Saturday, August 16, 2008




Monday, July 7, 2008

Northstar Basketball Milestone & Thank You

July 4th is always a big day for Americas, and this year it was a huge day for Northstar Basketball as well. On Friday, Northstar Basketball got over 2,000 hits in one day for the first time ever. I'd like to thank all of the readers of Northstar Basketball for helping to make it a successful site. Without all of you, the information is useless. Thank you all very much!

Hoop Group Elite Camp Day Two Overview- July 6, 2008

Day two at The Hoop Group Elite Camp involved a nice blend of playing five-on-five games, drill work and instruction, and listening to a renowned guest speaker. Rain yet again altered the setup of the day, but that was not nearly enough to keep away throngs of college coaches from schools such as Pitt, Rutgers, St. Joe’s, Temple, UMass and Providence. These six were amongst the THREE HUNDRED or so universities represented today at the camp. Here are the players that I saw who thrived under the spotlight and had nice showings:

Ishmael Kalilou ‘10, Windsor (CT)
LeBrent Walker ‘12, Lincoln (NY)
Prince Okoroh ‘11, Eleanor Roosevelt (NY)
Jimmy Louissaint ‘09, Robeson (NY)
Trevor Cooney ‘11, Sanford (DE)
Mario Monroe ‘10, North Cambridge Catholic (MA)
Kelvin Amayo ‘10, Hillside (NJ)
Rico Winston ‘09, Jericho Christian Academy (MD)
Aaron Brown ‘10, St. Benedict’s (NJ)
Zackary O’Brien ‘09, Watchung Hills (NJ)
Jay Bowie ‘10, Tampa Prep (FL)
Naufall Folahan ‘10, Massanutten (VA)
Given Kalipinde ‘09, Episcopal Academy (VA)
Derrick Wilson ‘11, Hotchkiss School (CT)
Markus Kennedy ‘10, St. Patrick’s (NJ)
Ed DiRugeris ‘09, Pennsbury (PA)
Diyaaldin Kelley ‘09 PG, Mariana Bracetti School (PA)
Ryan Hill ‘10, Steelton Highsprire (PA)
Dalton Pepper ‘09, Pennsbury (PA)
Kyle Anderson ‘12, Paterson Catholic (NJ)
Dondre Whitmore ‘10, Trenton Catholic (NJ)
Kamil Parzch ‘10, Lindenhurst (NY)
Josiah Woodruff ‘09, Jericho Christian Academy (MD)
Blake Bozeman ‘10, Paul VI (VA)
Justin Crosgile ‘09, DePaul Catholic (NJ)
Theo Boyomo ‘10, The Kent School (CT)
Omi Ogolo ‘09, James Madison (VA)
Marcus Hebron ‘09, Laurel (MD)
Stephen Spinella ‘09 PG, The Nia School (NJ)
Nick Goff ‘09, St. Francis DeSales (OH)
Kellen Cade ‘09, Hotchkiss School (CT)
Cameron Baker ‘09, Columbus Academy (OH)

The single most impressive one-game performance I saw today was easily that of 6′0 Justin Crosgile in his team’s win during the after set of games. Although official stats aren’t kept, Justin probably dropped around 20 or 25 points in a come-from-behind victory. The Saint Joseph’s commit almost single-handedly brought his team back into the game, against a quality squad featuring Trevor Cooney. Crosgile got it done on both sides of the ball, getting steals and boards on defense, while hitting jumpers, getting to the hole, rebounding, and getting his teammates involved. Crosgile is one of the best point guards in the class of 2009, and games like he had this afternoon are proof of just that.

Some of the young guns went to work today - giving everyone a preview of the talent in the classes of 2011 and 2012. LeBrent Walker, a 6′1 rising freshman had a solid showing in his squad’s final game of the day. Walker got to the basket with ease and had some tough finishes around the rim. LeBrent’s teammate, 6′3 rising sophomore Prince Okoroh also performed well in the team’s last game on day two. Prince showed off a nice all-around game and a knack for getting to the rack. Another youngster who had a solid showing was 6′0 Derrick Wilson, a rising sophomore from out of The Hotchkiss School (CT). Despite not playing up to his potential for much of his team’s first game, Wilson came through when it mattered most. With his squad down one and only eight seconds to go, Derrick drove the length of the court for a layup to put his team out front 53-52, and it would stay that way after 6′4 Aaron Brown of St. Benedict’s missed a shot from about 14 feet out at the buzzer. Last but not least of the underclassmen who had impressive showings on Sunday was Kyle Anderson of Paterson Catholic (NJ), a 6′5 rising freshman. Anderson is one of the most highly-touted players in the class of 2012 nationally, and although he was not outstanding, Kyle more than held his own on the court. The Playaz (NJ) AAU program member showed nice court vision and stellar passing skills - his biggest asset is his fantastic basketball IQ. If these five kids are any indication, the talent level at The Hoop Group Elite Camp will not be falling off any time soon, as there are some gems in younger classes.

Derrick Wilson: Xavier, Texas, Arizona, Duke, and Stanford
Offers: Xavier
Favorites: Texas, Arizona, and Duke; those are his top three
Note- Xavier, Texas, Arizona, and Duke are “highly interested” and “are the main schools” recruiting him

Zackary O’Brien: Central Florida, Stanford, Fordham, Penn St., Niagara, Rider, Auburn, Missouri, James Madison, and St. Joseph’s
Offers: Stanford, Fordham, Niagara, James Madison, and St. Joseph’s
Favorites: Central Florida, Stanford, Niagara, and St. Joseph’s
Note- he says that Rider is “going to offer in [around] two weeks.”

Dalton Pepper: West Virginia, Villanova, Temple, Wake Forest, and Miami
Offers: All five
Favorites: None, “I’m not sure yet.”

Myles Mack ‘11, Paterson Catholic (NJ): Florida and Georgetown
Offers: Georgetown
Favorite: Florida
Note- “That’s all I know right now,” he said of the schools recruiting him, indicating that there are likely more schools involved

Russ Smith ‘10, Archbishop Malloy (NY): Jacksonville, Arkansas, Louisville, George Mason, Ohio, Rutgers, Iona, New Mexico, Rhode Island, Wright St., Miami, St. John’s, Minnesota, Virginia, and South Carolina
Offers: Iona and Rhode Island
Favorites: n/a
Note- he said that “it looks like [Virginia and South Carolina] will offer” him a scholarship

Mike McFadden ‘09, Technology (NJ): Utah, Maryland, Providence, Penn St., LSU, and George Mason
Offers: Utah
Favorites: None, “not really”

Dondre Whitmore: Rider, Iona, Fordham, Robert Morris, St. John’s, and Kent St.
Offers: Rider, Iona, Fordham, and Robert Morris
Favorites: None, “I really don’t have any.”

DeOliver Davis ‘10, Hun (NJ): Dartmouth and Yale
Offers: None
Favorites: n/a
Notes- he is being recruited by “a lot of Ivy [League schools],” has a GPA of “about 3.6,” and said, “I like American, I like Lafayette, . . . I like the Patriot League.”

Trevor Cooney: Delaware, St. Joseph’s, Villanova, Rutgers, West Virginia, Virginia, Notre Dame, and Wake Forest
Offers: Delaware, St. Joseph’s, and Rutgers
Favorites: Delaware, St. Joseph’s, Rutgers, West Virginia, Notre Dame, and Wake Forest
Notes- on his top three, he said they are “probably the ones that have offered me [a scholarship], . . . [and] probably Notre Dame is up there too.” If signing day were tomorrow, he would sign with “Notre Dame maybe,” but of the schools that have offered, he would pick “probably Delaware.”

LeBrent Walker: Arizona, Tennessee, Baylor, Fordham, and St. John’s
Offers: None
Favorites: Kansas St., North Carolina, and UCLA
Note- his favorite of the schools that he has interest from is St. John’s

Prince Okoroh: UMBC, Hood College, and he visited a “small church school” in North Carolina
Offers: None
Favorite: UMBC, “I’d like to go to UMBC out of those ones.”

Sunday was a great day at The Hoop Group Elite Camp, and Monday should bring more of the same, so make sure you check back later for more information.

For more info on Hoop Group Elite Camp, including how to register for camp, please visit:

For more info and updates on both this event and others from the world of high school and AAU basketball check out

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Hoop Group Elite Camp Day One Overview- July 5, 2008

The Hoop Group Elite Camp kicked off today with numerous high-DI prospects, as well as many other DI, DII, and DIII players in attendance. With slightly over 700 kids, this four day camp is the biggest that The Hoop Group has ever had. I was fortunate enough to be able to see quite a few of the top players in action, and a number of ballers were kind enough to chat with me. Without further ado, here’s the overview of the first day of the The Hoop Group Elite Camp.
First off, here is a short sampling of the well-known and/or highly-regarded prospects at the event:

Tyreak Johnson ‘09, St. Raymond’s (NY)
Justin Crosgile ‘09, DePaul Catholic (NJ)
Aaron Brown ‘10, Roman Catholic (PA)
George Harper ‘10, Academy of the New Church (PA)
Rakeem Christmas ‘11, North Catholic (PA)
CJ Aiken ‘10, Abington (PA)
Tyreek Duran ‘10, Neumnn-Goretti (PA)
Adrian Satchell ‘09, Windsor (CT)
Shannon Givens ‘09, Academy of the New Church (PA)
Markus Kennedy ‘10, St. Patrick’s (NJ)
Khalif Wyatt ‘09, Norristown Area (PA)
Kyrie Irving ‘10, St. Patrick’s (NJ)
Egheosa Edomwonyi ‘09, Hun (NJ)
Andre Gillette ‘09, Neumann-Goretti (PA)
Trevor Cooney ‘11, Sanford School (DE)
Rakeem Brookins ‘10, Roman Catholic (PA)
Jayon James ‘10, Paterson Catholic (NJ)

In addition, there will be a few high-quality players who will be coming tomorrow, such as Dalton Pepper ‘09 of Pennsbury (PA) and Mike McFadden ‘09 of Technology (NJ). Despite the U-18 tryouts going on in Virginia and the Rbk U camp taking place in Pennsylvania, The Hoop Group Elite Camp is not lacking talent at all.

As I walked around The College of New Jersey today surveying the games, I took the time to watch some particular players. Along the way, a handful of other kids caught my eye. Some of the top players that I saw on Saturday were the aforementioned Aaron Brown, Rakeem Christmas, Shannon Givens, Markus Kennedy, Khalif Wyatt, Rakeem Brookins, and Jayon
James. The following guys also stood out to me:

Julian Watson ‘09 PG, Arundel (MD)
Kellen Cade ‘09, Hotchkiss School (CT)
Karon Abraham ‘09, Paterson Eastside (NJ)
Azfar Kahn ‘09, East Meadow (NY)
DeOliver Davis ‘10, Hun (NJ)
Lasan Kromah ‘09, Eleanor Roosevelt (MD)
Hayden Palozej ‘09, Stafford (CT)
Reginald Lewis ‘09, Beford (OH)
Jevoy White ‘09, North Plainfield (NJ)
Paris Grant ‘09, Imhotep Charter (PA)
Chase Plummer ‘10, St. Patrick’s (NJ)
Bilal Kelly ‘09, Mariana Bracetti School (PA)
William Harrison ‘09 PG, Wadleigh (NY)
Kevin McGaughey ‘10, Broad Run (VA)
Rico Winston ‘09, Jericho Christian Academy (MD)
Aaron Brown ‘10, St. Benedict’s (NJ)
Keith Brown ‘09, Malboro (MA)
Devon Saddler ‘09, Aberdeen (MD)


William Harrison: George Mason, Binghamton, Marist, St. Joseph’s, and Stony Brook
Offers: None
Favorite: George Mason

Shannon Givens: Seton Hall, Drexel, Harvard, Stanford, Quinnipiac, LaSalle, and Rutgers
Offers: Drexel, LaSalle, Rutgers
Favorite: None

Bilal Kelly: Princeton, Rider, and UConn
Offers: None
Favorite: Rider
Note- Kelly is considering transferring to “either ANC [Academy of the New Church] or Solesbury,” both of which are in Pennsylvania

Rakeem Christmas: Memphis, Kansas, and Virginia
Offers: None
Favorite: Memphis

Rico Winston: Rutgers, St. John’s, and Clemson
Offers: None
Favorite: None
Note- Winston said that he gets “a lot of letters from Clemson.”

Khalif Wyatt: Temple, St. Joseph’s, Delaware, James Madison, New Hampshire, Siena, Niagara, and Rider
Offers: Delaware
Favorite: None, “I can’t say right now.”

Rayner Moquette ‘09, Our Savior New American: Davidson, Virginia Commonwealth, Princeton, Holy Cross, Manhattan, NJIT, and Bucknell
Offers: None, but said that Davidson and VCU contacting him the most and are “about to” offer him a scholarship
Favorites: Virginia Commonwealth and Davidson
Note- has a “3.5″ GPA

Reginald Lewis: Oregon St., Northwestern, Indiana, and Cleveland St.
Offers: None, “no one right now.”
Favorite: Oregon St.

Devon Saddler: TCU, Quinnipiac, Towson, and Drexel
Offers: TCU
Favorite: TCU

Rakeem Brookins: Georgetown, Texas, Virginia, Providence, Delaware, UPenn, Penn St., Clemson, St. Joseph’s, Temple, George Mason, George Washington, Princeton, Brown, and Buffalo
Offers: Delaware and UPenn
Favorites: Georgetown, Texas, Providence, and St. Joseph’s
Note- has a “3.5″ GPA

Keith Brown: Yale, Bucknell, Lehigh, Brown, Army, Navy, Holy Cross, and Quinnipiac Offers: None, “no one right now.”
Favorites: Navy and Quinnipiac, ”probably Navy or Quinnipiac.”

Dominique Raney ‘11, Putnam City (OK): Wichita St. and a DII school in Oklahoma
Offers: None
Favorites: n/a

The best part of the day came in the last set of games. Inclimate weather forced the NCAA (class of 2011 kids) into the main gym, where basically everyone was at that time. During one of the games, there was a roar from the far court . . . then another . . . and another . . . and so on. I made my way over to the court just in time to see Dominique Raney make a crossover, get to the hole, sky and jam. Apparently, Raney had been putting on a show. There was a massive crowd around all four sides of the court, and people were literally on that court as well as the one next to it. Raney’s display of athleticism and hops summed up the quality of this event.

The NBA East Draft was a great event. The draft took about five hours total, and despite the length was an enjoyable part of the camp for those involved. Things began with the selection of centers. The top choice at this position was a kid playing up, Rakeem Christmas, a 6′9 rising sophomore from North Catholic (PA). Massanutten (MA) 6′10 rising senior Mouphtaou Yarou went second, and was followed up by 6′8 Daryl McCoy, a rising senior from Hartford (CT). After the centers came the point guards. Another Rakeem went first in this cateogry: 5′10 rising junior Rakeem Brookins of Roman Catholic (PA). After Brookins was Notre Dame Prep (MA) rising senior, 6′1 Antoine Allen. Shannon Givens, a 5′11 rising senior from Academy of the New Church (PA) went third. After the floor generals came the small forwards, and the top choice was never in doubt, as arguably the camp’s best player is a 3. Dalton Pepper, a 6′5 rising senior from Pennsbury (PA) was selected first. Bishop O’Connell (VA) 6′5 rising senior Kevin Jones was chosen after Pepper. Rounding out the top three at the 3 was 6′6 soon-to-be post-grad Mike Burwell from South Kent (CT). The power forwards were slated to go next, and 6′6 rising senior Mike McFadden of Technology (NJ) led the way. Jordan Allen, a 6′5 rising sophomore from Bay Shore (NY) was picked in the two spot. Jamee Jackson, a 6′7 rising senior at St. Anthony’s was chosen third amongst power forwards. Last but not least were the shooting guards. The two-guard is one of the most stacked positions at the event, and 6′2 rising senior Devon Saddler of Aberdeen (MD) was the first 2 picked. Shane Southewell, a 6′5 rising junior from Rice (NY) went second, and 6′2 rising junior Jermaine Pert of Paterson Catholic (NJ) went third. The NBA East Draft may have taken a while, but it turned out well.

Stay tuned for more from The Hoop Group Elite Camp!

For more info and updates on both this event and others from the world of high school and AAU basketball, check out


Throughout the month of July I will be quite busy, including working at many of The Hoop Group's camps. My work for The Hoop Group began yesterday, July 5th, at the Hoop Group Elite Camp. I will be doing their daily blogging of events, and I'll also be posting information here on Northstar Basketball. The Hoop Group's website is I would like to say, though, that I may need some patience regarding article posts, as I will be covering basketball almost non-stop. I'll definitely do my best to get up articles, but please bear with me. Thanks!

Friday, July 4, 2008

Update on . . . Austin Rivers

It seems that I got to Austin Rivers at just the right time. The rising sophomore from Winter Park (FL) pulled the trigger on his recruitment recently. The 6'3.5 guard, the son of the Boston Celtics' Head Coach Doc Rivers, has committed to Florida. I spoke with Austin today to discuss his decision. "I felt real comfortable with the coaches [and it's a] . . . beautiful campus," said the up-and-coming class of 2011 stud. Rivers is one of the few committed players in his class, with superstar Aaron Ross (Arkansas) being another. I inquired of the young Rivers whether he was always planning on committing so early, and he told me this: "I really didn't know at first. . . . I knew I should look at some other schools, . . . [but there is] no way a college could be any better." Picking a school at such an early age will make it so that Rivers won't be able to fully enjoy the recruiting process. I asked if if he wishes that he would have had the opportunity to do so, and he told me this: "No, I . . . think it'll be a lot easier doing what I'm doing. . . . [It feels like a] weight has been lifted from my shoulders." I found it interesting that Austin committed to UF, as he had told me that he planned on visiting Memphis, as well as some other prestigious basketball schools. I asked Rivers what he story was on this, and he told me that he "ended up not doing it' because "when it comes down to it, it's going to be the same," adding that he "didn't need to look at the other places in [his] mind." To give you an idea of how great it felt for the young guard to commit, he informed me that "it was more exciting" than when his dad won the NBA Championship with the Celtics. His reasoning was that his "dad won," and not him, whereas he was the one who committed. Austin Rivers is a player to watch down the road, and I'll make sure you can keep track of him right here on Northstar Basketball.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Update on . . . Lance Stephenson

If you recall, I recently posted an interview with the father of 6'6 swingman Lance Stephenson '09. In the talk, Mr. Stehenson mentioned Memphis, Kansas, St. John's, UCLA, and USC as his son's finalists. The Lincoln (NY) star apparently has another school on his mind, though. Adam Zagoria of has an article on his site, in which he reports that the younger Lance said that Kansas, Memphis, and Tennessee are his favorites. Making it in more interesting is that Mr. Stephenson informed me that UCLA is his current favorite, yet the Bruins are not in Lance's top three. Stephenson is a player to keep in an eye on, and I'll do just this for you.

Note- This is the link to the article on with Stephenson's school list: