Thursday, June 12, 2014

NYBL: Jason Harris, Paris Dawson, & WCA - They are the Champions

John Stockton to Karl Malone used to be the standard by which point guard/power forward combinations were judged.  In today's game Chris Paul and Blake Griffin might come to mind. With an influx of athleticism to the youth game and the development of the scoring point guards, the game is changing. We are no longer in the  day of dominant big man who sets up shop on the low block and thrive with the offense revolving around them. While those players still have success in spots, the more wide-open, free-wheeling, fast-breaking offense is taking the game by storm.  

The youth super combo of Dawson & Harris – no not the law firm; Paris Dawson and Jason Harris the 2020 the best guard/forward combo in the country.  Each stars for the NYBL champion West Coast All-Stars which is made up of players from California and Arizona.  The West Coast All Star have fought for media attention from their west coast counter parts the Oakland Soldiers; but in recent weeks and months WCA has earned the NOLA 60 title, the NYBL Championship which was once by a very significant margin, and were a sessions attendance from going undefeated in the regular season in the NYBL.

The West Coast All-Stars dominated their competition all weekend long; their only close game was against the aforementioned Oakland Soldiers; a one point victory – where the team and their stars stepped up in a big way.  Dawson was a consistent problem in this game scoring both in the half court and in transition. Harris who has added a perimeter shot made a couple of 3’s and of course dominated the paint and the boards on one leg as he toughed it out for the sake of the team.  In the Championship game Dawson scored 15-points in the first quarter to help create a deficit that was insurmountable for their opponent, the Leesburg Basketball Club.  For the rest of the game Dawson focused on setting up and involving his teammates – in a game he easily could have scored 25 to 30 points easy it was more important to him to see his teammates have success.  Championship game MVP Jason Harris, who finished with 17points 12 rebounds and 5 blocks, again played in pain and was a one man show on the entire.  

With the performances of these stars over the course of a tough NYBL season, national tournaments, and the NYBL playoffs they each have increased their stock and value nationally-as well the WCA now must be considered the top team in the country at the age group or a minimum be in the discussion.  They are efficient, they play hard and at the end of the day they beat whoever is put in front of them, and they do it defensively, with effort, and by playing together – WCA are joy to watch, they are a special group and one to be reckoned with.

How good is WCA? Very, how good is Dawson & Harris? Lets explore.

Jason Harris: Harris is an extra-long forward that is extremely athletic, mobile and skilled for his size and age. He runs the floor with long strides and catches and finishes on the move extremely well. Harris hunts block shots like a trained assassin and what he doesn't actually block he changes, affecting the game in a multitude of way. He finishes above the rim already and dominates the paint like a true big man should.  His post-up game against a set defense is developing as he can score with either hand as well he shows a nice stroke from the outside.  There may not be a better rebounder in the class and what his teammates and onlookers love is the fact that he plays hard every possession. 


Paris Dawson:  Dawson’s length (long arms) is impressive and he's becoming more and more explosive. His passing has some Jason Kidd written all over it and he'll rebound and score from all three levels. He can deliver full court passes, passes in small spaces, and he reads the court and plays 2 to 3 movements ahead.  Even with being such a great passer his best attribute is putting the ball in the basket on slashes, floaters, and pull ups. He also has the potential to be a great defender and he doesn’t take a play off.
It’s clear that these are special players, it’s clear that WAC is a special team, and it’s clear that in the best youth league in America not a special team, they are champions.


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