Friday, November 7, 2014

City Stars Prepares for NYBL

2014 City Stars
According to Mike Morris, Founder of the West Coast All-Stars (WCAS) and coach of the 2020 team, Coach Jimmie Burton will merge his 2019 City Stars team with Morris’ organization to form the “West Coast Stars” for the 2015 season.  As most will recall, Burton’s City Stars squad shocked the nation with their 2nd place finish at the AAU Nationals this year. On their trek to the championship game, the City Stars upended the CP3 All-stars in pool play before losing the rematch to CP3 in the championship game. 

Burton’s roster will remain intact, and includes elite guys like Ernest “EJ” Jackson (5’4 /PG/CA), Jaden McClanahan (5’8/WG/CA) and Jovan McClanahan (5’8/WG/CA), all of whom are ranked in the NYBL’s Top 100 player rankings. When the NYBL season tips off in in March, Burton’s upgraded roster will include the addition of Kevin White (6’4/PF/C/CA), who balled with Surf City this season, and Ethan Anderson (6’1/P/SG/CA), who ran with OC Vision this year. Also returning are: Jordon Wilmore (5’8/WF/CA), Demarjae Gilmore (5'9/SG/WF/ CA), Dorian Stewart (5'6/SG/CA) and JR OLofton (6'2 W/PF/CA).

In an interview earlier this week, Morris indicated that he and Burton had discussed the partnership last year, but the talks did not get serious until several months ago. Morris feels the collaboration is a good fit for both partys, as both organization “are keen on helping kids develop, while providing opportunities for kids to compete,” said Morris. According to Burton, his primary motivation for joining forces with Morris’ organization is all about “representing the west coast.” “They [WCAS] did not have an 8th grade team and I wanted to bring the west coast to the east coast to show the east coast we [west coast] are on the same [talent] level,” said Burton. “A lot of coaches have pride and egos and don’t want to get together to build an elite west coast team,” continued Burton. "I don’t care about the name on the jersey, I want our [west coast] kids to get the experience of playing the best,” offered Burton. "I tried to do this a couple of years ago, but everybody wants to poke their chests out…to be the man,” Burton said.

E. Williams, J. Harris, P. Dawson, D. Dupenia, W. McClendon and N. Velnzia
With the addition of the City Stars, Morris is excited about the 3 teams that will represent his organization and will travel east to participate in the 3rd season of the NYBL.  With core of the 2019 roster still intact, plus a few additions, Morris expects his 2019 team to compete for a NYBL National Championship. “We’re coming to win it,” Morris said. “I expect us to win it. We will be loaded. We will able to leverage Jason [Harris] and Ben [Todd],” continued Morris.  Jason Harris, who has grown to 6’6 by the way, and Todd will see action on both the 2019 and 2020 teams.   In addition, now that Paris Dawson (5'10/SG/CA) has reclassed to 2021, he will split time with the 2020 and 2021 teams.  That will give Morris’ teams a lot of flexibility. “We expect all 3 of our teams to be competitive,” Morris continued.  Burton is equally optimistic about his team’s chances of winning a NYBL National Championship. “It [NYBL] offers a great opportunity. I was there last year and saw all of the teams and the level of competition.  I really think they [his team] they are going to play 150% better in the league.  My guys are looking forward to it [playing in the NYBL]. When the lights come on, my guys come to play. We are seeking to be #1,” Burton said.

In terms of his 2020 team, Morris returns all of his top guys including: Parris Dawson, William McClendon, Nicolas Velnzia, & Tyrone Washington Jr. Morri's team also adds size and depth with the additions of Benjamin Todd (6’7/C/CA) and Dillon Depina (6’1/PF/CA). Before committing to the WCAS, there had been rumors Todd would be running with WACG next season; however, his roster spot with WCAS appears to confirm his intentions to stay closer to home. Depina was a last minute addition to the Oakland Solders’ roster last year, so he brings NYBL experience to the table. With all of the returning players plus the new additions, the WCAS have an excellent chance  of claiming back-to-back NYBL National Championships.  With respect to 

Morris' 6th grade team, they are currently ranked as the #5 best team on the west coast, making them one of the favorites to collect another NYBL National Championship for the organization. Headlining that team ais a quartet of guards including: Dawson, Zaon Collins (5'7/G/NV), Brandon Perez (5'9/G/CA), Ricardo Samierto (5'5/PG AZ), and Mekhi Morrise (5'0 PG/CA). "Look out for for an uptempo style of run and gun play from the West Coast Stars," proclaimed Morris.

2020 West Coast All-Stars-2014 NYBL National Champions
Coming off their runner-up finish at the AAU nationals, plus the addition of some key pieces, the 2019 West Coast Stars can make a legitimate argument for the #1 spot in the nation.  Of course Team CP3 has that honor right now and it's doubtful they plan to relinquish the crown until it’s taken on the court.  However, in terms of the NYBL, Burton’s team has to be the favorite when the 2015 season tips off in March of next year. Get your popcorn folks, the West Coast is coming and they plan to prove a point!  

On a side note, Morris and Burton are not the only coaches planing to represent the west coast in the NYBL next season, as the NGA Stars are ready to flex some muscle as well.  The Stars are currently ranked as the #3 team on the west coast.  More on the Stars later as we plan to introduce that team. 

1 comment:

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