The NBS summer camps are both a wrap for the summer. To say this has been the most interesting summer in all my years is a understatement. First let me say this. No camp enviroment can rival the NBS camp. The talent is deep and the coaching and teaching on all fronts are the next level. This year was full of so many surprises it’s hard to say where to begin.
To say that Destiny Adams may be the best incoming shore freshman in years, is like saying kids like candy. No body in recent history plays with her intensity and fire. Now throw in the talent, size and skill sets and we are looking at an all time great in the making. In the long history of the NBS camp, no grammar school player has ever even been in the discussion for MVP, much less win the award. I did not vote for Adams as camp MVP and I belive that its too much for any kid at her age. But my staff each gets one vote and Adams was the winner. She dominated the camp and more importantly dominated some nationally ranked players. There simply was nobody in NBS 1 camp that could even be mentioned in the same class. Adams seems to grow each time she is on the court. There is no question her elite attitude toward coaching is what makes her speical. She is willing to be coached hard and is always smiling. But it’s her unselfish play that makes her special. She can take over a gym in so many ways. Be it a great pass, posting up or playing the point. She is that rare player. The 2017 camp MVP did so in NBS 1 camp with 11 players who have comitted to D1 schools and 35 lock D1 players in attendance…..Adams do to an injury only attended 2 days of NBS 2, so was not a canididate to defend her MVP title.
Natalie Smith was a name mentioned 2 years ago. She was considered among the best incoming freshman in the state. Then she fell off the map and became something of a mystery. She went to Notre Dame and that was last I heard of her. No big stats or big moments. So out of nowhere Natalie Smith returned to the spotlight at NBS 2. She no question was the biggest surprise in NBS camp history. Every year a player comes to NBS out of nowwhere to go on to superstardum. But what Natalie Smith did was so shocking it’s almost hard to believe. I should have known something was brewing. She attended ACADEMIC ELITE and had college coaches buzzing in a big way. It should have been a message of what was to come. Not only was Natalie Smith MVP of the camp, it was not even a debate…a first at NBS. How impressive was Smith? She ripped apart anyone put in front of her. In every drill she was the best player in the gym by a long shot. What was more impressive, the camp was a who’s who of players. NATALIE SMITH, showed a handle and shooting touch with range that nobody expected or saw coming. Her ability to also finish at the rim was something from the school of Dezzy Allen. But it was her competitive nature that caught us all off guard. After 5 hours of camp each day, she stayed for a 90 minute shooting workout each day. She is not only a major gym rat but a major talent. How good is Natalie Smith? Well if you’re MVP of the NBS camp we know you are a D1 player. But here is a statement to let you think about. I think she could be a ALL STATE PLAYER ONE DAY….she has stepped her game up that much.
There were other stories at NBS. I have always said NBS is where a player makes there bones. Many kids want no part of NBS, some kids stay away to protect their reputations and finally there are kids who want no part of the intense training. NBS is not for the weak of heart. It’s why when a little known freshman named Grace Munt showed up at NBS, I was shocked. She was moved up to the big girl court after one day. Munt’s work ethic and IQ are off the charts. But her explosiveness and unbashful approach to the game is a thing of beauty. She is quick and very explosive off the dribble. Then she plays so hard, she makes your teeth sweat. There is zero question she is one of the best freshman in the shore and more importantly showed she can play against elite players in a hostile enviroment. Coach Callahan has a star on his hands.
TWO FUTURE MEGA STARS
Watching two of the best freshman in New Jersey from a year ago go after each other was fun. Kayla Richardson is showing she is ready to take on real superstar status. She has quickly becoming a complete player. Her passing and vision are already at the next level. But it’s her shooting and defense that has made such leaps and bounds. Richardson proved at NBS she can guard just about anyone. With her size and body, this is bad news for some shore teams. But it’s great news for high major programs.
Makayla Andrews folks will one day make a case for Shore Conference player of the Year and the State player of the year. She my friends is that good. She will soon have Power 5 schools banging at her door. Andrews it the total package, she is an elite slasher, shooter and finisher right now. Makayla Andrews is also a program kid. She has the perfect attitude and work ethic. She understands what competition is all about and at NBS she took on some big hitters and did not blink a eye.
College coaches here is some major advice. Run, don’t walk..run to Gil St. Bernards. Arron Gratch told me he was getting the best 8th grader in the state, next year. I laughed when he told me this…I’m not laughing anymore folks. Sonia Caldwell just may have a case for this honor. She came into NBS and displayed all the skill sets of an elite point guard. She was so impressive that every coach in the gym was singing her praises including yours truly. She was so good it’s almost to hard to put into words. But GSB has two of the best young post players in the entire state. Callegh Walsh and Christina Dalce are going to be household names for years to come in New Jersey. Both are highly competitive and backed down to no one. Dalce is one of the few female shoot blockers and so talented at times she had coaches screaming about her ability. Walsh at 6’3″ is moblie with a big body and highly skilled for such a young player. She is a young lady I plan to see more of in the future. Gil St. Bernards has corned the market on young talent.
Ella Fajardo will be attending Lodi high school next year. I wonder if they understand what they are getting. I love when kids show up to NBS out of nowhere and send a message. While many in the shore talk about the Adams and Sabino’s of the world, let me say this Fajardo took a backseat to no freshman all week. Her passing and leadership skills matched her competitiveness and aggresssive play on both sides of the ball. This is a young lady that will soon become shore adopted.
Ja Money..aka Jada Bonner was women against little girls for the entire week. Bonners competitiveness and work ethic is sick. Rose Caverly is a roll model for every young guard who ever wears a uniform. Nicole Johhnson was just a nightmare for everyone. Katie Rice popped into NBS just to remind everyone she is a bad women. Hayley Moore reminded everyone why Binghampton pulled off a recruting heist.
Kayla Beckford was so much fun to watch all week. The 7th graders old school game is a thing of joy. Nothing fancy, she just kills you with basic basketball. She played in the high school division all week.
But there were a few players that stepped up big time at NBS. TONI PANAYIDES was outstanding and showed she is going to be another RBC standout. Chole Teter (RBR)is starting to look like a star in the making. Katie Hill, is clearly going to be another star for Coach Karpell and finally Middletown’s Madison Szabo (more on her later in the week) is on her way to becoming a dominate post player in the shore. Abby Antognoli, a freshmn entering St. Rose, is the next Stella Clark. Her quickness and toughness are off the charts. She is a future all shore guard. D1’s schools are in these young ladies future.
SUMMER WRAP UP BLOG TOMORROW….What teams and players stole the show. We will wrap up with a update on recruting and who the real winners of the summer was….