Monday, February 16, 2015

NYBL Session 3 Preview

Using the last decade as a prism, it's hard to argue there's been a better proving ground for the nation’s top-flight basketball talent than the Nike EYBL High School Summer League Circuit. The roll call of past and current players includes locals Carmelo Anthony (Baltimore Elite), Victor Oladipo (Team Takeover), Will Barton (Baltimore Elite), and future 1st Round NBA pick Jerami Grant (Team Takeover). National players include such talent as NBA Lottery candidate Jabari Parker, two-time NBA Champion LeBron James, Derrick Rose, NBA Rookie of the Year Michael Carter-Williams and future Hall of Famer and 5-time NBA Champion Kobe Bryant, just to name a few.

Well, Rob Taylor from Ohio and Director of the acclaimed Buckeye Prep report had the forethought and vision to build a similar brand with a twist. Taylor created the nation’s first ever national middle school circuit and named it appropriately The NYBL (National Youth Basketball League). While giving credit to the EYBL model, Taylor has added many levels and difference least of which is the none involvement of the  shoe companies.  He has transcended youth sports with his offering and currently boast a lineup of teams from across the nation.

With the DMV being an unquestioned basketball hotbed, the area is well represented in this top national setting.  Many teams will be traveling today to session 3 of a 5-part season to test their mettle against other top programs. Many of these clubs dominate locally, but in a virtual who’s who of basketball teams, all are challenged on the NYBL Circuit.

Leesburg Basketball Club (2020, 3-7 North Division) — LBC is currently ranked No.7 in the National Power rankings and is a contender for the AAU National title to be crowned later this year in the 6th grade division.  They have battled a multitude of injuries throughout the start of the season; having not had their full arsenal at any session they enter session 3 the healthiest they have been all year.  A core group of top rated players makes up this well coached bunch: Josiah Hardy (DMV Preps #11), Jeremy Roach (DMV Preps#8), Chuck Harris (DMV Preps #10), Jared Cross (DMVelite#13), and Will Paige (DMV Preps #23) are all represented as top players in the area and are universally considered top players in the country – all also maintain and/or have played on the USA National Select team.

Banneker Kings (2020, 7-3 North Division) —  Lead by all-world wing Jordan Toles (DMV Preps #1) and one of the areas brightest prospects 6’4 Montez McNeil (DMV Preps #9) Banneker has beaten every team they were supposed to beat but ran into a buzz saw or two at the last session.  With other top players such as Ahmuad Jones and Edgewater, MD native Ketaan Wyatt, the Kings will be looking to improve their record and take out their frustrations on the teams that they see this weekend.  A high-octane scoring bunch that loves to trap and press is always fun to watch and tough to defeat locally or nationally, their two USA National Select players make sure of that.

Team Glory (2020, 3-7 North Division) — One of the surprises of the last session was Glory’s 0-5 run, but they played each of those games without the nation’s top player in the class of 2021- Guard Zion Harmon (DMV Preps #1) [Pictured, Right].  They will be poised for a strong showing with his return as this group creates one of the best perimeter combinations in the league with Domingus Stephens (DMV Preps #3) and Erick Reynolds (DMV Preps #26) on either wing – making up “2020's Lethal Weapon 3”.  These guys can bang the outside shot and hurt you off the dribble; their versatility is their greatest weapon. This group as well has two representatives on the USA National Select Team.

DMV also has a strong contingent at the 2019 level as well:

6th Man Warriors (2019, 7-3 North Division) — A very tough and hard-nosed bunch out of Virginia and DC the Warriors play a up-tempo brand of basketball that is smooth and free flowing.  It’s when they lock in on defense that things really get hectic for their opponents.  Lead by guards Malik Anderson (DMV Preps #12), Levar Allen (DMV Preps #16), and big man Cameron Byers (DMV Preps #39) the Warriors sit atop their division in first place.  Session 3 can provide them with clear separation of bring them back to the pack.  Things we know, they will be focused, they will be fun to watch, and they will represent the DMV well as they have done throughout the year.

Team Takeover (2019, 6-4 North Division) — Takeover has lost some tough games, but also pulled out some nail bitters on their way to their 6-4 start.  They easily could be sitting atop the division with a few bounces going their way.  Session 3 gives them a chance to make a run at the top spot – coincidentally held by another DMV squad.  With Justin Moore (DMV Preps #2)  and Anthony Harris (DMVelite#9) playing mostly with Takeover's 2018 team – PG Tyler Brelsford (DMV Preps#5) and Terrance Williams (DMV Preps#6) have been pillars of consistency.  Jay Heath (DMV Preps #14) who missed last session due to injury will be returning along with some new top talent Kevin Alyissi-Etoh (DMV Preps #13) and Cole Matthiesen (DMV Preps #10) who we haven’t seen much of this spring.  With multiple players from the group also dawning the red, white, and blue of the National Team they will look to be peaking this session and have added without question some nice pieces for the stretch run.

DC Assault (2019, 3-7 North Division)Jonathan McGriff (DMV Preps #11) carries this group with the help of Jordan Hairston (DMV Preps #38) – the tough national schedule has been a lot to deal with, but this back court keeps them in a lot of games.  You always have a chance with the ball in McGriff’s hands.  If they make a run this weekend they can get back to or above .500, don’t put it past them to do so as DC Assault for years has been tough as nails and one of the toughest teams to beat.

Clearly you can see where the DMV’s iron gets sharpened; check twitter and IG @coachfrancisusa for updates as well as back here at the conclusion of the weekend fora wrap-up report.

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