There is a lot going in the basketball world, these days. There are players getting ready to verbally commit to schools. There are also kids picking up scholarship offers. There are players who stock is rising and of course there are those all important sleepers, that can change the foundations of some programs. This weekend I saw some interesting things take place at the SHORE SHOTS SUMMER SHOWDOWN. I saw kids that I have never seen, make me sit up and smile. I also saw the development of some players that come July, may be household names
Folks when you play for Mary Beth Chambers things happen. Things like kids being part of one of the best AAU programs in the state. Mary Beth Chambers philosophy is simple. Play the best competition, train outside AAU practice and play always as a team. her teams share time equally and everyone is held accountable. But GETTING BETTER IS THE #1 PRIORY above all. This brings me to Jenna Paul and Arian Dalia. Jenna Paul made a decision to play for Mary Beth Chambers this summer. It was choice, that came with only one promise, that she would get better. Jenna Paul right now is playing at a level even for all exceptions, that came with her arrival to Toms River North; that is off the charts. She is simply automatic when left open for jumpers. But its her ability to get to the rim with sharp cuts to the rim and next level ball fakes off the bounce, which has helped her grow. But it Chambers, no excuse on defense that has made her special these days. Jenna Paul is becoming a serious problem for opponents. I was shocked not by her scoring but rather her defense. Right now Jenna Paul is playing as well as anyone can expect this time of year.
Senior Arina Dalia, I mentioned could be D1 in my recent cheat sheet. There is no question, that surprised many coaches. Dalia is a virtual unknown, she played at St. Rose and sat behind 3 D1 studs, the past 3 years. But those in the know, knew she was talented. What most didn’t know, was just how talented. She took a real risk and decided to play for the Mary Beth Chambers Jersey Shore Elite. The St. Rose team plays together in the summer. She had to know there were would be questions. Well right now that decision looks like a brilliant move. This past weekend against the Masonious Belles, that same Masonious Belles with 6 players with D1 offers on the table. Arina Dalia was the best player in the building, she had 21 points and once again, showed she a D2/D3 superstar in the making. But as I said in my cheat sheet this young lady has D1 potential and that was proved this weekend. Both these players have one person to thank these days….JERSEY SHORE ELITE AND MARY BETH CHAMBERS.
When you play for a 8th grade team, where college coaches from Louisville, Cincy and South Carolina are calling about your teammates, it easy to get lost. But Allison Waters, this weekend was downright scary. The future Manasquan guard showed, she has a monster future ahead of her. She is not a household name right now. But make no mistake her ability to make shots, makes her a serious weapon. Now she may have to wait a year before the shore community discovers her. Manasquan is loaded and filled with returning stars. but Allison Waters will one day be spoken about in the same breath. This weekend she put on ANOTHER shooting show. She seemed to make every type three point shot known to man. She came off screens, spotted up, made threes and shots in transition. She was off the charts for the 2nd weekend in a row.
Now when you talk about under appreciated players, Jenna Jordan of Saddle River Day was a wonderful surprise. I watched her this year against RFH and I loved her hustle and work ethic. Jordan plays with Michelle Sidor and its easy to get lost playing with a such a high scoring player, who the teams offense is built around. When Saddle Day River is written or talked about, it’s mostly about Sidor. But what Jordan showed me two things this weekend that caught me off guard. First is a future D1 player. She plays bigger than her size and showed me some things I did not know about her. Like she can step away from the basket and bury shots. She also is a very underrated ball handler. I had no idea she could put the ball on the floor. College coaches this summer are sure to discover this a very talented player. She is a classic example of a kid on the high school level giving up her game for the better of the team. While she may not get the publicity or the hype of other players….I WAS VERY SURPRISED HOW TALENTED THIS YOUNG LADY IS….
Now college coaches pay real attention to what I’m about to say. Karolina Jaruseviciute of Donovan Catholic, this weekend led me to me believe she has a chance to be a superstar. Here activity and aggressive play against JSE was mind blowing to me. The 6’1″ forwards movement without he ball is special and her passing skills do not take a back seat. Jaruseviciute is thin, but she seems is to relish contact. I could not believe how many balls, she got her hands on either off the boards or though her cutting. But she also as demon on the defense end of the floor. If this young lady gets in the gym on a regular basis, I believe she could be one of the best players in the shore one day. Give this young lady, more strength over the next years and we are talking a bigger better version of former SJV star and current European pro Aaron Zimmerman…folks this kid is that good. Lets hope she gets in the gym….Karolina, you have a open invitation to attend NBS…take advantage of it young lady.
Now as most of you know, rarely do I leave the area. So its great when I get to see kids from outside the area. I got a chance to witness a war or the worlds, when the Masonious Belles took on the New Jersey Sparks. This was a game loaded with D1 players, Faith Masonious even guested with the Belles, who won a tight contest. But watching this Sparks 10th grade team blew me away. They had size, quickness and flat out ballers. 6’2″Daniya Darby was just brillant, and college coaches if you don’t know her name you better learn it quick. I believe this young lady has a chance to play at the highest level. She is long, quick and competitive as it gets. She was a issue for everyone all day. Her ability to run the floor and stay in the team concept was a pleasure to watch. She no question has all the tools along with that controlled fire, all great players need. I have no doubt she has a big time future and coaches you have been throw a bone, THIS IS THE REAL DEAL. She will be a junior at Lincoln High School this year.
Now here is the interesting part about that sparks team.
Remember, this team of 10th graders were playing a team full of seniors for the most part. Deziah Gonzalez is a 5’7″ stud, she is my type of point guard. She is the type of Point Guard that wins games folks. Despite playing against 4 seasoned D1 guards, trapping and pressing her. This young lady never blinked a eye. In transition she was lights out. NOBODY was capable of keeping her in front of her. More Importantly, her decision making was off, I said off the charts. This young lady is going to find college coaches banging down her door and if there not…THERE NUTS. She is the rare kids with controlled speed, plays on both sides of the ball and make shots…good shots. She did not take a bad shot the entire day, this while being pressured by 4 guards with D1 offers on the table. She was lights out on Saturday. If this young lady was in the shore conference, make no mistake, she would considered a raising start in the 2019 class. Gonzalez has me smiling and so grateful to see such a talent in action. When folks say their are talented kids outside the shore….SHE PROVES IT.
This weekend there where a number of college coaches at this event coaching or watching their daughters. Former Women’s George Washington Coach Mike Bozeman, who played for me at FDU, coached his daughters. One of the best asst coaches in the country, Mountain from #23 ranked Quinnipiac coached his daughter on Saturday. While Mountain and his daughter drove from Connecticut. Mike Bozeman drove up from DC. Both had talented teams, who played very hard. It clear both enjoyed coaching their children in such a competitive environment. It was really great watching them both.
Tim Capshaw is the former head coach at Wagner College and the voice of the NJ Nets. His daughter was playing this weekend; talking to Tim is always great. He is so positive, and has such a great perspective on AAU girls basketball. His daughter is very talented and he supports her and leaves it it at that, WITH A SMILE ON HIS FACE.
Joe Haigh of St. Francis of Pa was there watching his daughter, Theresa Haigh play. Theresa Haigh one day is going to be heavily recruited by everyone. She is blessed with size at 5′ 11″ and crazy length. She also simply never misses a open shot and is murder on the offensive boards. How good is Theresa Haigh? I will tell you more on Wednesday, but let me say this…her dad is up against it, if he plans on recruiting her..
A few other things I discovered this weekend. Rachel Gazzola of Howell, can flat out score the ball. She is a combination of deep shooting and size that allows her to get to the rim. She is going to be heavily recruited before the summer is over. Players with her type of strength and scoring ability are hard to find. My guess is that even a few D1 schools will be giving her a good look…and why not? Because everyone can use scorers and that is something she will do at any level.
Finally, it was great seeing a HEALTHY DAVE CALLAHAN of RFH. Callahan had surgery this spring and had us all worried, but he is back better than ever. Also on hand was coaching royalty, Joe Montano of RBC, Dawn Karpell of SJV and Rutgers Preps Mary Kingler.
The new round of HOOP GROUP INSTRUCTION STARTS NEXT WEEK…. HOOPGROUP.COM
I STRONGLY URGE COACHES TO GET THEIR KIDS SIGNED UP FOR ACADEMIC ELITE….