Junior Elite Featured Player: Chris Lester



Chris Lester
New York, NY
PSA Cardinals

Scouting Report:  Chris is your prototypical New York City wing.  He can attack the basket in transition with his speed, length, and athleticism, and he embraces contact on both ends of the floor.  Chris is able to knock down the open jumper with time and space and uses this to set up a lot of his drives.  Though he is best in transition, Chris has the skillset to become an elite player in any style of play.

Events Attended: NYC Jr. Elite, Fall Jr. Jam Fest

2014 Turkey Tip Off Champs/ All Tournament Team

The 2014 Turkey Tip Off Tournament was held last weekend at The Hill School in Pottstown, Pennsylvania. After celebrating Thanksgiving, 6th, 7th and 8th grade teams made their way to The Hill School to compete in a tournament against other teams from New Jersey, Pennsylvania and New York. After seeing some great teams and players. Here are your championship teams and the top performers.

Team Tournament Champions

6th Grade: Canada Elite

7th Grade: Vaughan Panthers

8th Grade Travel: Neptune

8th Grade AAU: Play Hard Squad

2014 All Tournament Team

6th Grade:

Isaac Hester, NJ Shoreshots Nitro
Kyle Duke, Canada Elite
Stevie Mitchell, Wilson Bulldogs
Chance Westry, Class Acts
Saevion Brown, Canada Elite
Aiden Oster , JSL Hoops
Mykel Huffman, Wilson Bulldogs
Kyle McCord, Mount Laurel

7th Grade:

Khalid Long, Vaughan Panthers
Dante Brown, Vaughan Panthers
Griffin Rooney, Westfield
Antonio Sellers, St. Michaels
Nyjae Hallenbeck, JSL Hoops
Justice Prentice, Canada Elite
Isaiah Williams, St. Michaels
Basul Diggins, Team FOE
Isaac Webb, NJ Connection
Jeffrey Woodward, Audobon

8th Grade: (Travel and AAU)

Alexx Harbour, Neptune
AJ Mitchell, CBAA
Elijah Wenn, Harlem Jets
Ryan Hagan, Spring Ford
Jonathan Delgado, St. Michaels
Mikeal Jones, Play Hard Squad
Darius Ervin, Brooklyn Patriots
Taj Anderson, Team Twelve
Menilik Palmer, Canada Elite
Isaiah Amazon, Brooklyn Patriots
Brandon Wilson, JSL Hoops
Jaden Nelson, GPU
Owen Bradford, Perkasie Knights
Johnny Merritt, Team Twelve

Thank you to all the parents, players and coaches for making it a successful Turkey Tip! We hope to see you back again for Hoop Group Skill’s Tournament of Champions and then this summer at Skills Camp in the Poconos! If you’re interested in attending camp, you may be interested in the Gift of Camp promotion we are currently running. Click here to learn more!

Jr Elite and Top 100s: 5 Reasons YOU Should Be There

Hoop Group Skills Camp
We have good news and bad news. The bad news is that summer is over and school is starting soon. Yes, sadly it is time to trade in the days at camp for days in the classroom. Fortunately for you, there are still plenty of opportunities to work on your game before the upcoming season starts! Jr. Elite and Top 100 Clinics begin mid September and will run all around the Mid-Atlantic region. Here are five reasons you should attend these clinics:

Receive Top Flight Instruction
When trying to fine tune your skills, it is important to learn from the brightest basketball minds possible. At Hoop Group, we do not take instruction lightly; our Top 100 and Jr. Elite staff members consist primarily of college coaches at the Division II and III level who have an extraordinary passion for educating young athletes about the game of basketball. If you have a desire to learn, they will teach you.
Metro Top 100

Maximum Exposure
Just because the summer is over does not mean you have to stop being seen. Aside from the coaches we have on staff, all our events are open to Division II and III coaches in the area, as well as a number of media and scouting services. Campers will also leave with a ranking and report card from Steve Keller and the National Recruiting Report. There are always ample chances to be seen at Hoop Group!

First Rate Competition
The only way to better yourself is to go up against the best. Hoop Group has gained the reputation for attracting some of the top talent on the East Coast to our events. Players will participate in game sets which enable them to test how well they match up against premier talent. Top 100 and Jr. Elites are a great measuring tool to see how much you improved this summer!
Jr. Elite Top 100

Get Ready for Your Season
It may still be August, but pre season will be starting soon and before you know it, opening day will be upon you. Be as prepared for the season as you can by taking advantage of these clinics. Every Top 100 has stations prior to game sets with the purpose of teaching players new drills to use when they workout. Everyone can always afford to get better, let us help you do it!

Prep Yourself for Camp Next Summer
You might not be thinking about next summer just yet, but it’s never too early to start! Our Top 100 and Jr. Elites provide a small taste of what Elite and Skills Camps can provide during the summer months. Hoop Group Elite Camp is the premier camp to be at to be seen by college coaches; Skills camp will help you raise your game to a new level. Top 100s allow you to do both! Get a jump start on summer this fall.
Hoop Group Elite Camp

If you are in grades five through twelve and are serious about playing basketball, Top 100 and Jr. Elite Top 100s are for you this fall. They are the absolute best places to receive top notch instruction, competition and exposure in a single day. Find out when we will be in a city near you and sign up today!

Follow us on Twitter:
@TheHoopGroup -Hoop Group
@JN_Albano -James Albano, Director of Digital Media/Marketing
@RealMattPooley -Matt Pooley, Director of Hoop Group Elite
@CoachJoshKing -Josh King, Director of Hoop Group Elite
@RyanJFinch1212 -Ryan Finch, Director of Hoop Group Skills
@ChrisZupko -Chris Zupko, Director of Hoop Group Skills

Hoop Group Skills Camp 1 – Top Performers

We just completed the first of four Hoop Group Skills Camps of the summer here in the beautiful Pocono Mountains. Throughout the week campers worked hard and developed their skills in stations, games and lectures which gave them one of the most complete basketball experiences of the summer.

If you missed any of the action you can catch up on all that happened by visiting our Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages and if you are still interested in reserving your spot for one of our three remaining Skills Camps you can visit our website by clicking here for dates and other information.


A solid playmaker off the dribble, Alford was almost automatic from the free throw line and also displayed a good outside shot from 3-pt range during camp. He seemed to become more confident handling the ball this week and by the end of camp started to attack the rim more.

One of his team’s best shooter this week, he was deadly from the outside when left open. His range made him a constant threat when on the floor and he also had the ability to pump fake and finish at the rim. Was a member of Xavier’s Big East Division Championship team along with Shaijzhan Franklin and Cobe Toure who are mentioned further down this list.

A great passer, he is very skilled and likes to see his team excel. His attitude is great and will take him very far.

Very quick at getting up and down the court, Bryant was very difficult to defend not only because of his ability to score from anywhere on the floor, but because of his ability to find the open man when his opportunity to score the basketball wasn’t there.

His outside shooting was a must see during camp. He demonstrated it early camp when he knocked down four 3-pointers in one game on the first day and never looked back.

A hard- nosed defender he attacked the paint ferociously and without fear. Few players in camp were as dangerous as he was with his one-dribble pull-up jumper.

A talented guard who was aggressive on both sides of the floor, offensively he keeps his head up when pushing the ball so he can see the whole floor and on defense he averaged five steals a game on his way to winning the ACC Division’s MVP Award.

A fine defensive point guard who can play the passing lanes. Davis was a vocal team leader throughout the week.

A big guard that knows how to run the offense, He can shoot lights out of the gym if you leave him open. Was the ACC Division’s Free Throw Champion.

Led his team in points and assists and was always responsible for guarding the opponents best player. Dixon copped the ACC Division’s Mr. Hustle Award.

Despite his smaller size he backed down to nobody and was his team’s top rebounder this past week all the while going back-and-forth between camp and his baseball team’s All-Star playoff games.

Came in as a sky kid who waiting to be told where to go and what to do, to being one of the most reliable players defensively and offensively. Has a great shot on the baseline which won his team a couple of games. His great attitude and determination to get better everyday played a huge role in his winning the ACC Division’s Most Improved Player Award.

By far the best rebounder in the ACC Division this week, he was nicknamed “Baby Shaq” by his coach Rafiq Williams. Easily pulled down eight rebounds a quarter in all of his games.

His success this week highlights what you can accomplish if you are willing to put in the effort. Fall’s efforts earned him the NBA Division’s Most Improved Player Award.

Had a great week of camp. He got to the rim really well and was a key part in the success his team enjoyed in the Big East Division.

His above-average ball handling and shooting in addition to the effort he gave on the floor all week is what earned Freeland a spot on this list.

Among the tallest players in camp, Good used his size to hold down the paint on both ends of the floor with his shot blocking, rebounding and scoring.

A young player that felt very comfortable playing in the older Big East division. He was a versatile inside out player who rebounded consistently and exhibited a great mid-range jumper.

A very smart player, Hall was always in the right place at the right time which allowed him to showcase his excellent shooting.

Very skilled and emotional when it comes to the game of basketball. He played with an advanced skill level and work ethic and was tough on himself when he made mistakes and was serious about correcting them.

Another solid week at camp while playing the point. Heck is a complete player on both the offensive and defensive ends of the floor.

The most decorated player at camp this week, Jackson took home the NBA Division’s MVP, All-Star Game MVP, Free Throw Award, one-on-one championship and was vital in his Thunder team winning the NBA Division Championship.

He demonstrated an above-average handle and his high motor led to several fast break opportunities for his team. Was also very strong at finishing around the basket with both hands this week.

A heady player who was among the top players at camp. He was clearly his team’s Mr. Hustle and appears to be a true student of the game.

Completed his teammate Sean Good, mentioned earlier on this list, with his solid play in the post.

Coming all the way from Prague, Czech Republic, Kralicek exhibited a high basketball I.Q. and a solid offensive skill set.

Clearly in the conversation as one of the best players in camp, Lattimore showcased a complete skill set that culminated in his winning the Big East Division’s All-Star MVP Award.

Ran the floor well all week and was a strong rebounder and finisher.

A high motor and a great work ethic helped set Nelson apart on his team at camp. One of the top defenders in the NBA Division, Nelson led his team in steals and deflections on his way to earning the division’s Mr. Hustle Award.

Has a great desire to want to win and lead his team at all cost. Can handle the basketball in traffic and make the right decision to best benefit his team. Defensively can cause problems on and off the ball. Those skills allowed Pinkney to win both the ACC Division 1-on-1 Championship and the All-Star Game MVP Award.

Big East Division  1-on-1 Champ - JAYSHAUN RAMSEY
Very strong player with a mean streak on the court. Can score the ball in a number of ways and is a monster rebounder. He was by far the best player in the Big East Division as he left camp with the MVP Award and the 1-on-1 Championship.

Found guys on the skip and always was looking to feed it inside for easy layups. Was clearly his team’s leader throughout the week and the way he ran the point led to his being named the NBA Division’s Floor General Award winner.

Great player and a great competitor. Always encouraged teammates to do the right thing and never worried about being an individual. He was a great leader and his commitment to getting better showed in his selection as the ACC Division’s Early Bird Workout Star.

A young and talented rising sophomore who led his team in rebounds and blocks this week. His play in the post also accounted for several second-chance points for his team and he was always one of the first guys on the floor in pursuit of loose balls.

An aggressive guard that plays both sides of the floor. He uses a pump fake to get his defenders in the air then blows by them. Always gave 110% on the court whether in games, practice or drills.

Possessing a nice floater that he uses when he gets in the lane, he can also shoot it from outside when he gets an open look.

Has the ability to get the rebound and take it the length of the court and score on the other end. Defensively will take any assignment, guarding anyone from the point guard to the center. Has a passion to want to be a winner and lead his team.

Arguably the most coachable kid in camp, Wise demonstrated his work ethic by never taking a second off.

Looking for a Camp in August? There are plenty of opportunities.



What is Skills Camp All About?

Skills Director Ryan Finch and members of Team Glory (D.C.) – Noah Charles, Zion Harmon, Dakari Bradford and Jenkins Dormu – take some time to discuss the highlights of the first few weeks of camp up at Hoop Group Skills Camp in the Poconos. Click the video below to see what they had to say.

finch glory

Space is still available for our boys camps AND girls camps. Please call the main office (570-992-6343) for any additional questions or concerns.