Once we hit June a count down begins that MOST KIDS, have been warned about for months. That count down starts for every 8th grader who will join a high school program in 3 weeks. It’s also a count down for high school players attending  College Elite camps.

They procrastinated all winter and spring. There were told over and over…get in the gym and work on their weakness. They have been told to work on shooting the ball because that is always a deal breaker for young players. They have been told not to just play AAU games and to remember to train consistently against older stronger players. The exact type player they will be seeing in the next 3 weeks at high school practice. They have been told that playing politics will not give them the edge there parents have been looking to gain, by sending them to the coaches camp or sitting in the stands at EVERY game. The buddying up with players currently on the team will not help them. There will be only one thing that can help these 8th graders…. their performance.



Some 8th graders are ready right now for the challenge. While this is may be the least talented group to enter the shore in all my years. There are some very special talented babies that could tip the table for somebody. Kayla Richardson for example could be the major impact (https://nothingbutskills.com/a-special-8th-grader-is-coming/) which keeps Middletown South relative. With Haley Dalonzo on track to return and Isla Brennan returning after being thrown in the fire as a freshman. Tom Brennan’s return to the bench looks exciting. …but not every coach will be as lucky as Tom Brennan and few  kids are as prepared as Kayla Richardson.

For some the reality is being to sink in. There are those who have not put the time in. You can see it in their game and in the eyes. They know they are not ready, their parents are simply praying and hoping. But even they know the truth when the head hits the pillow. BUT…Three weeks is a long time. It’s a chance for a player to make up for lost time and ill advised decisions. It’s a chance for a player to grow before they start their high school career. Their is still time  for some babies to clean up some weakness and get  high school basketball ready. It’s never too late to get ready. It’s never to late to do just a little more. Like shoot in the morning or after school. Go to the park and play against college kids home from school or running that extra mile.  There is still a chance to avoid the pain and disappointment of not playing as a freshman or regretting  a real opportunity slip by.  There is still time enough to make a great first impression that first day of your high school career. But the clocking is ticking and D-DAY IS AROUND  THE CORNER! This is the final warning.


There are gym rats and kids who have lived in the gym. This is the year of the SHORE CONFERENCE  fence sitter (two fence sitters have landed in the D1 pool)…the gym rats will be rewarded. Never have so many players have a chance of falling in the D1 pool or the D2/D3 pool at the same time. There are those high school players who have been on a mission this spring. They have prepared every step of the way for this time of year. They have sought out great competition. They have worked on weakness and they have done everything possible to get out the their comfort zone and be ready for the biggest moment of the spring. The College Elite camps are a place where many dreams are made and many die. The good news is that most will earn whatever result comes their way. There is no hiding at elite camps. It’s the one time college coaches are in full control and see what they want to see from a recruit.

They will be ready for that toughest of environments when the stakes are highest and there are no soft places to land. The will be ready when they turn around and see 10 other girls in competition for the very scholarship they want. They will be ready when nobody passes them the ball and there are no smiles to be found. These high school players will shine and leave elite camps with smiles…because they have been trained and fully prepared for what comes their way. Then there will be those who simply have taken too many short cuts. There will be those who leave Elite camps complaining, saying it wasn’t fair or they don’t play well in those setting….these most likely will the high school players who were never ready from the start.



There is still time for all those players who dream of going to college or to make their mark before July. It’s never too late to change and pick up the pace. It’s never to late to create name recognition and a reputation as a hard worker. There is no doubt in my mind Molly Weiss of Marlboro has taken her game to a new level. She has positioned herself to make her dreams come true. She has passed many point guards who are paper are SUPPOSED TO BE BETTER. Molly Weiss has a chance to replace somebody on a recruiting board somewhere. Doing more, making sacrifices and not making excuses has done one thing for Molly Weiss, GIVEN HER A REAL CHANCE and that’s all any player can ask.

There are those who seem to always duck the competition. Everyone knows who they are; Some even with scholarship offers. They try and protect their reputations…most of them are under recruited because of this fear. So I have some real advice to High School players, if you are not ready for Elite Camp…DON’T GO! You can not trick college coaches….trust me on that one. If you have not left your AAU environment all spring except for games or have only trained with teammates…..DON’T GO, you are making a mistake. You will not be playing with your teammates at Elite Camps. If you have not played a lot of one on one…two on two … 3 on 3…stay home! WHY? You are SETTNG YOURSELF UP FOR FAILURE.  If you have not done the extra shooting …stay home. Because shooting is HUGE AT THE NEXT LEVEL.  Stay home if you have not done these things, not because your not good enough, but rather ELITE CAMPS are not the place to start doing such things….TRUST ME… I KNOW,  you most likely are not ready!.


Kobe Bryant would line up 15 players and play them one on one. He did this because he wanted to see every possible look a defender may show. He did it because he was the ultimate competitor. Now 8th graders and high school players will need to show their competitive nature…..THERE IS STILL TIME TO GET READY….START NOW,  IT’S NEVER TOO LATE!



I had a chance to spend time with the Mary Beth Chambers Jersey Shore Elite Black and Gold teams….I will blog about them tomorrow…. NO AAU TEAM is more organized, has a better teaching environment or better prepares a kid for college . They run a college like program and wait to you hear what they do to get ready.  I will make a statement about these teams right now. NO TEAM WILL SEND MORE PLAYERS TO COLLEGE.  They also have one of the best freshman in New Jersey that NOBODY KNOWS…and  COURTNEY DOBRZYNSKI is flat out a D1 LOCK and every NEC…MACC …PATRIOT…IVY ..AMERICAN EAST  better listen to what I have to say about this young lady…her Size, length, passing, defense and total package is real next level  type stuff….



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