Posted On: 05/11/18 8:23 PM
After a strong two weekends for the Michigan Playmakers going 6-2 on the NY2LA Circuit, they came into the Michigan Warriors Jamfest with what Coach, Director, and Founder, Wendell Green Sr. called “a NY2LA hangover”. The Playmakers started off very sluggish against an adidas Michigan Mustangs team. After the break, a new Playmakers team appeared on the court. With the addition of Old Redford big, Dreyon O’Neal, the Playmakers were truly playing team basketball. O’Neal brought this team to life in the second half. He showed his versatility hitting outside shots and finishing inside. The rest of the team contributed as well with Jordan Whitford and Rayvon Williamson playing stellar on both ends of the floor. The two guards played strong full court defense as well as showed consistency in their jumpers. These three turned a double digit deficit to a double digit win.
Throughout the next day the Playmakers breezes through pool play with wins against the Detroit Stars and the Midwest Stampede. The following day was a bit more tricky. Playmakers had a battle early on in the first round with a match against Indiana Elite (Adidas). They were lifted by their three junior snipers, Williamson, Whitford, and Cameron McEvans. McEvans showed his strong perimeter shooting while Williamson and Whitford did a superb job with getting inside the perimeter and knocking down their lethal midrange J’s. Their quarterfinal and semifinal were also tests against two other talented mitten based programs, Greg Grant Elite and Sporting U. Despite the scrappiness of Greg Grant Elite and strong perimeter shooting of Sporting U, the Playmakers persevered.
Their fourth game of the day and championship was with fellow NY2LA and Michigan based team, REACH Legends. The two teams met earlier this season at the championship of Michigan Invitational where REACH won by a score of 57-52. But this matchup was different than last time. In this matchup, Playmakers was without their force down low, Ken Thomas. However, the addition of O’Neal was stellar as he meshed with the team perfectly this weekend. REACH was without their stud, Harlond Beverly but they added Donovan Moore, a long left wing from West Bloomfield. Playmakers took control early on and they never let up. Wendell Green Jr. took over in this matchup scoring 20 second half points. Green Jr. showed his strong outside shot but also how well he can get to the basket.
O’Neal also made a strong impact in this contest as well as throughout the whole weekend. He has a strong game around the post but also showed that he can hit shots from inside and outside of the perimeter. The 6’6 Old Redford transfer also did a strong job down low rebounding and protecting the rim. He earned 17U MVP for the tournament. Also having a strong weekend for the Playmakers was Milan Jaksic and Steve Pearson. Jaksic did a great job with rebounding and finishing down low and Pearson did a great job at getting to the rack and finishing. Next weekend the Playmakers will be in Columbus, Ohio for the All Ohio Nike Super Sixteen Showcase.