In the showcase edition of the North East Hoops Festival we saw some of the areas top shoe company grasssroots programs take on one another. Mass Rivals (Adidas) were present with their 15u, 16u, and 17u teams, New England Playaz (Adidas) also present with their 15u, 16u, and 17u teams. Expressions Elite (Nike) was present with their 16u team who participated in the 17u division only.
New England Playaz were lead by 2017 Kellan Grady, a guard who has made tremendous strides as of late. Has been able to become a better combo guard who can score it when he gets hot. Made his teammates better and scored it when he needed to, 2016 Jimbo Lull has started to make a name for him self on the circuit, a big body who takes up space and has a nice touch.
Expressions Elite 16u played up in the 17u division and had arguably the best game of the weekend against the New England Playaz losing by one point on a buzzer beater. 2017 Derrick Ellis has continued to show that he is one of the best guards in his class, continued to set teammates up, and get to the rim no mater who was in front of him. 2017 Philmon Gebrewhit was a standout performer; at 6’7” he passes the look test for a high major wing, another test was to see if he was able to make translatable moves against division one prospects. He showed that he was able to make shots, as well as get into the lane and create offense, also was able to defend the wing position. 2017 Sukmail Mathon and 2017 Jordan Hardwick rebounded and scored in transition respectively showing that they are prospects of their own.
Mass Rivals 2017 Makai Ashton-Langford and 2016 Wabissa Bede caused havoc all day long, toughness combined with a will to win these two were fun to watch. Very impressed with the toughness and leadership of Wabissa Bede. Hands down most improved player in region. Makai Ashton-Langford was able to get to virtually any spot on the floor that he wanted to at any given time. Made tough shots, and has improved on the defensive end. Ty Malone showcased his improved outside shooting, making timely shots, as well as causing havoc on the defensive end.
2016 Keyshaun Jacobs was impressive for Metro Boston, created space off the dribble and made shots. 2016 James Foye showcased his scoring ability in which he was able to score off the bounce, as well as get to the rim.