Awesome Fall Classic! Region’s Best Ballers

September 14, 2020 (Camden, NJ) Black Cager Sports is proud to announce the dates, location and some of the participating teams for the 2020 Awesome Fall Classic. More than 60 teams representing grassroots clubs, AAU programs and high schools from across the mid-Atlantic region will hit the hardwood at Millersville University for the two-day event from Saturday, October 10 to Sunday, October 11.

“We feel this year may be the best since the Fall Classic started in 2016. The quality and the depth of the talent is exceptional and will lead to exciting games as some of the best high school players in the country have the chance to showcase their abilities. Seeing Temple, UConn, Villanova and LaSalle as destinations for some of the players, says a lot about the quality of competition,” said Delgreco Wilson, Founder of the Black Cager Fall Classic Series. The Fall Classic has hosted many future college superstars over the years. The most recent wave of talent has included Collin Gillespie (All-Big East/Villanova), Eric Dixon (Redshirt Freshman/Villanova), Donta Scott (Sophomore Starter/Maryland), Seth Lundy (Sophomore Starter/Penn State), Isaiah Wong (Sophomore Starter/Miami), Ace Baldwin (Freshman/VCU) and Jhamir Brickus (Freshman/La Salle).

The full schedule, with start times for all 72 games, will be listed in early October.

Team Registration is underway. Send text to 856-366-0992 or email to blackcager@gmail.com requesting registration forms.

This year’s event will feature nationally ranked teams and plenty of top 100 high major prospects from the mid-Atlantic region and beyond. Some of the top players as rated in the latest ESPN rankings include:• Nanna Njoku (#93 c/o 2021, Sanford, Villanova) • Julian Reese (#73 c/o 2021, St. Frances, Maryland) • Rahsool Diggins (#69 c/o 2021, Archbishop Wood, UConn. Other Mid-High Major confirmed participants include Hysier Miller ‘21 (Neumann-Goretti, Temple commit), Alassane Amadou ’22 (McDevitt. SJU, Drexel, La Salle offers). Additionally, the Fall Classic looks to welcome several new teams to the event.

Back to participate in his fourth Fall Classic is a certified Philly legend in the making. Rahsool Diggins, returns for his senior season after establishing himself as a consensus top 100 player over the past couple years. The nation’s 69th ranked player, according to ESPN, has committed to UConn. Maryland, has a commitment from Julian Reese in the Class of 2021. Reese makes it a total of three Fall Classic players commiting to Mark Turgeon the last three years. Locally, this season’s event welcomes several of the top teams in the states of Pennsylvania and New Jersey, including Archbishop Ryan, MCS, Constitution, Lincoln, West Catholic, Neumann-Goretti and Camden.

The Awesome Fall Classic will run two sessions – 9 am to 8pm Saturday and 9 am to 5 pm Sunday. “Every year, we get very excited to have our basketball program to participate in an event with such strong competition,” said St. Frances Academy Head Coach, Nick Myles. “The Fall Classic gives us an opportunity to play against some of the top programs in the country. This will prepare us for the long season ahead.”

Black Cager Sports and the Awesome Camp have brought aboard The Miller Report, a regional sports marketing company, to assist with management of all event operations. The Miller Report has worked with many of the mid-Atlantic region’s leading youth basketball brands, including current working relationships with Julian Dunkley and Difference Makers.

For more information on the Awesome Fall Classic, text 856-366-0992 or email blackcager@gmail.com

Black Cager Sports was established to help scholastic student-athletes successfully transition from high school top college. Black Cager Sports also manages youth sporting events. To date, Black Cager Sports has partnered with over 20 schools, youth organizations, and basketball clubs to manage medium and large-scale basketball events.

BlackCagerTV.com amplifies student-athlete voices and prepares them for a new era in college sports with Name, Image, & Likeness. We want student-athletes to use BlackCagerTV.com to be proactive in properly monetizing their social media presence as the NCAA moves closer and closer to allowing athletes of all sports to profit off of their name, image, and likeness rights.

Open Gym: Neumann-Goretti

Come down 11th Street look for the opening in the gate, make a hard right. Find a parking space in the lot and walk up the stairs that resemble NYC fire escapes. Pass through the the doors and you are THERE!

You are in the home of the Neumann-Goretti Saints. On this particular evening it was hotter than the dashboard of the 1973 Ford Pinto with the windows up on the Las Vegas strip in the middle of August. Seriously… in late September, it felt like you were in a giant oven set to broil. I immediately exclaimed to the Head Coach, Carl Arrigale, “Maaaaan… It’s hot as Sh#t in here!”

He replied, “that’s the way we like it… This is how poor boys play basketball…”

Coming from a man ALWAYS possessing a plethora of scholarship level college prospects, Arrigale’s comment made me smile. Poor? Maybe not financially wealthy, BUT… by any reasonable measure of high school basketball talent, Neumann-Goretti is undoubtedly one of the “wealthiest” schools in the Greater Philadelphia region over the past two decades.

A lot of diamonds have been mined in that HOT South Philly gym… Earl Pettis, D.J. Rivera, Scoop Jardine, Rick Jackson, Lamin Fulton, John Davis, Danny Stewart, JaQuan Newton and many others... these are true gems!

But… They come and they go…

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McDonald’s All-American Quade Green and Top 100 forward Dhamir Cosby-Roundtree

One year ago, Arrigale’s starting five included a Villanova power forward and a Kentucky point guard. Dhamir Cosby-Roundtree was a top 100 frontcourt player. A long lean athletic power forward, he consistently beat opposing bigs end to end. He was on the receiving end of several lobs for spectacular dunks every game. Possessing excellent timing and the patience of Job, he was an elite rim protector… He’s gone.

Also gone is one of the greatest guards in the history of Philadelphia scholastic basketball. McDonald’s All-American, Quade Green was the unquestioned leader of a very good Saints squad. He set the tone… He controlled the ball… He made every big decision… He took every big shot… It was, in every respect, the Quade Green show… He’s gone.

So… what can we expect from the 2017-18 Saints?

While the GREAT guard has moved on to the bluegrass state, Neumann-Goretti still has several VERY GOOD guards on the roster. Senior Dhamir Montague is big, strong, skilled combo guard. Standing 6’3″ with a rock solid 190 lb frame he able to capable defend the 1,2 and 3 position. A solid ball-handler with ranging out to 3-point line, Montague is an experienced leader. NEC, America East and MEAC programs should be all over Montague, he can be an immediate contributor at the low-D1 level.

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Noah Warren, Neumann-Goretti, Senior Combo Guard

Another very good combo guard in the Neumann-Goretti camp is Noah Warren. Warren is very quick with the ball in transition and turning the corner in half court sets. On the defensive end, he does an excellent job playing the passing lanes and creating turnovers by stealing and deflecting passes. Although, his release is a little low, it is quick and repeatable. Warren is threat to score from anywhere on the floor. He effectively utilizes a variety of floaters around the basket. Low D1 and strong D2 programs should be pursuing this proven winner.

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Chris Ings, Neumann-Goretti, Junior Point Guard

The top junior in the program is point guard, Chris Ings. He is a solid mid-major D1 prospect with offers from LaSalle and Mount St. Mary’s in hand. Ings is an explosive athlete who attacks the rim in transition. He likes to dunk and is capable of finishing through contact. After a two year stint as Green’s understudy, Ings displays a quiet confidence in his ability to assume the reigns of the program. He directs the team in scrimmages, often telling his big center, Marcus Littles (George Washington commit) to “post up”. With a tight handle, Ings is able to wait for Littles to establish position. Ings repeatedly delivered post entry passes accurately and gently into Littles target hand.

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Chris Ings delivers a post entry pass to Marcus Littles

These guys are playing “old school” smart inside out basketball. You can almost see, Ings thinking about the potential mismatches Littles will encounter this season. As the point guard, Ings is building Littles’ confidence and making sure he can go to that well whenever needed and come away with two points. One thing for sure… If defenders allow Littles to get that ball on the low block, comfortably in his right hand, you can go ahead and count the two points. He has a very soft jump hook and a nice turn around jumper. Also, on more than once occasion, Ings used him in “pick and pop” situations and Marcus easily knocked down 15-18 foot jumpers. These two are working very well together…

One should not lose sight of the fact that Arrigale has some other very promising weapons to bring to bear in this year’s Catholic League wars.

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Ahmad Fair, Neumann-Goretti, Sophomore Combo Guard

Ahmad Fair repeatedly beats his man off the dribble and got in the lane. I mean repeatedly… He is very tough off the bounce… He creatively employs a variety of crossover dribbles, hesitation moves and in and outs to create space or get his defender off balance. He is very quick and likes to attack, attack and attack again. Once he gains increased confidence in his pull-up jumper he will become a complete offensive player very difficult to defend. All this young guard needs is repetitions. This season, he will provide a very nice change of pace when entering the game for this year’s squad. He can be counted on apply pressure and collapse defenses.

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Hakim Byrd, Neumann-Goretti, Sophomore Point Guard

Another tough undersized guard is Hakim Byrd. Standing 5’8″, Byrd is very quick and elusive with the ball. Byrd exudes savvy and confidence. Possessing a reliable stroke extending out beyond the three point line he is able to effectively space the floor. With the ball in his hand, Byrd likes to drive and kick to open teammates. Utilizing a very quick first step, Byrd easily blows by initial defenders. He will bring speed and pressure defense to the table when he enters the lineup.

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Chris Evans, Neumann-Goretti, Freshman Shooting Guard

Three newcomers may be important factors determining if Neumann-Goretti can return to the Palestra for Catholic League Championship Game. Chris Evans is a 6’0″ freshman combo guard. A skilled ball-handler, he’s trying to fit in with the established stars populating the Neumann-Goretti backcourt. The one skill he’s not hesitant to display is his shooting ability. He’s got a quick release and he mades several deep jump shots while I was observing the scrimmage.

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Taquan Woodley, Neumann-Goretti, Freshman Power Forward

Two other newcomers will likely eat up frontcourt minutes. Noah Syer is 6’7″ 200 lb transfer from Sterling High. A good athlete, he’s especially active on the defensive end. Taquan Woodley is an intriguing 6’6″ freshman from Camden, New Jersey. Watching Woodley, it’s pretty clear that he will  come up with some very clutch rebounds for the Saints. Although inexperienced, he fully uses his length, athleticism, and timing along with a relentless hustle to help secure rebounds for his team. Woodley does a good job boxing out when near the basket, and tracking down rebounds that get away from the hoop.

Neumann-Goretti lost a LOT last year… Carl Arrigale has regrouped and reloaded… Will it all come together? Time will tell… Arrigale has been there every year for what seems like forever…

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Carl Arrigale and the 2017-18 Neumann-Goretti Saints

Arrigale won six straight Catholic League championships before losing the last three titles Roman Catholic (2X) and Archbishop Wood. The only other coach who has won at least six titles in a row is former Roman coach Dennis Seddon, who retired in 2007.

Apart from his 10 total Catholic League championships – a number only Seddon can match, Arrigale has also captured seven of the last eight Pennsylvania Class AAA state championships.

Gonna be interesting in the Catholic League this year… I can’t wait!