Tuesday, April 28, 2015

NYBL - Two One's Get It Done In Impressive Fashion

When you are talking middle school basketball and player rankings many concern themselves with the potential that skills sets will not be developed, that games and/or players do not translate to the next level, and finally that often the situation reflects a significant difference in athleticism or size.   The following two players amongst others stood out recently in Session II of the NYBL held in Richmond, Va. clearly showing they have the goods to be impact players at the next level and beyond.

Marquise Walker #12 Class of 2019
Marquise Walker (Team Florida):  Surprise America, in what may be one of the biggest surprises of the young season Team Florida led by Bryan Saunders and Balsa Koprivica where one piece away according to many pundits across the country – enter Marquise Walker.  Currently ranked #12 in the country and rated as the #3 PG in the class Walker gives Team Florida the ability to move Saunders off the ball and use him as a finisher and scorer.  Saunders can also lead the charge as Walker has no problem being the on the receiving end as he can finish with the best of them. 

Talk about making the game easier for the big Serbian, Walker’s passing is as elite as it comes nationwide – he is a player that must be honored the full 94 feet.  The attention Walker draws on the perimeter does nothing but open up the floor for the talented big and give him more room to operate, making him and team more efficient and effective in the up and down game as well as in the half court.  

The maturation of Marquise Walker may very well be the final piece to puzzle – Walker played varsity ball as an 8th grader this past season and the difference in his focus, pace, and IQ are very clear and apparent.  He most certainly still has the same flair and brilliance with the ball in his hands, it’s something he will never likely lose; but he has now honed the specific skills into the team concept.  His moves ae sharp and substantive, his reads are on time and he is delivering the ball to spots verses men exemplifying a firm understanding of the game and proving he can see two to three movements ahead.  Defensively he is remaining locked in the entire possession, dedicating himself to the team defensive concept, and using the defensive side of the ball to enhance his offensive production.

Now, Marquise has always been known for his ability to score the pill, this too remains his primary weapon of sorts – he can get you a bucket when you need a bucket period.  But now he has learned to impose his will on opponents in the flow of the offense; in sets, off screens/cuts, and reads.  He is actually become a better scorer as he learns the game as he is getting easier baskets and doesn’t have to work as hard for points, meaning that when he turns it up folks are in trouble.  Walker refuses to be denied access to the rim while having been born with the gift to make tough and difficult shots from the perimeter.  

In the past many viewed Marquise Walker’s primary value as scorer; those days are in the rear view and now when you speak the name Marquise “Lambo” Walker you must say complete basketball player, great lead guard, special.  The kid is flat out special.  With Walker at the helm and a 9-1 league record this addition may push Team Florida over the top in the quest for a NYBL Championship.

Alex Wade #52 Class of 2020
Standing 5’3 Alex Wade doesn’t look imposing, he doesn’t frighten anyone, and some may even say he doesn’t pass the eye test.  All that hogwash goes out the window once the ball is tipped as he put on displays that any basketball purest has to appreciate.

His IQ is apparent, knowing his diminutive size he actually plays the game exclusively outside of the trap zones on the court making sure to maximize his effectiveness – this is a skill that 95% of youth basketball not only possess; but have never heard or thought about.  Wade is a student of the game and each of this moves are calculated and each play he maximizes his own potential as well as that of his teammates.
This west coast PG shoots with range on his jumper out to about 25 feet off the catch and under contest; he can also score it off the dribble well enough to keep the defense honest as well. His heart is as big as two men as he will walk down a defender, shoot with defenders draped over him, and get a hoop for his team when it is most needed.

He is an excellent ball handler and passer who make solid decisions; he isn’t flashy – fundamentals rule the day, but you can count on Wade to make the right basketball play for him and his teammates.  He is the catalyst for the most prolific offense in the NYBL statistically at any age group and he is clearly the straw that stirs the drink for the 7-3 San Diego Select squad.

Wade has a humble and mature approach to the game, he is even keeled emotionally,  he possess the  personality of an elite level PG – no matter the time, score, or situation you can never tell what’s what by reading his face.  The son of a coach he understands the value of being coachable and being an extension of the coach on the floor.  The kid gets it – forget his pin-point passing ability, poise feel for the game etc. this kid will get opportunities that more athletic, better shooter, better defenders simply won’t because he approaches the game the right way and play it with the right attitude and for the right reasons for the brother next to him – he is an elite level teammate, and plays hard every single possession no matter if he’s scored, taken shots, or otherwise.  His person and his game should be applauded; Alex Wade is a very bright spot for the west coast and the NYBL.

1 comment:

  1. There still a place for the lil man in the game. Best pure point I seen all weekend was Alloco on Ohio Puma team. Boy shoot the lights out and create wit it and he in charge on the floor. Know how to play! Love watchin him