Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Providence Jam Fest- New York & New Jersey Dominate

The Hoop Group's Providence Jam Fest took place this weekend, and it was all about teams from New York and New Jersey. In both the U-17 and U-16 age groups, the Silver and Gold bracket winners came from one of the two states. At the U-17 level, it was the squads from the Big Apple that put on a show, as the Juice All-Stars (NY) were the overall champs, taking home the title in the Gold bracket. New Heights 2010 picked up the Silver title, despite playing up a year. Meanwhile, at the U-16 level, the Jersey teams were the ones that took the crowns. Playaz Red (NJ) won the event title, winning the Gold bracket, while Team New Jersey ABC was the Silver winner. The Juice team features three top-notch ballers from Lincoln (NY) in 6'1 senior Vince Council, 5'11 sophomore Devon McMillan, and 6'8 junior James Padgett. The New Heights group featured 6'7 sophomore Devon Collier from St. Anthony's (NJ), 6'10 freshman Joe DeLaRosa from St. Raymond's (NY), 6'8 sophomore Ashton Pankey from St. Anthony's (NJ), and 6'6 sophomore Jayvuahgn Pinkston from Bishop Loughlin (NY). Those names from New Heights will be ones to watch over the next few years, as they are all sure to put up some numbers at their schools and get heavy college looks. The Playaz team is absolutely stacked from top to bottom and includes the following players: 6'2 sophomore Cameron Ayers from Germantown Academy (PA), 5'11 junior Michael Celestin from Lenape (NJ), and 6'2 sophomore Isaiah Epps from Plainfield (NJ). As well, the team has five sophomores from Paterson Catholic (NJ) in 6'6 TJ Clemmings, 6'5 Fuquan Edwin, 6'5 Jayon James, 6'3 Jermaine Peart, and 6'5 Shaquille Thomas. The NJABC team included 6'9 sophomore Markus Kennedy from St. Patrick's (NJ), 6'2 sophomore Steve Rennard from St. Joseph's (NJ), 6'3 Aaron Gowans from Bloomfield Tech (NJ), 6'7 sophomore Wayne Newsom from Piscataway (NJ), 6'4 sophomore Harold Spears from Faith Christian Academy (PA), and 6'3 sophomore Dontae Johnson from The Pennington School (NJ). The team also has three sophomores from Trenton Catholic (NJ): 6'4 Frantz Massenat, 6'5 Markese Tucker, 5'9 Dondre Whitmore, in addition to TCA junior 5'7 Reggie Coleman. All four of these teams will continue to make noise on the AAU circuit for the rest of the season, and should continue to do so next year, assuming the teams stay together. Mostly every player mentioned will eventually be playing DI basketball, with a few DII and DIII players thrown in the mix. The three U-16 teams mentioned are in the upper echelon of teams at that age level in the Northeast, and possibly even in the nation. Be sure to check out these 2010 stars on their path to the NCAA.

Note- the photos on the top left and in the middle on the right are of James Padgett and Ashton Pankey, respectively, and both are from http://scouthoops.scout.com/

Note- the photo in the middle on the left is of Isaiah Epps and is from http://njmg.typepad.com/zagsblog/

Note- the photo on the bottom right is of Frantz Massenat and is from http://www.rivals.com/

Note- http://nychoops.rivals.com/ and http://njhoops.rivals.com/ were used for information

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