Day 4 of NBS was a test of wills for many kids. Some kids had High School basketball practice and others had scrimmages. There were some tired legs in the gym, but it did not prevent players from staying focused and preforming. My respect for this group of kids is something special. Today rather than just play one 15 min controlled scrimmage. We played a bonus 5 mins because of the quality of play.

Today the evolution of Lindsey Morris continued and college coaches let me say this very strongly, we had 32 D1 players in the gym yesterday and 22 today. There is a real case right now Lindsey Morris has been the best player in the gym. Coaches we put together a SMALL highlight of Lindsey Morris today, the passing, the defense and of course the scoring which has been off the charts all week and today nothing about that changed. Folks there will be no place where Morris will face this type of Competition over a 5 day period. She has proven to be the real deal and RFH has just added a two way insane player to there already loaded team. Morris has done it the old fashion way …hard work and real belief in herself. Anyone who says they saw this coming is flat out not telling the trust. I have know this kid since she was 10 and I did not see this coming. I will admit this…today was the first time a kid has ever made me tear up in a gym. This kid has been a gym rat for years and at one point I even questioned if she would get to where she is today. So it has been one amazing ride. After day one I thought.. what a nice job…but now after 4 days of this, all you can do is shake your head and go WOW…FOLKS NEVER EVER GIVE UP ON A KID AND LINDSEY MORRIS IS THE BEST PROOF OF THIS… Now here is a risky statement but I will go on record right now…Lindsey Morris just might be a D1 player…she is that good right now.


imageGigi Caponergo made an appearance today and coaches you better pay attention to the foot work, ball handling and just overall insane skill sets for someone with such size and mobility. You will get a chance to see on video her do some insane things with the basketball. Things you rarely see her do on the high school or AAU Level. I will say it again and again….Gigi is a BCS type player. She played what seems like 100 games this weekend and then shows up at NBS to battle the likes of Christina Dicinido ..come on how many kids are doing that? How many kids do you know, had a chance to do battle with big names and big talents yet stayed home. Coaches it’s about that competitive nature and doing more than everyone else, this kid does this and does it without fanfare or special treatment….again I WILL SAY.. “I TOLD YOU SO”…. by the way doubters-feel FREE TO TWEET AT ME THE LAST TIME I HAVE BEEN WRONG!….good luck!

S3001_03Allyssa Schriver of Millersville, Pa has made a real case for MVP this week. The lighting quick guard has come out of nowhere to shock everyone. Her quickness level and more importantly her ability to control her own speed is something pretty special and really fun to watch. Seeing her and Desi Allen in transition is like watching a blur. Both are so good at changing on the dime and reading the floor so well….hey Allyssa how can we convince you to come to the Shore Conference!


15-300x288CHEKASKA ANDREWS is on video and her performance today during the one on one is priceless….wow and she is doing it against D1 studs.  and then ask yourself this question. How many guard in the shore are better than her? Then ask this…what can’t see do? Finally ask this question name a guard who is more productive with the ball in terms of positive plays against quality competition? This kid proved today she is about as real as it gets. She is a kid many players would be wise to hide from. I say that Andrews who averaged 17 points and 6 dimes last week is going to be a huge and I mean a huge story after folks get a peep of her on today’s video….by the way I have been talking about her for a year now….so don’t acted shocked..

Nice to see the Crawford Twins in the building today. I think again the video of them today will speak for itself. I will have a full wrap on both young ladies tomorrow. I have some very interesting thoughts about both these young ladies. Now here is something crazy they are attending the same school as Freshman stud Natalie Smith, Notre Dame High school…D1 coaches alert. Notre Dame folks has Shore Conference D1 star power across the board in that program. All three young ladies have huge futures and no question look like impact players one day.

Kelly Crouch again proved she is the best unsigned point guard in the state. I mean the passing skills are just off the charts…But what make her special now is that you simply can not go under screen against her….she makes you pay not with just her shooting…but her decision making it next level stuff all the way…

In my wrap tomorrow I am going to talk about a very special 7th grader who really caught my eye this week…in the meantime her are today’s highlight


gbballwobm3>KATILYN BORGESHI of Donovan Catholic folks can flat out play…now coaches do your job and watch this young lady in pick and roll…watch the defense and the decision makings…look at the strength with the ball….I will say it over and over…reputation only matter until you get on the court. Borgeshi is as good of a on ball defender as anyone in the shore outside Stella Clark and coaches here is some real advice….recruit gym rats who by in to your program and out play players with bigger reps…this kid showed up at NBS knowing she does not have the rep of some others in the gym or those sitting at home resting up for next week or high school practice….this kid is one you need to give a strong look at…watch the video and then you tell me!







Questions to Be Answered @ NJ Jam Fest

Team Champion & MVP awards ready to be handed out this weekend at NJ #HGJamFest

A photo posted by Hoop Group (@hoopgroup) on

Before the ball is tipped in the air early Saturday morning there are few questions we are looking forward to be answered by the end of Sunday…

1) Will the NY teams excel in the 14U divison?

The 14u Division is riddled with premier New York programs. PSA Cardinals and NYC Jayhawks are programs known nationally, not just in the state. And Team Twelve is a team that no one wants to run into in the tournament. Will the 14u championship go to a New York powerhouse? Or will a sleeper like the CJ Jammers make a championship run?

2) Can the 15U NJ Roadrunners make it 3 in a row @ Hoop Group Headquarters?

The New Jersey Roadrunners 15u team has been hot in Hoop Group Showdowns lately. The program has grown accustomed to walking into a HGHQ and walking out with a trophy. Their previous two championships saw final wins over New Heights. While New York team is not in the Spring Showdown, there are a number of teams who can take their place in the final, such as PSA Cardinals, Jersey Shore Warriors, NYC Jayhawks and NY Gauchos. If the Roadrunners plan on making it a three peat, look for their MVPs Casmir Ochiaka and Jahid Jenkins to lead the charge. One thing’s for sure, it will not be an easy task.


3) How will the programs traveling from Canada (S- Elite and A.D.I.C.T. Stars) perform?

It’s no surprise seeing a team from the North make their way to a Hoop Group event, but this weekend may give us some of the best Canadian talent we’ve seen. Christian David is a name you will hear early and often. A 6’5 shooter playing for S-Elite, David has a quick release and a tremendous IQ on the floor. He already holds offers from Baylor, Illinois, Oregon, among others. Will he help lead his team to a championship? Will S-Elite and A.D.I.C.T. take the NJ Jam Fest by storm? We’re eager to find out.


4) Will the 2015 Pitt Jam Fest 16U Champions – Jersey Shore Warriors be challenged?

Talk about another team that has been hot in Hoop Group tournaments, the Jersey Shore Warriors might be the favorites this weekend to take home the championship. The Warriors are looking to use a successful April, where they won both the Spring and Pitt Jam Fest 16u championships, to jumpstart them in May. The Warriors are led by guard Talek Williams and forward Taylor Funk.


5) Can the 17U NY Gauchos win it all this time around?

The NY Gauchos have found a ton of success on Saturday’s this Spring at Hoop Group Showdowns. Going 2-0, and rolling into Sunday with championship aspirations. At the Spring Showdown, the Chos lost a hard fought battle vs the NJ Roadrunners. Will this weekend be different? Do they have what it takes to take home a 17u championship? Only time will tell.


6) What players will carry their team over the hump in the 15U?

In a pool as deep as the 15u pool is, it’s going to take some big time plays from some big time players for teams to advance. Darius Kinnel (New Jersey Force), Aaron Clarke (PSA Cardinals), Danny Frauenheim (NJ Shoreshots) and Donovan Ryland and Lorenzo Spinnazzi (Team JLA), Chris Arcidiacono & Michael Hagan (PA Rebels) to help lead their teams through this tough pool.

7) Will any new programs to the stage make a splash?

We have a few new faces coming to the Hoop Group Showdown this weekend. Team Nationals (MD) and 023 Feet (VA) are making their way up from the south, and Brooklyn Promenade and IHZ Elite are newcomers as well. How will these new squads fair at HGHQ?

8) How will the CT programs do?

Adding to the loaded 15u Division are the CT Stars and CT Select. How will these two teams fair this weekend? The Stars tip off against the NY Gauchos in their first game, and Select has a 4:35 pm start time against Team JLA. Tough match ups for both, how much noise will our CT teams make this weekend?

The stage is set. Let’s see who will rise to the challenge and who will come out of Hoop Group Headquarters as New Jersey Jam Fest Champions!

Schedule Updates Throughout the Tournament: NJ Jam Fest Game Schedule

Follow and join in the action #HGJamFest on Instagram, Twitter, & Facebook

Spring Jr #HGShowdown Recap


The Spring Junior Showdown kicked off Saturday morning as teams from all over the east coast made up four different age brackets. The U11, U12, U13 and U14 pools commenced, with each team glimmering with hope of making it to Sunday night.

What started as distant hope for some programs, turned into shear reality as pool play progressed into the later stages. Teams from Pittsburgh and the Jersey Shore were among the many that impressed throughout the round robin games.

2015 Team Champions

11U Champs - NJ Shoreshots Nitro11U Champs – NJ Shoreshots Nitro 12U Champs - Jersey Force12U Champs – Jersey Force
13U Champs - BSA (Pittsburgh, PA)13U Champs – BSA (Pittsburgh, PA) 14U Champs - West Orange Knights14U Champs – West Orange Knights


(Isaac Hester – NJ Shoreshots, Sam Fagan – Jersey Force, Nate Cullo – BSA, Stephon Sheard – BSA)


11 & Under

The 5th grade age bracket proved to be the most diverse in the tournament, as three of the six pool play games were decided by ten points or less. Pools this talented made for two tremendous Final Four match ups: NJ Shoreshots Nitro took on Jersey Force, and Ocean Elite would test themselves against nationally ranked Havoc City.

NJ Shoreshots Nitro 40 Jersey Force 32

The Force kept it close in the first half with scrappy defensive play. The halftime score only had Nitro leading 21-12. Jersey Force gave it their all for every minute, especially Jay Ratner who had 8 points in the contest. Unfortunately for Force, they were never able to gain a lead, as Nitro held took care of the ball and had several timely buckets from guard, Ben Roy. Ben, who had 12 points on the game, was asked about the win and responded, “It was good, but we’re coming for that championship trophy!”

Havoc City 44 Ocean Elite 40

The widely recognized Havoc City had high expectations heading into the tournament, and were intent on reaching them. However, Ocean Elite had plans of spoiling those plans. Elite took advantage of every opportunity and found themselves in a tight game at halftime. The game stayed close throughout, and both teams looked like prime contenders for a championship. Harold Taylor was the difference maker, and a big reason Havoc City was able to win the close game. He explained the team’s effort down the stretch, “We aren’t here to just play for a title, we want to win one.”

CHAMPIONSHIP: NJ Shoreshots Nitro 32 Havoc City 18

The scoring was sparse in the 11U Championship as defense was the main focus of both coaches. Coach Cooper and the Shoreshots added a zone concept to their man to man defense, in order to keep Havoc City and their quick guards out of the lane, “We were able to keep them out of the lane, and rebound well defensively… That was the key.” He said after the game.

The Shoreshots were led by standout guard, Issac Hester who had 16 points and was awarded the MVP. Harold Taylor led Havoc City with 8 points.


 12 & Under

The 6th grade age bracket consisted of four pools, all of which had an undefeated participant: The Metro Mavericks, Jersey Force Fagan, NJ Shoreshots Elite, and Basketball Stars America. Those four teams squared off in the highly anticipated semi-finals.

NJ Shoreshots Elite 55 Metro Mavericks 44

Early in the first half it looked like the Shoreshots would run away with the game thanks to their athleticism and defensive pressure. They built their lead to 11 at the four minute mark in the first thanks to Jaylen Blakes, who finished with 16 points in the game. Metro didn’t back down however, and came back to cut the lead to five at the break, highlighted by a remarkable 3-point buzzer beater by Aaron Geller.

The pressure  was set squarely on the Shoreshots to respond, and they did just that.  A revamped defensive effort in the second stanza helped them hold their opponent to only 18 second half points. Geller finished with 16 points, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the Shoreshots, who were determined to get to the championship.

Jersey Force Fagan 51 Basketball Stars America 44

Coach Fagan’s gritty Force team jumped out to an early 8-2 lead and forced BSA to take an early timeout. The Force looked impressive early with daunting pressure on defense and tremendous ball movement against the BSA zone.

At the half, it looked like Jersey Force had the game well in hand, but BSA had other plans. Adu Thiero led a spirited comeback with 13 second half points to cut the lead, and BSA was in business. Both coaches had spirited messages for their teams with the game on the line.

Down the stretch, Sam Fagan and his teammates hit some clutch free throws to keep their team ahead and take them to the championship. Fagan finished with 13 along to lead the team.

unnamed (2)

CHAMPIONSHIP: Jersey Force Fagan 56 NJ Shoreshots Elite 41

            The Championship game featured two gritty teams, fueled by their defense. Jersey Force took the lead on some miscues by the Shoreshots and never looked back. Shoreshots star, Jaylen Blakes did his best to keep the team in it with 17 points but they were never able to close the gap. Sam Fagan had his team clicking on all cylinders as he finished with 17 points of his own, and the MVP trophy.

12U Champs - Jersey Force

12U Champs – Jersey Force

13 & Under

The 7th grade age bracket also had four pools, and following suit, they had the four pool winners go undefeated. However, there would be one team who captured the attention of every viewer at Hoop Group Headquarters. After dominating in pool play, Basketball Stars America were the heavy favorites heading into the semi-final; they a point differential of 145 heading into the elimination round. Jersey Force, NJ United and St. Michael’s looked to defy the odds in Sundays’ contests.

NJ United 46 Jersey Force 39

NJ United jumped out to a lead thanks to balanced scoring and tenacious full court pressure, and held a five point advantage going into the half. The game went similarly in the second half, and was the most competitive of any semi-final game during the tournament.

Force’s Jakari Spence kept his team in the game throughout with a 21 point scoring effort and strong leadership. At the 5 minute mark, the game was within 3 points, but Luke Ungur found himself ahead of the pack for two easy lay ins that all but sealed the NJ United win. His coach said after the game, “When Luke can get out in transition and make lay-ups he is great.”

Basketball Stars America 57 St. Michael’s 28

St. Michael’s and BSA started the game mirroring each other with full court pressure and were able to force turnovers. Half way through the first, BSA held an 11-8 lead in the defensive standoff.

A quick timeout by BSA allowed them to make some adjustments which lead to a few transition baskets for the 13u squad. BSA started to flex their muscles and show why they were the favorite, and the lead started to lengthen. Theodore Gadsen and Francisco Paulino led St. Michael’s with 7 a piece, but didn’t have enough to overcome the deficit. Isaiah Smith was the star of the show, dropping 17 points for the winning side.

 CHAMPIONSHIP: Basketball Stars America 55 NJ United 33 

NJ United did not seemed phased by BSA’s semifinal game. They took care of the ball early in the game and attacked the glass relentlessly. They only trailed by two points with 7 minutes left in the half before BSA turned up the heat and ended the half on a 23-4 run.

BSA’s impressive intensity didn’t slow down in the second half as their lead went as high as 28. Nate Cullo was awarded the MVP, finishing the championship with 12 points and a handful of rebounds. BSA coach told us after the game, “Hustle and energy, that’s all it takes. We had both this weekend.”

Nate and his teammates were eager to address the win after the game, “Defense and energy are so important! If we make good passes and play with intensity we can beat anyone.” Young guard, Adu Thiero said.

13U Champs - BSA (Pittsburgh, PA)

13U Champs – BSA (Pittsburgh, PA)

14 & Under

 The 8th grade age bracket sported three undefeated  teams. The fourth bracket presented an interesting scenario, with all three teams going 1-1 during bracket play. Due to a tiebreaker, it was the West Orange Knights who advanced into the semi-finals with Jersey Force Korellis, Collegeville Jaguars, and NJ Soldiers.

Jersey Force Korellis 54 Collegeville Jaguars 34

Jersey Force program looked to capture their second title of the tournament as their 14U team took on an underrated Collegeville team. The Force catapulted out to a 13-0 lead on blistering ball movement and sharp shooting, and they looked to be cruising early on. The Jaguars fought and scrapped but as halftime approached the Force were still in control.

Their disciplined style of play was too much for Justin Addensewu, 11 points, and the Jaguars who were unable to breach the double-digit lead. Ian O’Connor led the Force attack with 12 points.

West Orange Knights 59 NJ Soldiers 45

 The first half was a back and forth affair, with each team taking the lead three separate times. West Orange tried to use their length to disrupt the Soldiers defensively, and with 6 minutes left in the half they finally broke through. After a deep 3 by Jason Larrnengh, West Orange got a turnover then an and-1 lay-up to push the lead to 10.

The second half had much of the same as Stephon Sheard led the way with 16 points for the Knights. West Orange finished the game strong as the final score read 59-45. Santino Georgio led the Soldiers with 11 points.

CHAMPIONSHIP: West Orange 52 Jersey Force Korellis 35

The heavyweight bout in the top age bracket of the Spring Jr Showdown featured West Orange and Jersey Force. Both teams came in after convincing semi-final wins and warranted confidence.

West Orange threw the first punch, kicking off the first 6 minutes with a 14-4 lead. As expected, the Force fought back and went into the second half down just 6. If the game ended there we would have anxiously waited for the judge’s decision.

In the second half, it was only fitting that the game would be decided by a short run by either team. It was the Knights who emerged through a stretch much like the semi-final one. A three followed by a forced turnover, and another lay-up extended the lead to 13. The West Orange coach explained, “Defense is about heart and determination. We had it.”

West Orange held the trophy high after their 17 point win and watched lead guard, Stephon Sheard be crowned as tournament MVP. After the game Stephon said, “We moved the ball really well in the second half and got good shots. We kept playing hard defensively all day.”

Jersey Force guard Jason Hogarty led the Force with 11 points, but was disappointed they couldn’t get the win, “I thought we played a little tense early on, and just couldn’t recover. Going forward we just need to play hard every second and not take anything for granted.”

14U Champs - West Orange Knights

14U Champs – West Orange Knights

—Final Thoughts—

The Spring Jr Showdown was loaded with top talent this weekend. Teams in every age bracket showed their potential to be tough opponents on any given occasion. However, as the week wore long their were a few attributes that coaches can’t teach and players can’t learn. The length and athleticism of each winning team was an elite characteristic. After four or five games in a 48-hour span, legs get weak and minds get tired, but size never shrinks.

It would be an understatement to say the fans this weekend were phenomenal. They packed the seats of Hoop Group Headquarters and vibrated the walls with ringing enthusiasm. Refs threw on the zebra shirts and worked as hard as these young athletes did throughout the weekend. All of these attributes are invariably what the Hoop Group stands for on a daily basis. Thank you to the fans, players, coaches and everyone else who make events like these possible. The next Showdown will be next weekend when we see a crop of older teams come through. Should be another great weekend of hoops!

– Brent Pelella (@CTHoops News)

Ball Handling & Shooting Camp Standouts

Brace yourselves, the end is here. With yesterday coming to an end, Hoop Group Skills Camp is officially done for the summer. Ending the summer with Bob Hurley Camp followed by Ball Handling & Shooting Camp was a tremendous way to end a tremendous summer of work. This past week, campers were not just able to work on their ball handling, but learn proper shooting form from legendary shooting coach, Dave Hopla.

As with most camps we run, we would like to recognize those who really shined during our last week of camp as well as acknowledge award winners. Here is our full list of performers and award winners:


Cormac is a very talented ball handler. He plays hard and shoots the ball very well. When he played to his potential, he was one of the best guards in the league. Mr. Reilly is also a very intelligent player and leads by example.


Isaiah was one of the top guards in the NBA Division this week. He is a leader on the floor who makes those around him better. Isaiah is an extremely hard worker and pushes his teammates to work just as hard. Isaiah has a high basketball IQ and was praised by his coach on several occasions.


Chase is a skilled young player. He has the ability at times to WOW the crowd and to create opportunities for his teammates. Chase is a humble young man that has huge up side.


Lance is a mature, competitive young player who has potential to be GREAT. Not only can he shoot but he has the ability to put it on the floor and drive for himself and others. Lance is a player that any coach would love to have on their team.


Nic is a strong athletic guard with a ton of potential. He has a good attitude and his approach to the game superb. He sets the tone by being a natural leader on the court. Nic is competitive, but is also a humble player, who just wants to have fun and improve each and every day.


Jeremy has a great motor and is crafty with the basketball. He was one of this weeks all-stars and in addition lead his team to the championship. There were moments this week where he could just not seem to be guarded.


Cole was the best shooter in the ACC Division. He displayed his shooting ability by winning the free throw AND hot shot contests. Cole was the leading scoring on the championship team. It was a successful week of camp for Cole.


Connor is the smallest player in camp but has the biggest heart. No one in the ACC played harder and with more passion than Connor. He was a positive influence all week especially through adversity. Even the older division enjoyed the way that Connor played the game (he reffed a few games too)!


Josh has an unbelievable desire to improve his game. He crashed the offensive boards as hard or harder than anyone in the ACC. Josh was a huge factor in how successful his team was this week. He is truly a player that plays BOTH ends of the floor.


Jaylen was the “go to guy” whenever his team needed a bucket this team. On the defensive end he was constantly causing turnovers and turning them into easy baskets the other way. Being an unselfish player, Jaylen lead and motivated his team on and off the court.


Henry showed great effort and a strong work ethic throughout camp as he played with the same determination and will whether up ten or down ten. This effort made him highly respected by teammates and other coaches in the league.


Brandon often showed his offensive tools by finishing in transition as well as from beyond the 3 point arc. Brandon was a vocal team leader with a large amount of potential. After the award ceremony he certainly didn’t walk away empty handed!


Peyton was this weeks Most Improved Player in the Big East Division. He plays with a ton of heart. Peyton has a great attitude and approach to the game. He took advantage of this camp and showed improvement in his mid range jumper and ball handling by week’s end.


Charlie stood out this week with his play on the defensive end and cleaning up the backboards. He impressed many coaches with his ability to handle the ball in transition as well. Charlie was a coach on the floor for his team all week.


Congratulations to Jordan on winning the Floor General Award in the Big East Division. Not only was he the leagues’ best point guard, he also showed his shooting range as well. As a point guard, he dictated the tempo of the game. His coach stated that one of his best qualities is how he can play the game successfully with a chip on his shoulder.


Absolutely the best defensive player in camp this week! His basketball IQ is high, as he was able to read point guards eyes and always know when and where to rotate. We never saw Lawrence take a play off which is why he is a true example that hard work does really pay off.


Elias is an explosive guard who gets to the rim at will. His leadership keeps his teammates energized and positive. If he can improve his consistency from the perimeter he will be a tough cover at the college level. His physicality and toughness is a positive on the defensive end.


Chibuike is one of the most complete players in camp. His length and athleticism on defense allows him to guard any position. As a slasher, if he improves his ball handling he will be a force offensively. He can shoot consistently from mid range and we expect him to continue to improve.



MVP- Will Soucie

ALL STAR MVP- Nicolas DeMarco


MIP-Connor Buck/ Jeff Mao

HOT SHOT CHAMP- Cole Privitere

FOUL SHOT CHAMP-Cole Privitere

Early Bird Workout Star- Derek Hope/ Lucas Hope


MVP-Mason Memmelaar

ALL STAR MVP- Brandon Powell


MIP-Peyton Boesch


FOUL SHOT CHAMP-Brandon Powell

Early Bird Workout Star- Nick Hulbert


MVP-Isaiah Church

ALL STAR MVP- Kimiedrick Murphy

FLOOR GENERAL-Elias Ezenekwe

MIP-John Rosenblum



Early Bird Workout Star- Chibuike Obinnakwelu

With Skills Camp coming to a close for this summer, we would like to thank all the coaches, staff, players and parents who made this summer in the Poconos so great. Although school will be back in session, there’s still opportunities to work on your game this fall! Jr. Elite Top 100s will begin in September, click here to see what day is best for you!