2017 Summer Jam Fest Media

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Live Blog


Sunday | July 23rd

4:06 PM

SBA ELITE BEATS MIDDLESEX MAGIC 47-46

4:06 PM

Middlesex Magic with the ball under the basket. Having trouble getting it into play and SBA intercepts a pass to Shaughnessy in the corner.

4:05 PM

SBA Elite makes a nice move under the basket and finishes to put them up 1 with seconds to play

4:05 PM

Middlesex Magic playing keep away drained 30 + seconds off the clock. Still lead by 1 in the championship game of the 17u Platinum Division.

4:04 PM

William Yarbrough with a big 15 footer form teh right elbow to pull SBA Elite within 1 (46-45) with 1 minute to go in the game

3:58 PM

Mark Natiello is having himself a GAME for SBA Elite. One of the main reasons SBA has been about to stay in it trailing by 3 with 2.22 to play

3:54 PM

On Court 1, Bryce Daley with a beautiful finger roll finish over a defender plus the foul, pushes Middlesex Magic lead to 4 with 4.47 to go in the game

3:51 PM

Black Bear North and DapzKK battling hard, Jacob Godfrey #8 with a nice reverse layup over the arms of a defender. Tied game with 10.00 left on the clock

3:34 PM 

Natiello with ANOTHER basket from three point land putting SBA Elite up 26-22 at the half

3:30 PM

Mark  Natiello hits a three to put SBA Elite up 22-20 with 2.50 left to play in the first half

3:24 PM

Mark Natiello (#25) for SBA Elite is really putting his team on his back and goes on a 6 point streak himself

3:16 PM

SBA Elite is competing with presumably the best team in the bracket. Score 11-15

3:15 PM

Game underway for the 17U Platinum between Middlesex Magic and SBA Elite , already an intense game displaying each teams strengths

2:47 PM

David Duda with a 3 to answer Oh NOVA #15 Rodericks

12:35 PM

On Court 3, Maryland Elite is lead Franklin Force by with 12:30 to go in the game. Sean Yoder with a big 3 in the coner to push the lead to 4 points. East Coast Power leading 42 -38

2:31 PM

David Duda with a 3 at the buzzer to end the first half putting his team within 1. Duda has been strong from the perimeter all weekend.

2:25 PM

East Coast Power getting Multiple opportunities to score

2:25 PM

With 3 mins remaining in the first half, Oh NOVA leads East Coast Power 30-24

2:15 PM

East Coast Power looks to rely on their hot perimeter shooting in lefty #2 David Duda and strong combo guard #5

2:03 PM

East Coast Power and Oh NOVA about to play on court 1. both teams look evenly matched u

1:58 PM

DAP2kk trying to seal the deal on the free throw line with 27 seconds remaining in the game. Leads 71-66

1:58 PM

DAP2kk trying to seal the deal on the free throw line with 27 seconds remaining in the game. Leads 71-66

1:50 PM

BBN trying to run sometime off the clock and escape the defensive pressure

1:40 PM

BBN Elite leads House of Hoops by 5 pts with a little more than two mins to go

12:52 PM

12:50PM

THOMAS SHAUGHNESSY SPINS OFF A PICK FOR THREE TO END THE GAME!! Middlesex Magic advances to the finals against SBA

12:45 PM

Adam Freese down with 21 seconds to go after some contact under the basket

12:42 PM

Antonio Rizzuto with a TOUGH finish plus the foul. Knocks down a free-throw to make it a tied game 72 all

12:40 PM

 

12:39 PM

Middlesex Magic leads by 2 points with 3 mins remaining

12:30 PM

Back to Back 3’s by Melik Martin and Adam Freese bring York Ballers back within a 4 point game with 6.56 to play. Environment feels more like a final game with people crowding the court.

12:16 PM

At halftime on court 1, Middlesex Magic leads York Ballers 41-36 Antonio Rizzuto and Tyler Shaughnessy trading baskets back and forth

12:05 PM

SBA Elite vs Crown is an 11 point game with 10 remaining. Crown trying to handle the speed of Alex Schachne and company.

11:43 AM

East Coast Power Basketball wins 73-59 here on Court 1!

11:34 AM

60-53 ECPB with 2 minutes left on the clock.

11:28 AM

6th Man Warriors are battling back here on Court 1! Down 5 with under 6 remaining!

11:02 AM

East Coast Power is ahead 36-27 at the halfway point. 6th man continues to try to battle back with the perimeter shot, but can’t answer the ECPB counter attack. More exciting basketball coming your way!

10:43 AM

6th Man Warriors vs East Coast Power Basketball here on Court 1. East Coast Power is up 7 with under 5 in the 1st half.

10:18 AM 

Antonio Rizzuto is at it again. Lockup up his defender on the drive and taking it to the rack on the fast break. Rizzuto is bigtime here folks.

 10:00 AM

New Heights loses to Crown Athletics 85-66 here on Court 3. THIS.IS.SUMMER JAM.

9:45 AM

Bridge City Ballers vs York Ballers on Court 1 is a nail bitter early. York Ballers up 10 with under 3 minutes remaining!

9:25 AM

Good Morning PA! Today is championship Sunday. Make sure you get to the Spooky Nook Sports Complex ASAP to catch the last set of our summer Jam games!

9:00 PM

SBA Elite vs NJ ShoreShots in a battle of the tri-state powerhouses. Catch it live on  Court 1!

8:45 PM

New Heights win by 30 in a game that seemed so much closer. Moses and company move on to the next round as no team has been able to stop the big man.

8:35 PM

Castle Athletics  win in high fashion! 61-50 is he final in a thriller on court 5.

8:15 PM

Castle Athletics the 5 point lead with a little under 7 remaining. Shoreshots keeping it close here on Court 5

7:55 PM

Moses Brown and Precious Achiuwa are getting ready to play against SJ Hoops Elite here on Court 1. Big crowd for the #1 big in the country.

7:28 PM

Robert Beran #5 of Team Richmond Garner Road is a tall and long big who is not afraid to get down in the pain, draw contact and uses his wingspan to get tips. Do not sit on him behind the arc, he can pull up and hit the three. Only 2019 on the roster.

6:59 PM

Low scoring but tight game between Team Richmond Garner Road 17 Elite and NY Jayhawks 17 – 11 with 3.14 to play in the first

6:50 PM

Sam Many (#32), top scorer of the 5:20 pm game set with 37 pts for Global Squad

6:40 PM

2019 NY Jayhawks big man#31 Chrisopher Ledlum doing some dirty work. Crashing the boards and getting rewarded with strong rebounds.

6:19 PM

Melik Martin finishes with 18 points in its victory over NJ Roadrunners

6:03 PM

Global Squad Denmark has shown they belong here with the big dogs.  The European squad has been hitting mid range jumpers very efficiently today.

5:34 PM

Castle vs the 6th man warriors on court 19. Malachi de Sousa looking to continue his dominate play against a gritty program. Get there ASAP!

5:00 PM

Brad Bundscuh of SBA Elite has shown he’s able to bang downlow against  tough competition.

4:30 PM

NY Gauchos and Team Silk are underway here on Court 2. Emmanuel Umoffia has the footwork downlow but can he show he can stretch the floor? Find out next here at Summer Jam!

4:05 PM

SBA Elite vs NY Lightning here on Court 1. Huge matchup with numerous college players coming up soon.

3:20 PM

Hoyas and New Heights drawing a crowd to court 1!

3:12 PM

Hoyas vs New Heights on Court 1. Bigtime matchup here halfway through Day 1.

2:52 PM

Noah Kamba has done a phenomenal job breaking the press today.

2:38 PM

SKATES!!

2:02 PM

Malok Majak is a very interesting prospect here. At 6-7, the class of 2020 SF has been dominate today. With already two dunks in this game alone, Majak is looking to follow his brothers footsteps and pickup some big time offers this weekend.

1:37 PM

Aaron Gao of the NJ Roadrunners was the floor general today as his confidence was strong. Gao is a Sneaky passer with the ability to score on the perimeter and slash to the basket.

1:20 PM

Malachi De Sousa highlights! #SummerJam #BeElite

1:11 PM

This is the Rizzuto show here on Court 1.. The perimeter sniper has been elite today. The York Ballers have been put on the Division 1 Map here at Summer Jam.

12:45PM 

Global squad Denmark and The York Ballees are getting ready to start up here on Court 1.

11:50 AM

Rens vs PK Flash 17u is a great game going into the half . Rens  are up 26-25 on Court 1.

11:20 AM 

Virginia Blaze pull away and win by 9 in a late offensive run. Up next we have Team Attack vs Team Rebel! Stay Tuned!

11:07 AM

David Duda of The  East Coast Power has been automatic from deep. Duda isn’t afraid to let it fly and has shown that here late.

11:04 AM

Jermaine Hall has 23 here as the Crusaders trail by 1 with under 5 remaining.

10:51 AM

Tight game here at Court 11. 39-37 Virginia Blaze with 9 minutes remaining.

10:33 AM

Jarvis Vaughan of The Virginia Blaze has a couple of dunks here early.

10:19 AM

Big man Brendan Medley Bacon has  a very soft touch down low with deceiving footwork. He’s leading Crusader  nation to a 13-11 lead here early.

9:56 AM

Crusader Nation vs Virginia Blaze here on Court 11.

9:33 AM

Good Morning East Hempfield! It’s our first full day of basketball today and we are looking forward to it! Get to the Spooky Nook Sports Complex ASAP!

Friday | July 21st

10:30 PM

That concludes Day 1 of Summer Jam! Very fun day ahead of us tomrorow so stay tuned!

10:12 PM

Second Half of play here as New Heights leads 28-21. Big half ahead of us here at an already exciting Day 1 of Summer Jam.

9:55 PM

New Heights is on a 15-0 run here. Wrightway Skills are trying to figure out the solution to stopping Moses Brown.

9:47 PM

The atmosphere on Court 1 is electric here. Wrightway skills has been off to a great start of this game.

9:28 PM

New York’s best duo Precious Achiuwa and Moses Brown are tipping off here on Court 1.

9:06 PM

Antonio Rizzuto scores an Incredible 22 in a win over Castle #SummerJam

9:00 PM

Ronnie Silva has been a 3 point sniper here on Court 1.

8:51 PM

Femi Odukale Jr has been relentless on the drive to the rack. The 6-6  forward isn’t afraid to absorb contact and finish over larger defenders.

8:23 PM

NY Rens G Bryce Wells with a two handed jam to ignite the 11-2 run against The D.C. Blue Devils NH.

8:07 PM

Global Squad China is making a run here on Court 11 as they cut the DTP Elite lead to 7 with a minute to go in 2nd half.

7:52 PM

Middlesex Magic vs NY Jayhawks has had a great start, Magic up 9 in the 2nd half.

7:43 PM
Bryce Daley (#23 Middlesex Magic) has shown his high IQ today, especially in tough situations. The senior has been automatic From midrange here on Day 1.

7:15 PM

7:00PM

Antonio Rizzutto (#0 York Ballers) fresh off Elite Camps is pure shooter who can knock down open and contested 3’s. Handles the ball nicely and is versatile in his play being able to drive, finish or kick the ball out. Nice addition to the backcourt of HGSL’s York Ballers. Finishing on court 1.

6:54 PM

Jordan Preaster (#13 Team Moam) can jump out of the gym crashes the boards and runs the lanes. Has a creative finish to pull it together.

6:50 PM

Lamar Duncan with 26 points for R1 Delaware on court 13. Still time to play.

6:36 PM

3 point games with 13 mins left to play in the match up between Richmond Garner Road and NY Jayhawks on court 1.

6:32 PM

Brandon McGlynn (York Ballers #4) quick skilled point who plays bigger than his size and can shoot the 3. Plays solid defense and reads passing lanes.

6:20 PM 

Over 50 college coaches already checked in for the weekend including St Joes, Army West Point and Hartford

6:04 PM

Toks Bakare of NJ Roadrunners for 26 points over Bridge City basketball.

5:44 PM

Moses Brown confirmed with  for Summer Jam Fest this weekend!

5:22 PM

4:50 PM

First tip of 2017 Summer Jam Fest Showcase ! Loaded set of game sets tonight and continuing throughout the weekend. Catch up on updates here!

 

Daily Recap


Day 2

Day 1|  Player Standouts

#14 Middlesex Magic | Benjamin McPhierron

Pure shooter, started off the game off hot and hit a couple of long range 3’s – NBA range. Solid, under control, guard that has the ability to handle the ball and defend the ball. Provides good spacing on the floor which leads to efficient ball movement and scoring.

#24 D.C. Blue Devils  | Kevin Fernandez

Very tough player who is undersized but doesn’t let that affect him much. Has great body control and hang with the other players on the court. Hustles for every ball, takes care of each possession and plays hard defense. Capable of scoring off screens, has a good pull up and perimeter game.

#2 New Heights | Robert Higgins

Heck of a defender – guarded the other team’s best ball handler all game – hard nosed and gritty player. Quickest feet and hands I’ve seen on a player all day. Not afraid to get into the paint and draw contact and/or kick out. Shown a little bit of his perimeter game as well but overall definitely held his own out there.

#32 Wrightway Skills |  Charles Coleman

The Umass 7 footer was nothing short of a standout here at The Hoop Group Summer Jam. A big with high major offers, he was able to stretch the floor and score from the perimeter on numerous occasions. Look for him to have a huge weekend here as bigs are unable to guard his long range shot.

#3 DC Blue Devils | Ronnie Silva

The gritty NH guard put on a show today against The New York Rens. While only 5-9, he’s ability to drive in the lane and score in contact is something you don’t see from someone of his size. Silva’s killer crossover puts the defender on skates and is a walking highlight reel. With only 1 Division 2 offer, Silva is looking to get his name out on a national level.

#0 York Ballers  | Antonio Rizzuto

Rizzuto is an absolute bucket. The York Baller scored 22 with a win today against the tough Castle Athletics team. Standing at 6-3, he’s able to use his size to get around defenders and score in traffic. That in addition to a very reliable 3 point shot are his claims to fame. Holding numerous division 1 offers, Rizzuto is definitely a player to keep an eye on this week.

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!
_____________________________________________________________
     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.

2017 Pitt Jam Fest Live Blog

Sunday | April 30th

3:30 PM

That’s a wrap from the Hoop Group 2017 #PittJamFest Live Blog! Thank you everyone for the support and keep following our Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram accounts for more on our tournaments and camps to come! Stay tuned plenty more basketball action to come!

3:29 PM

3:03 PM

2:58 PM

And the 2017 #PittJamFest 17u Platinum champions are the Middlesex Magic winning 79-66 over Jersey Force. Thomas Shaughnessy with an unconscious performance shooting the ball.

2:54 PM

2:42 PM

2:38 PM

https://twitter.com/thehoopgroup/status/858751306735005696

2:32 PM

2:18 PM

Thomas Shaughnessy is having himself an excellent first half leading the Middlesex Magic 47-35 over Jersey Force.

2:09 PM

2:05 PM 

2:00 PM

1:53 PM

1:51 PM 

After an epic comeback Indiana Elite are the 16u Platinum champions of the 2017 #PittJamFest!

1:44 PM

1:40 PM 

Incredible comeback in the 16u Platinum championship as Indiana Elite has overcome a 13-point deficit in a 59-all game right now. #PittJamFest

1:13 PM

Exciting game in the 16u Platinum championship. Albany City Rocks up 36-26 at the half. #PittJamFest

1:02 PM

12:58 PM

Albany City Rocks raining 3s early to get out to a 17-7 lead with 9:08 left in the first half.

12:53 PM

Albany City Rocks getting off to a strong start early with a few 3-pointers. 8-0 lead over Indiana Elite over on court 15.

12:45 PM

Getting ready to tip off the 16u Platinum championship! It’ll be Indiana Elite against Alvany City Rocks EYBL over on court 15 at the #PittJamFest.

12:44 PM

And the Middlesex Magic advance with a 46-41 win over Team Price. 

12:27 PM

https://twitter.com/OhioBuckets/status/858717187678363648

12:23 PM

Our 16u championship game is set! Tipping at 12:45pm we have Indiana Elite Fastbreak taking on Albany City Rocks EYBL for the title. Be sure to follow our Twitter @thehoopgroup for game and score updates and keep tuned in to the live blog!

12:04 PM

11:53 AM

Middlesex Magic up on Team Price 24-16 in the 17u Platinum semis. Multiple guys stepping up to hit outside shots for the Magic.

11:38 AM

11:36 AM

11:26 AM

11:23 AM

And Albany City Rocks EYBL takes this 16u Platinum matchup over York Ballers 53-43.

11:17 AM

Close game coming down to the wire here between York Ballers and Albany City Rocks EYBL! 50-43 with 1:52 left. #PittJamFest

10:54 AM

10:50 AM

Some more last minute score updates here from 17u Platinum… Team Price 67-54 over Maryland’s Finest and DC Blue Devils HGSL 69-57 over Jersey Force – Stein.

10:42 AM

Score updates here from around the tournament… Team Takeover Black defeated Boo Williams 46-42 in 15u Platinum action with 17u Platinum wins going to Middlesex Magic over Team Loaded 757 (49-43) and Jersey Force – Stein over Michigan Warriors (72-61).

10:40 AM

10:31 AM

10:02 AM

Close game on court 16 with 9:54 to go between Michigan Warriors and Jersey Force – Stein 51-44. Multiple college coaches on hand including La Salle‘s John Giannini!

9:26 AM

9:24 AM

9:14 AM

ICYMI here’s a look at our highlights from yesterday! #PittJamFest

9:10 AM

9:07 AM

One 15u Platinum game just went live at #PittJamFest with Team Final – Red winning 64-49 over Bridge City Basketball. 

9:00 AM

8:53 AM

8:50 AM

Some intense 16u Platinum action going on right now at #PittJamFest! College Park Rim Rockers up on NJ Beasts Basketball 58-55 with 3:50 to go!

8:45 AM

Cameron Thomas of Boo Williams on fire right now on court 15! 32 points and counting with 7 made 3s! Boo Williams up 63-59 on York Ballers with 5:07 to go!

8:37 AM

8:36 AM

Good morning hoop fanatics! We’ve fought through the technical difficulties and are back this morning for some championship Sunday action! Follow us throughout the day for updates!

Saturday | April 29th

6:48 PM

6:40 PM

One of the best games of the day tipped off at 10:40 AM with Crown Basketball coming back from a 35-16 deficit to beat Team MOAM 61-60.

6:35 PM

Earlier in the day on court 15 the DC Blue Devils won an overtime thriller against Team Melo – Red in 17u Platinum action. Kevin Fernandez of the Blue Devils hit the shot to send the game into OT.

6:31 PM

A wild game just finished up on court 18 at the #PittJamFest as Jersey Shore Warriors Gold won on a buzzer beater by Luke House to beat Corey Graham Elite 56-55.

6:26 PM

We apologize for the technical difficulties regarding our live blog we have had server issues since the start of the tournament! But we have updates here from throughout the day!

8:43 AM

Close game here on court 19 between Game 7 and the NOVA Cavaliers 30-28. Multiple Big Ten coaches in attendance watching this matchup.

8:33 AM

Action already underway today here at the #PittJamFest! Court 17 has a fast-paced 17u Platinum game going with the Randallstown Rebels up early on the L&L Running Rebels 28-19 with 7:12 left in the first half.

Friday | April 28th

9:07 PM

8:46 PM

8:44 PM

8:07 PM

8:03 PM

Over 20 media outlets here and 50+ college coaches out scouting players right now at the #PittJamFest!

8:01 PM

7:20 PM

The Middlesex Magic defeated The Academy 67-58 in the first game on Court 16 apart of the HGSL Showcase. 6’0″ point guard Thomas Shaughnessy led the way for the Magic with 11 points.

7:11 PM

Team MOAM beats MD3D 71-53 on court 10 here at the #PittJamFest. Dante Treacy of Team MOAM led the way with a game-high 15 points.

6:55 PM

Many D1 coaches on hand including those from Yale, UPenn and Boston University watching the Northern Kings playing Interstate Basketball on Court 12 here at the #PittJamFest!

6:43 PM

6:22 PM

6:10 PM

6:03 PM

We are underway here at the 2017 #PittJamFest!!