Al-Amir Dawes is ready to lead the NJ Playaz – Q&A with HG Insider on the upcoming AAU season & more

The New Jersey Playaz are always a team to watch in the Nike EYBL. This year the Playaz will rely a lot on class of 2019 guard Al-Amir Dawes. Dawes, a standout from The Patrick School in New Jersey, is ready to take on this role and put his team in a position to win a Peach Jam Championship. Dawes spoke on this and more with Hoop Group Insider.

Q: What are some goals that you have in mind for this AAU season?

A: “Going into my final AAU season I’m just trying to do one thing and that’s win the Peach Jam Championship,” said Dawes. “We want to continue the tradition the Playaz have built through the years.”

Q: This year you are going to play more of a leadership role. What are you learning about what it takes to be a leader?

A: “I am learning how to put a team on your back and I’m trying to be more of a coach and a player,” he said. “I want to be there for my teammates, teach the new guys and just lead by example.”

Q: What did you learn last year from your 17u experience in the Nike EYBL?

A: “I learned that when you play in the EYBL you can’t take any plays off,” he said. “You have to give it your all every play and put you blood, sweat and tears into it.”

Q: What are some things you guys need to focus on to put yourselves in a good spot to win it all?

A: “I think what we need to focus on as a whole is chemistry,” Dawes said. “That is important especially in the EYBL with teams who have been together since sixth grade. We are just working on our chemistry so once we get that figured out we will put ourselves in a good position to win the Peach Jam.”

Q: For those that haven’t seen you play, when your playing well what are you doing on the floor?

A: “When I’m playing well I make a lot of shots and the hoop gets a lot bigger,” he said. “I also play quick defense, talk a lot and my game continues to elevate. The more fun I have the better I play.”

Q: What would you say makes the New Jersey Playaz the program that it is today?

A: “With Jimmy Salmon, I think he makes players good on and off the court,” Dawes said. “We have a family like relationship here and that’s what really makes our program as good as it is.”

Q: What are some personal goals you have in mind for this season?

A: “I’m trying to make a much bigger name for myself,” he said. “I’m trying to improve upon my recruitment and like I said to keep getting my name out there.”

Noah Locke- HG Insider Player Spotlight

noah locke

McDonogh School’s Noah Locke is currently the 80th ranked player in the class of 2018. His recruitment has been on the steady incline ever since his freshman season. Like most to-be seniors, this summer is a giant one for Locke.

Locke showed what all of the buzz around his name is about at the Oladipo Skills Academy. On Wednesday night Locke found a way to score the ball consistently against some of the top players in the nation. Locke’s jumper was definitely on display, but he was able to do a lot of damage off the bounce as well. The rising senior spoke on his experience at camp.

“I have to play to the hype with me having a lot of schools contacting and offering me,” said Locke. “There’s a target on my back so I need to work even harder now.”

He has established himself as one of the best shooters in his class. Locke is an exciting player to watch with his ability to score in bunches. He helped lead Team Melo to a Peach Jam berth in their first year on the 17u circuit. He added a blue-blood offer in Kansas recently and is garnering more attention with his recruitment. Michigan, Providence and others are also making Locke a priority. For the next level, Locke will need to find a place with the right system and he then he should be able to succeed on a big stage. He was one of the leading scorers on the Nike EYBL circuit with 18.2 points per game. Locke also put these big numbers efficiently as he shot 51 percent from the field. Locke is definitely a fun player to watch and has a good head on his shoulders. He will look to finish his high school career at the McDonogh School with a bang, which he is more than capable of doing. Locke is someone to track on the grassroots scene as he is progressing at a rapid pace and his recruitment continues to blossom.