Monday, May 19, 2014

More than a Game - NYBL Session III Epic Clash

Rowan Barrett

Prior to the invention of the NYBL young players, club coaches, parents, and fans of the purest basketball; youth basketball would sit and debate who would beat who, who could take who, and who is the biggest star with the most upside.  For years folks either had to wait until the high school club circuit or a big time tournament that they both entered and somehow won and crossed paths.  A lot of things often had to align for stars to be matched up against other stars in high stake events that mattered.  

Additionally throughout the history individual epic one on one basketball match-ups have been dreamed of on paper at every level.  Often times these battles do not materialize in neither the team realm nor the individual realm.  With the creation of the NYBL by league founder Rob Taylor these match-ups are finally feeding the appetite of basketball junkies all over the country.

Wendell Moore

At this level to be considered an “epic” battle it must contain the following elements.

1.       Star Power – High Level Players that have performed on the big stage before and are considered to be future next level stars in either High School, College, or Pros.
2.       Name Recognition – Players must be known commodities in their respective markets
3.       Quality Teams – No one wants to see a blowout – the game itself must be of high quality as well
4.       Something on line – Bragging rights are always a “good” reason, but when you add a championship of playoff positioning to the mix now you have something “great”
5.       Crowd – Does the game really exist if there is no one there to see it?
6.       Build up – Just like any big event, the anticipation is almost as good as the event (at least you hope) itself
7.       Close Game – many times you get all of these and the game itself isn’t good quality which can cause a letdown within itself
8.       Production overrides potential – players must produce under the lights the potential matchup is memorialized by the stars actually shinning at the given time
9.       Event must documented – a record must be made so that the argument can continue and/or a decision rendered
10.   Controversy – Nothing is better than after all of this there is still room for debate! This allows the arguments to continue until the next “epic” battle

The Prolific Performance Basketball, NYBL instant classic and individual epic battle selection of Session III is:  2019 Brampton Warriors (Canada) v CP3 All-Stars (North Carolina) / Rowan Barrett v Wendell Moore.  

1.       Star Power – Wendell Moore and Rowan Barrett are both considered on every national ranking board as top 10 players pre-summer and will likely end up top five if not top 3 by the end of summer.  Each has won multiple championships and each has committed to play with the National Select Team which works with only the top players in the country in their respective classes.
2.       Name Recognition – All scouts and other top players know these names and they each respect their games.   Moore and Barrett have played and performed on the national camp circuit and have 3rd party documentation qualifying that each brings it on a high level in evaluation settings.
3.       CP3 is the current National Champion and performs consistently in the national level and has rarely suffered defeat in recent years– Brampton has won everything they could win in Canada and have won multiple national events in the states beating some of the best team in country
4.       Without question NYLB is the best league and going into this game, CP3 had one loss on the season and Brampton only 2; a 1-point defeat to Team Takeover in Session I and a buzzer beater in OT to Team Teague in Session III.  The win for Brampton would have tied the teams in the win/loss category heading into the playoff with the winner poised for a #1 seed.
5.       Every free player, every parent whose child wasn’t themselves playing, and every free person in event came to witness this game.  The crowed was into the game, with each team’s fans filling the air with patterned cheers and cadences.
6.       We knew since the first NYBL session that this was going to be a game folks wanted to see – prior to this game the NYBL Session 3 preview featured the specific game as one to watch. Both teams and both players have been listed as top teams and both players found themselves listed as the top performers and first team All NYBL going into each of the sessions.
7.       The game was no let down, every single possession was valued and almost a game within itself.  The lead stretched at times to as much as 8 to 10 in CP3's favor; but was always answered with a run from Brampton. The Warriors at the 6:52 mark of the 4th used a 8-o run to briefly take the lead causing CP3 to use a timeout.  After the timeout CP3 again seized control and sealed the victory with under a minute left at the free-throw line.
8.       So many stars at every level survive on their names and reputation – this game each of the players did it on the court.  Wendell Moore finished with 17 points and 12 rebounds 6 assist 4 steals 2 blocks; while showing incredible versatility by running the point guard position the entire game.  There may not be any player in the country that can play all 5 positions legitimately and equally as well.  He can also guard all 5 spots effectively also.  Rowan Barrett further built his reputation by playing both ends and scoring from all three level from every angle and way imaginable – transition, leading the break, lane filling, high post, low post, offensive boards, defensive boards and pushing, three pointers and field throws he did it all no matter if he had the ball or if he was fed. He ended up his day as well with 29 points, 9 rebounds and 5 assist.
9.       Prolific Performance Basketball had field reporters on site – men in the gym; who eyeballed this game and qualified it as one of the top match-ups of this and/or any other session.  You can always count on the NYBL for top notch action and you can count on P2 to report it.
10.   Interviewing both coaches after the game Brampton felt the foul situation to be disproportionate; citing that at one point in the 3rd quarter the foul count was 9 to 2 and 11-3.  They also felt the 4 technical fouls accessed to the bench were not warranted.   From CP3's standpoint this game was never in question and they referenced their star Moore, when saying no matter what they would have done; Moore running the one guard pulled their big out and opened the driving and finishing lanes and if they’d played him with a smaller player they would have immediately gone to Moore on the inside which CP3 felt equally as comfortable.  What does all this mean?  Simply that we must do it again as the question can still be debated as to who is the top player in the 2019 class.  What can’t be debated is that these young men who each are better persons than players; are one of the best no matter who you put first the other has to be right behind.  Currently the National Select Team is in discussion with matching these two young stars together as teammates in this year’s Fab 48 event in Las Vegas.  Currently Moore is confirmed along with teammate Mike Green for July 12 and 13 Big Shot Tournament event in Myrtle Beach, SC.

With the NYBL playoffs happening at session 4; there is a very real possibility that these teams and these players will meet again; we should only be so lucky.

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