players in the league. In addition, depending on the level of interest from the list of Special Invitees, a special “NYBL vs The Nation” all-star game could be added to the slate of featured all-star games. Interested players should contact Rob Taylor at 614-203-2929 as soon as possible. Also, below is a link to the invitation letter and registration forms (for invitees only). This event represents an excellent opportunity to compete against the nation’s most elite players and to get the exposure you deserve. Don’t miss out on the opportunity!

NYBL All-Star Game Rosters (Updated 9-11-14)

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

NYBL Season Two Random Thoughts

Now that season two of the National Youth Basketball League (NYBL) is in the books, and the  AAU Nationals has once again been dominated by NYBL teams, I thought it would be a good time to recap some of the major storylines from this past season. First of all, a number of youth basketball fans doubted the NYBL would return for a second season after several newcomers entered the market with similar plans for a middle school league.  Despite their efforts to duplicate the magic of the inaugural season of the NYBL, most attempts failed totally and/ or limped along in obscurity.  Undoubtedly, there will be newcomers to the market next year with bright ideas and proclamations about how they can do a better middle school league; however, the NYBL has set the standard and will field an even bigger and better league in 2015!

All-Ohio Red-NYBL National Champions
Secondly, hats off to All-Ohio Red for claiming back-to-back NYBL National Championships. Regardless of a team’s talent level, repeating as champions is a monumental task. It wasn’t a cakewalk for All-Ohio as they were down several times over the course of the championship weekend; however, the players never lost confidence, rallied to erase big defects, and continued to advance. What was most evident from All-Ohio this season is their relentless style of play, their reliance on depth and the emergence of role players. Jerimiah Francis and Jordan Mitchell receive most of the praise, but All-Ohio is a complete team with a lot of assets. Guys like Chris’Sean Stringer, Chris Payne, Amari Davis, Andre Gordon came up big for All-Ohio over the course of the season and Demarko Bradley Jr. Greg Tribble Jr. and Malachi Matthews come off the bench with production and were critical components to All-Ohio’s success.

Team CP3-AAU National Champions
Thirdly, while we’re mentioning back-to-back national championships, we have to give props Coach Keyford Langley and his Team CP3 squad for their second consecutive title at the AAU Nationals this past week.  Despite taking a loss in pool play, Team CP3 made serious run that did not end until they revenged their only loss to the California-based City Stars in the championship game (58-43).  NYBL teams joining CP3 in the final four were All-Ohio Red, and Team Takeover, with the Memphis War Eagles and George Hill rounding out the Elite 8.  All-in all, 6 teams that played in the NYBL finished in the top 12 (Texas Express placed 11th). From where we sit, that’s a dominating performance that highlights the competitiveness of the NYBL!

Year two of the NYBL was marked by significant expansion as we added a 16-team 6th grade division, while increasing the 2019 division from 24 to 32 teams. The growth was more than just numbers as the quality of the additions strengthened the league in terms of both team and individual talent.  In the 7th grade division, the addition of teams like the Memphis War Eagles, George Hill Rising Stars, Brampton Warriors, Butler Elite, Team Florida, Team United, Northern Kings, Reach Higher Kings and the Charlotte Rivals represented significant upgrades! Those additions also allowed us the opportunity to watch and evaluate the play of DJ Jefferies, Chandler Lawson, Joe Cooper, Sydney Curry, Dexter Shouse Jr., Kyle Rode, Simon Banks, Nobal Days, Balsa Koprivicia, Bryan Sanders, Isaiah Moseley and many others.

West Coast All-Stars-NYBL National Champions (2020)
Some detractors suggested that west coast teams would not support the NYBL; however, in the 2020 division, the West Coast All Stars brought a lot of sizzle to the league as they made their trek to the 6th grade title. Also, the Oakland Solders were magnificent and logged in dominate performances throughout league play. The Leesburg Basketball Club began the league without much fanfare, but eventually fought their way all the way to the title game. The Worldwide Wildcats are loaded with talent, and their 15-5 overall record solidified their spot atop the league.  Moreover, Team Glory and the Banneker Kings renewed their regional rivalry and brought a lot of excitement to league. The division-wining Mansfield Cavs had to be the surprise team of the league as the little known team from small town Ohio went head-to-head with some of the country’s top teams and did not flinch. CBC elite and the God First Crusaders round out the top echelon of the 6th grade division, and both teams had some exciting moments.

Morrow, Harris, Harmon, Toles, Walker, LeBlanc, Ross, McNeil & Harris
Although smaller in numbers, the 6th grade division featured a number of elite players who currently sit atop most national rankings. Shemar Morrow, the undisputed #1 ranked player in the country, started his NYBL campaign off with a bang as he dropped 52 points, including a transition dunk, during a game in the opening session. Morrow’s performance was captured on video that later garnered national and mainstream media attention. On par with Morrow‘s performance was Zion Harmon who, in session #4, exploded with multiple double digit-scoring games. Harmon, only a 5th grader, established himself as the clear # 1 player in the class of 2021. Jason Harris, Jordan Toles, Kyree Walker, Parris Dawson, Davion Ross, Isaiah LeBlanc, Chuck Harris and Montez McNeil were all consistent top performers this past season and will all continue to be ranked among the best in the nation in the class of 2020.

Year two for the NYBL was also marked by an international invasion that included 6 Canadian teams between the 2 divisions. The Brampton Warriors, Northern Kings, DC United and the Mississauga Knights were all competitive and added a nice flavor to the league. Of course the NYBL will take credit for the discovery of Rohan Barrett Jr. who took the league and nation by storm with his elite level and consistent play.  A virtual unknown heading into league play, Barrett is now considered one of the top 2-3 players in the class. In terms of other Canadian discoveries, you might want to add Isaiah Moseley and Andrew Nembhard to the list as both players put themselves on the map during league play.

Kporivica, Days, Lawson, Jefferies, Jones, Mack & Jones
The NYBL is also very proud of the size of the bigs we were able to attract to the league, with at least 7 players standing 6’6 or better.  In addition, there were at least 24 players who are at least 6’4. Those players include: 6’9 Balsa Koprivica, 6’8 Nobal Days, 6’7 Joe Jones III, 6’7 Jaden Campbell, 6’6 Brian “BJ” Mack II, 6’6 Taylor Currie, 6’5 Chandler Lawson, 6’5 Kyle Rode, 6’5 Hunter Dickerson, 6’5 Javon John, 6’5 Chris Coffey, 6’4 Bryce Okpoth, 6’4 Nicholas Evtimov, 6’4 DJ Jefferies, 6’4 Sydney Curry, 6’4 Michael Christmas, 6’4 Mikeal Jones, 6’4 Keion Brooks, 6’4 Rohan Barrett Jr., 6’4 Quinn Cafferty, 6’4 Che Evans, 6’4 BJ Joyner, 6’4 James Wiseman,  6’4 Nadel Mush, 6’4 Chris Bonds, 6’4 Jamel Boone, 6’4 Erik Penilla, 6’4, Sidney Okeke, 6’4 Shamar Brown and 6’4 Jervon Davis. With the above list of post players, undoubtedly, the league has the best collection of talent and skill of any league/event in the country.

Francis, Nembhard, Evans, Maxey, Brelsford, Cooper, Langley, Hale & McGriff
College coaches always target the bigs first, but the point guard position is a critical element in any championship level team.  The NYBL featured many of the top point guards in the class of 2019. At this early age, there will be a lot of the bigger, more offensive-minded guards transitioning to the point, but in terms of the most recognized floor generals at this point, the league’s best (2019) include: Jerome Francis, Andrew Nembhard, Evan Johnson, Tyrese Maxey, Joe Cooper, Keyshun Langley, Tyler Brelsford, Alfonse Hale, Johnathon McGriff, Kendrick “KJ” Thorn, Diablo Stewart and Simon Banks. Some of 2020’s elite included: Zion Harmon, Davion Ross, Jordan McPhatter, Devion Smith, Brock Williams, Tyrone Washington, Dominc Wynn, Alex Wade, Will Paige and several others.

Pierre, Langley, Antoine, Moseley, Moore, Harris, Gwyn,Moore, Tharrington & Green
The league was also blessed with a ton of talent at the off guard position.  Some of the top shooting guards included: Myles Pierre, Bryan Antonie, Kobe Langley, Isaiah Moseley, JC Tharrington, Chris Harris Jr. Chaz Gwyn, Justin Moore, Jay Heath, Eric Beckett, Anthony Edwards, Branton McCray and Michael Green. As lauded to earlier, many of the players mentioned above can, and/or will find a spot at the point guard position.

Barrett, Moore, Lewis, Jefferies, Sanders, Mitchell, Lawson, Sturdivant & Shouse
One of the most difficult positions to fill on a team is an athletic and scoring wing. The NYBL was blessed with a number of players who fit the bill.  Guys like Rohan Barrett Jr, Wendell Moore Jr., Scottie Lewis, DJ Jefferies, Jordan Mitchell, Isaiah Watson, Kyle Sturdivant, Quinn Cafferty, Dexter Shouse Jr., Justin Moore, Demonta Hudson, Armari Davis and Dashan McKinney were some of the league’s top- wings. In the 6th grade division, the top wings included Isaiah LeBlanc, Jeremy Roach, Jordan Toles, Domingus Stevens, Luke Stankavage, William McClendon, James Wilborn and Antwon Norman.

In an ideal world, every team that entered the league would attend each and every session; however, on a couple of occasions this season the league had to bring in fill in teams.  For the most part, the talent level of the replacement teams was very high. In fact, teams like Team Teague (2019), Arkansas Warriors (2019), Central Florida Elite (2019), DC Premiere (2020) and San Diego Select (2020) knocked off some of the league’s top teams and actually turned out to be great additions to the league.

In addition to the unmatched level of competition, the NYBL is pleased with the amount of exposure provided by our media partners. Our players are represented in every national top player list, and that can be directly attributed to the level of exposure the NYBL has provided over the last 2 years. Not only were new players discovered this season, many of our guys made huge moves up the national rankings. In addition to the Buckeye Prep Report, Bill Francis (Prolific Performance, DMV Elite & Basketball Spotlight), Mike Melton (Basketball Spotlight) and Spencer Pulliam (Dunk Dog & Future 150) all pumped out quality content about the league, teams and players.  Bottom line, the NYBL has the media piece on lock, as the leading middle school scouting services routinely cover the league.

The NYBL All-Star Weekend is fast approaching and is poised to be one of the most competitive events in the country.  In terms of the rising 7th and 8th grade divisions, the competition and the number of elite players committed to attend will be unmatched! Although many of the top guys have gone head-to-head for years, the NYBL All-star games and the Buckeye Prep Elite Showcase will give them the opportunity to play together, which will give them an better appreciation for each other’s talent, while developing and strengthening new and existing relationships. Bottom line, top players want to play together and the NYBL All-Star games provide that opportunity.

In closing, plans are currently underway for a bigger and better league in year three. Once again, teams should expect great competition, upgraded facilities and even more exposure. See you in September!