Before I recap the week of the live period. Let me give some real advice to senior’s without offers from colleges as well as to underclassmen. Some of you will now begin to question your dreams.  Don’t…. your dreams are alive and well but you must be willing to make it to the finish line and NOT SURRENDER YOUR DREAMS. But you must understand the process and continue to work. Hopefully most have had two days to rest and catch up with family and friends. But please keep the words “I am tired and need to rest my legs” out of your vocabulary ( I strongly urge you to watch this video).

Perfect pre-workout motivation 🔑 (via @demarjaysmith)

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Here are some things I strongly suggest. First the NBS camp is this week. If you are a unknown or a player  still without an offer, I will say this as strongly as I can….GET TO THIS CAMP TOMORROW. Next there are many college Elite camps this weekend. A player can for example go to Rider College’s Elite camp this Friday and hit the St. Peters camp on Saturday. Players you must put yourself in position to play in front of the right people. Picking and knowing the right time to shut down for the summer is very important, for most it’s not now.….MAKE THE RIGHT CHOICE.

“For god sake, who is telling these kids to shut it down for the summer” Division 1 head coach




Last week was the perfect ending for the live Period. First St. Rose won the Best of Maryland Tournament. To the best of my knowledge, no New Jersey team has ever won this tournament. It clearly sets up Coach Whalen and his team to be ranked in the Nation’s Top 5 pre-season. This team no question will start the year as a Top 3 team in the state. The other big news was the showing of Rumson and new Coach Dave Callahan at Best of Maryland. I personally thought Coach Callahan was taking a big risk going to BOM. I felt he could lose a great deal of credibility; if his team got kicked around. Instead the opposite happened, as his team by all accounts look great. But most important was that many were talking about the new found togetherness of the entire program. Kids sharing the ball, parents sitting together and lots of smiles.  How good was Rumson you ask? Well the team St. Rose beat in the final,. RFH beat by 1 in a barn burner. Folks playing Shore teams is never a easy task, as many at Best of Maryland found out. SJV also had a nice showing as they played without Kimi Evans and Courtney Dobrzynski  played with one arm all weekend. RBC had what can only be called a some what disappointing showing but we will give them a past. No team counts more on team chemistry and let’s face it, it hard to get 12 players to practice on a regularly this time of year.

Maroon logo

The Maroon and White again was a hit. James Young is turning this event into a real place for high school teams to get exposure. Because now most colleges are not only making the stop at this event. It’s  become a must stop during the live recruiting period. James Young’s event is becoming the real place to be in late July. This is a top flight run event which has gotten better every year. It’s become a real monster on the recruiting trail. BIG PROPS FOR what, JAMES YOUNG, TOM SCALFANI AND RANDY WESTROL, have done for high school basketball in this area. I believe next year this could be the biggest and best high school event in the country during the live period. One thing is clear college coaches made their way to the Maroon and White all week. We all owe James Young a big THANK YOU…GREAT JOB COACH YOUNG.


Jeff Jasper sharing a few words of wisdom after a win

On Friday with SJV, St. Rose, RFH,Neptune and RBC back, the Maroon and White took on a life of its own. The building was stuffed with college coaches and talent. But the story of the week was future Hall of Fame Coach Jeff Jasper and his Pascack Valley team. They just dismantled shore teams early in the week. The PV players reminded me of SJV in the way they swarm to the ball and play so hard. They remind of St. Rose as they run their offensive like a well oiled machine. There sharing of the ball looks like a text book RBC team. But it’s Jeff Jasper, that really makes it go, because without a doubt, it was like watching a clinic, watching this man coach. No detail is missed and he is teaching the entire game. He was brilliant in every aspect of the game. The way he can rotate kids in and get them to play with such passion and purpose is really amazing, especially in the summer. Do yourself a favor go watch this man teach?

Some other stories lines out of the event, Manasquan is the heavy favorite to win the SCT and the TOC. Folks their 2nd five is a Top 5 team in the Shore and trust me with the addition Lola Mullaney and Victoria Galvan, they are scary. The only question is can Lisa Kukoda keep them all happy…can you say welcome to George Sourlis’s world.  Neptune did beat Manasquan who played without Faith Masonious.

Neptune will most likely start the year ranked between 10-15 in the state poll. While there were a number of players who caught the eyes of coaches. Two clearly stepped up big time; college coaches where simply buzzing about Toms River North sophomore star Brielle Bisogno who put on a show according to a number D1 coaches; in the TRN win over SJV.

I just can’t get enough of Annie Mako who sent a clear message to everyone that she is going to be a real factor this season for Manasquan. This kid is going surprise everyone, she has appeared to come from nowhere. The young lady is a gym rat and loves to play.


Bianca is sneaking up on everyone

Finally I would tell people to play close attention to Jackson Memorial. I was very surprised to see this team look so good. They have some real talent. Coach Goodale has two excellent babies to build on, Dani Evans keeps getting better and better and this did not go unnoticed by college coaches.  Freshman guard Bianca Giordan0, is a real talent and gives them a true point for years to come. She will give this team a major upgrade in the ball handling and passing department. She is vastly underrated in terms of impact freshman this year.



Finally Academic Elite is easily the best one day event on the east coast. This year big props go to Mike Rice for keeping the event organized and running like a well-oiled machine. Folks please understand, without BETH CHAMBERS THIS EVENT NEVER HAPPENS. She puts her stamp on this event every year from A-Z.  But most importantly I have say to the kids who already have scholarships and to their families THANK YOU…THANK YOU AND THANK YOU.  Christina DiCindio and her parents insisted on her attending this event. They wanted to be there to support other kids and hopefully use her name recognition to elevate this event. Lucy Thomas has given a verbal to Monmouth, but yet wanted to attend the event to support the shore community. Courtney Dobrzynski was signed up and paid for the Elite, but because she had verbaled to U of Hartford, willingly gave up her spot in the sold out event to a teammate. Addie Masonious showed on and demanded to play. She said quote “I’m playing and get me a me a jersey” Folks I had tears in my eyes, I LOVE THIS KID AND HER FAMILY FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART. Wagner is getting a real program kid who can flat out lead and ball.  Folks these kids and their families get it. It’s not always about you. It warms my heart when a when  Dezzy Allen asks if I want her to play? When I say no, she says do you need me to work? By the way all these kids had to PAY FOR THE EVENT. Let’s hope the young players are watching and do the same when they sign at schools one day. Because it’s up to the stars to draw in the coaches to help others make their dreams come true as well.


There were 71 college coaches at this years event. There were 121 players from 9 states. There were 4 seniors who did not have offers who left this event with a D1 offer and in some cases multiple D1 offers. So bravo to those seniors and very happy for them. All props go to their AAU coaches and high school coaches for looking out for them. Once again the games were not spread out and the coaches got to see everyone play on the main courts.


Destiny Adams shocked coaches…with her talent

There was universal agreement from college coaches the most talented player in the event was 2021 Destiny Adams, who at times was dominant. Adams has had a monster summer, she was player of the week at the NBS camp and Friday showed everyone why. There is no question she will one day be the most recruited player in New Jersey. But we are going to have to wait a year before that happens. Nisani Santiago folks showed why she was once considered the 2nd best incoming freshman last year in the state. Santiago brought out her entire package of goodies. She use every move off the dribble to get to the rim and score over and under post players. She dazzled coaches all night with euro steps, she banged out three’s and  dropped a bucket of dimes. She defended like a demon, no tend in tended…LOL. It was clear to every Division one coach in the building, she is that real point guard, who forces everyone to elevate their game on the court.


Jen Louro picked up a few more offers

Jen Louro picked up a few more offers on Friday night as she just overwhelmed the competition. Louro showed her shooting skills, ball handling skills and her ability to defend just about anyone. She had a monster evening. Her teammate Ellyn Stoll also showed why D1 schools have caught on. Stoll banged out jumpers and ran the point all night with ease. Both players watched their stock soar in just one evening


Katie Rice had high major smiling

Katie Rice had not just the coaches buzzing Friday but her peers as well. Rice is ability to but the ball on the floor and get by folks was amazing. But it’s her defense and rebounding that had A-10 schools drooling. It was a mega performance by Miss Rice. Oliva Matto of PA, showed why she has a pocket full of D1 offers and certainly will pick up a few more after Friday. Matto can flat out score the basketball and that was on full display at Elite.


Lauren Mills had coach scrambling to learn more about her

Lauren Mills, from Lancaster Pa had college coaches were all talking about #148. In fact after the event I went to have pizza with two Division 1 coaches and they refused to tell me her name…I’m not joking about that one. Not only blessed with a college body, their was not a whole lot the young lady couldn’t do. Her phone come September 1st is going to be ringing off the hook.


Paige Slaven stole the baby show

While there was some real  Freshman star power at this event. One, stole the show and she is not a household name. Her high school coach, called me last week and told me she was playing as well as anyone. He said he couldn’t believe how much better she was, than when he last seen her. Then he went on to say this and I quote “Tiny, I think she is as good as any freshman in the Shore”. Well Coach Burno, you may have a case after Friday night. Paige Slaven may not get the hype of other 9th graders but she is a real gym rat and it paided off and on the biggest stage of all. Paige Slaven was the talk of the event afterwards. Here is a quote from a D1 coach “Tiny I have never heard you talk about this kid” Paige Slaven lit up the gym on Friday night. Here is a quote from another D1 head Coach, “Tiny you telling she is not one of the best freshman in the shore?” Here is what I know, this kid showed that she could play when the BIG LIGHTS go on. Nobody  jumped started their recruiting more, than this young lady did on Friday. My daughter a current asst. Coach at Colgate, she use to train Paige and her thoughts about Paige Friday “damm, Paige is no joke, I didn’t see all that coming” does than mean she is likes her game….LOL


Pissot is a work horse and loves the game

Finally the best part of the evening for me was this. Every single coach I spoke to simply could not believe Justine Pissott is a 6th grader going into 7th grade. Sometimes coaches, I can’t either!  Pissott is the ultimate gym rat who has not missed one week of camp this summer. She shoots every day for hour even on CAMP DAYS,. While others rush out this young lady stays and shoots for hours….I said hours coaches….NO LEG ISSUES HERE COACHES… She my friends one day, could one of the best players in shore history. But for now college coaches can just keep shaking their heads in amazement and high school coaches can pray they win the lottery in 2 years….that’s the Pissott Lottery.


Package deal anyone Pissott and Sabino?

Finally what question did I get over and over on Saturday morning…who is #52? That would be Jasmine Boyd a rising 8th grader who is a future all state player. She is another workhorse who plays for the best 8th grade team in New Jersey, coached by Joe Whalen. Boyd along with Sophia Sabino are future mega stars in the 2021 class.


I would like to thank all the coaches who support this event. I hope high school coaches and AAU coaches do as I do….make a note of those who are supporting your kids.  So I want to thank those schools who in the past have signed kids from this area, who again returned….I THANK YOU FOR NOT JUST TAKING BUT GIVING AS WELL

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