Getting to Know You

The guys lighting up the GymRat Challenge are names to learn quickly

by Norman Waterman May 29, 2011 12:11pm ET
Chandler_Kasim_sportsU_gymratchallenge_dunk_hero.jpg
Christina Primero
Kasim Chandler and Sports U/Team IZOD finished strong in a key win against East Coast Elite.

The weather was hot in Albany on Saturday and so was the action at the GymRat Challenge. So while play continues today, here's a closer look at the teams and players who have already made noise in the 17U bracket. 

Game of the Day

Sports U (Team IZOD) 53, East Coast Elite 41

The score does not indicate how close and exciting this game was. With 5 minutes left, it was a two-possession game before IZOD went on a quick 6-0 run that East Coast Elite could not recover from. The game featured runs by each team that forced the other to recover and adjust on the fly. IZOD was up 10 early and East Coast cut it two, before IZOD went on another run to open it back up to eight. East Coast Elite responded and cut it to four with 5 minutes left, and IZOD made their last run and a valiant East Coast Elite team could not recover.

Players Doing Work

  • Mike McCahey (6-5, Clarkstown South H.S.) from the NY Falcons scored in every way. He used a nice post game and mid-range touch to score 26 points in each game. His instincts were strong on the glass, as well, as he averaged double-digit rebounds on Day One.
  • Zach Smith (6-2, Smethport H.S) from the Locker1 Wildcats was impressive scoring all day. The class of 2013 guard showed range, touch and a solid midrange game as he averaged 22 points.
  • Jordan Parks (6-6, Campus Magnet) from Team Buckets had nice day. His athleticism is off the charts as he slashed through the defense for scores.
  • Pat Burns (6-6, Lexington H.S.) and Myles Penniman (6-7, Lexington H.S.) from Mass Elite were impressive as each showed skills inside and out to 15 feet.
  • Darren Payen (6-7, Hamden Hall Academy) from East Coast Elite (Conn.) continues to show tremendous upside. He has a good jumper out to 16 feet, impressive jumping ability, strong post moves and a soft touch around the basket. He is getting a lot of attention from Bucknell, St Francis (N.Y.) and Elon. He has also begun to hear from some high-major schools as he continues to grow and improve.
  • Dustin Hogue of Team IZOD showed a well-rounded game. He scored from all angles and made plays for his teammates when the opportunities were there.
  • Tony Beaulieu (6-3, Alvirne H.S.) from the New England Demons (N.H.) showed a well-rounded game and a maturing skill set
  • Emile Blackmon (6-3, Half Hollows Hills West H.S.) from the Long Island Lighting showed why he is considered one of the best athletes around. He shot the gaps for numerous steals and flew to the hoop for several acrobatic dunks and lay-ins.
  • Tyler Roberson (6-7, Union H.S.) showed why some if the best schools in the country are checking out this sophomore.  He is long and has a perfect basketball body, with a growing skill set.  His coach told us that "Kentucky and Georgetown have recently reached out."
  • Marquise Marshall (6-4, Central Catholic) from the York Ballers (Penn.) is a long, athletic wing who scores from every angle and makes plays for teammates off of the bounce. He is the son of former UConn and NBA star (not to mention Five-Star camper) Donyell Marshall. Marshall is being courted by “Rider, Siena and George Washington” among others, he said.
  • Jordan Barham (6-5,  University School) from the Ohio Shooting Stars is a versatile wing player. He ran the show at times and initiated the offense, along with showing a nice midrange game of jumpers, floaters and slashes to the basket.
  • Dave Walker (6-7, Stow H.S.) and Mike Roberts (6-6, Benedictine) of the Ohio Shooting Stars were also impressive. Walker plays a point-forward type of game and combines well with Barham to give them a pair of wing playmakers. Roberts is an animal on the glass and around the paint. He has a huge motor, plays extremely hard and can score around the basket.
  • The Jersey Shore Warriors are a deep and talented team that features Kyle Green (6-5, Camden Catholic) who is being considered by schools like Villanova, Ron Curry, Jr (6-4, Paul IV HS) who is a solid mid-major prospect with schools like James Madison on his trail and Stephen Vasturia (6-2, St. Joseph's) who is a really gifted Class of 2013 guard who can score and make plays.
  • Ryan Spadaford (6-4, Southside H.S.) from Rising Stars (N.Y.) is good scorer who can really play the game. He is getting a lot of looks from the Ivy and Patriot League schools.
  • Jared Seltzer (6-7, Conestoga H.S.) and Brandon Hashim (6-0, Upper Darby H.S.) played very well for the Keystone Blazers. Seltzer is a strong athlete who scores in a variety of ways and rebounds well; while Hashim is a talented guard who does everything well. Strong with the ball and a good shooter, Hashim is very underrated and is not high on many boards, though he is clearly a gifted combo guard.  “He hasn’t played a lot of AAU games or tournaments, but he is really good and when coaches see him, they are going to love him,” his coach said.