A SURPRISE WEEKEND post thumbnail image

So want did I learn this weekend as we inch closer to the July live Period? The answer is more than I every expected. I realized that some kids have stepped up. Some teams are coming together. Some kids are simply accepted there faith and refuse to change. Finally some kids are charging full stream ahead.









The first thing that jumped out to me this weekend was the massive step up in performances by some kids. Stella Lockhart who recently transferred to SJV was shockingly good this weekend. The change this kid has made since last year is remarkable. She has turned her body into something that resembles a Greek Goddess. Then her game simply has gone to a new level. Her shooting, passing, ball handling, defense and rebounding are all next level stuff. This is a real tribute to this young lady’s commitment. College coaches from a basketball standpoint. I believe this young lady one day can make a case as the best player in the 2026 class. I say that is real talk and not hype. This was the most impressive player I saw this weekend.









THE 2025 SHORESHOTS have a roster of D1 and Power 5 players but have been a disappointment at times  this this spring. They have had some eye popping  losses. Mostly do to the team not playing as a group. Well this weekend all of that changed as the 2o25 Shoreshots found their mojo. They knocked off two EYBL teams in New Heights  and the  NJ GEMZ. Aleena Dinker was sensational in both wins. Dinker whose jumper looks deadly now is a problem. New Heights had no answers for the talented guard from SJV and the GEMZ didn’t fair much better. Aleena Dinker was in a mood and it didn’t stop all weekend. But she was not alone as Christina Liggio and Tessa Carman put in the heavy work all weekend as well. Olivia Shaughnessy is officially one of the best guards in the 2025 class. LIZZY Mitchell, Emily Cavanuagh and Racquel McMullen all stepped up.

Meanwhile Kayden Clark may have been the Shoreshots most consistent  player. She was at her bedt it seemed all weekend. Regardless  if it was scoring, shooting, passing, rebounding or defense. She just was outstandi g. The 2025 Shoreshots  sharing of the ball was a work of art and the timing can’t be any better for this group. They look like the powerhouse so many college coaches predicted they would be.

THE 2026 RISE have for some reason been under the radar. But this weekend that had moments that were earth shattering. Why they and the 2026 Shoreshots have not played is beyond silly. This weekend one thing became very clear. GRACE FEENEY is starting to look very different. She was off the charts all weekend. Her ability to score is just  mind blowing. FEENEY  who is a GYM RAT is a deadly shooter and has a college body. She clearly is going to be one of the sophomores in the state next season. The RISE showed this weekend that college coaches would be wise to start investing in them NOW.


One of the things I noticed is that some kids have simply made bad AAU choices. It’s a 50/50 roll of the dice when picking a AAU team. Nobody ever knows who is being truthful and who is not. I am watching some kids with D1 offers sink down a hole. My advice to kids with offers. You know if your playing well or if that team values you. If they do maybe get to July and watch your stock grow. If they don’t value you, you be wise to sign if you have a school that you like. This is the time of year offers start being taken away….

There are some kids with and without offers or name recognition  that are just moving along doing the same thing daily. Those kids in my opinion have lost hope and simple putting up a front. Camryn Gardner is not one of them. She has gotten healthy, changed AAU teams and now is cooking. She was outstanding this weekend for the REBELS. Gardner could not have picked a better time to find her game. Now she gets to roll into the HIGH SCHOOL LIVE PERIOD and then NBS camp. No question she could be a wrap by July depending on what she’d like to do… either way a clear example of a kid handling her business when things started to get dicey.

TAYLAR DERKACK finally decided to make her verbal commitment to U MASS public. This in my opinion is a great decision and a massive steal for UMASS. I believe she could be a All A-10 type of player. I know this, her total game is built for high major basketball.







THE NJ RISE lost both games this weekend. But there is no doubt they gained much more in the lost than most realize. They once again proved they can play with top teams. I can tell you Kat Dakos is a steal and Savanna Butts in my opinion is a D2/D3 mega steal. It’s been a banner spring as Hope Masonious has become a rock star once again. McKenna Karlson and Kasey Bretones have both picked up D1 offers. The summer could produce more great moments.









Finally the 2026 Exodus and Shoreshots teams met. Folks that game was on a entirely different level. The pace, speed, shooting. You name it and amount of  talent on one court is simply unseen in the age group. The Shoreshots led at halftime but Exodus came back in the 2nd half with a monster shooting performance. This game was old school AAU, both teams packed with talent throwing bombs at each other… for the record. KATIE LIGGIO WAS  ELECTRIC 






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