AAU SPOTLIGHT: NJ RISE U16(MASONIOUS) post thumbnail image

Today’s SPOTLIGHT TEAM  is the U16 NJ RISE ( MASONIOUS). They are gold standard in the Rise Organization . This team is tacked with tons of potential highly recruited players. The are the rare AAU team that has stayed together for a number of years. ELLEN MASONIOUS will enter her 2nd year coaching this deep and talented group. . They also added a new talented player to there roster in Ava Coyle. This team like most AAU teams are guard heavy. All of the players played major roles  for their highly successful high schools. The upside for the team is massive because there is so much talent and they are truly coached up. If things all fall in place, this is a team that has real potential star power and college coaches will come calling droves!


This team brings back the core of last year’s team which had a monster summer. They have all players who with either started or played major roles on TOP 20 Teams in the state. This is a highly skilled group across the board.  They have high basketball IQ’s and play hard always. They also do something rare in AAU., they share the ball. This team has also played a highly competitiveschedule over the years. They have played in 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 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. These players 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 players 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.



ELLEN MASONIOUS, is one of the most successful and respected coaches in the AAU basketball world. The list of great players she has coached and help develop reads like a who’s who. She has coached players from every level. Her own daughters, Addie , Faith, currently at Maryland and her younger daughter  Hope Masonious who will attend Bucknell in the fall all will have all played D1 . Masonious  is the Head Coach at St. CATHERINE  grammar school. They are unquestionably the most successful grammar school in the state. 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 2nd year coaching  this group so expect a serious jump in their performance. This could be in of the most complete U16 teams in the state on the AAU CIRCUIT





Possible D1 players- (6)

Special note– this team has(  3) DIVISION 1 fence sitters




COMBO- 5’7″- ’26

Make no mistake she is the leader of the NJ RISE U16 TEAM. She is the ultimate warrior. This past season all she did was build on her HOOP GROUP ALL FRESHMAN 1st Team season from a year ago. The future  D1 guard is the ultimate leader and competitor. This season she upgraded her three pint shooting and became a very special player at the rim. 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. Her vision in the lane and in transition can only be called special. She is the queen of 50/50 balls and floor burns. She is a coaches dream because of the team first altitudes. Last season she helped RBC win its first State Title in 7 years. This is a future star with a winning personality and she will be in high demand.


WING- 5’8″- ’26

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!


Her quickness and speed are special. She started every game for state championship MANASQUAN this past season. She proved she could handle any level of ball pressure while running the point. Her handle is much improved as is her shooting range. It’s her shooting range which allows her to move easily between the point and shooting guard’s position.m. She is an excellent defender who can pressure the ball and get in passing lanes. She proved she can play role as player from both guard spots this past high school season. She excellent at creating shots off the dribble or finding tight spaces in the lane. Jordyn, has ice in her veins and not afraid of the big shot. She has made a number of big shots already for such a young player. She has an athletic body and an extra gear. Jordyn Hollawell, is a player with a “HUGH” upside and big future.


SWING- 5’10”- ’26

There are few players in the ’26 class in New Jersey that have stepped up there game more. She is not just talented but also a gym rat who is emerging in a big way. She is long and athletic. She also is a natural scorer with magical hands around the rim. But it’s her upgrade in her shooting that is dynamic right now. That could be to her physical growth and new found explosiveness. She now catches annd finishes everything around the rim.  Most importantly,… COACHES THIS IS LEGIT GYM RAT.  Her desire  to get in the gym vs size, talent and competition, separates her from most in the 2026 class. . She embraces tough, honest coaching and begs for your to squeeze talent, try finding those kids today. AGAIN HER COMMITMENT IS NEXT LEVEL Her confidence right now is at a very high level . She has not just caught kids with bigger reputations, she has flew by them. She made a major jump on defense this season in helping Trinity Hall become a state power. Another full summer with Ellen Masonious has to bold well for her future. . She had a monster sophomore season against top competition. This no question she is a D1 player. The question is what level? And we won’t know that for a while because her improvement curve is so dynamic right now player. This is a player everyone must check in on!

AVA COYLE – SHORE REG– 5’8“- ‘26

She is new to the NJ RISE roster. Last season she played a major role as a starter for finalist Shore Reg. She can play either guard spot. She is a willing defender. Her IQ and unselfish style of play should fit nicely into the NJ RISE’s plans. She is a reliable shooter who will take quality shots. She has a reliable and effective handle. SHE IS UNDERRATED CRAFTY!. 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 was often overlooked at She is plays with real heart and is very competitive.  She is a kid who play the right way even when under pressure. This is a battle tested player that has been coached up. She is more highly skilled than your realize . She has a strong body.  If she stays in the gym and works hard. She will be a nice surprise for a college coach paying attention.


COMBO- 5’7″- ’26

Last high school season she toook another giant step forward. She was given more ball handling responsibilities and she told on an even bigger role offensively having some monster games. She was one of the biggest surprises in the freshman class a year ago and built on that this past She is an excellent  three point shooter with real range to 25 ft. She also made an upgrade in her ability to get to the rim. She was excellent all year at making plays below the foul line this season. She is a tough in the ball defender and understands team defense. Tho you will see her at the point spot with her AAU team. Make no mistake she can slide to the point. As her confidence grows so will her game. She has a boat load of talent. This another player with a big upside if she can find real competitive environments all year round. Something that certainly will make her more valuable to college coaches.  She is was part of the NJ RISE JR NATION CHIP TEAM. She could be a steal for a hustling college coach watching her progress.


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. She has played against tougher high level competition.  Here high school team played 13 of the states Top 20 teams. She is battled tested and has a real next level competitive nature. She can score and pass at all three levels. Her passing ability in the lane, on the perimeter, and in transition is highly . She can guard forwards or wings. Her basketball IQ is special and she ias a blue collar worker. She does dirty work and more. Her quickness is insanely underrated . She is a player who no question in my mind is going to have a very big summer. This is a player in the perfect setting to showcase her talents. I predict she will much tallied about before all is said and done…. SHE IS A WINNER!


WING- 5’7″- ’26

She certainly will be coached up nd battle tested, as she plays for SJV. BRADLEY is a deadly shooter with deep range. She has a college type body. She has strings hands and legs making her an excellent rebounding guard. But what gets lost is her excellent vision and passing skills. This is a player with a high basketball IQ. She had excellent high school season where she was a part time starter. She understands team defense and has a competitive edge to her game. She can play all three guards positions and not miss a beat. There is no question  Bradley has to be in the Division one conversation and could have a break out summer. Charlotte Bradley ability  to score and ball handling skills make her very interesting to any coach in the market for an highly competitive guard who is use to being in competitive environments. She is the most interesting player in this roster.


.She brings a lot of talent to the table. Everyone has been waiting for her to take off and become one of the best players in the Shore. Last season under John Truhan she showed flashes at times. She athletic, strong and has next level positional size. She is highly effective at each guard position. She has elite quickness and speed. Her strength with ball is wonderful and her decision making has improved over the past year. SYNAI has outstanding  playing making ability in the open gym. That’s because she can finish at the rim or create for teammates. She also is an improved shooter. She is excellent  rebounding guard in traffic , that can start the break after rebounding. She is a serious on ball defender who can impose her will on smaller guards. Now at RBR, she has star written all over her. This summer look for SYNAI Blychanton  to blow up in a way.

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