Jake was the 13-ranked point guard at Adidas National Jr. Phenom Camp in 2009.
At midcourt, the young left-handed New York City point guard brought the ball up and put it behind his back and then headed towards the top of the key. He went down the lane and as he elevated he dropped a nice pass to his big man for an easy two. He dropped back and picked his man up and pointed to his opponent telling his teammate to pick up his man. I liked what I saw, a young play maker taking charge on both ends of the floor. The 12 year old has handle, strong poundcake and is a special kid, one that has a lot of playground style in his blood.
Last year I got a chance to work with the Fast Break 12 and under AAU club. It was a special group because the coach was an still is filmmaker and playground historian Dan Klores. Dan’s recent ESPN film – Winning Time – or (How Reggie Miller killed the Knicks slowly with his jumper.) was critically praised by most of the major media outlets. He loves basketball and his appreciation for outdoor ball is deep.
Dan knows about “settlement ball” – park and rec games played by European immigrants around NYC in the early 1900s. He also knows about the history of outdoor tournament ball in NYC, and is fluent in Cousy, Cunningham, Kareem and Tiny. One of his business partners is ex-Knick Earl Monroe, one of the NBA’s all-time ball handlers and scorers. He now is coaching his son, and his Fast Break team is making noise.
Jake recently played at Manhattan College at a regional Hoop Scoop event and shined. He was invited to their National Camp next year. So I will continue to keep my eye on young Jake, and watch a NYC guard grow.