Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Nobal Days 2019 Superstar - He is, Who We Said He Was





If you follow youth basketball at an elite level you undoubtedly have heard the phase “middle school player rankings mean nothing” – well; clearly the top colleges and universities do not agree and find some value and accuracy in the finding of reputable scouting services such as P2bball.com.
P2bball.com introduced its readers to Nobel Days of Racine, Wisconsin over year ago in an article entitled “Nobel Days – A New Day is Dawning” we strongly encourage all reader to go back and read this article to see our position well in advance of this piece.

Well our predictions have come to fruition; Days who is currently ranked as the #10 player in the class of 2019 and #2 center is being sought after by multiple major conferences such as the Big 10 and ACC.  Days is the consummate teammate and one of the most humble and hardworking kids on the circuit – simply put as good as Nobel is on the court he an even better person off of it. 
Already being considered for selection to USA Basketball, Days whose skillset, size, and developmental trajectory already translate to up two levels – Nobel Days is your proverbial Blue Chip prospect and must be recognized immediately and moving forward as such.

A defensive stud with extraordinary length and timing; he challenges every shot in and out of his area. Days runs the floor like a gazelle and finishes well in transition as a above the rim player.  He has expanded his offensive game through hard work and is operating with excellent efficiency with his back to the basket.  The high release point on his shot makes him impossible to block and the improved touch on his shot is turning Days into a complete postman on both ends.  Improved footwork and fluidity; again as a 2019 player, is pushing Days to the top of all boards across the country.  Players like Nobel do not come along every “Day” and the country should know now – in MIDDLE SCHOOL, that you are watching a special player and a special person grow-up right before your eyes.


Chase Walker (2023) - America's Next BIG Thing


Calls have been pouring in from across America regarding class of 2023 member Chase Walker out of Ohio and the renown All Ohio program.  Not yet your national name; but this is likely to change very quickly – Walker is a wide body post player who has made great strides in a short period of time. He shows excellent hands, touch, feel and patience with his post moves, mostly scoring over on rebounds, put backs, and set ups from penetration.

At the 2023 level Chase is a Shaq-like physical specimen with very broad shoulders, long arms, and big hands.  When working off the block he can score with both hands; and his footwork is advance for a player this young.  A dominant rebounder possibly the best in class in the country hasn’t been unleased onto the national circuit.

Well America that is about to change; viable sources have revealed the Chase Walker has received and accepted a roster position with the nationally acclaimed showcase program USA National Select and will be competing at the highest level available in the country against the current National Champions Riverside Hawks at the upcoming Basketball Spotlight Tip-Off classic.

With a stellar national performance look for Walker to immediately move into the national discussion as potentially one of the best in the country; it’s very apparent that many across the country already believe this and P2bball.com will be there to see him and USA National Select perform first hand.  Stay tune for updates on our finding on the next big thing; Chase Walker.

Friday, October 24, 2014

AAU RULING - DOLLARS OR SENSE?




CP3 All Stars coach Keyford Langley has won multiple championships, including back-to-back national titles in 2013 and 2014. Steve Smith of Wisconsin United brought home back to back title followed by a final 4 finish in 2014.  The Oakland Soldiers boasted one of the most fearsome line-ups in youth basketball on their way to a 2014 national championship in Hampton, Va.  There are many memorable teams and players as well games and rivalries that have captivated the national landscape for several years at the youth level.  

Life as many have known it on the AAU level came to a screeching halt yesterday with the impactful ruling; the language of which has not be fully or formally documented to the general public, relating to the removal of the age exception provision previously in place for AAU tournaments and sanctioned events.  

Simply put student athletes who have used the prior parameters which combined age and grade based policy to obtain an extra year to development academically, emotionally, physically, and of course athletically will now be required to operate exclusively under age requirements.  

The following requirements will be put in place immediately for ages 7 to 14.

·         7 and Under – An athlete can be no older than 7 on August 31, 2015
·         8 and Under – An athlete can be no older than 8 on August 31, 2015
·         9 and Under – An athlete can be no older than 9 on August 31, 2015
·         10 and Under – An athlete can be no older than 10 on August 31, 2015
·         11 and Under – An athlete can be no older than 11 on August 31, 2015
·         12 and Under – An athlete can be no older than 12 on August 31, 2015
·         13 and Under – An athlete can be no older than 13 on August 31, 2015
·         14 and Under – An athlete can be no older than 14 on August 31, 2015

Governance over age eligibility at the 15u level – 19u level will not change.

Whereas the initial out cry for the ruling has been favorable by many; individuals and coaches have applauded what has been referred to as a “leveling of the playing fields” relating to height, athletic prowess, strength, maturity, and a more “fair” and competitive environment.  All of which are more than reasonable and realistic points of views.  Any individual with a child when first asked, “Would you like your child to compete against kids his own age?” would in all likely hood say “yes”; but let’s delve a little deeper into the phenomenon and consider all aspects for all kids.

First and foremost there must be an understanding of “what” we are evaluating outside of the situation itself.  AAU is first in foremost a business operation ~ meaning an outside business entity should not dictate any level of development for any child anywhere.  The decisions made by this entity at the end of the day relates to what makes sense for their brand and ultimately their bottom-line.  Any misconception that this decision relates to anything more than that is flawed in nature – the leveling of the playing field means more inclusion.  More teams at regional and nationals mean more hotel bookings, player registrations, more team registrations, more door money, and more concession dollars.  Losing seven high level elite teams from an event in basketball terms would be a travesty; for AAU this spells immense opportunity.  Losing seven high level elite teams will quickly be replaced by 25 more teams who now believe they have a chance to win and compete.  In the end this must be considered as the impetuous for such a move as this.

Consequently each team must independently consider and place a value on what equates to two events per year – a regional qualifier and national championship event.  The misconception that AAU is a governing body of some sort over youth basketball is untrue and has quickly been proven by some very powerful entities within the youth industry.  Rob Taylor of NYBL the top youth basketball league in the country quickly drew a line in the sand making a statement yesterday via its website that they will continue to operate as they have since inception.  USBA, which is line to become the new National Championship event of choice, also stated that “there is no current consideration for a change in eligibility requirements”.  With a four day event which will be held in Atlanta in 2015 and will ultimately move to a 24 court facility in 2016 in the same area becomes a cheaper, shorter, and viable option for teams, players, and parents who have chosen to benefit from the additional year of development at the grassroots level.  Tournament Director Mike Melton of Basketball Spotlight has also announced a choice for teams and players adding specific division options.  As well Gary Pinkney has advised the Maryland Invitational Tournament will also continue to operate as in previous years forgoing his long tenured relationship with AAU.

Early reports from the NOLA Super 60 indicate they will follow the AAU policy as they operate in some form or fashion as a sanctioned event hub.

The reality of this situation as currently constituted is that the Genie cannot be put back into the bottle.  College and University have seen the benefits as indicated by the recruiting of specific players.  ESPN has documented the benefit in their high school rankings.  Parents have seen the success and opportunity that reclassification has created.  Top high schools nationally have requested/suggested reclassing to obtain a more ready player at their institutions. The question becomes for many:

If an additional year of development; academic, emotionally, socially, athletically provides you with a high school or college scholarship is it worth it?  For the many across the country the answer will remain a resounding “yes”.  What is lost in this equation?  The opportunity to play in two events per year or to play “on a level playing field”….a playing field that inevitably will disappear immediately by AAU standards and by high school standards the first day of 9th grade and does not exist at any point moving forward.  

Does Little Johnny’s mom and dad want their child’s first experience of playing at a high level against players that may be bigger, stronger, quicker, more athletic, and possibly more skilled to be in his high school basketball tryout?  That answer may be different depending on who you ask or their goals as it pertains to having a basketball future.  Or course the OPTION to play up will forever remain but the construct/playing as/with teams that create a high school like atmosphere at the grassroots level will not be available via the AAU model any longer.

No answer is right or wrong, there are many institutions of higher learning that all provide degrees and they all have student bodies.  Yet, some prefer to attend if they can handle elite universities that some cannot get into (or handle) – a Harvard, a Yale, a West Point.  These schools are for what many would consider your elite students.  Does that mean someone attending Arizona State education is subpar?  Absolutely not – the beauty is in the option.

As long as there remain viable options, leagues, tournaments, and event – as there are now, for players to compete on an elite level in a high school style environment the phenomenon of reclassification will remain. Those teams and players who choose to compete on that level will match up and create the same excitement as they have in the past.  Those that determine to deconstruct organizationally and rebuild to AAU standards, conversely can look for/desire a more structured and controlled environment where the elements are more predictable, AAU has re-created that.  

The object should always be inclusiveness; with the goal always being that there is a safe, fun, learning environment for all kids of all levels.  Children should not be looked down upon; teams should not be criticized for choosing to do what they feel is best for their families in any instance as there is circuit and a place for all of them.

P2bball.com will continue to support and evaluate talent as we have done in the past by graduation class as in the end this will be who each player will be competing against for their college scholarships. 

The bottom-line is that the AAU decision is only as big as the individual chooses to make it.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Marquise Walker Receives Major D1 Interest as 8th Grader



Marquise Walker the exceptionally talented 2019 point guard who concluded his spectacular summer with the major announcement of his attendance at Kentucky ‘s South Warren Middle School, where he plays up with their Varsity High School squad. Walkers body of work continues to earn credibility above and beyond the glitz and glamor.

 Already widely recognized as one of the top three point guard prospect in the Class of 2019; Walker has moved beyond simply being a highlight film, he has moved past the acknowledgement that Michael Jordan himself has watched his highlights, and he has moved past his appearance on ESPN’s Outside the Lines into the big boy world of college recruiting.

P2bball.com was just provided with photographic evidence of who Walker is considered to be on the national level.  There are many colleges and institutions throughout America and any interest as an 8th grader should be looked upon and considered a blessing. When that interest comes from a major university it speaks to something greater and something larger, Walker’s exceptional ball handling, ability to take any defender off the dribble, great court vision, and a quick release on the jump shot has put him on the map and watch list of the South Eastern Conferences LSU Tigers.

Marquise remains humble and focused as he understands this is simply the beginning of his journey.  He has starred in the Basketball Spotlight Future Phenom, suited up for USA National Select in events across the country and was a starter in the NYBL vs Nations game, as well competing at an all-star level at Buckeye Prep. Walker’s recent choices and those leading up to now prove high level athletes combine with the right events and exposure can lead out you on the path for future success.  Ask Walker if middle school basketball matters; as a matter of fact ask the LSU Tigers.