TEAM SPOTLIGHT: THE U14 NEW JERSEY GEMZ (FALCONIERO)

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Todays SPOTLIGHT TEAM IS THE NEW JERSEY GEMZ U14 Team. This is a team packed with young talent. They also have players who could be household names in years to come. Now throw in the fact they have a player that could one day be called the best players in New Jersey. They have an elite point guard who has a case as one of the best point guards and freshman in the state next year. They have size and team with a competitive nature. This will be one of the best U14 teams in the state. They have all the tools to become a future EYBL STUD CREW. This is a team that is not only rich in talent but also have players with a big upside. It’s also a team filled with D1 talent and more importantly a team college coaches will have to invest a great deal of time into over the next 4 years.

THE  TRACK RECORD

Many of the players on this team have played together in the past. This group also played together all winter. They played a massive about games together. They all attend evaluation events to increase their exposure throughout the year. All in a effort to increase their name recognition. They have got to know each other very well over the past few months. They have trained together under the watchful eye of no other than Coach Dawn Karpell. Some of the players on the roster will attend the same high school together. This is not just a talented group but a tight one as well. They are all filled with a competitive nature and high IQ’s meaning they know how to play. They play unselfish and the parents are not a wild card but a winning card. They have elite parents to go along with this gifted group. While it is their first year together, this team will get better each week. They train with their u17 EYBL team and all have personal trainers. They are all use to playing and training against multiple, older talented Division one players. This is a group that is going to be a problem all summer.

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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…

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FENCE SITTERS are players that D1 coaches have expressed a interest in with phone calls, unofficial visits… but have not been offered. These players have Division ability. But are lacking a skill set, have a weak spot in there game or have a red flag (lack of competition, competitive nature, shooting, size). Fence sitters either remove all doubts or fall to the D2/D3 level.
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When I call a player a GYM RAT, that player is constantly in the gym, outside there team practices and comfort zone, seeks outside competition and there work ethic is bigger than their ability. GYM RATZ 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 seen them against older elite competition and PERFORM at a high level while doing so. They are in the gym at every turn and seem to always be around. These players will be better in college than high school and can play a level HIGHER than there recruitment. I believe you build programs with gym rats…they have a added value recruiters do not get to see. Gym Rats are tough to find as all coaches know. There are hard workers and then there are GYM RATS…Learn the difference.

2021 LIVE PERIOD SCHEDULE

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THE COACH….

BOB FALCONIERO

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The Doctor of basketball is the Head Boys Basketball coach at Bishop Eustace High School. He is also in the South Jersey Hall of fame in Camden. He also has battled back from a illness and knows what fighting truly means. He was a great player in his own right back in the 70’s. What he is know for these days is getting players to play above their natural ability. He has spent a lifetime beating, bigger, stronger opponents. He might be in shock getting to coach a team with equal talent than his top opponents for once. Too say this is a great opportunity for the Gemz U14 team is a big understatement. If they listen up and pay attention, there is no question they will not just improve as a group but individually as well. Dr Bob Falconiero reputation speaks for itself. Her is known as a master teacher and is well known throughout the state for YEARS! This clearly another example of why the Gemz organization will be a force in the EYBL BASKETBALL WORLD FOR YEARS TO COME



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THE TALENT BREAKDOWN

CURRENT DIVISION ONE LOCK PLAYERS–(3)

Possible D1 players- (5)

Special note– this team has( 2) DIVISION 1 fence sitters

GYM RATS– (2)

POSSIBLE POWER FIVE D1 PLAYERS(1)

THE NEW JERSEY GEMZ U14 Select

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GIGI BATTLE- 5’9″- COMBO WING

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Make no mistake this is the best two way player in the 2026 class in the state of New Jersey. Her athletic ability is flat out electric and that’s because despite her speed, quickness and explosiveness, you have never seen her out of control… ever! That’s because her balance and footwork for her age is the best; I have seen in a decade. Her ball handling skills and ability to get by opponents of ANY age is special. She can score at not at three levels but a remarkable FIVE. She can shoot the three, has a dangerous mid range game. Gigi gets down hill like not other player in the 2026 class…FACT! She is an elite offensive rebounder and finally can post up guards and bigger players. Coaches if you think all this is scary, understand she has only been playing seriously for 2 years. Now here is what is really crazy, both her brothers are NBA type players. Her mother was a star in New Jersey and played at Miami and her dad is maybe the best player in New Haven University History. This is a player with a profile coaches dream about. Her ability to defend just may be the best in the 2026 class. That’s because she guards on the ball, off the ball and in the post, and then for shits and giggles she already has mastered the run down for block shots. Finally she is a defensive rebounding machine. Folks this is a special talent, but what really makes her different. She has a mental toughness that is unshakeable. Her attitude is one that coaches dream about, no showboating, talking and bringing attention to herself. Then finally the work ethic is so next level it’s hard to believe at times. Make no mistake this will be a …ALL SHORE FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR LEADING CANDIDATE… FUTURE SHORE CONFERENCE PLAYER OF THE YEAR… FUTURE STATE PLAYER OF THE YEAR and then Power 5 schools will beg for this once in a lifetime players signature. Rather than attend a school and put up stats with a promise of playing time….She will attend St. John Vianney in the fall….NO SURPRISE when you have her competitive nature.







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ERIN REID- 5’9″ – SWING

I never believe the hype. I got a front seat watching Katie Miller become one of the best players Rumson history. I was told Erin Reid could be the next Kate Miller and after watching her; I get the feeling she is going to be the next Erin Reid. She is active and can shoot the ball to 22 feet. I have heard she loves to get in the gym as well. She is long and can put the ball on the floor. She clearly understands how to get to the rim and finish with gusto. She is confident and it shows by her movements on the floor. She has a quiet aggressive approach to the game. There is nothing flashy about her except her efficiency and willingness to play hard and the right way. She is very athletic and is that rare girl who can play in the air. She can leave her feet and jump over opponents of change in the air. Her upside is big and here is why, as her skill sets develop she is going to become an elite passer and more of a problem. Next because of her strength she is going to be very vestalite on both sides of the ball. Look for her to develop a post game and punish summer guards and then defend guards and forwards on the other side of the ball. She run lanes in transition and has a natural feel on how to create space. She is playing the highest level of AAU basketball and that is going to help in her development over the next few years. Between AAU, her talented future Coach Dave Callahan and the top flight training she is receiving, the sky’s the limit.This young lady has a chance to be one of the best babies in the shore next season. She also will play at RUMSON FAIR HAVEN and should have a instant impact on the team. She has a Division One potential and that’s a fact.





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Lexi Carmegie- 5’10”- Combo

Coaches if you don’t know her, you better learn her name quick. This is a high level talent with high level skill sets. She is physically gifted at 5’10” with long arms and a race horse body. She has court vision that you do not teach and she uses that vision wisely. This young lady is so unselfish, why do I think that her parents have a lot to do with this? Because when your this talented and are ok with sharing. It starts at home folks. Watch her get in the lane and use the floaters, pull up jumpers or drop dimes to shooters. She can play either guard position. Do not be fooled by her frame, coaches this is a tough hard nosed kid, don’t be fooled because she doesn’t have all the facial antics. She is wonderful in the open floor and appears to be a reliable shooter because the form looks right on point. She is doesn’t play wild or out of control. Her ability to rebound allows her to slide to either wing positions. She has played against elite competition while on the AAU circuit as a former member of the NJ Sparks. Coaches this is a young lady I thing has a big future and that’s because you can clearly see she has a big IQ and seems always to be happy… no player on this roster is going to benefit more from hanging Bob Falconiero as their coach this summer…TEANECK HIGH SCHOOL IS ONE LUCKY SCHOOL…I believe D1 basketball could be in this young ladies future.





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TAYLOR SOFILKANICH- 6’4″- FORWARD

Her older sister Ashley will attend D1 Bucknell University. Taylor will join her at the D1 level as well one day. She is long for days and athletic like her sister. But here are some things I’m sure folks don’t know. She has hands from the heavens, she plays hard and most importantly wants to learn. This she summer she is going to get a heavy dose of training with 6’3″ post players off to college next year. Now here is something for all coaches to remember. Name a post player of any player for that matter that has played for Coach Karpell who did not get better… you can’t. She has a nice touch around the rim. She can catch lob passes when fronted in the post. She runs in transition and keeps her head on a swivel. She understands how to post up and seal already. She is simply missing strength from being a 13 year in a grown woman’s body. She is never moody or mails in a workout. Clear signs she will become a dominate post player like her sister will be this summer. She has a nice mid range jumper that should develop over the years. Her biggest strength is that she is not a “BABY’. She clearly understands kids in her age group don’t always pass the ball into the post. But it doesn’t stop her from playing and her attitude and mood does not change. This kid has superstar written all over her…. SHE WILL ATTEND ST. JOHN VIANNEY IN THE FALL.





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STELLA LOCKHART- 5’10”- FORWARD

She has been punishing players on the youth level it seems for years. She has a strong body is athletic and skilled up to the highest level. She is a wonderful passer and has a IQ that would make any coach proud to put the ball in her hands. She is clearly one of the best young forwards in all of New Jersey. She is so mobile and elusive it catches you off balance. She can score with either hand around the rim. She can play though contact and finish. She catches opponents off guard with her sweet jumper. Her ball has nice rotation and she uses excellent shot selection as well. She clearly has been coached up because her ball handling skills are seriously next level stuff. She is a excellent rebounder in traffic and has strong hands and wonderful feet. She can start the break off the rebound of fill lanes. She clearly has a big future ahead of her. She will attend Gil Bernard next fall.







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MADISON KOCIS- 5’8″- POINT GUARD

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Her body just keeps developing naturally. She just gets longer, stronger and taller by the minute. Just like she gets better by the minute. The is only one question, what can’t Madison Kocis do on a basketball court? Her handle is a dirty and beyond nasty as any college coach could hope for in a player. Her basketball IQ is that of a freshman in college, not high school. Her ability to shoot and create space is special. Her pull up jumper is college ready right now as she put older D1 players and anyone brave enough to guard her on skates. She is as crafty as it gets but can go and play bully ball despite her slim frame. Her game below the foul line is something you dream about in a young guard. She has the floaters, the hesitate change of pace and direction game. Then she can finish with either hand at the rim; if you take away her elite pull up jumper. She is a master already at using and reading screens while playing against pressure defense. That’s because she has been playing against the best competition regardless of age since 3rd grade. You want big shot making ability? Well I can tell you this right now. This is the most clutch player in the 2026 class. She has already made too many big and timely shots a young player can make to this point in her career. She can defend quick guards or physical guards. She never gets caught on screens and is a 50/50 ball queen. Her skills sets scream “ELITE” and she is not done yet by a country mile. That’s because this is a mega gym rat. She will go to play anywhere against anyone. Her competitive nature is boardline scary, that’s because she is impossible to intimidate. That’s because her confidence is unshakable next level. This is a dream package, her parents are level headed and it rubs off on Madison as her attitude and ability to get along with her peers is also a gift. She will soon be known as one of the best players in all of New Jersey. Next season she will make a run at the All Freshman team. Her improvement curve will be interesting to watch in the next few months… that’s because she could very easy be a POWER 5 RECRUIT one day. Because her physical growth has been special in recent months. She will attend state power ST. JOHN VIANNEY and become another of Coach Karpell’s great collection of magical guards.







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AVA LAMONICA- 5’1″- COMBO

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She is a warrior and competitor. She works on the defensive end of the floor and not afraid of floor burns. She is a glue player who is underrated talented wise. She has a reliable jumper and her handle is firm and strong like her body. She brings energy to the game and is not afraid to be a player makers. She has nice vision and her skills sets will only get better playing against some of the best competition in New Jersey. I will give you more information as I watch this young lady play more. Right now I like what I see





ALEAH McFARLANE- 7th GRADER

Once I put eyes on this young lady I will give you a full update.

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