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Toriola To Norfolk State

Flying under the radar no more for Moses Toriola, who announced via twitter his verbal commitment to Norfolk State.

This 6-foot-10 center who attends Kimbal Union Academy has been developing his skill and body during his time at the New Hampshire. Most notable for his rebounding and presence on the defensive end, for altering shots with his 7-fot-4 wingspan and being able to run the floor with great motor from basket to basket.

After playing a backup role the past two years at KUA, Toriola will take on more of a leadership role and anchor the Wildcat’s front court towards making a run in the NEPSAC AA league.


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2014 Updated Rankings

Here it is it took some time and consideration, we have been present throughout the season to watch our listed prospects compete against each other.  There is no substitute for seeing kids live and in person.  HoopDreamsMag.com has traveled all summer long and has seen prospects from all over the region compete.

At times evaluators in the scouting business walk a thin line between potential and production.  This is constantly an argument/disagreement within the office, as we all have seen the prospects in different settings such as camps, AAU, as well as their high schools. 

So as we start our first segment of updated rankings, we would like for you to take in consideration that a committee of evaluators have thought long and hard about this and will certainly continue to be out when the high school season starts. 

Today we bring you our updated 2014 rankings.  There is no secret who the number #1 player in the class of 2014 is.


#1 Chris McCullough 6’9 has all the tools that scream star power, has developed an outside touch that has defenders confused on how to guard him.  He rebounds well, runs the floor like a deer. Chirs has antangebles that you cant teach, size, length, and  moblity.  McCullough has proven all summer long that he can produce at a high level no matter the competition.

#2 Abdul Malik Abu 6’8 Has jumped leapes and bounds this summer, he has developed a skill set that can translate to the next level. Abu took to the EYBL with a chip on his shoulder and something to prove, cream always rises to the top as ABu stood out as a fan favorite walking away with MVP honors.

#3 Goodluck Okonoboh 6’9 Has held the title as one of the best shoot blockers in the country for the last two years.  Now the race is over and he is the best shoot blocker in the country, when we speak of a skill set transiting to the next level Okonoboh defence is a skill set that will do just that. Witha growing offensive game look for him to have a great high school season.

 #4 Jared Terrell the 6’3” combo guard has a college ready frame with explosiveness that translates to the next level.  Terrell has improved his jump shot along with his ball handling skill level and looks to make the transistion as a lead guard.

 #5 Kaleb Joseph 6’3” has all the tools intangibles that any high major point guard should have.  Has the abilities to make shots while in transition, and has gotten more athletic. Look for him to guide Cushing Academy towards an AA championship.

Notable Stock Risers

 #6 Tory Miller moves up from #11, the big man has made a statement all summer long.

#7 Bonzie Colson moved up from #20 no matter the stage, Colson produces.

#18 Sammy Mojica moved up from #25 the do it all guard, produces.

                                        Updated 2014 Rankings



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Abdul Malik Abu: “The Monster”

July to many has been the month of sunshine, but to some student athletes it’s the time to shine.  One player took full advantage of the evaluation period; he goes by the name of Abdul Malik Abu, the 6’8” 230 pound “Monster” runs with Expressions Elite during the AAU season, Abdul went into July with a chip on his shoulder and something to prove.

When asked what type of chip he has placed on his shoulder Abdul states “ Cool Ranch Doritos lol, it was placed there right after my high season, we fell short of our goal, so my main focus was to get in the gym and work as hard as I possibly could”

Some people were surprised to see Abdul taking and making three point shots, as well as taking his defender off the dribble.   “ Yes after my high school season my self and coach Tyron Boswell began to work day in and day out, we’re in the gym working on game situation shots and getting in the weight room working on my strength and quickness.  During afternoon workouts I worked in the pool on lateral quickness and it has paid off.

July for Abdul meant more than just basketball, it meant sacrificing his mind body & soul, Abdul and his family practice the Islamic religion.  This year Ramadan started on July 20th  –August 19th.  During this time frame Abdul was fasting during the daylight hours from dawn to sunset.  This means that Abdul couldn’t eat until 8:30pm, which meant playing two, three games with no food in his system and most importantly no fluid to drink ex: Gatorade, water.

“ Myself along with my teammates had a goal, to go out and compete to win every event that we were scheduled to play.  I wasn’t going to let anything stop me from reaching that goal, it was mind over matter”

Your latest offer comes from UConn, U. Miami, Maryland, West Virginia, Temple, and Seton Hall. How do you feel about getting so many high Major offers?

“I’m grateful of the fact that these HM programs believe in my abilities to perform on and off the court.  All this recruitment and attention is something that I have worked my whole life for, I’ll continue to work with the same heart and desire as if I don’t hold any offers”

Abdul plans to visit UConn along with his teammate Jared Terrell who has been offered by UConn as well.  Abdul also will visit Maryland and Temple before the end August.


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Facing Adversity on the Road

Malik Abdul-Abu competes with the Expressions Elite on the AAU circuit and one of the fastest rising prospects in the country. Abu is dealing with bit of adversity of trying to balance basketball and practice his belief while on the road. Malik Abdul-Abu is a muslim who is fasting during the live period as part of his religion.

During Ramadan, Muslims fast during the daylight by abstaining from food and drink from sunrise to sunset. They also fast or restrain from evil actions, thoughts and words.

“I can’t eat or drink, and i pray 5 times a day,  says a charismatic 6’8 Pf. Fasting isn’t something I expect to hold me back but instead make me stronger.”

Many of the Muslim athletes expected to compete at the London Olympics have come out and said they postpone fasting until after competition. Although Malik  is not an Olympian but is still a young athlete that finds himself playing a total of 7-8 games in a 3 day span will continue to fast.

“It’s a mental thing, mind over body. I’ve done it before but never during during live period so this should be a interesting summer.”

Abdul-Abu never fails to mention his teammates in whatever he’s involved in.

“with the help of my teammates, they will get me through it.”

Wish Malik the very best of luck during live period


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Coaches Come Calling Thomas

Devon Thomas is a 5’11 guard from Silver Springs, MD who runs the show for Kimball Union Academy(NH) during the school year and Metro Boston on the AAU circuit. Thomas is not a well known player in the classof 2013 outside of New England but all thats starting to change.

Thomas who holds one Division 1 scholarship offer at this time from Bryant University has recently seen his recruitment pick up steam. Devon is receing intere from A-10, America East, Ivy and NEC schools. High major schools such as Pitt,Virginia, Maryland and Duke have all expressed interest in the lead guard as of late. But for Thomas he knows that this is only the beginning.

“I’m so proud of all the attention i’m getting, it is a big surprise to me” said a humble Thomas.

“Well my plans to get better are to continue working hard on the court, put up a lot of shots to make my jump shot consistent,” said the All NEPSACC AA Honorable Mention player. “I workout everyday with my mentor Shawn Thompson and do conditioning on my own every other day.”

Being a lightning quick guard in the open court makes it hard for defenders to contain Thomas. “My greatest strength will have to be my speed with the ball, my weakness will have to be my pull up jump shot”

During the 2nd leg of the AAU season big things are expected from Thomas.

“Devon is a great leader, plays with high energy and elevates his teammates,” said Metro Boston Coach Didier Dinh.”Expect a breakout summer from him and will lead our team beyon expectations.”

Metro Boston has seen its fair share of guard come through the program and how does Devon measure to those before him.

“Coach Oscar Lopez often compare him to one of our former point guard at Uconn, Shabazz Napier” said Program Director and Head Coach Mo Vasquez “The only difference is his jumpshot is not as good as Shabazz but is real good for a point guard.”

 Coach Vasquez goes on to add “He is a great leader, teammate and a winner.”

Thomas credits his family for helping him get to this point

“Im just thankful for everything and i just want to thank my parents and the people who helped me become the basketball player i am today.”

We’ll be following up with this story as Devon’s recruitment continues to Blossom


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Friday 12/2/2011 Game Recap

South Kent vs Worcester Academy, on paper you would think form the big name roster would scare Worcester away, wrong they challenged South Kent from the tip.  Chris Thomas caught fire early and didnt look back he finished with 22 points, Ricardo Ledo followed with 17 points and 9 rebounds.  Worcester was lead by the sharp shooting of Matt Cimino finished with 6 three pointers and a game high 24 points, Cimino had 4G reception as he knocked them down from all over, Rene Castro chipped in with 12 points and 8 assist.  South Kent proved to be to much down the stretch as the pulled out the win 84 -75

 

New Hampton played there first home game today in front of a packed student body, as the faced a tough Winchendon school.  The game was all it was hyped up to be as Winchendon’ s Akosa Maduegbunam kept his team in the game as he got hot from the outside.  But Winchendon ended up losing to New Hampton. Zach Auguste led the scoring load for NHS with  17 pts,  Evan Manning with 15 pts, Jared Terrell 15 pts, Mike Auger 12 pts,  Noah Vonleh 7 pts and 15 Rebs. Oliver Hanlan currently still on the injured list.   New Hampton 79 Winchendon 69

 

KUA defeats Master’s School tonight 67-43. “Cats jumped out to leads of 8-0, 12-3. 18-4 and, eventually 32-8 in the first half. A quick Master’s spurt just before half trimmed the lead to 34-15 going into the break. Master’s never got closer than 17 points in the second half. Jesse Chuku and Malik Abdul-Abu paced KUA scoring with 17 points each while Devon Thomas chipped in 15 points and five assists. Chuku earned a double-double by adding 11 rebounds.

 

 

Vermont Academy defeats Putnam Science Academy 65-59 the game was a battle from start to finish,  Dominic Woodson made his presence felt bulling his way to easy baskets whenever he felt like it he finished with 14 points and 11 rebounds.   Putnam Science came with half of the international student body who cheered the entire game, at some points in the game making it tough on coach Bopp to communicate with his players. Vermont  was led  Shaun Lawton 19 points, 5 assists he has the tools to make an impact at the next level, this is our first look at Lawton he will certainly move up in ranking.


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Jesse Chuku “The Survivor”

Jesse Chuku came to the USA in the summer of 2010 from England with a plan, that plan was to use his athletic abilities to get a free education, while getting a first class education from Kimball Union Academy.

This started off great, as Jesse was a focal point of the team since he first got there. Jesse can be described as a 6’7 combo forward with skills to play at any division one level.  Jesse also He was also a key contributor to the England Under 18 National team in 2010.

Following his official visit this weekend Jesse has committed to Lehigh University, Jesse missed last season due to a rare occurrence that affected mostly his lungs.  With sheer will and determination Jesse worked religiously and came back even stronger.  Jesse went and hit the circuit hard with something to prove.

He was was selected to represent Boston at the Reebok Headliner camp, which was held in Philadelphia during the live period.  Jesse went on to play for Metro Boston and Coach Mo last spring and summer on the AAU circuit.

Jesse was also a key contributor to the England Under 18 National team in 2010. And has plans to continue to represent his country.  We sat down with Jesse and talked about his commitment and how things are going for him.

Why did you choose Lehigh?

 “I felt like it was the best situation for me from an athletic and academic standpoint. They have great coaches and players, I felt like I found my home on my visit.”

What are your strengths and weaknesses as a player?

“My versatility filling different roles offensively and defensively is one of my main strengths. However I feels as though I need to become a better leader by example for the younger guys on my team.”

 

How did Kimball Union help you develop on and off the court?

“I learned how to manage my time between the classroom and the court while learning what it takes to play at the next level.”

 How did you end up at Kimball?

“I sent emails and game-tape out to Kimball union and a few other prep schools, and Kimball was the school that expressed interest.”

How did AAU Change your life?

“I learnt allot about American lifestyle when I was living and hanging around with my team during the summer.”

Tell the readers about Jesse off the court?

“I like hanging around with my friends and I’m always just trying to have fun in any situation. I’m a huge Wale fan and kind of a computer geek.”

Who did you try to pattern your game after, while growing up?

“Garnett, LeBron and Carmelo”

Who is your biggest supporter?

“My Family and my coaches from London: Che Porteus and James Markam.”

 Describe your AAU coach in one word?

“Passionate”

What are you going to miss the most about AAU?

“Playing in front of an array of college coaches it was fun, Coach Mo gave everyone freedom to showcase their talent while keeping a good structure. I made good friends on the team and had a memorable summer.”

Tell the readers about your homeland England?

“Basketball is poorly funded in England and it’s near impossible to even find an indoor gym to just play pickup in. Many players over there are trying to play overseas but lack of exposure and help is what is holding many guys back. However things are slowly getting better, I think they will be many more British guys doing their thing here soon.  England is great you really got to go there to experience it.  Words can’t do it justice but, its a beautiful place; great food, great people, there are also some talented basketball players.”