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!

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!

Monday, June 30, 2014

NYBL All-Star Game Rosters Released

The level of team and individual talent amassed by the National Youth Basketball League (NYBL) has been well document, and on September 13th the league’s most elite players will make the trek to Columbus, Ohio to participate in the NYBL All-Star Weekend. As part of the event, the league will sponsor a slate of 5 all-star games between the 6th and 7th grade divisions, including Top 20, Top 40 and Top 60 games in the 7th grade division, and a Top 20 and Top 40 game in the 6th grade division. The league will also be holding ring ceremonies in each of the divisions.

Because the league-sponsored games will be held in conjunction with the Buckeye Prep Elite Showcase, the all-star game participants as well as all of the players who participated in the league will have the opportunity to play 4 additional showcase games against players from all over the country who may not have participated in the NYBL. In addition, although the rosters for the NYBL all-star  games have been preselected, every player in the event will have the opportunity to play their way into a final all-star game on Sunday, based on their ranking during the course of the 4 showcase games. Bottom line, every player in the league is invited to this event and will have the opportunity to participate in high level games.

Below is a link to the NYBL All-Star Game rosters. The players were selected based on their performance throughout the NYBL season. Primarily, those players who made the various “Top Performer” lists were selected, based on their ranking and position. Each team has 2 players per position. In addition to the rosters, a list of alternates has been developed as replacements for those players who cannot participate. Players selected for the all-star games have until July 31st to register and declare their intentions to participate.  After that date, any player who has not registered will be replaced by an alternate who has already registered. It’s our intentions to insure that each of the roster spots is filled well in advance of the event. As was the case last year, this event promises to offer great competition, a high level of exposure and a great time! Congratulations to all of the players who have been selected for the all-star games.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

NYBL Fabulous 50 Released

R. Barrett Jr., W. Moore, B. Koprivica, S. Lewis & J. Fraancis
In our continuing efforts to provide maximum exposure to our teams and players, the National Youth Basketball League (NYBL) has put together a list of the top 50 players in the league so far this season.  Many of the names on the list should come as no surprise as these guys have been spotlighted numerous times since the league tipped off in March.  Anytime you put together a list like this there’s a good chance players will be missed; however, we feel pretty good about the players selected for this honor based on their consistent performance over the course of 3 sessions. At the conclusion of the championship session in Columbus, OH in 2 weeks we will be updating the list for a final time. Below is a link to the NYBL’s Fab 50, and as we always say; nobody is doing the things the NYBL is doing!

NYBL Session #3 Leading Scores

J. Jones, B. Koprivica, E. Johnson, B. McCray & C. Elliott
One of the unique features of the National Youth Basketball League (NYBL) includes the tracking and highlighting of the top players in the league. In session # 3 in Louisville, KY, there were a number of players who put up big numbers in terms of scoring. In the 2019 division, guys like Upstate Elite ‘s Joe Jones (35), Team Florida’s Balsa Koprivica (33), Carolina Chaos’ Evan Johnson (30) and Arkansas Soldierz (30) joined the 30-point Club with big time performances. Only Chase Elliott (2020) with the Worldwide Wildcats reached to 30-point mark with his 31-point explosion against CBC Elite. Although only a handful of guys cracked 30, there were a number of 20-point games in both divisions.  Below is a link to the entire list of leading scorers.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Session #2 Top Performers (2019)

R. Barrett, B. Sanders, C. Payne, B. Antoine & W, Moore
The second stop of the 2014 NYBL season took us to Atlanta, GA, where the team match-ups were off the hook, and the level of individual play remained extremely high. Although we were hoping to crown a fresh new MVP after Session #2, Brampton Warrior’s Rowan Barrett Jr. would have none of that. Barrett has emerged as one of the top players in the NYBL, and possibly the class. He followed up his MVP performance in D.C. with another masterful performance.  According to the scorebooks, Barrett dropped 32 points on Texas Express Elite, one of the better teams in the league, and another 24 points against the Arkansas Soldierz. In addition, in 5 games, Barrett averaged a little oover 20 points per game and for his efforts, Barrett repeats as Session MVP.

We do have some new names on the Session 1st team. Like Barrett, Team Florida’s Bryan Sanders put up big numbers in Atlanta. In fact, in at least 3 games, Sanders scored in double figures, including 19 points against the Charlotte Rivals, 18 points versus Carolina Chaos and another 13 points against the Reach Higher Kings. All-Ohio’s Chris Payne is not always singled out as the top guy, but his lunch pale type production made him the leading scorer for the undefeated All-Ohio squad in the second session. Teammate Chris’Sean Stringer also put in work for All-Ohio and was rewarded with a 5th Team nod.

A. Nembhard, BJ Mack, M. Pierre, J. Gary & K. Sturdavant
We’re not sure anybody had a hotter hand from the perimeter than Team Rio’s Byran Antonio.  Against the 9-1 Team CP3, Antoine was deadly from beyond the arc to the tune of 16 points. He followed that up with another impressive shooting performance 1 game later, where he had to have drained 5-6 treys. His performance in session #2 has earned him a spot of the 1st team. Team CP3 is so loaded with talent; it’s often difficult to select a top player. At given point, any of about 4 players can lead this team in scoring. We gave the edge to Wendell Moore, who not only delivers buckets; he rebounds and defends at a high level. Moore had another solid outing in the ATL.

The 2nd Team is well represented in terms as talent. Team United’s BJ Mack emerged as a force to be reckoned with in the post, while Andrew Nembhard continues to make a case as the top PG in the league. Myles Pierre put up gaudy numbers again, and Juwan Gary paced a talented S.C. Hornets team. The Memphis War Eagles are brimming over with nationally ranked players, but we are giving the nod to Kyle Sturdivant for 2nd Team honors. Several players took turns running the show (DJ Jefferies, Chandler Lawson and a couple of others), but Sturdivant caught our eyes when it mattered. Below is the official Top Performers list.

Friday, May 9, 2014

NYBL Session #2 6th Grade Recap

S. Morrow, K. Walker, D. Stevens, P. Dawson, J. Harris, M. McNeal, Agbo  & B. Williams
A couple of days ago we published a Session #2 recap for the 7th grade division.  The recap outlined the top teams and several standout performers.  Well, the 6th grade division may be smaller in numbers, but by no means is there less team or individual talent! At the very top of the division sits the Oakland Soldiers, who after a 5-0 run in Atlanta remain perfect at 10-0.  If the Solders were not already stacked enough, with studs Shemar Morrow and Kyree Walker, they will be even tougher to beat with the addition of Dylan Dupina (6’0 PF LA) who comes over from the City Stars and the emergence of Kendell Munson (6’2 C Kent, CA). Due to a slight philosophy change in Atlanta, there were a few teams than challenged the Soldiers, but at the end of the day, nobody could take them down. Team Glory was the stiffest challenger, but Oakland still got by them 67-54.

West Coast All-Stars-9-1 After 2 Sessiona
 Arguably the second best team in the league is the West Coast All-Stars, who ran the table in Atlanta with a 5-0 record. This team is also loaded with talent with guys like Jason Harris, Paris Dawson Tyrone Washington, William McClendon, and the only reason they might not be considered the dog in the league right now is their loss to Team Takeover in Session #1. Although West Coast beat the Soldiers in Portland earlier in the year, that was without Walker, plus, Oakland defeated Team Takeover in an instant classic in D.C. Make no mistake, West Coast was challenged in Atlanta, just ask the Leesburg Basketball Club (2-3), who had a chance to get the win, but went down 49-48. Some observers are predicting an all-west coast championship in Columbus.

The Worldwide Wildcats had to feel pretty good about their weekend, finishing with a 4-1 record, with the only loss coming against a very talented San Diego Select (49-41), who was filling in for the weekend. The Wildcats had to fight back the Mansfield Cavs, who so far this NYBL season has surprised some teams with their toughness. Worldwide held on to get the 48-42 victory. Their next biggest challenge was the Carolina Kings (2-3), but again, they held on to win 48-36.

Worldwide Wildcats
Congratulations to San Diego Select for their 5-0 record in Session #2.  Although Steve Wade’s team worked hard to join the league this year, they simply could not make it happen.  However, they did make a cameo appearance in Atlanta, and boy did they look good! Great guard play, wings that can score, a big and aggressive frontcourt make this team very difficult to beat. Worldwide was their stiffest test, but they beat them by 8 points (49-41).

CBC Elite deserves some props, finishing 4-1 on the weekend. CBC had no cake walk either, as they had to get by the Mansfield Cavs (58-69), Brampton Warriors (49-55) and Flint’s Finest (59-69). They hung in there with San Diego, but eventually fell to them 63-48. The God First Crusaders continue to improve, and their 3-2 record is a reflection of that. The Texas based team is powered by Isaiah Leblanc who has led the team in scoring in 2 sessions. Last weekend, they beat Team Glory (44-34), Leesburg (52-49) and Go Hard in the Paint (64-37). Their 2 losses were to the Banneker Kings (62-70) and the West Coast All-Stars 89-49).

The Banneker Kings got 3 wins in Atlanta (3-2), over the likes of God First Crusaders (62-70), Enplay Elite (49-54) and Go Hard in the Paint (62-31).  They were defeated by West Coast (41-72) and Oakland (21-53). When you go 2-3 or worse in a session it’s difficult to get much ink, but there were some very competitive games, and a few teams who had a chance to better their record in Session #2

R. Harris, J. Banks, LeBlanc, C. Ellis, L. Stankavage, C. Harris, T. Notarainni & L. Gonzales
In terms of individual talent, there were a number of players who logged in impressive performances in Session #2.  The following is a short list of the kids we saw: Isaiah Leblanc (6’0 WF Houston), Dimingus Stevens (5’8 SG Washington D.C.), Montez McNeil (6’3 C Baltimore), Jahmal Banks (5’8 WF Washington D.C.), Luke Stankavage  (5’3 SG Charlotte), Jordan McPhatter (4’10 OG Charlotte), Logan Howe (5’6 SG Mansfield, OH), Chance Mott (6’2 C Mansfield, OH), Devon Smith (5’4 PG Snellville, GA), Rakiea Herbin (5’11 C Burlington, NC), Chase Ellis (5’9 PF Dougsville, GA), Jeremy Roach (5’6 SG Leesburg, VA), Chuck Harris (5’6 PG Leesburg, VA), Thomas Naarainni (5’10 WF San Diego), Brock Williams (5’2 PG Burlington, NC), Paris Dawson (5’7 SG Long Beach, CA) Shemar Moorow (6’2 WF Aurora, OH), Kyree Walker (6’2 WF Atlanta), Rico Harris (4’11 PG Flint, MI), Dylan Dupina (5’10 C LA), Karsen Perkins (5’10 C Concord, NC), Jason Harris (6’3 C Chandler, AZ), Tyrone Washington (5’5 PG Tempe, AZ), Zawdie Jackson (5’3 SG Snellville, GA), Jordan Toles (6’0 SG/WF Baltimore), Chibuzo Agbo (6’0 C San Diego), Obinna Anyanwu (6’1 C San Diego) and Alex Wade (5’0 PG San Diego).  Session #3 in Louisville, Kentucky will give teams another opportunity to bolster their record and raise their seeding for the championship session in Columbus, Ohio in June.