Sunday, August 7, 2011

Hoops Elite Academy Arrives On NE Scene

Another nice piece for NE Grassroots Basketball

Hoops Elite Academy Adds Value to NE Basketball
- While the older guys spent the first week of August getting some much deserved R&R after a grueling Live-July, a bunch of New England’s top incoming freshmen, 8th graders, and 7th graders were out in Hardwick, Mass attending the Hoops Elite Academy, which was held on the campus of the Eagle Hill School.  This was the first Summer for the Hoops Elite Academy, a camp which aims to prepare the talented young ball-player to be the best college basketball prospect he can be, both on the court, in the classroom, and as a member of the community.  After spending July following college basketball prospects, we can tell you that there are many players out there who would give anything to have had the opportunity to prepare themselves for the process of building an efficient college basketball prospect resume.

With a highly successful first session in the books, Hoops Elite Academy looks like a great addition to the New England Grassroots Basketball Revolution.  Let’s take a look at who impressed out in Hardwick this past week.

Player Standouts 
Aaron McClean:  2015 - 6'5 F - St. Marks - Expressions
- McClean is an athletic forward who finishes above the rim with dunks and he is an absolute workhorse on the boards.  He has the same mentality on defense, where he guards multiple positions and furiously challenge shot attempts by the opposition.  Neddles to say, he has a great motor.  Offensively, Mclean's game coninues to develop.  He's shooting the ball with extended range and displaying some nice footwork in the post.  Mclean took home the Most Outstanding Defender Award. 

Terance Mann - 2015 - 6'3 G - Hillside School - BABC
- First of all, this young man has the same name as the legendary Terrence Mann character played by James Earl Jones in the Kevin Costner masterpiece Field of Dreams.   In addition to this distinction, the ballplayer Terrence Mann is a silky smooth wing who shoots it with range and has the ability to drive to the hoop and finish above the rim.  He also scores in the mid-range and will go to work on the blocks if he likes a match-up.  Mann is highly flammable...when he gets it going, he gets into a zone and takes his team on his back in clutch stretches.

Bruce Brown - 2015 - 6'3 G/F - Wakefield HS - STARS
- Kerry Kittles-style combination of big-time length and athleticism on the wing.  Brown oozes potential and plays all-out with no fear.  He has speed-to-burn and gets out on the wing and can finish noisily at the rim with two-hands.  He goes for every rebound, every block, and every steal, and right now, that can get him into foul trouble, but as he learns to pick and choose his opportunities, his aggressiveness will be nothing but an asset.  Heading into his Freshman year at Wakefield HS, Brown could make noise right away between the lines.  To prepare for the Season, he'll continue to work on tightening up his handle and pull-up game, while also getting up hundreds of daily jump shots.

Chris Baldwin - 2015 - 6'7 F - Hillside School - Expressions
- Utilizing his combination of size, length, agility, and skill, Baldwin had a dominant and consistent week at camp, playing above the rim and showing a motor which is becoming more consistent by the day.  What makes Baldwin a tantalizing young prospect is his versatility.  He can play out on the perimeter and shoots the ball well from 3-pt range.  In the post, he finishes over both his left and right shoulder using a variety of drop steps, spin moves and half hooks.  Defensively, Baldwin has high-level shot blocking ability and as he develops, he will continue to get himself in more and more shot-challenging situations.  Baldwin took down the Hoops Elite Academy MVP.

Eric D’Aguanno - 2015 - 6'4 F - Narragansett HS - BABC
- D’Aguanno is a versatile combo-forward who takes smaller guys down to the post and takes bigger guys to the perimeter and attacks with the dribble.  He shoots the mid-range jumper very well and has deep range several feet beyond the three-point line.  He also competes like a son of a gun on defense and on the glass, and he'll get on the floor in a hurry for a loose ball.  D’Aguanno took home the Blue vs. White Showcase MVP award and will be entering HS as player to keep an eye on.

Tyree Weston - 2015 - 6'2 G - Tabor Academy - Expressions
-Weston is a natural scorer who lets the game come to him.  He has a powerful body which allows him to finish through contact.  He scores in a variety of ways.  He gets out and fills the lane in transition, shoots the 3-ball, uses the dribble to attack the basket, crashes the offensive boards for put-backs, and he has a nicely developing mid-range pull game.  Weston also has the ability to handle it, playing at the point guard spot at times during the week.  On the defensive end, Weston really puts on the hard-hat and uses his strength and athleticism to be a disruption.  In addition to his hard work on the court, Weston worked extremely hard in the classroom, taking home the Student-Athlete Award for his performance both on and off the court.

Sultan Olusekun - 2015 - 5'10 G - Belmont Hill - Expressions
- Plays the game at his speed and has the rare ability to play with the role of a high-level facilitator on the floor.   He has a high basketball IQ and has a little Derek Harper in his game in that he is a facilitator, has a crisp, steady handle and is a bulldog defensively guarding the ball.  In terms of his own offensive game,  Olusekun has blow-by speed with the dribble and looks to either finish at the rim or get into his mid-range pull-up game.  He also knocks down the 3-point shot and is a natural leader on the floor, resulting in Olusekun taking home the Leadership Award.

Jordan Galloway - 2017- 5'5 G - Smith Leadership Academy - MABC
One of the youngest players at camp, the rising 7th grader showed out against the older guys, showing off a tight handle, deep three-point range, and lighting quick speed which he used to get into the paint, where he impressed with his ability to consistently finish with his floater,  Galloway progressed tremendously throughout the week, earning a spot on the Blue vs. White Showcase. 

Keyshaad Dixon - 2016 - 5'11 G - Braintree, MA - Boston Spartans
- Only a rising 8th grader, Dixon plays a floor game far beyond his age.  He possesses a tight handle, a pure jump-shot, and gets to the basket with the bounce.  If he likes a match-up Dixon will also take his man down low and go to work on the block.  What's most noticeable about Dixon is that he plays with a calm demeanor and does not get rattled.  Throughout the week, he handled the ball efficiently against pressure and also hit a game winner in a back and forth thriller.  Dixon took home the Most Outstanding Underclassmen Award.

Taj-Amir Hazard - 2015 - 5'10 G - Amherst Regional HS
- A lighting quick guard, Hazard blows by defenders with the dribble to create or he'll also use his strength to finish through contact at the basket.  He uses his athleticism defensively to cause fits for the opposition, pressuring ball-handlers and creating havoc in the passing lanes.  Hazard also showed a nice pull up jumper and the ability to make big plays in clutch situations.  Hazard took home the Most Outstanding Playmaker Award.

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