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Posted On: 06/6/18 3:23 PM
As the first half of the grassroots season comes to a close we wanted to touch base with programs directors and coaches to see how things went during April and May. These articles aim to provide updates on the teams as well as under the radar players or the kids who are on track to have a big July.
Team Name: Illinois Wolves UAA
This Wolves squad spent the early portion of the season just focusing on qualifying for the UAA finals. A really deep team that is made up of eight division one offered kids who just love to play the game. Director Mike Mullins said that this group was completely unselfish, play with no egos and genuinely enjoy each other.
Under the Radar Players:
• Marquise Kennedy – 6’1 G – great spring, track athlete, consistent double figure
scorer, mid major interest and in the midst of visits
• Keenan Cole – 6’7 F – athletic kid that can shoot the ball from deep, new to
the team so he’s getting comfortable and should have a big July
Where can you find them in July?:
July 11-14: UA Challenge – Atlanta, GA
July 18-22: Summer Jam – Milwaukee, WI
July 25-27: UA Finals – Las Vegas, NV
Team Name: Chicago Lockdown
Here is the perfect example of a team that may not get a ton of recognition but can flat out play with anyone. This Lockdown team is made up of kids who will scratch and claw to win a ball game for the entirety of the game. They found success in numerous tournaments including good showings in the NY2LA association, Run N Slam and recently the Chicago Classic. This team hopes to come back in July and turn heads.
• Nate Ferguson – 6’7 F- super bouncy forward that has a soft touch around
the rim, highly atheltic kid that competes every posession 7-8 division one
offers – Wisconsin Green-Bay, Toledo, Drake, UW Milwaukee amongst others
• Matt Dinardi – 6’2 G – one of those kids that is just a winner, high IQ kid
that draws division 2 interest but a heavily sought after D3 player
July 11-15: NY2LA Next Level Invitational – Milwaukee, WI
July 18-22: NY2LA Summer Jam – Milwaukee, WI
July 25-29: Las Vegas Classic – Las Vegas, NV
Team Name: Windy City Magic – 16U
An undersized 16U team that plays to its strengths. This Magic team shoots the leather off the ball and surprisingly, made up of a roster of kids that love to play defense. When this group gets it going from the outside opposing teams are in trouble. A team that is a big man away from making some real noise.
• Atharva Aterya – 6’3 G – silky smooth game, needs to add weight/muscle but
will not shy away from contact, skill set of a division 1 guard
• Tommy Ferriter – 6’4 G/F – catch and shoot player that can create mismatches
inside on smaller guards, D2/NAIA potential and a D3 lock
July 7-8: Chicago Tune-Up – Romeoville, IL
July 25-29: GRBA National Championship – Fort Wayne, IN
Team Name: Kessel Heat
A team/program you could argue is one of the most successful non-sponsored teams in the country. The Kessel Heat name seems to produce kids who can play at a high level. The 17U group is 6-2 in association play. If this group gets hot from the arch Coach Kyle Kessel says his guys can play with anybody. While the group may not have overwhelming size, they make up for it by playing smart and disciplined.
• Jaden Zachery – 6’1 G – pure winner that everyone loves to play with, athletic
build that has a unbelieveably high ceiling, hearing heavy D2 interest
• Zach Toussaint – 5’11 G – kid that has a torch from the outside, during high
school season had a 50 point game, D2 interest and could further prove that in
July 11-15: Next Level Invitational – Milwaukee, WI
July 25-29: Prep Hoops Summer Challenge – Chicago, IL