While the I.S. 8, Tru Ballerz, and the D&D Invitational tourneys dominate pre-season H.S. ball in NYC, the official middle school tournament is the Junior Pros run by Ricky Rivers in Brooklyn. In the upcoming Bounce 26, which comes out in a few days, Rivers is featured in our Winner Takes All column. One of his directors – Thomas “Tippy” McTernan – is one of the most respected talent evaluators in the city. So check Bounce for the report on the up and coming shorties from the northeast region as they compete throughout the fall. Tippy’s Pre-Season Report: Week #1 includes 6′8″ eighth grader Horace Spencer from Philly who dunked in his first pre-season game.
First impressions: Juwan Gooding, a Boston youngster playing with Albany Dream Team, displayed advanced guard skills while leading his team to a pair of wins. . . Donovan Mitchell, another solid guard, was all over the court for The City in their easy opening win and we can’t wait to see him against the better teams in the coming weeks…
We saw two young big men – Shakur Juiston (NJ Pirates) and Trevaughn Wilkerson (Team Final) – getting it done at both ends while recording double-doubles. . . But it was 6-8 Horace Spencer of Philadelphia Y.O. who may have the “biggest” upside of all once he gets the strength to finish around the basket. . .
C-3 Elite posted two wins with solid point guard play from Chris Atkinson, who used his quickness to create numerous scoring opportunities for his team. . . The shooting star you don’t want to miss is the Westchester Hawks’ Kylan Guerra, who knocked down 4-of-7 from beyond the arc against Above and Beyond. . . Mikequan Campbell returned with a year of Junior Pros experience and led his Brooklyn Ballers to an impressive win. . . There will be many more talented youngsters seeking the spotlight as the Junior Pros preseason continues over the next two weeks leading up to the Nov. 5 regular season tipoff.
Tippy’s total pre-season report can be seen at www.funsportinc.com.