The Summer is over in terms of major AAU tournaments, and most of our local teams closed out the season well. We had some big movers after the events in Las Vegas and Orlando, with some teams coming up with big wins to solidify themselves as teams to watch out for next year. It truly was a great summer of action, and with that said, here are our final AAU Team Rankings:
1) New Heights (Coach Rahme Anderson)
Jimmy Hall (St. Anthony’s, NJ), Tyquan Goodlett (NIA Prep, NJ), Joel Angus (Bishop Loughlin)
17u Playaz Spring Fling- Champions
17u Joe Brown Memorial Tournament- Champions
17u Basketbull HOF New England Championship- Champions
17u Adidas Invitational- Finalists
17u Hoop Group End of Summer Classic- Finalists
Finished the season strong at the End of Summer Classic losing a tough 3 OT game to the Playaz. I questioned this team in April for not having a go to guy, but when you have good coaching, and a team full of players who know how to play together, you can do things I didn’t think possible. It was a heck of a summer for this group, and most of the team raised their stocks with tremendous efforts all season long.
2) Long Island Lightning (Coach Dana Dingle)
Kamari Murphy (IMG Academy, FL), Daniel Dingle (St. Raymond’s), Kedar Edwards (West Oaks Academy, FL)
17u Northeast Hoops Festival- Champions
17u Regionals- Champions
17u AAU Gold Super Showcase- Quarterfinalists
17u Basketball HOF Invitational- Quarterfinalists
It was a tough choice for the 2nd spot, but the Lightning closed the season well with great showings at the AAU Super Showcase and DC Assault Summer Classic to earn the #2 spot. Murphy may be the most improved player over the summer with big time outings against some of the best big men in the nation. A great overall summer from this group.
3) Riverside Hawks (Coach Tony Hargraves)
Terry Tarpey (Fairfield Prep, CT), Skyler White (Northfield Mount Hermon, MA), Sal Vitello (Bridgewater-Raritan, NJ)
17u Hoop Mountain Showcase- Champions
17u AAU Silver Super Showcase- Semifinalists
17u AAU Nationals- 4th Round
17u Summer Classic East- Quarterfinalists
A newcomer to the group, this team really made its name in Florida with huge outings against some of the best teams in the country. A win over Texas Pro (led by Isaiah Austin) was huge, and solidified them as a true team to be reckoned with. Tarpey was already a solid mid major player, but the outstanding play of White and Vitello made this team very dangerous. They showed that a big finish can really get you noticed in a big way.
4) Juice All-Stars (Coach Dwayne Morton)
Isaiah Whitehead (Lincoln), Tafari Whittingham (Lincoln), Jordan Dickerson (IMG Academy, FL)
17u Northeast Hoops Festival- Finalists
17u King of New York- Finalists
17u Delaware Memorial Weekend Invitational- Quarterfinalists
17u Fab 48- Platinum 2nd Round
A solid team with solid results. They took down the Lightning (Torrance) in the Fab 48 to get a good, solid local win out there. They seemed to be a better team in April and May, but Whittingham was a solid feature man on the inside for them, and if they would’ve played a little more earlier in July, who knows how good they could’ve been in Vegas.
5) NY Gauchos (Coach Dwayne Mitchell)
Omar Calhoun (Christ the King), Dakari Johnson (St. Patrick’s, NJ), Arthur Edwards (St. Thomas More, CT)
17u King of New York- Champions
17u West Virginia Jam Fest- Semifinalists
17u Summer Classic East- Semifinalists
17u Rumble in the Bronx- Gold Bracket Quarterfinalists
A coaching change was made late in July, and it seemed to really help the team get going. They made a nice run in the Summer Classic and in West Virginia to really look like they were coming back, but the defection of Melvin Johnson hurt. Super Showcase did not go as well as they would’ve liked, but they showed flashes of real good play. A good summer, though most would agree that it could’ve been much better.
Honorable Mention (In Alphabetical Order)
Long Island Lightning (Coach Abdul Torrance)
NY Panthers (Coach Paul Ruddock)
Raising Champions (Coach J.R. Rodriguez)