Canada Basketball: Trending The Right Way

Canada Basketball

Canada Basketball has a lot to look forward to. Just days ago, their U19 team took home the gold in the 2017 FIBA U19 Games in Cairo, Egypt.

The feat may not be as illustrious as an Olympic Gold Medal, but Canada’s U19 team taking home a gold in the U19 FIBA Games is another sign of moving in the right direction. Look across the NBA right now. You will see a growing list of Canadian players, both in number and prominence. The list includes the likes NBA Champions (Tristan Thompson & Cory Joseph), a #1 Overall Draft Pick (Andrew Wiggins) and numerous budding talents (Jamal Murray, Kelly Olynyk, Trey Lyles). While the list will never compare the United States, it does have a fountain of youth that will make Canada fun to watch for the next couple of years.

Waiting to join the list of Canadian born NBA Players is R.J Barrett, a 6’7 wing playing high school ball for Kevin Boyle at Monteverde Academy. Barrett is the #1 ranked player in the class of 2019, according to ESPN. Playing for a coach who has had his share of lottery picks (Kyrie Irving, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, D’Angelo Russell & Ben Simmons), Barrett appears to be next man up on this list.

“He’s not going to be one-dimensional. He can do a lot of different things.” – Kevin Boyle

He’s a versatile, lengthy athlete who can wreak havoc in transition and score in a variety of ways. He was the talk of the tournament after torching the USA for 38 points, 13 rebounds and 5 assists. As an encore, he dropped 18 points in the championship versus Italy. He was the easy choice for tournament MVP. Team USA coach John Calipari tried to throw different looks at Barrett, but the Ontario native had an answer every time. Barrett’s final stat line for the tournament: 21.6 points, 8.3 rebounds and 4.6 assists per game. It’s easy to see why he’s the number one player in the class.

While Barrett is still two years from even hitting the college ranks, several of his Canadian teammates will be making their impacts felt as early as next season. Lindell Wigginton, a former ESPN Top 50 recruit will head to Aimes and play for Steve Prohm and Iowa State. Meanwhile 6’6 forward Abu Kigab will join Oregon, a Final Four team from last season.

Highly prominent prep schools like Monteverde, Huntington Prep, Oak Hill and Findlay Prep have given Canadian players a stage on which to shine on at the high school level. Many of the names listed above have played for one of these schools on their way to the NBA, or high Division 1 schools.

Slowly but surely, the world is becoming more familiar with the talent that exists in the county sitting atop ours. With Steve Nash at the helm, and a growing group of talented youth, Canada Basketball has a lot to be excited about.

Undiscovered Vol. 1: From Unknown to Recruited

With the game of basketball constantly evolving and progressing, we are starting to see the talent pool of high school basketball vastly deepen. Consistently playing above the rim, sinking NBA range threes, and no-look pocket passes are a few of the skill sets we are getting accustomed to seeing on a daily basis. So many players are good now a days. Some of them are really good. But skill level and potential don’t mean much unless you are seen.

A lot of college level players stay under the radar throughout their careers. It may be because of a certain location, not playing on one of the popular AAU circuits, or a delayed growth spurt; some players don’t end up getting the exposure they need to get to the next level.

Hoop Group Elite camps offer the chance for players to cancel out all of the factors above and get the opportunity to show what they can do in front of the people that need to see. Hoop Group has had many players come to camp with little or no interest and leave with college interest and scholarship offers. The following are a few that have come through in the past few years.

 

  • Gabe Stefanini

Gabe Stefanini came to all three elite sessions in the summer of 2016 holding only one offer as he started the live period. After his successful summer playing in camp, he had a long list of sixteen Division One offers! He eventually narrowed his choices to Santa Clara, Princeton, St. Bonaventure, and Columbia before committing to play at Columbia University in the fall.

  • Keve Aluma

Keve Aluma came in a relative unknown in the summer of 2016. After playing in Elite 1, he made an impression on over ten Division One schools. One of those ten, Wofford College was the school that Keve ended up committing to. He will be playing in the black and gold this season and hopes to continue on Wofford’s success in the Southern Conference.

  • Josip Vrankic

Coming from Canada, Josip didn’t have much interest from schools in the US before coming to the Elite 1 session. After the week, it was an entirely different story. Josip blew up at camp and drew offers from over ten Division One programs. He decided to take his talents west as he will enroll at Santa Clara University of the WCC.

  • Sandro Mamukelashvili

Sandro Mamukelashvili first game in the United States as at Hoop Group Elite Session 1. At the beginning of that session, he held zero D1 offers.  After the week, he was offered scholarships from five high major schools and will be suiting up for Seton Hall University next season.

  • Devin Jensen

Devin Jensen brought his sharp shooting abilities to Elite Session 1 and Team Camp in the summer of 2016. There he was seen by Coach Joey Gallo of Merrimack College. Over the five days Coach Gallo began recruiting Devin who he ended up committing to the Warriors on a full scholarship. Jensen will be a name to watch in the NE-10 these next four years.

  • Matt Faw

Matt Faw held just one Division 1 offer coming into the Academic 2 session at the end of July. After the week, he not only led his team to the league’s championship game, but also picked up offers from five Ivy/Patriot League schools. Matt eventually committed to play for the Crusaders of Holy Cross and will be playing for them this upcoming winter.

  • Michael Myers

Michael Myers injury last March caused him to miss the entire spring season. With the chance of a derailed recruitment, Michael decided to come to Elite camp; he had zero interest at the time from schools at the next level. Through his time at camp, he had the chance to catch the eye of every high academic school on the east coast. Michael eventually found a home at Williams College in of the NESCAC and will be an integral piece of the Ephs as they look to build upon an already historic tradition.

 

College Coaches: Stay tuned to the Hoop Group Undiscovered series as we try to predict who this year’s hidden gems are!

Silvio De Sousa Shines on Day One at FAA Camp

Silvio De Sousa 3

Pat Lawless (@GiveNGobball)

      

Class of 2018 power forward Silvio De Sousa stole the show with some incredible performances to kick off Future All American Camp. He moved to the United States from the African Country of Angola six months ago. In a short period of time he has already made a big impact in the U.S. and is isn’t looking back as he is headed to national powerhouse Montverde Academy (FL).

“It’s going to be good for me and fun next year with them,” said De Sousa. “I am just very ready and excited to play next season for them. I just need to work hard and follow in the footsteps of Ben Simmons to be one of the best in the country.”

He says he looks up two players that have both made a huge impact in the NBA.

“The two players I look at for my game are LeBron James and Shawn Kemp,” he told MADE Hoops.

The class of 2018 standout is looking to get a lot out of the rest of camp.

“I just want to do everything I can here and show my work ethic,” he said. “I want to really work here with my teammates. There are really good players here so I really want to play well. I want to learn to be disciplined, humble and be ready to do whatever my coaches say I should do.”

De Sousa is quite the talent and really heightened the intensity early at FAA. Expect to hear a lot more about him the following days.

Kevin Boyle, Montverde Receives Banner for #1 Ranking

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Four weeks ago, Kevin Boyle and Montverde Academy were winning the 2015 DICK’S High School National Championship. Last week, Coach Boyle received a banner by USA Today, recognizing his program for finishing number one in USA Today’s High School Basketball Super 25 ranking.

Montverde, who finished the season 31-1, used a come from behind win in the DICK’S National Game to catapult them to a number one ranking. The championship win was the school, and Coach Boyle’s third Dick’s National Championship in as many years.

Coach Boyle accepting the banner from USA Today after finishing #1 in the country (photo from montverde.com)

Coach Boyle accepting the banner from USA Today after finishing #1 in the country (photo from montverde.com)

Boyle’s club trailed Oak Hill Academy, then number one at the time, for a good portion of the championship game before surging ahead in the second half. After only scoring 26 points in the first half, Movtverde scored 23 in the third quarter to take the lead for good. LSU commit Ben Simmons was named MVP of the tournament with a stat sheet stuffing performance (20 points, 11 rebounds, 6 assists).

With Montverde’s high school season now coming to a close in remarkable fashion, we look forward to seeing Coach Boyle back in the Poconos for Kevin Boyle Point Guard Camp this summer. One of the most popular camps of the summer, Coach Boyle’s point guard camp weekend will teach you how to be an elite point guard for your team. It’s hard to argue against the coach’s track record, as he has coached NBA All-Star Game MVP Kyrie Irving and future 2015 NBA first round pick D’Angelo Russell. 

Again, congratulations to Coach Boyle and Monteverde on their third consecutive National Championship. Streaks like that do not come along often, and should be recognized when they do. We look forward to spending another summer in the Poconos with Coach!

BOYLE’S BEST – Standout Performers From Point Guard Weekend

BOYLE’S BEST

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Hoop Group Skills Camp welcomed National Championship-winning and High School Coach of the Year Kevin Boyle of Montverde High School. Coach Boyle worked with campers over the weekend, teaching them what it takes to be a top-level point guard. In what was a great experience for all involved, we saw some campers shine this weekend. Here are our top 10 from this weekend:

Standout Performers from PG Weekend

Jalen Rucker | Baltimore | 2019

Rucker, Jaylen

Unselfish play on both ends of the floor helped this rising eighth grader standout this weekend. Displaying excellent court vision and strong on-the-ball defense earned Rucker a spot on this list and the Most Improved Player Award in the high school division as a rising 8th grader

 

Melquan Kirton | East Stroudsburg North (PA) | 2015

Kirtoa, Melquan

Was a vocal leader who exhibited a tremendous work-ethic all through camp. His defensive play and his ability to aggressive drive the lane helped Kirota turn heads this past weekend.

 

Andre Jackson |East Stroudsburg South (PA) | 2015

Jackson, Andre

Another Pocono-area product who made the most of his time at camp, Jackson was dangerous when attacking the rim and kept defenders on their toes with a knack for knocking down the pull-up jumper. His high motor on the court also allowed him to finish strong in the transition game.

 

Kobe Gantz  | McCaskey (PA) High School | 2016

Gantz, Kobe

A great all-around athlete, Gantz controlled the pace of his team’s games and was always able to find the open man. While his passing was top notch, he was also able to stretch the floor with the wide-range of his jump shot.

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LeDetrius Sibley | Lancaster (PA) | 2015

Sibley, LaDetrius

A very good rebounder for a guard, his size and strength make him a talent at the point position. He was not afraid to go to the rim and was the driving force who pushed his team in the transition game.  Congratulations to LeDetrius for capturing the NBA Most Valuable Player Award.

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Trey English | Baltimore | 2021

English, Trey

One of the top sixth graders at camp, English was very coachable and was able to see the floor well for a player his age. He also showed great discipline with his shot selection.

 

Knasir “Doug” McDaniel | Silver Hill (MD) | 2021

McDaniel, Doug

The ultra-competitive McDaniel seemed to score at will as he easily broke down defenses and split double-teams. His aggressive style of play and his confidence of what he can do on the court clearly give him a high ceiling at this stage. Not many were surprised that he walked away with the MVP.

 

Jackson Blaufeld | Pittsburgh | 2019

Blaufield, Jackson

Was tough to stop in the open court and the way he pushed the ball in transition and grabbed rebounds on both the offensive and defensive end help to make him a dangerous player.

 

Kameran Rodriquez | Manhattan (NY) | 2022

Rodriguez, Kameran

The youngest player on the list, he rarely made the wrong play with or without the ball earning him the Floor General Award. Great at penetrating the lane and finishing, he also possessed the most important feature of a point guard, the ability to make his teammates better. With the way he carried himself on and off the court, he has the makings of a complete point player.

 

Bryce Lindsay | Baltimore (MD) | 2021

Lindsay, Bryce

His aggressive style of play allows Lindsay to consistently find the open gaps to the rim, and he is strong at finishing when he gets there. His ball-handling skills make him a tough player to defend and his team-first attitude is clearly a strong attribute.

Honorablele Mention: Lafayette Williams , Daryl Barbour, Zach Rocco, Beau Everett, Ian Di Pierto, Dwayne Williams, Jaden Johnson, Chris Winborne, Hasson Massenberg, Doug Niblock, 

 Kameran Rodgrizguez – FLOOR GENERAL ACC

ACC FG-Kameran Rodriguez

London Johnson – MOST IMPROVED PLAYER ACC

ACC MIP-London Johnson

Doug McDaniel – MOST VALUABLE PLAYER ACC

ACC MVP- Knasir(Doug) McDaniel

Jalen Rucker- MOST IMPROVED PLAYER NBA

NBA FG-Jalen Rucker

Tyree Dwyer – MOST IMPROVED PLAYER NBA

NBA MIP-Tyree Dwyer

LeDetrius Sibley -MOST VALUABLE PLAYER NBA

NBA MVP-LaDetrius Sibley

One highlight that we took away from camp this weekend was the large amount of youth among the campers. We love seeing younger players get out there in the summertime and work on their game. If that player is you, you may be interested in our Jr. Elite weekend in the Poconos. Get yourself ready for next season!

With weekend one of Kevin Boyle PG camp officially done with, we would like to send a special thank you out to all who was involved. This weekend would not have been made possible without Coach Boyle and campers who were willing and eager to get better. Coach Boyle will be back in the Poconos July 11-13 for his second week of camp. We hope to see you there!