This past weekend close to 400 teams descended onto the South Shore for the 2013 Zero Gravity National Finals at the University Sports Complex in Hanover, MA. A total of 23 HEA alumni was represented across multiple age groups, and was in the middle of the action on some of the most competitive teams in the region. Below you will find each HEA alumni who participated in the event, and how they played over the weekend.
11th Grade Division:
Tyree Weston – 6’1″, Guard, New England Playaz – Weston ran with the Playaz 17U squad this weekend, giving the team an athletic guard off the bench. Weston helped his team reach the semifinals of the 11th grade division, before eventually falling short to Expressions Elite.
10th Grade Division:
Solomon Abioye – 6’4″, Forward, Elite Potential – Used his athleticism and strength to defend the post, rebound, and block shots. Having added another inch at only 15, the sophomore has big time upside.
Chris Baldwin – 6’8″, Forward, Expressions Elite – Baldwin continues to show why he is one of the top young forwards in the region. His motor and physicality was noticeably elevated throughout the weekend. Baldwin had a monstrous two hand finish in traffic on Day 1 that got the crowds attention against the Boston Titans to cap off day 1 action. Baldwin showed off a nice mid range shooting touch over the weekend as well.
Bruce Brown – 6’4″, Guard, BABC – In what was a dominate performance from start to finish for BABC, Brown played his trademark defense, and added a few highlight reel dunks on his way to the 10th grade division 1 championship.
Eric D’Aguanno – 6’3″, Forward, Mass Rivals – D’Aguanno is playing with a level of confidence that is at an all time high. He serves as elder statesmen for his young Rivals squad, as he knocked down shots, rebounded the ball, and played solid defense throughout the weekend. D’Aguanno was particularly effective in pick and pop action in half court sets. D’Aguanno played his best game when his team needed him the most finishing, with 28 points and 16 rebounds in what ended up being the game of the tournament regardless of age group, when Mass Rivals defeated Expressions Elite 68-67 in OT.
Sherron Harris – 6’0″, Guard, Mass Rivals – Harris was at his best on the break, where he used his athleticism to find creases on the defense to get to the hoop. Harris also contributed on the glass and with is relentless effort on defense, as he continues to gain valuable experience playing up an age group.
Chandler Jones – 6’4″, Guard, Expressions Elite Black – Playing up in the 10th grade division, Jones came off the bench to provide a versatile presence both on the wing and running baseline in the short corner. Jones was able to use his athleticism to get out in transition for easy buckets.
Tyonne Malone – 6’4″, Guard, Expressions Elite – Malone is a physical force on the wing. He rebounded the ball extremely efficiently, and seems to always finish through contact. Malone provided a tough defensive effort throughout the weekend.
Terance Mann – 6’5″, Guard, BABC – Mann played a very unselfish game over the weekend, looking to get his teammates involved on the offensive end. Mann and his BABC teammates dominated the competition on its way to a 10th grade division 1 championship.
Aaron McLean – 6’6″, Forward, New England Playaz – McLean was a beast on the boards all weekend, and was the decisive factor in the Playaz comeback win over Expressions Elite Black. McLean displayed a motor that doesn’t stop, and got out on the break for a loud two hand finish for what was one of the highlight dunks of the weekend. McLean split time between the 16u and 17u Playaz squads this weekend.
Jake Midura – 6’3″, Guard, Expressions Elite Black – The freshmen was playing up alongside Jones, and provided a legitimate shooting threat on the floor, which in turn spread the court for his teammates to slash to the hoop. Midura also played sound man to man defense.
Tomas Murphy – 6’6″, Forward, Mass Rivals – Murphy has solidified his claim as the top 8th grade big man in the region. His versatility, athleticism, and decision making skills have reached new levels this spring, and at this point his development in skyrocketing. Murphy’s confidence is through the roof, as he now rebounds the ball and starts the break on his own. Murphy’s day 1 action was capped off by a huge dunk on the break. Perhaps his most impressive play all weekend didn’t event result in a score, as he showed off a polished post game with a drop step move to the baseline for a lefty hook that he was fouled on. Murphy played an integral part in the teams thrilling 1 point overtime victory over the Expressions Elite 10th grade squad.
Sultan Olusekun – 6’0″, Guard, New England Playaz – Olusekun suited up for the Playaz 10th grade squad, and provided huge minutes off the bench. Olusekun has a calm demeanor and possesses tremendous decision making skills, seeming to always make the right play. Olusekun picked his spots efficiently in terms when to get his teammates involved, and when to look to score either by knocking down deep jumpers or slashing to the rim. Olusekun’s showed off an extremely tight handle in the face of pressure defense throughout the weekend.
Justin Stewart – 5’10”, Guard, Expressions Elite – Constantly playing against high level competition has paid dividends for the young guard, as he was able to come off the bench and provided meaningful minutes for his squad. Stewart is the ultimate table setter, and displayed the ability to knock down deep 3’s when his team needed it the most.
9th Grade Division:
Niles Cohen – 5’10”, Guard, Greater Boston Lions – Played steady all weekend helping his team win the 9th grade division 1 title. Cohen showed off deep range on his jumper, and a crafty ability to slice his way to the hoop, including a huge bucket in the closing minutes of the title game that put his team up for good.
Keyshaad Dixon – 6’1″, Guard, Metro Heat – Dixon does a tremendous job with not only filling the role as the primary ball handler for his team, but he is also relied on heavily to score as well. Dixon and his Metro Heat teammates ran into the buzz saw that was the eventual 9th grade champion Boston Spartans in the pool play, finishing 3rd. Dixon is somewhat underrated at this point, as he is a tremendous combo guard with an outstanding offensive skill set.
Anthony Kelley – 5’9″, Guard, Expressions Elite – Only a 7th grader, Kelley played up in the 9th grade division, and provided steady backcourt play for the shorthanded Expressions Elite squad this weekend, while playing up in the 9th grade division.
Charles Mitchell – 5’7″, Guard, Expressions Elite – Mitchell saw an increased role over the weekend with the absence of starting point guard Azar Swain. Mitchell continues to impress with his toughness and effort level. The 8th grader showed well playing up against older competition
Charlie Mitchell – 5’7″, Guard, Expressions Elite – Like his twin brother, Charlie was asked to handle more of a leading role over the weekend. Mitchell is as tough as they come, plays a controlled game on offensive, and is a great role player for any team. Only an 8th grader, Mitchell impressed while playing in the 9th grade division this weekend.
8th Grade Division:
Jordan Galloway – 5’8″, Guard, BABC – Provided huge minutes off the bench on the BABC 8th grades squads title run. Galloway showed off deep range on his jumper, and a tight handle in the face of an aggressive Greater Boston Lions defense.
Martin Mann – 6’4″, Forward, BABC – Mann continues to add new elements to his game, and his frame has filled out considerably since the beginning of the AAU season. Mann provided a legitimate frontline presence for his BABC squad all weekend.
7th Grade Division:
Ghared Boyce – 6’0″, Guard, Team DEMI – Boyce provided a scoring punch for Team DEMI all weekend, and was a big reason for there run to the 7th grade semifinals.
Kani Glover – 5’6″, Guard, Team DEMI – Glover stepped up on both ends of the floor with the absence of guard Julian Howell from the line up due to injury. Glover continues to display an effortless shooting touch.