Many of the top local NYC area AAU teams in the 16U division were up in Providence for the Providence Jam Fest this weekend. And with the big time teams in the house, many of the big time players were there also. A lot of them lived up to the billing and played very well, not to mention there were also quite a few under the radar players who made names for themselves. Here is a review of 20 of the top players from our area who made some noise this past weekend.
Mike Taylor (Boys and Girls ’11)- Playing for the NY Elite, Taylor had a fantastic weekend. He showed that he can drive the ball inside and score with consistency that way, not to mention he shot the ball from long range about as good as anyone. He scored 116 points in 4 games, and showed continue improvements on many other aspects of his game.
Sidiki Johnson (St. Raymond’s ’11)- The 6’8” big man was a force inside playing for the Long Island Lightning-Dingle. While not a huge scoring threat this weekend, he scored when he needed using his height to rebound and score off put backs with ease. His defense though is what made his weekend great. He swatted shots back time after time and was a tenacious rebounder showing more aggression then ever before.
Achraf Yocoubou (Long Island Lutheran ’11)- The strong 6’4” wing player who played with Rich Soil showed off his explosiveness in getting to the basket and finishing strong. He was also unselfish and showed great passing ability. Hit the long range shot with regularity this weekend until he struggled from distance in there 2nd round playoff loss.
Jabarie Hinds (Mt. Vernon “11)- Came up very clutch as while the rest of his Westchester Hawks team struggled against the Rising Stars, he hit big shot after big shot to lead them back from sure defeat. Improved range this weekend saw him hit a number of long range bombs. A leader too who is a great passer and showed off his ability to pick up his team and take over when needed.
Conroy Baltimore (Stepinac ’11)- The 6’6” center who played with the Westchester Hawks this weekend made a name for himself on both ends of the floor. Showed an ability to step out and hit the midrange jumper, and was a force inside with his shot blocking ability. Was the main option inside for the Hawks.
Alan Siergiej (St. Joe’s by the Sea ’11)- Not a big name coming into the Jam Fest, the 6’7” Siergiej left as one of the most talked about big men of the 16U division. The SI Stingrays center showed grit and toughness all weekend going up against the opposing team’s center and outplaying them almost all the time. He held up strong going up against the big Westchester Hawks squad where he put in 15 points and over 10 rebounds. Opened up a lot of eyes with his overall play.
Davontay Grace (Thomas Jefferson ’11)- The smooth point guard was totally under control all weekend. He ran the point for the Long Island Lightning-Dingle and made smart passes and limited his amount of turnovers. Has improved a lot from long range as he hit numerous three’s this weekend to expand defenses. Defense also proved to be a strong point as he created many turnovers. All around solid weekend.
Evan Conti (Holy Cross ’11)- The Rising Stars almost shocked the Westchester Hawks in pool play, and the key reason for that was the 6’2” Conti. He showed a quick first step in beating his opponent to the basket and his midrange game was a big threat. Averaged 14 points a game this weekend and showed improved strength and is a solid rebounder who seemed to outwork bigger players all weekend.
Ryan Outar (Cardozo ’11)- The lanky 6’5” wingman played with Team Noah this weekend, and even though the team went 0-2 in pool play, they played hard and were in each game led by Outar. He was deadly from long range and showed an improved ability in putting the ball on the ground and getting to the basket. Stood out by averaging over 20 points a game in 3 games. His defense was also much improved and he showed to be a solid rebounder as well.
Matt McLeod (Harborfields ’11)- The 6’2” McLeod was the key performer for Team Underrated this weekend. He was able to shoot off the dribble and by catch and shoot. The team went 1-1 in pool play with McLeod scoring 19 points in there win that saw him his 2 big shots late. Showed an ability to play as a SF as he was a solid rebounder for his size all weekend.
Eric Turpin (Thomas Jefferson ’11)- Another talented player who played with the Long Island Lightning-Dingle squad, Turpin got a lot of chances as teams doubled Johnson. Though a few inches smaller than Johnson, he was able to get up and grab double digit rebounds all weekend. Hit a midrange jumper with good consistency as he averaged a surprising 15 points a game. Also showed a decent handle of the ball as well for someone his size.
Emmanuel Andujar (Rice ’11)- A long 6’5” player who played with New Heights, Andujar showed a nice array of spin moves that helped him to get to the basket and score. Long arms helped him do well on the glass. A bit of a slow release on his shot hurt him on his shooting, but proved to be a good defender with quick hands. Was the key in New Heights quarterfinal victory.
Kevin Sheehy (Chaminade ’11)- A very steady 5’10” point guard. He led the Long Island Lightning-Kelly team to the Silver bracket semifinals. Showed great distribution skills. Smart on the court as well as he stayed away from bad turnovers. Good quick release of his jump shot as well helped him score 15 points in his teams win over the NJ ShoreShots.
Jermaine Sanders (Rice ’11)- One of the top players in the NYC area, Sanders, who plays with New Heights, struggled with his jump shot for most of the weekend, but found ways to help his team win. He made excellent decisions with the ball, always finding the right player, and did a good job crashing the boards. While not his best shooting weekend, showed that he doesn’t need to shoot well to make a difference on the court.
Mike Florin (Long Island Lutheran ’11)- The 5’10” guard showed off his leadership skills, doing a good job running the show, and sharing the point guard position for the Rising Stars. He made smart decisions and showed deep range hitting 8 three pointer’s in 2 pool play games. May need to work on getting to the basket a bit more, but showed some of the deepest range of any player on the weekend.
Joey De La Rosa (St. Raymond’s ’11)- One of the tallest players playing 16U this weekend, the 6’10” big man who played with New Heights showed off improved strength outrebounding any defender that came up against him. Also showed off good hands in corralling in entry passes and scoring with ease. Short turnaround jumper worked well as he has enhanced his offensive game. A bit more strength in his upper body could make him very hard to contain.
Trivante Bloodman (Wadleigh ‘11’)- When Long Island Lightning-Dingle were not being led by Grace, it was Bloodman who was in control of the ball, and the 5’9” guard did almost as good of a job. While not necessarily a scorer, he showed off great defensive prowess and did his job in running the team and not committing turnovers. A vocal leader, he kept the team in check and scored 11 points in there quarterfinal loss, but was a catalyst in there comeback attempt.
Chris Gayot (Cardozo ’11)- New Heights point man, the 5’10” Gayot proved hard to guard. Quick first step, and very, very strong. A vocal leader who didn’t mind getting on his teammates when he needed, he is not a scorer, but can give you all other aspects that you want from a point guard. A bit more work on his midrange game would make him even more of a threat, but came away as the leader of a team that made the semifinals.
Antoine Slaughter (Boys and Girls ’11)- Surprised people as he showed up, along with Taylor to play for the NY Elite. Struggled scoring for his pool play games, but came alive by scoring 14 and 20 points respectively in Elite’s 2 playoff games. Ran the point very well, and even though only 5’7” showed he can get his shot off in the lane against bigger defenders.
Chris Ortiz (Christ the King ’11)- Another big man for the Westchester Hawks, the 6’7” Ortiz struggled offensively most of the weekend and was pushed around by stronger, more physical big men. Showed off nice hands and soft touch against the SI Stingrays scoring 18 points, with most of them coming on the inside. He did struggle when he stepped outside, but did a nice job on the glass.