Recently caught up with Geirges Niang and Nkereuwem Okoro at the 2012 Mary Kline Classic. The freshmen duo let us know what to expect from Iowa State this season.
It was a win all the way around for the Boston Titans on Sunday.
In the 16u finals Titans were matched up against Dorchester House in a game full of New England’s up and coming young talent.
The Titans team featured BABC’s 2012 AAU national champs along with Juwan Gooding, and on the DH side you had Malik James, Jalen Adams and Greg Bridges. The play of Bonzie Colson was the key factor to why Titans won by a 20 point margin. Colson’s physical play could not be matched. The 6’5 bruiser of a forward crashed the boards on both including blocking a number of shots. When DH house would go into a zone to force Bonzie to play the high post he would knock down the jumper. Colson’s strong play earned him MVP honors finishing with 22 points and 12 rebounds.
The Titans and DH met up again in the 19u title game. The Titans gave spectators a chance to see two of New England’s top prospects in the class of 2012 before heading off to college. Georges Niang (Iowa State) and Akosa Maduegbunam (Penn State) simply dominated the competition all weekend leaving no doubt about their readiness for the upcoming collegiate season.
Both players sporting a new toned physique were giving a packed gym a preview of what’s to come in the near future. Niang got off the floor quicker than we’ve ever seen him to finish around the rim and improved ball handling skills. Maduegbunam took him MVP honors and very well deserved. The combo guard put on a shooting clinic, knocking down perimeter jumper along with a smooth pull up. Akosa finished with 20 points.
It’s not unusual to see Rene Castro and Wayne Selden on the court together. But what is unusual is seeing them opposite teams competing against each other. The two have not played against each other since their middle school days. I mean Castro is coming off a Nike EYBLnational championship win with Tiltons starting 5.
With their natural competitive spirit they did not disappoint the packed house that came to see a battle. “It was weird at first, he’s like my brother but after the game begun he was an enemy and was the target” said Selden. “It felt weird at first but it was pretty fun playing against them” said Castro
The Tilton School hosted Worcester Academy in their first home game of the season. WA came out firing from deep hitting four straight 3 pointers to take a early 12-1 lead over the rams. Half way through the first half Tilton grabs a hold of the lead after the Rams began to pound the ball inside to .Georges Niang and Nerlens Noel. WA cut the Rams lead down to two after a buzzer beating 3 pointer by Andrew Scocca to end the half 33-31 rams. Georges Niang had finished with 20 points at the half and 33 for the game
WA picked up right where they left off and attacked the rim on consecutive trips down the floor to regain the lead. But it wouldn’t be long before Tilton turned it up on the defensive as Nerlens Noel and Goodluck Okonoboh altered and blocked almost every shot that was put up in the lane. Tilton would regain the lead and never look back. In the second half another surprise look was Nerlens Noel running the point for majority of the half and doing it effectively as he finished with 13 points 7 blocks and 5 assist. Wayne Selden finished with 14 points for the Rams and Rene Castro finished with 26 points to lead the Hilltoppers in a losing effort.
When recruting a kid to become a member of your team, first and foremost you want a player with a great work ethic. Secondly you want a player with potential to be great, and more importantly you want a winner. ladies and gentlemen we introduce to you Georges Niang.
Georges is not your typical 6′ 7″ athletic freak, he is more of your 6′ 7″ “BEAST” Niang is as skilled as they come, an automatic 2 points once the ball gets thrown into him from below the box. One ESPN evaluator states “Georges has a wide arsenal of offensive moves featuring every pivot and counter move in the book as well as a soft touch over either shoulder. Niang is equally dangerous on the perimeter as he has picture perfect shooting mechanics and is a very dangerous catch and shoot threat all the way out to the three-point line.”
Georges has been winning since he first stepped on the scene, winning countless championships from day one at the Tilton School, dating back to 2009, 2010 Class B Championship and this yea an 2011 Class AA Chamionship. Not to mention winning with his AAU team BABC as they won the 10th grade nationals in 2010 and this year an Nike Peach Jam Championship.
The kid is just a winner by nature, even beyond aau Georges wins, I honestly have not seen him lose. That says alot for a player who has played against the top high school basketball players for the majority of his life. In our opnion evaluators across the country were sleep at the wheel by not including Georges in the top 100 before his breakout season. Iowa State seen what most of us didn’t and took the horse and ran. We spoke with Georges and got an inside view of the “Winner”
Why did you choose Iowa State?
“I felt that the oppurtunity at Iowa State was the best situation for me I fell in love with the campus and have a great relationship with the coaching staff.”
What are your strengths and weaknesses as a player?
Is there an NBA player that people say you resemble?
“I would say Kevin Love I watch films on him all the time he’s so crafty and tough.”
What does the words BABC mean to You ?
“BABC has done alot for me it has done so much for me but it means family to me and a lasting tradition of just winning championships you leave the program knowing how to win.”
How intense are your practices at Tilton with all the big time players you guys have?
“Practices at Tilton are pretty intense they are real competitive because no one wants to lose whether its a rebounding drill or a 5 on 5 scrimmage.”
How did AAU Change your life?
“AAU changed my life because it gave me the oppurtunity to travel all across the country and play the most talented teams everywhere so i can say that i have played against the best kids my age in America which not too many other people can say.”
Tell the readers about Georges off the court?
“Georges off the court is a real funny kid always looking to have a good time like to hang with my friends but usually just listening to Moufy.”
Who did you try to pattern your game after, while growing up?
“While growing up i use to try to pattern my game after Michael Jordan until I realized I was a big man lol”
“My family and my basketball coach’s Leo Papile Marcus O’neil and Rick Gorman.”
Describe your high school coach in one word?
Describe your AAU coach in one word?
What are you going to miss the most about AAU?
“Traveling around with the guys the fun times outside of basketball just hanging out.”
Thanks for having me, Georges
Join Boston Amateur Basketball Club players and coaches for a weekend of development and competion. Compete with and against area talent for evaluation.
Established in 1977, the Boston Amateur Basketball Club (BABC) has evolved into one of the most prestigious amateur basketball programs in the country. Founded by Head CoachLeo Papile, the BABC has much to be proud of having won eleven National Championships and capturing 47 gold and 8 silver medals in the AAU New England competitions.Come join the 2011 15u and 16u AAU National Champions.