Today’s SPOTLIGHT TEAM is the U15 NJ RISE ( MASONIOUS). They are the flagship team of the NJ RISE organization. That’s because they have a roster stacked with young up and coming talent. This team has some of the best Freshman in the state on their roster. They made a few changes this year. ELLEN MASONIOUS is now the coach of this powerhouse group of players. They also added talented players to their roster. This team like most AAU teams are guard heavy. Most of the players despite being freshman played major roles for their high schools. The upside for the team is off the charts if the crew develops overs the years the sky’s the limit . They have a lot of players who are D1 fence sitters. But if it all comes together, this is a team that has real potential future star power and coaches will no question will want them on their must see 2026 teams list.
THE TRACK RECORD
This team brings back the core of last year’s Junior National Championship Team. Last season they beat every top 2026 team in the state. They had 4 players make the HOOP GROUP ALL FRESHMAN TEAM this past high school season. This is a highly skilled group across the board. They have high basketball IQ’s and the roster is littered with those all important Gym Rats needed for development. This team has played in just about every major AAU event against the very best competition. Their Coach Ellen Masonious is a master teacher and always develops players on defense while teaching them to play team basketball. This is a team college coaches will flock to watch in the next few years. Every player on the roster will play some level of College basketball.
Before I start I would like to clear up a little terminology. When I say a player is a lock Division one player that means a player has a offer on the table or I believe will eventually have multiple D1 offers at some point…key word being “multiple” MY TRACK RECORD IN THIS AREA SPEAKS FOR ITSELF
Fence sitters are players without a D1 offer that can land on either the D1 side or the D2/D3 side of the fence based on their summer performance.
When I call a player a GYM RAT, that player is constantly in the gym, outside their team practices and comfort zone. The player seeks competition outside their AAU environment and their work ethic is bigger than their ability. GYM RATS don’t train alone, they train with killers. These players train against high level competition. I never call a player a Gym Rat, unless I have personally seem them against older elite competition and PERFORM at a high level while doing so. They are not just in the gym at every turn and seem to always be around. BUT THEY CONSTANTLY DO MORE AND ALWAYS EXTRA. These players will be better in college than in high school and can play a level HIGHER than their recruitment. I believe you build programs with gym rats…they have an added value recruiters do not get to see. Gym Rats are tough to find as all coaches know. But remember just because a player is not a gym rat. IT DOES NOT MEAN THEY ARE NOT HARD WORKERS. There are hard workers and then there are GYM RATS…Learn the difference.
LIVE PERIOD SCHEDULE
ELLEN MASONIOUS, is one of the most successful coaches in the AAU basketball world. It would take a life time list the names of all the great players she has coached and help develop. It’s a whose who of girls basketball. She has coached players from the Mabrey sisters to her own daughters, Addie who played D1 basketball and Faith, currently a junior at Maryland. Her younger daughter Hope Masonious is one of the best players in the entire state of New Jersey. Ellen Masonious is the Head Coach at St. CATHERINE grammar school. They are the most successful grammar school in the state. They have not lost a game since George Washington was President. Ellen is the director of the wildly successful NJ RISE. Masonious teams are known for playing team basketball. The staple of her teams are passing defense and developing high IQ players. Her NJ RISE teams have won just about every chip an organization can win at the AAU level. This will be her first year coaching the U15. She takes over from last years coach Shannon Green, who now coaches the 4th grade, the next powerhouse team in the organization.
THE 2023 TALENT BREAKDOWN
CURRENT DIVISION ONE LOCK PLAYERS (3)
Possible D1 players- (6)
Special note– this team has( 3) DIVISION 1 fence sitters
GYM RATS– (3)
POWER FIVE D1 PLAYERS– (0)
LOLA GIORDANO- RED BANK CATHOLIC
COMBO- 5’7″- ’26
— Lola Giordano (@lola_giordano1) March 7, 2023
Named to the HOOP GROUP ALL FRESHMAN 1st Team. The future D1 guard is the ultimate leader and competitor. She is she a physical elite defender “RIGHT NOW”. Her handle is without flash and dash, just highly effective; just the way D1 coaches like it. The gym rat has excellent vision and gets to the rim and finishes with either hand under pressure. Her rapidly improving jumper is due to hard work and an off the charts sensational attitude. She is a coaches dream. Last season for RBC she had 117 points, 54 rebounds, 55 dimes and 43 steals and never played more than half a game all season. This is a future star with a winning personality and she will be one of the most recruited guards in New Jersey one day…FACT!
DANIELA MALETSKY- RED BANK CATHOLIC
WING- 5’8″- ’26
This girl will be bringing IT all AAU season and you won’t want to miss it!! Put Daniela Maletsky @daniela_m23 on your RADAR FOLKS! Trust us! @newjerseyrise @PGHNewJersey @EJayArrow @NJLadiesHoops https://t.co/MpCPRuQlpi
— 2026 New Jersey RISE (@njrise2026) March 22, 2023
She was named to the HOOP GROUP ALL FRESHMAN TEAM, no surprise there. This will not be the last award the athletic Maletsky picks up before she moves on to D1 basketball. She has length, quickness, jumping ability and a real physical and mental toughness. Her competitive nature is next level. She is one the best interior passes in the Shore Conference. Her ability to read 2nd level defenders is off the charts. The lefty has continued to develop her ball handling skills. But it’s her jump shot that is the real story these days. She has become a deadly high percentage three point shooter. She scored over 100 points, had 96 rebounds, 44 dimes and 39 steals while playing less than half a game all season. Her active hands is are built for pressing and creating havoc in passing lanes. She is a excellent on and off the ball defender. Rare for a young player these days Don’t be shocked if one day we are calling Daniela Maletsky a 1st Team All Shore and Player of Year Candidate one day. She has all the tools college coaches dream about…again FACTS!
JORDYN HOLLAWELL- MANASQUAN HIGH SCHOOL- COMBO- 5’6″- ’26
Ended the july period by winning the @USJN championship with my team. I had so much fun competing this season! @newjerseyrise @njrise2026 @EllenMasonius @jencatherine114 @RickLeeman13 https://t.co/b9IcyT8gAc
— Jordyn Hollawell (@JordynHollawell) July 26, 2022
She is the younger sister of Brooke Hollawell now a freshman at Dartmouth. She has a live athletic body. Her quickness and speed are special. Now throw in a wonderful handle and and excellent shooting touch. Last season she saw her minutes increase as the season moved forward. That because she is an excellent defender and playmaker. She excellent at creating shots off the dribble or finding tight spaces in the lane. Jordyn was part of the NJ RISE, Junior Nation team championship team last year and hit what seem like, big shot after big shot all summer. She has ice in her veins and not afraid of the big shot shot. She has active hands in passing lanes and is a big time decision maker in transition. She can get to the rim or make a play for teammates, real next level type stuff. Jordyn Hollawell, is a player with a “HUGH” upside and big future.
GRACE FEENEY- TRINITY HALL
SWING- 5’10”- ’26
Check out my highlights-https://t.co/7BVo3TZPhO
— Grace Feeney (@gracefeeney214) July 10, 2022
She was named to the HOOP GROUP ALL FRESHMAN TEAM. There are few players in the ’26 class in New Jersey with more of a upside. She is stuffed with potential and all indications is that she will fill every drop of this blessing. She is long and strong. She also is a natural scorer with magical hands around the rim. She catches everything in the lane or on the run. More importantly,… COACHES THIS IS LEGIT GYM RAT. Her desire to get better is special. She embraces tough, honest coaching and begs for your to squeeze talent, try finding those kids today. She embraces playing against high level competition. AGAIN HER COMMITMENT IS NEXT LEVEL Her confidence in the past year has grown dramatically. Grace is beginning to bring swag to the table. She has not just caught kids with bigger reputations than her a year ago, she has flew by them. She is a deadly shooter to 23 feet and has solid ball handing skills vs pressure. She is a improving defender because she is so coachable and lives in the gym. A full summer with Ellen Masonious is a scary thought as to what she may become on defense. She had over 100 points and a impressive 82 rebounds off the bench for Top 20 Trinity Hall…this is a player D1 college coaches would be wise to start recruiting now..she is a doer not a talker!
LOGAN MCCARTHY- MANASQUAN
COMBO- 5’5“- ‘26
— Logan McCarthy (@LoganMcCarthy24) April 28, 2022
It’s impossible not to love her game. Her IQ and unselfish play is hard to overlook. She is a deadly shooter with a reliable, no hype, effective handle. She will do all the little things. Take care of the ball, make the extra pass, win 50/50 balls and play team defense. She is often overlooked and under appreciated. McCarthy plays bigger than her size. She is plays with real heart and desire. She is that rare kid who plays the right way every time you watch her play. Her shot selection is more proof of her knowledge and understanding of the game. She could have went to a weaker high school program and got big minutes and scored lots of points. Instead she choose high school powerhouse Manasquan for compeition, winning and development. If she stays in the gym and works hard. Logan will be a nice surprise for a college coach doing there homework and watching the long-term development. This is a classic program kid. a real winner on and off the court.
RILEY WHEELER- RED BANK REGIONAL
COMBO- 5’7″- ’26
Here are my Freshman Yr at RBR highlights. I had a great year with my teammates https://t.co/pZGMTBx5zv @JTHoopsNJ @njrise2026 @RickLeeman13 @TinyGreenNBS @pattimabrey @_CadetHoops @MikesSportsMF @EllenMasonius
— Riley Wheeler (@RWheeler2008) March 5, 2023
In the past two years few kids have raised their profile more. Last high school season she was one of the biggest surprises in the freshman class. She was named to the HOOP GROUP ALL FRESHMAN TEAM. More impressive she started every game for her RBR team. She is a excellent three point shooter with real range to 25 feet. She had 25 three’s to prove the point while scoring over 150 points. But what most missed was Wheeler had an eye popping 78 dimes. That’s because she has the ability to slide to the point and did so on most nights for RBR. Something that certainly makes her more valuable to college coaches. She is an excellent on ball defender and was part of last years NJ RISE JR NATION CHIP TEAM. As her confidence continues to grow, the sky’s the limit for this hard working dedicated up and coming guard, whose stock and name recognition continues to grow.
NIAMH STAPLETON- TRINITY HALL
SWING – 5’9″- ’26
She played a major role for Trinity Hall this past season. Niamh is a warrior and physical player. She is an excellent in traffic rebounder. She can and will step out to 22 feet and knock down three’s. Her 15 three’s off the bench says it all. She joins the NJ RISE and is an immediate upgrade at the forward position. She has played against tougher high level competition. She is battled tested coming off a high school season where Trinity Hall played one of the best schedules in the state. She scored 100 points had 96 rebounds off the bench, impressive stuff. . She brings a real defensive presence to the table. She can guard forwards or wings. Her basketball IQ is underrated as is her quickness. She is a player who could have a big, big summer. She also is a player college coach colleges are going to discover is a hidden gem.
CHARLOTTE BRADLEY- ST. JOHN VIANNEY
WING- 5’7″- ’26
Day 2 Live @ The Nook was great. The team is 4-0 headed into our last game today at 8:05am on Court 7. Looking forward to getting back out there with my team!
— charlotte bradley (@CharlotteGVA33) April 24, 2022
She plays for the #4 team in the country SJV. She appeared in every game. BRADLEY is blessed with parking lock shooting range. In fact she has some of the best shooting range in the state. She is a deadly three point shooter. She has a college type body. She is strong and not afraid to mix it up. She has spent most of her years playing up on the AAU CIRCUIT. The should help her greatly playing on the younger but much more competitive NJ RISE schedule. She comes to the RISE and will add scoring g passing and rebounding g from the guard position. There is no question Bradley has Division one potential. She practices against the best players in the state daily and Coach Dawn Karpell is most know for developing and expanding players games. Charlotte Bradley has a big future because of her ability to score and her competitive nature. It’s all there and don’t be surprise if we see it all this summer.
SYNAI BLYCHANTON- RED BANK REGIONAL COMBO- 5’7″- ’26
These two are going to be a problem @BSynai and @sid_smith15 New Heights NYC 14u Sidney with the No look pass to Synai. Synai with the finish and 1!@Dlolo99 @CoachDom22 @TinyGreenNBS pic.twitter.com/gloEKyFvFx
— vanessa blychanton (@MrsBlychanton) April 25, 2022
She is another new member of the NJ RISE. She brings a package that is loaded with gifts. SYNAI has blazing quicks and speed with a big strong athletic body to boot. She has a winning handle and is an outstanding play maker. This is a very unselfish player. She also is a underrated shooter. That’s because she is so exceptional at getting down hill, that her shooting is overlooked. She is am excellent rebounding guard, that can start the break after rebounding. She is a serious on ball defender who can impose her will on smaller guards. She is built for the dribble drive offense because she is elite at driving and kicking to shooters. Last season she got caught up in a numbers game at RBC. Now at RBR, she has star written all over her. She is a real teammate and DRAMA FREE KID with a great attitude. This summer look for SYNAI Blychanton to become a household name.