2017 Elite Session 2 Media

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Awards Live Blog All Stars Roster

Awards


NBA West Division

NBA West Sweatshop Star | Jason Fang

NBA West Station Star | Tyler Tomlin

NCAA Most Improved | Rodriguez

NBA West Mr Hustle | Jaden Feaste

 

NBA East

NBA East Most Improved Player | Chris Dean

NBA East Sweatshop Star | Chris Rogers

NBA East Station Star | James Jordan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NBA East Most Valuable Player | Samba Diallo

NBA East Most Outstanding Prospect | Aiden Igiehon

 

NCAA Awards

NCAA Most Improved Player | Tyshaun Bryant

NCAA Mr Hustle | Jaxon Tumlin

 

NCAA Sweatshop Star | Eric Sandbery

NCAA Station Star | Papalouizos

Team Awards

All Star Team

All Star Team

Team Champs

Team Champs

Team Camps

Senior All Stars Team 1

Senior All Star Team 2

Top 20 Team 1

 

Top 20 Team 2

Live Blog


Friday June 21st

1:45 PM

Team White wins in High Fashion 93-61! So long here from Albright College, follow us this weekend for our Summer Jam Tournament in Spooky Nook!

1:35 PM

Idan Tretout is a very exciting player as he has 15 here in the Top 20 game

1:02 PM

Top 20 game is tipping off here in 5 minutes! Get to the gym.

12:44 PM

The Award Ceremony went very well! Now its time to kick off the All-star Games!

12:17 PM

Team 14 wins in a THRILLER 58-55 here on Championship Friday. Andy Stark rallied the troops late to mount a double digit comeback victory in one of our more exciting games this summer!

12:11 PM

Team 14 is ahead 56 to 55 here with under 2 minutes remaining! This is a nail biter for a championship game!

12:00 PM

Jerod Haase is in the building here to watch the rest of the games today.

11:55 AM

Fahmir Ali with a solid 20 points here as Team 14 takes the 4 point lead going into the 4 quarter.

11:40 AM

Team 14 is coming! they cut the double digit deficit to just a 4 point one here with a little under 2 minutes left in the 2nd.

11:28 AM

Team 10 is ahead right now 20-12 at the end of the first. Samba Diallo and company are looking to come back here in the most important game of the week.

11:18 AM

Championship is here! Team 10 vs Team 14 is are battling it out here on the big court.

10:57 AM

Dima Zdor has really soft touch in the paint for a big. The Florida big man has shown hes able to bang with the best here this week.

10:28 AM

Team 14 wins again! Samba Diallo comes up clutch in the 55-50 win here on Court 1.

9:58 AM

Che Evans with the shifty move to the rack for the finish through contact. That’s a senior move for a Sophomore player.

9:30 AM

Che Evans is getting ready to play here on Court 1. The Baltimore Guard has caught the eye of many Division 1 programs here this week.

9:08 AM

Betlow and compnay prevail here on Championship Friday!

8:33 AM

Mann vs Betlow. Court 2. Match up of the day going on NOW.

8:28 AM

Good morning Ladies and Gentleman, Today is Championship Friday! Get to the gym for some elite hoops now.

Thursday June 20th

7:38 PM

Joel Ntambwe is playing out of his mind here this week. The big man has had a  great footwork and soft touch down low

6:50 PM

Chareef Knox with the put back SLAM here on Rec 2. The We R 1 Forwards stock has risen dramatically here this week.

6:22 PM

Mike Rice of Team Rio National is here giving insight to players on Court 2. Valuable skills from a very decorated coach.

5:55 PM

Chris Mann has a quick 3 consecutive buckets here on Rec 2. Army West Point is in attendance to watch the wing play.

5:31 PM

Musa Jeng is out here handling the ball like a guard as a 6’8 forward.

4:50 PM

Chris Archidiacono showing signs of his brother former Villanova Guard Ryan Archidiacono here on Rec 2.

4:15 PM

Samba Diallo is scary good. Catch him and the dominate Team 14 on Rec 3 now!

3:45 PM

Che Evans is getting ready to tip off here on Court 1. High Major Guard has showed out here this week.

2:48 PM

Betlow with the deep three here on Court 1. The Montverde Guard has shown his range here at Elite 2.

2:15 PM

Afternoon session is underway here at Albright College! Stay tuned for our last full day of Elite hoops this week at our Elite 2 camp!

1:25 PM

All of the players are packed into the gym to listen to Coach Austin Kelley and other various coaches answer questions they have on the recruiting process.

9:55 PM

Ntambwe and Kelly vs Iglehon and company here on Rec 3. The battle of the best bigs here at camp is a MUST see.

9:28 PM

Jake Betlow with the shake and bake move and the three. Montverde guard is showing he can hit from deep here on court 1.

8:45 PM

Jake Forrester is putting on a dunk contest here late on Court 3. The big  man is throwing down with FORCE.

7:55 PM

Khalil Battle vs Jake Forrester and company. Get to the Bollman 3 ASAP.

7:33 PM

Get to the gym ASAP as Team 1 is getting ready to play here on Court 3.

6:54 PM

Thomas Bernard is a very pesky defender. The guard from Orlando is communicating very well here on Rec 1.

6:20 PM

Night session of an already super exciting day is about to start up!

5:36 PM

GET UP TYREE! TYREE PICKRON WITH THE BIG TIME POSTER.

5:15 PM

Chris Mann with a quick dunk and a 3 here on Court 3. The wing is trying to get his name out here at Elite 2.

4:45 PM

Upstairs is CIRCUS, we have numerous High major programs here in attendance for this exciting match up. Schools such as Pittsburgh, Yale, and Seton Hall are here to watch it all play out!

4:00 PM 

To start off the live period we have an exciting match up between Jeng and Mann vs Forrester and company! Get to Rec 3 to get a seat!

3:25 PM

Torrey Thomas of York Catholic with the strong move to the basket for the finger roll.

2:38 PM 

The afternoon session of games is underway, and the live period is coming up! get to the gym ASAP.

1:55 PM

The middle of the day drill session is about to start up, coaches are instructing players on making the right entry pass into the block, a very important skill that most players have not mastered yet.

1:28 PM

The live period begins at 5 PM today so be prepared for coaches to be coming in packs to the gym!

12:45 PM

Ntambwe to the rack for the And-1! The big man shows he can be versatile by taking the ball up the court like a guard.

12:12 PM

Joel Ntambwe and Isaiah Kelly. BIG TIME front court duo here on Court 1. Both players have high major offers and a lot of talent so make your way to the gym NOW!

11:48 AM

Justin Steers with the Alley oop slam from Phillip Lyttle!

11:28 AM

Jermaine Couisnard of Montverde has himself with a couple of threes early here on Court 1. Hes a player that needs to be monitored throughout the week as he could blow up at any time.

10:48 AM

Court 3 is featuring a nice match up between Guard Tyree Pickron and  Seth  big man Seth Pinkney and company. Great way to start off the day!

10:05 AM

Good Morning! Today’s games are the start of the most competitive week this summer so get to the gym ASAP!

Wednesday June 19th

8:35 PM

That will conclude the last set of scrimmages! Tomorrow is a big day as the live period is beginning and teams will be announced so get ready !

8:09 PM

Jahbril Price-Noel might be this camps best kept secret. The 6’7 forward has been nothing short of excellent here on Day 1.

7:41 PM

The last set of scrimmages is getting ready to go underway here

7:00 PM

Izaiah Brockington is an UNDERRATED high flyer here at camp. With only 3 offers from mid major programs, Brockington is looking to put his name on the map this week.

6:23 PM

Evan Gauger is starting to catch fire from mid range here. The 2019 guard from Indiana is GRITTY.

5:44 PM

Little dunk off action here on court 1. This week is going to be the best one yet!

5:07 PM 

Tyson Etienne with 2 threes and a dunk in 5 possessions here on court 2. The Long Island Guard is heating up.

4:38 PM

Seth Pinkney is throwing down everything right now in scrimmages.

3:52 PM 

Full court scrimmages are getting ready to tip off here!

3:15 PM 

Aidan Iglehon with some big time dunks in warm ups here. Big man from Ireland is BIGTIME.

2:30 PM

Players have started doing warm up stretches and broken off into lay-up drills.

2:29 PM

Good Afternoon here from Albright College. We are here live for our Elite 2 camp and this week is going to be better than ever!

Bigger than Ball Vol. 3: Antonio Rizzuto

Hoop Group’s Elite Basketball Camp is the most popular grassroots basketball camp in the country.  Over 600 young men from 33 states and seven countries travel to the small town of Reading, Pennsylvania for the opportunity to compete against the best of their peers in front of hundreds of college coaches.  All 600 of them share the same dream of one day playing college basketball.  In a camp setting like this, it’s often difficult to stand out amongst other gifted players.  Talent can sometimes disappear in a sea of faces and numbers.

 

To stand out in a crowd, something about you or what you do must be remarkable.  For 6’4” guard Antonio Rizzuto that exceptional trait is his unshakable fortitude.  Rizzuto plays with a toughness and resolute demeanor that is seldom found in players his age.  His team collected an easy 15 point victory in their first game, rallying behind his high energy and unselfish approach.  When we asked Rizzuto about the great performance, on of the first things he mentioned were the numerous times he got on the floor for loose balls.  If he was a baseball player, Rizzuto would have the dirtiest uniform at the end of every game.  

 

We’re not the only ones who have noticed Antonio recently.  Near the beginning of last summer Rizzuto remained relatively undiscovered on the youth basketball circuit.  He now holds scholarship offers from a multitude of Division I schools, including Columbia and Boston University.  Rizzuto credits his perseverance to his high school coach John Eyster.  In spite of being a standout talent as a high school freshman, Antonio failed to make the varsity basketball team. Coach Eyster pushed Rizzuto to improve and build on his natural talent.  Rizzuto is now a top player in the state of PA.  

 

We conducted our Bigger than Ball Q & A interview with Antonio, and touched on what motivates him to strive for greatness and what he hopes to gain from basketball.  

___________________________________________________________________________________

Who’s you favorite basketball player to watch?

Probably Isiah Thomas. He defies the odds.  He’s a small guy and he has to do everything right. I think he’s got everything in his game.  He’s got the ball handling the shot, and he can drop 30 in the NBA.

Who would you say you pattern your game after:

So, this guy didn’t really play in the NBA, but probably Aaron Craft.  I like his game.  When I was growing up I would watch Ohio State play a lot.  He was someone I wanted to be like, always getting on the floor, always being a leader.  

Even as a standout player, everyone has room to get better.  What skills do you hope to improve in your game?

I want to become more of a passing guard, get guys open.  I gotta work on floaters a little bit.  A lot of the time when you get caught coming to the middle and there’s a big guy there, you gotta get a floater in.  Also, I want to just keep improving my jumpshot; getting in the gym and shooting 1000 shots a day.  Me and my father are in there all the time.  

How does your father feel about your success on the court?

He didn’t play at all, but he loves ball.  He works me out whenever I want.  Two of my cousins played D1 at Albany, so he watched them grow up playing from the time they were little until now.  So he loves it.

Where’s your family from?

My grandparents parents came from Sicily.  I have a lot of family out there.

Is your entire family Italian?

Yeah man, my whole family, we got good Christmases.  A lot of good food.  We actually have a wedding coming up, and my grandma makes like hundreds of cookies, so it’s great.   

If you could have dinner with two famous people, who would they be?

Probably Tom Hanks and Lebron.

Where do you work on your game at?

We practically have the key to the gym.  My head coach lives in my neighborhood and the athletic director lives right next to the school, so it’s just a quick text and they give me the key.  But, if for some reason I can’t get in, I just go to the local park, and it has lights; so especially during the summer I’m out there all day.  We’re out there all the time.  

It seems like you spend a lot of time working to get better, what drives you to be great in basketball?

“First off free education, and I mean that seriously.  That’s what’s gonna get me places.  It makes my family proud, and that’s one of the things that keeps me going. I want to keep doing it for that.”

You vs. Lavar Ball one on one:

How’s he gonna play me? Is he gonna back me down or just shoot?  I’m not sure…but I’m competitive and I always go into every game with the mindset that I’m better than the person I’m playing and I’m going to win.  If you don’t think that way when you’re playing then you aren’t thinking the right way.

Who has been the most influential coach you’ve played for?

Gotta be my high school coach John Eister.  There’s a lot of things that come into playing with him.  Hes interesting.  Coming to be a freshman at my school until the point where I am now I’ve grown.  You have to earn playing time…really gotta earn it.  Even if you’re a freshman and one of the top dogs, you gotta earn it.  You have to continue to keep working.  I think that really helped me.  You could be upset about not playing varsity as a freshman, I didn’t play varsity as a freshman, but there’s a difference.  Some people go down on that, and some people rise up.  Looking back on that I’m glad he did it because I had to push myself to get better rather than thinking I’m great right away.  

We noticed you playing right away, you really stood out.  In a gym full of 600 kids at camp, how do you set yourself apart?

Last year when no one really knew me, I think me working harder than everyone else helped.  It’s not even like, yeah I played good or I made my shots.  I think simple stuff like taking charges, diving on the ground help.  I dove on the ground a couple times today.  

What do you look for in recruiting?  What influences you to go to a particular school?

I gotta feel like I’m at home.  I want to feel like the coaches are my friend.  I’m not gonna go somewhere where I’m not comfortable, but I understand a coach is a coach.  I want someone who’s gonna yell at me on the court, then be my friend off the court.  I don’t want someone who’s going to be not my friend on the court and not my friend off the court.  I want someone who can understand me as a person and as a player.  There’s a balance.  So, for instance, you got St. Joe’s.  Phil Martelli’s an awesome guy.  He might yell at you on the court, but he’s gonna be cool with you on and off the court.  The assistants are great also.  

Favorite rapper?

It’s gotta be Drake.  I was actually just listening to him on my way here.

What do you like to do with your free time away from school and ball?

I go to church. I’m Christian.  Other than that? I go fishing.  I like fishing.  My friend, he’s got a boat.  So we always go fishing.  I just got introduced to that.  

Where do you see yourself a couple years from now?

First off, I gotta get my diploma.  I want to start off strong (in college).  One thing I’ve realized is is that you have to start off at the bottom every so often.  When you come from middle to high school you gotta start from the bottom and work your way up.  When you get to college you have to start at the bottom and work your way up.   

What do you hope to do with your life after basketball?

I want to own a business someday, but I don’t know what I want to do with that yet.   I just want  to own something and find something I enjoy.  So much stuff is fun.  I see people doing fun stuff, but they gotta work hard to get there.

What’s some advice you can give to yourself to help you reach your goals?

For me you gotta know yourself.  You have to know your boundaries.  You have to stay true to yourself.  Don’t worry about what other people are doing just so you can be cool.  I gotta stay myself no matter what.  When I go to college I have to be stay the same person I am now.

Bigger Than Ball Vol. 2: Alex Schachne

 

Alex Schachne plays his travel ball with SBA Elite in New Jersey.

-Thomas Hayden
          Within 30 seconds of beginning our interview with Alex Schachne one thing was unmistakably evident. Alex Schachne will be successful no matter what path he chooses in life.  If I read you a list of Alex’s accomplishments, basketball would only make up a small portion, remarkable considering his standout basketball career thus far.  
          Schachne plays high school ball for Coach Mergin Sina at Gill St. Bernard’s High School. GSB High is a well known for its high academic and athletic expectations. Alex is its starting point guard and the definition of a leader: well spoken, confident, and all about winning.  Schachne lead his team to a 24-4 record on the year and a perfect conference record (11-0).  The Knights finished the season ranked one of the top 10 teams in the state of New Jersey.
          Aside from directing traffic on the court, Schachne is using his public speaking voice to guide his peers to greater success in their own endeavors. He held a Tedx talk in his school’s auditorium titled Unlocking Motivation, Applying 10,000 Hours: A Rational Approach to Success, one of the more popular Tedx videos garnering thousands of views on YouTube.
Alex Schachne stood out in our Bigger Than Ball interview, and we have no doubt he will continue to stand out on and off the court.  Here’s our complete Q & A with Alex. Enjoy!
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     Q: How have you enjoyed your first two days at Hoop Group?
     A: It’s been really good. Definitely have enjoyed all the coaches here I like them a lot.  The drills have been good, great to go up and down.  The great thing about Hoop Group is that you guys do a great job of getting coverage, publicity for everyone.  It’s probably the best i’ve seen. There are probably 20 plus coaches at every game. They invited me and made a point that I got here so I came out, and I’m having a good time.

 

     Q: Who’s your favorite NBA player?
     A: Probably Kyrie Irving, he’s crazy with the finishes and the ball handling.

 

     Q: What colleges are showing interest in you right now?
     A: So my goal is to get into an Ivy League school.  I’ve been hearing a lot from Brown, Dartmouth, Cornell, Yale just in terms of Ivy League teams.  Other than that I’ve been hearing from some D2’s (Division II), Stonehill, and then a lot of D3’s–Johns Hopkins, University of Chicago…

 

     Q: Would you rather have to  wear the same outfit everyday, or eat the same food everyday for the rest of your life?
     A: Wear the same outfit.  I was thinking about just picking an outfit and just wearing it everyday, as long as I wasn’t going out in public because it reduces the amount of decisions you gotta make so you can focus on more important stuff.

 

     Q: Which NBA player do you think you play like the most?
     A: I would say I probably play like Isiah Thomas, just ‘cause I watch him and how he uses his body in his finishes and how he gets around people.  Obviously for anyone under 6 foot you really try to emulate him.  You know there’s levels and I can see the levels of progression just in how confident I am in doing that stuff.  There are certain times where I feel like, you know, it’s kinda coming.

 

     Q: What do you hope to gain from Hoop Group Academic Elite Camp?
     A: I think I am just trying to kind of polish my game and to get some buzz going into July especially. I want to just keep playing, that way I stay in shape and I’m playing well and I have a lot of confidence  going into July.  Want to really get the ball rolling and pick up some offers and get some options going so I can choose a school.

 

     Q: How have you found a way to have such great success in basketball without being the most athletic or tallest person on the court?
     A: I’ve always been quick, so in terms of athleticism i didn’t quite get the height part, but i got the quickness and explosiveness, and I try to use that as much as I can.  I really feel like i’m at the point to where no one can really stay in front of me if they try to guard me.  As long as I have one maybe two people I feel like I can get by them.  I really work on my handle, my explosiveness with the ball, crafty finishes, maybe a little pull up game, so yeah definitely work on all that stuff.

 

     Q:  If basketball was not an option, what would you want to do for the rest of your life?
     A: So I also played soccer, but non-athletically I do these things called TED Talks.  I did two of them.  I had a Tedx conference at my high school recently.

     Q: What were the talks about?
     A: So my first one I talked about…now this is gonna get kinda deep…my first one I talked about free choice, and the second one I talked about how to succeed in things you set out to do. So, i took pieces from Malcolm Gladwell’s The Outliers.  It’s about putting your 10,000 hours in, so I kind of took that, and combined it with my own experiences.  It’s actually on youtube, you can check it out.

 

     Q: What motivates you strive for greatness in athletics?
     A: Who motivates me?  Anybody I see.  Anyone that’s on the court with me it’s like a challenge.  I want to prove myself every time I am out there on the court

 

     Q: Would you rather be trapped alone on a deserted island with Lavar Ball or Donald Trump?
     A: Lavar Ball.  He’ll probably find someway to make enough noise where we would get rescued.

 

     Q: What’s your favorite Drake quote?
     A: My favorite Drake quote…I mean I like his old album Views.  I like Views a lot.  Actually, I like Headlines by Drake too.

 

     Q: Who do you look up to the most?
     A: My dad.

 

     Q: What’s your mentality on the court?
     A: Never back down from anyone.  Usually in my head I’m thinking I’m better than that person, so it’s all about believing in yourself, keeping your confidence high, and being  in attack mode all the time.

 

     Q: How do you plan on using the game of basketball to reach your goals?
     A: I wanna use basketball to put myself in the best position possible coming out of college.  Going to the best college I can, academically and athletically, and using that to create connections and  network.  I plan on using that to give myself more opportunities, open more doors, and hopefully 5 years from now I’ll be on my way to starting my own business.

Bigger Than Ball Vol. 1: Deandre Thomas

-Thomas Hayden

Being the writer on staff for the HoopGroup camp I’m charged with the precarious task of interviewing the      pre-teens and young adults of grassroots basketball.  Everyone has a story, a background, and it’s my job to get them to tell it to me without using emojis.  Every once in awhile, a kid’s character will stand out among all others.  Deandre Thomas was one of these exceptions.

The first time play I saw Deandre play was during our tryout games during camp.  Tryout games always take place the first day of camp immediately after sign-in.  They’re only timed, and have no scorekeeper.  Deandre was on the bench at the time, and one of his teammates made a good play, not a crazy play, but good, and he got everyone up off the bench to cheer like they had just won a state championship.

Deandre Thomas is clearly a gifted scorer.  He puts pressure on the defense the entire game, and attacks the basket unlike anyone else I have seen at camp. His natural ability makes him stand out. What sets him apart though, is nothing basketball related.  He plays the game with a cheerful enthusiasm and respect that’s contagious for teammates and makes him extremely fun to watch.

Near the end of the interview I found out what shaped him to person he is today.  Both of Deandre’s parents have been officers in the United States Air Force from the time he was born.  Their no nonsense attitude and firm upbringing appeared throughout our talk in the form of “yes-sirs” and “thank yous”.  Here are the top ten responses from our brief Q & A session.  Hopefully you’ll enjoy the interview as much as I did.

Q: How was your first day at Hoop Group?

A: It was good…got a chance to feel out how the camp will be.

Q: If you had compare your game to one music album, what would it be?

A: Nothing Was The Same-Drake,

Q: If you had to play your favorite player 1v1, you’re wearing flip-flops & they’re wearing roller skates, who wins?

A: Me, he’s wearing rollerskates cannot guard me.  I’d be scared he might roll over my toe though.

Q: You’re making a 3 on 3 basketball team using only super heroes or cartoon characters, who do you take?

A: Superman, Hulk, Green Lantern.

Q: What’s the most important thing you look for in recruiting?

                     “If someone wants me. I’m not worried about name. I want to go to a school that I would choose even if I was not playing basketball.”

 

           Q: How many 5 year olds could you fight before you lost?

           A: I’d never fight a five year old…but if I had to 1000.  The first 200 i’m knocking out one punch.

           Q: Who has been the most influential person in your life thus far?

           A: My dad for sure.  He came from nothing. Grew up in the projects in Brooklyn.  We started off in a one bedroom apartment now we have a five bedroom house.

           Q: What is your dream college?

           A: Syracuse.  I like Jim Boeheim, but he probably won’t be coaching by the time it’s time for me to play.

           Q: What do you hope to gain from Hoop Group Academic Elite Camp?

            A: I want to learn different ways I can come off ball screens.  I want to get better at making the right reads so I can make plays for others.

           Q: What motivates you strive for greatness in athletics?

           A: My Grandmother.  She wants to go to Hawaii before she passes and I’m going to get her there.

Hoop Group Alums Selected in NBA Draft 2017

NBA Draft #1 Pick – Markelle Fultz at Hoop Group Elite Camp

Many Hoop Group alum have succeeded at many different levels, from the NBA, Division 1 as well as small colleges and in high school.

On this page we will look at the successful Hoop Group alumni who saw their dreams realized with their name called in the NBA Draft.

Once again this year, the #1 pick is a Hoop Group Alum, as were 13 overall 2017 NBA Draft selections.   4 of the last 5 #1 overall NBA Draft picks are Hoop Group Alum.

2017 NBA Draft

PhotoNameNBA TeamCollege High School
Markelle Fultz76ersWashingtonDeMatha MD
Josh JacksonSunsUNCProlific Prep CA
Dennis SmithMavericksNC StateTrinity Christian NC
Donovan MitchellNuggetsLouisvilleBrewster Academy NH
Bam AdebayoHeatKentuckyHigh Point Christian NC
Tyler LydonJazzSyracuseNew Hampton NH
Kyle KuzmaNetsUtahBentley MI
Josh HartJazzVillanovaSidwell Friends MD
Davon ReedSunsMiamiPrinceton Day NJ
Wesley IwunduMagicKansas StateWestfield TX
Frank MasonKingsKansasMassanutten Military VA
Thomas BryantJazzIndianaHuntington Prep WV
Dillon BrooksRocketsOregonFindlay Prep NV