Boost Mobile Elite 24
Before talking about the actual game here are my behind the scenes observations.
What a Friday in New York City! It was just like the old Rucker Tournament days where games often started late with the crowd really into the games. Problem with this event was the organization of the event made the Rucker and every other outdoor league in the NY Tri-State area seem like they are run by the NBA in comparison. Needless to say it was one of the most unorganized events I have ever seen (I have seen many events as a planner, participant, and observer) in all my years of watching and coordinating events.
It pains me to say this but I always try to keep it real. This has nothing to do with the great talent that would eventually be on display after a 2 to 3 hour delay. Some said it was Karma based on the snub on New York City with zero players participating from NYC high schools. Others were just scratching their head wondering who really was in charge? Come on Boost Mobile! ESPN! Sponsors galore including Red Bull! Wow!
Let start with the difficulty getting into the game with more VIP and Press credentials including Photographer credentials hanging on hundreds of people who really do nothing but get into games and eat free this way. Young guys 14 had on press credentials and VIP badges. Who were/are those folks. Do they at least write on message boards? It seemed like the SOS with a who you know situation over riding what you do. Even the caterer, who must have cooked from a kitchen in a home, was not prepared. You would have thought the food was from the 4 Seasons the way they made you wait with one Women not even affiliated running people away saying "Not Yet, Not Yet, Not Yet." I will say there were a few folks really attempting to make the very extended families of the participating players feel comfortable. They went out of their way to make sure they and others had what they needed. Many people I know who do this for a living would jump at such an opportunity to do this the right way.
In regard to the game, the rain put a serious damper on the event and had everyone hoping and praying for the weather to clear. It was odd that a game of this magnitude, with TV Crews, Newspapers, and 24 players with professional potential on hand from all over America and Canada, had a rain site in a small warm gym in the Bronx a short distance of 20 minutes away by car and maybe 30 minutes away by public transportation? Why would they not have a college gym on hold just in case it rains? Why would ESPN not have a small production crew on hand at a rain location just in case? Why with the weather forecast saying there would be thunder storms, would they not move the game to a college gym like Fordham, or Columbia, early in the day if for no other reason than player safety? Odd! Sad!
Well, after sitting through the rain delay where they even had some type of imitation tarp for the court that looked like a skit from comedy central as they attempted to lay it down, they finally made a public announcement that the game was being moved to "The Gaucho Gym." Now do not get me wrong, the Gaucho Gym is a nice facility for what they do. Nice new stands, nice floor, etc. But a game such as this needs to be in a nice college gym. And though it was a scheduled free event, by moving it to the Gaucho Gym, people had to pay $5.00 to be admitted. Why would Boost Mobile and ESPN not work this out ahead of time? It was to be a free event! Odd! Sad!
Well, the game finally was set to start hours later but at least we would see a game. Or at least that's what I thought. The player introductions for a game such as this should be a show in itself. Players names should be called with where they are from and what they have achieved thus far. Not this game. The announcer, Barbitto is his name I think, just called the names and he gave each player a pound and they never even went to center court with the exception of Austin Rivers, the talented son of Boston Celtics Coach Doc Rivers who was the first player called. The rest just stepped out and back into the huddle. Again no organization. Those kids should have ran to center court dribbling a ball, rolled the ball back to the bench and waited for the entire team to be introduced. Odd! Sad!
Enough of the negative, lets get to the game!
I wish I could say the game was great. Sorry I cannot because I left at half-time or around 10:30 or 11. I just could not take it much longer. This has nothing to do with what I have mentioned thus far or the facility. In fact the facility brought back great memories of guys like Fred Neal helping so many kids before passing, Rod Strickland, Stephon Marbury walking in with a real entourage, The Gaucho Roundball Classic where my son played and learned to compete, Ernest Brown, Bernard Borrows, Artie Green taking his team off the court and forfeiting the game despite being up 25because they would not listen, Dave McCoulough and Dave Jones coaching their butts off and developing players, the Twins volunteering and helping every kid they could. Yes the Gaucho gym was and is a great place for kids to play and learn. Back to the game. The game also seemed very unorganized and that might be because they had kids coaching kids.
Kevin Love and Brandon Jennings coached one team and Rajon Rondo and Tyreke Evens coached the other. Great players but young and not real coaches.....yet! Well, we know who won the game.....or do we? Or do we really care? The Skip to My Lou team defeated The Goat team 133 to 120. I am sure to many the game was very entertaining. To me it was in spurts. But truly it was a game to showcase skills and that is what the players did. I saw Brandon Jennings calling for clear-outs in the first quarter for Josh Selby from Baltimore and Oak Hill Academy who recently de-committed from Tennessee. But he was a true high light film in the first half. So was C. J. Leslie from Word of God in Raleigh North Carolina. For the opposing team I was very impressed with Tobias Harris who is much better than even his number 7 ESPN ranking. Doran Lamb, a NYC kid attending Oak Hill Academy showed he had game and must have did very well after I left based on him being CO MVP with Tobias Harris. But trust me when I tell you this was a true "Park Run" played indoors.
Great player with great potential despite looking soft off the court. Guy has GAME and will star at Florida!
C. J. Leslie
All I can say is watch out. Kid might dominate this season. Has all the tools and gets up and down the court with ease. Seems like he loves to play. Was a CO MVP
Did not really notice during the first half I was at game. Must have something to be in this game.
Did not score but this big body kid is only going to 10th grade. He seemed to have great footwork, etc. OK I am cheating and have seen him a few other times and know this was an off day for him. Looks just like a young but larger Derrick Coleman.
PLAYER! He will be outstanding for Life Center in NJ. I think this is a Job Corp facility so he will gain a skill and a high level scholarship.
I guess he was representing NYC despite playing HS ball for Oak Hill in Virginia. You could tell he has great skills. Number 33 on ESPN top 100? He will be much higher than that in the future. CO MVP of game as well.
Word on the street is this kid who is Number 1 on the ESPN top 100 is a genius in the class room. He is from Ames Iowa which I am sure was a lesson to many of the participants who thought there were no people of color in that state. Nice to be brilliant with serious basketball skills. Number 1? Not sure. Top 10? Definitely!
Big body and talented player. Think he is already an Ohio State commit. Hard for big guys in games like this. But you could tell this kid is the truth. Number 2 nationally? Not sure about this either but top 10-15 for sure!
Every so often a guard comes along that you hate watching. Such is the case with this shorter, not so fast, look to shoot first point guard. The first half that I saw he seemed very selfish, especially for a PG. If I was a player being recruited by a school offering this kid, I might turn that school down. But again I have not seen much of him. I could be wrong. I hope I am.
Mr. Excitement. This guy was the show during the first half. He would have been the real ticket at Tennessee in that Bruce Pearl system. He has to be careful and attend a school that allows creativity. But this guy could be worth the price of admission. Wow. CO MVP
Do not be fooled by his 2 points. This is a true PG who makes everyone around him better. I could score 10 points playing with him. Great potential and a true leader on the court.
Looked like a little boy face wise along with Austin Rivers. But when he played he was all business as he got to the hoop when he wanted to. This is a case of a kid who would take your money at Venice Beach on the courts. He looks like such a nice young 15 year old kid. But he plays the game as if he is on a mission. Another outstanding student with outstanding basketball ability!
Another Canada kid via Ro Russell. Has game and performed well. Makes St. Benedict's strong again. Will he keep his Texas Commitment?
I hear from my guy Jon Cano this kid was Kansas player of the year as a 9th grader. He comes from a great HS that also produced a number of outstanding college players. And if you have never been to Wichita Kansas, you might not understand how close it is to areas we know that has great basketball. Was a bit lost on court but will be a factor in HS for many years.
Any relation to Paul Pressey? Not sure lol. But I looked forward to seeing this kid play. Had decent stats but again this was an All Star game and everyone cannot shine.
The Future in the Philly area. This kid is a baller. have seen him a few time and though this was not a great performance, it was a solid one.
Very few young men have the name Roscoe. That's a name from the past. Well, Roscoe might have an old man's name but he has a game that is great right now. Had a solid 22 in the game and we will hear more from him in the near future. Roscoe? Wow!
Another kid I did not watch close enough. But he did score 8 points. Being from Portland Oregon, I am sure he gets his share of Nike.
The 2009-2010 version of Tobias Harris is much improved believe it or not. The old version was very impressive as well. This kid is slimmer, quicker, aggressive, with many tools. He looks like a future pro as does many of the participants. As I told his Dad, Tobias is efficient with his game which makes him a true star. Plus he is a true team player. I think Grant Hill when watching him. Was CO MVP
Tony Wroten Jr.
Seems like he has been around for 10 years lol. This kid is skilled and has a nice feel for the game. He will make some college coach and his future teammates very pleased.
Yet another Canadian in this game via Ro Russell. Might have been a package deal. I love Tristians potential but wish he was back at St. Benedict's learning and being pushed by Danny Hurley. He better get to work because after a year at Texas, he could be right near Canada at St. Bonaventure (No Knock on The Bonnies).
The name sounds like a player! Field goal by Will Barton!!!! Well, get ready because that's just what will be said because this kid gets buckets as they say. He is very impressive and would score even if he was going against NBA players.
As you can see the talent was on hand. Hopefully the game will again take place in NYC next season with better organization. Might be an isolated event because the other Boost Mobile Games held in NYC were outstanding!
This should be the end of the Rutgers/Craig Carter/Corey Chandler issues. Spoke with a few people at the Boost Mobile event and they said all their phones were ringing off the hook. One prominent AAU guy said he also heard from Fred Hill who seems to be doing damage control. He mentioned Fred told him he would continuously rotate the coaches so Craig might just be in the road sometimes. He said he told Fred how bad this looks. Guy was definitely in Fred's corner but not pleased with what happened. Spoke with a Parent who mentioned he was not pleased at all because in his eyes Craig Carter is an outstanding role model for any kid whether they are Black, White, Latino, or Asian. I again say that I KNOW FRED HILL IS NOT RACIST and NEITHER IS RUTGERS UNIVERSITY!
The schools listed for Corey Chandler makes it seem he has limited options. Not the case! I spoke with 1 BE assistant who mentioned he wish they could get him but the rules makes it impossible. As far as I know, he has SMU, Siena, Maybe Kansas State, Binghamton, Iona is interested, St. Bonaventure, and more. I honestly feel he would be perfect at Binghamton replacing DJ Rivera and Tiki Mabry when they graduate this season. Corey could average 25 points a game in that sold out arena that holds 5400 fans.
Look for two very tall transfers from Texas to attend St. Patrick's this year. Saw them at Boost Mobile game. one of my ex Dyckman players and a great friend of Craig Carter gave me the 411 on this. Can the public schools ever compete with this? Well, at least they will be well coached!