Imhotep CRUSHES Shorthanded Roselle Catholic 54-26!

Colloquialisms survive for a reason. We all are familiar with words or phrase that are not formal or literary, typically, colloquialisms are employed in ordinary informal conversation. In the era of the transfer portal, it’s easy to convey meaning through use of colloquialisms. For example, with 500 D1 players left in the portal last year and another 800 currently parked there, the meaning behind the phrase “a bird in the hand is better than 2 in a bush” is easily grasped.

Still… the lesson is lost on so many…

Another, basketball specific, colloquialism has never been more apropos.

All ballers and hoopheads have heard it countless times…

“Bring your game not your name.”

Whether it’s made explicit or left implied, the sentiment underpinning the phrase is ALWAYS in place in Philly. The Philly Live 2022 Basketball Event at at Jefferson University (formerly Philadelphia University) in East Falls is no exception.

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Apparently, the Roselle Catholic basketball program did not receive the memo.

When we last saw the Lions, North Carolina pledge Simeon Wilcher ’23 led the way with a team-high 22 points, seven rebounds and five assists in a victory over mighty Camden High as Roselle Catholic (29-2) won the final installment of New Jersey’s Tournament of Champions. The victory represented Roselle’s fourth title in four attempts, capturing the state’s highest honor previously in 2013, 2015 and 2018.

Since then, the top team in New Jersey, has added 6-7 Duke commit, Mackenzie Mgbako ’23. He is currently ranked 3rd in the 2023 class by ESPN. Roselle Catholic is loaded. Top notch matchups including Roselle are usually must see TV. Hence, a sizable contingent of coaches and hoopheads trekked to the Jefferson University campus in East Falls to witness Roselle Catholic take on Philly powers Roman Catholic and Imhotep.

Unfortunately, the Lions came down the Jersey turnpike and across the Ben Franklin Bridge shorthanded. The trip would not end well…

They came to Philly Live, to square up with the Cahillites and the Panthers without the 3rd and 10th ranked players in the nation.

Roselle Catholic brought their name and not their game.

They took two L’s as result.

The first game, however, was hard fought and competitive. Indeed, Roselle led for much of the contest. But in the end, they just couldn’t do anything to slow down Xzayvier Brown ’23. With Wilcher absent, The Lions had no one capable of matching Brown’s basketball I.Q. They were unable to control him in any way, shape or form. He did whatever he wanted and went where he wanted to go. As he has for 3 years, Brown demonstrated that he is a natural born leader and excels under pressure. Throughout the game, Brown took and made big shots. He’s used to the big stage, he’s been holding down the point guard spot for the Cahillites from the very first time walked through the door at Broad & Vine. He knows how to control the tempo of the game and displays some sneaky athleticism and good length that helps him blow by opponents and make athletic finishes. Brown is a very solid mid to high major point guard prospect.

I wish the future Tar Heel, Wilcher was there to offer some resistance… Without Wilcher, Roselle had no answer for Brown as he led Roman to a come from behind victory with scores of college coaches watching every play.

Nonetheless, Roselle Catholic nearly held off the Cahillites in an exciting evenly matched game. However, In their next game, the Lions paid an extremely high price and heavy tax for showing up shorthanded.

Nearly everyone in the building was focused on this matchup. I settled along the baseline, under the Roselle Catholic basket, next to my man Rudy Davis.

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Kevin Stewart

If this game were played in Boston, say, around 1966, Imhotep’s Coach for this game Kevin Stewart would have lit a nice big victory stogie when the ref tossed the ball in the air for the jump ball. That’s because, beginning to end, this was an ol’ fashioned extension cord whoopin’… welts and all…

Imhotep jumped out to a 12-3 lead… For Roselle, things went downhill from there.

Plainly stated, Imhotep beat the shit down the legs of the Roselle Catholic. If it were wrestling, both shoulders were pinned early and the ref could’ve counted, rather slowly, to 30.

When the score reached 12-3, I said to Rudy, “They are not going to score 25 points.”

At the other end, elated Imhotep players dunked and dunked and dunked. Justin Edwards, the magnificent senior leader of this incredibly talented Panther squad, exhibited the combination of skills, toughness and athleticism that will, surely, land him in the 2023 McDonald’s All-American game. When he was not scoring with absolute impunity, he was aggressively battering Lion field goal attempts off the backboard or walls.

If it were a boxing match, the score would be 120-108 on all cards.

As the game approached HALFTIME, the “mercy rule” was in effect. The lead was north of 30 and the clock never stopped running again.

Daaaaaaaymn…

If it were a football game, Imhotep would have been taking a knee for all four downs late in the first half.

Before the halftime buzzer sounded, former St. Joe’s point guard, Tasheed Carr ambled over to baseline where I was seated. Disappointed and frustrated, Sheed expressed his feelings about Roselle Catholic being there in name only.

That’s a problem in Philly… Especially, against Edwards, Nowell and the rest of the Panthers.

Sheed shouted, “What is this? Where is Wilcher and Mackenzie?”

“Who are these guys?”

“Get these guys outta here…”

Eliciting laughter from the locals, Sheed’s comments stung the small, but previously vocal, Roselle contingent seated to my right. I’m pretty sure that was the intention. It also had to sting the Roselle players on the floor as well. They were well within hearing distance.

Truth be told though, Sheed had a point… As Omar Little would say, “When you come at the King, you best not miss.”

Roselle didn’t even bring a full clip… They’re gonna have to run that back with Wilcher and Mgbako on the floor. It’s a must at this point… They HAVE to run that back… somewhere, somehow…

From the outset, players wearing Roselle Catholic uniforms were brought under immediate domination and control in all aspects of basketball by the Imhotep defense.

I think it was 45-12 when I left at the half… I asked Rudy to text me the final score. Before I arrived home, he hit me…

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They HAVE to run that back… I wanna see Imhotep play a fully represented Roselle and Camden. I’m tryin’ to see sumthin…

Check rock…



Trying to Takedown Camden High’s Basketball Program: A Hitman, His Cronies and their Sucka Shit!

A free and independent press is a necessary condition for the intellectual freedom and democracy that supposedly exists in the United States. In America, we supposedly have access to a wide range of competing news sources. In reality, we have a press that is far from free and unbiased. Control of mass media outlets is concentrated in a few privileged hands with clear agendas. How we perceive the world is largely determined by those who control the means of mass communication and their agendas can often be easily revealed with just a few scratches on the surface of their spurious arguments.

Take for example the recent intentional, premeditated effort to undermine the reputation, credibility, and character of the coaches, parents and players in the Camden High School basketball program. New Jersey Advance Media conducted a six-month investigation of the Panther high school basketball program. The finished product, a so-called “Special Report” was published on June 21 at 10:00 am with the following headline: “Camden celebrates a hoops rebirth. But critics wonder: Did they cheat their way to a championship?” Kevin Armstrong is the investigative reporter responsible for the malicious piece.

Camden HS, Group B State Champions, Photo Credit: April Saul

According NJ.com, Armstrong joined the NJ Advance Media staff in January. His arrival coincided with the onset of the six-month investigation. Seems like, maybe, he was hired specifically to perform the task of taking down Camden High basketball.

The special report reads like a smear campaign targeting Dajuan Wagner, the Wagner family, Camden school district administrators, basketball coaches, players and parents. Supposedly the free press matters because it uncovers the truth. Investigative journalists are trained to analyze and explain complicated issues. They play an important role. Without mass media outlets such as newspapers, radio shows, blogs, etc, the average American would have little to no knowledge of what’s going on around them. Most people lack the time and resources to investigate issues and stories that affect them and impact their communities. In theory, that’s where journalists come in.

So exactly what was the issue affecting New Jersey residents and impacting New Jersey communities that Armstrong spent six-months investigating?

After reading his piece several times, I have concluded that the core issue is as follows:

How has a HS basketball team hailing from what Armstrong describes as “a city of violent crimes and vacant lots after decades of factory abandonment, economic stagnation, corruption, white flight and arson” beat the shit the down the legs of NJ opponents for 3 straight years?

Aaron Bradshaw ’23, ranked 11th in the nation by Rivals.com

For some, the excellence and dominance Camden High has displayed on the hardwood the past three years is a problem that must be resolved.

Armstrong’s detailed descriptions of Camden City paint what can only be described as a decidedly dreary and gloomy picture. In his special report, he highlights “boarded-up houses” and “derelict brick edifices scheduled for demolition.” He seems to be preparing his readers for the question at the core of his report: Why would elite HS basketball players from six towns spread across five counties venture to Camden to play high school basketball for the Panthers?

For Armstrong, these decisions are not rational. Indeed, he goes so far as to openly question if these transfers were legal. It’s a two-fold assault… On one level, he’s arguing the parents are neglectful. By emphasizing the deteriorated state of some of Camden’s infrastructure, Armstrong implies parents are sacrificing their child’s educational development and, perhaps, placing their physical safety at risk. Moreover, and more importantly, he is unfairly labeling everyone associated with the meteoric rise of the Camden basketball program over the past three years a cheater.

So, exactly, how does he formulate his assertion that Camden cheated? Armstrong argues that “school officials seemingly made sports-driven enrollment decisions en route to the championship.” The “evidence” he provided included the fact that “five of Camden’s top six scorers do not reside in the city of 73,000 people… and are the only out-of-district students in the school.” Now, at first glance, these may appear to be unconventional and unique circumstances. But, the plain and simple fact is they are neither unconventional nor unique.

DJ Wagner ’23, member of USA National 17U team

Indeed, the NJ Department of Education (NJDOE) sponsors an “Interdistrict Public School Choice Program.” According to the NJDOE website, “New Jersey’s Interdistrict Public School Choice Program enables approved choice districts to enroll K-12th grade students who do not reside within their districts without cost to their parents. The program increases educational opportunities for students and their families by providing students with school options outside of their district of residence and giving parents the power to select a school program that best serves their child’s individual needs.”

So… Every year, the state of New Jersey provides students with out of district school options and gives parents the power to select a school that best serves their child’s individual needs. That’s good stuff… Really good stuff… No one objects out of district placements unless the students happen to be elite Black basketball athletes and their parents happen to determine that Camden public schools best serve their child’s needs. If that happens… It’s a BIG fuckin’ deal… So much so that a huge media outlet, like NJ.com which had an average of 12.1 million unique monthly visitors consuming a total of 70 million page views per month in 2018, must identify and retain the services of a journalistic “hitman” like Kevin Armstrong and provide him with the resources necessary to conduct and exhaustive six-month investigation.

Fuck outta here…

According to the NJDOE, “The Public School Choice Program benefits students and parents, as well as the choice districts. Choice programs might have smaller class sizes, increased instructional time, and a school culture more conducive to a student’s success in school. Many choice districts have established specialized and innovative programs and courses that focus on areas such as the arts, math and technology, and are open to students who meet the eligibility requirements of the special programs. Opening enrollment to students outside the district can bring in more students interested in taking advantage of these special programs and courses, allowing both the programs and students to grow and flourish.”

I agree with the NJDOE. I am a staunch supporter of school choice… While the Camden School District is not part of the DOE program, I assume the logic underlying the decisions of the parents of young men on the Camden basketball program is the same as that underlying the decision of parents taking advantage of the school choice program.

Cornelius “Boog” Robinson, holds 9 Division 1 scholarship offers

However, Armstrong, NJ Advance Media and NJ.com made very different assumptions when assessing the decision-making of Camden basketball parents. Instead of assuming the out of district transfers “benefit [Camden basketball] students and parents, as well as choice districts” like the thousands of other students exercising similar options, Armstrong presented this information to Colleen Maguire, Executive Director of the NJ State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Upon receiving Armstrong’s report, Maguire “said she will begin a review to determine whether rules have been broken.”

Here comes the bullshit…

From my perspective, Armstrong appears to be a “hitman” hired to use the byzantine set of NJSIAA rules to have the Camden High State Championship vacated and prevent the Panthers from an almost inevitable repeat next year. Camden has lost exactly one (1) game to a New Jersey opponent over the past three years. As noted by Armstrong, they beat NJ public school opponents by an average of nearly 40 points per game.

They can’t take it anymore. They are tired of getting the shit beat down their legs.

They can’t do anything about it on the court. So, they have resorted to smear campaigns disguised as special reports and NJSIAA investigations.

Powerful voices have chimed in and publicly sullied the name and reputation of Camden’s administrators, players, coaches and parents. Armstrong cites a quote from former NJ governor and youth sports advocate Richard Codey where he emphatically states, “All the adults are cheating, everybody knows it and nobody seems to care.”

After getting the shit beat down his legs by 41 points (93-52) in the Group 2 state final, Central High coach Shawn McCray exclaimed, “Are there really rules? You find the loopholes and get it done. That’s too much work for me.”

Rasheer Fleming ’22, now a freshman at St. Joseph’s University in the A10 Conference

Armed with a rather weak case in their effort to eliminate Camden from NJSIAA competition, the hitman mades a concerted effort to besmirch the reputation of Dajuan Wagner and the Wagner family. There can be no other logical reason for including a recap of fight Dajuan was involved in 21 years ago. It seems Armstrong wants his readers to internalize and adopt a perception of Dajuan as violent and menacing. This depiction is a far cry from the quiet, unassuming and gentle man known to everyone in Camden.

The hitman also chose to refer to a night 22 years ago when William Wesley took Wagner to a strip club after he scored 100 points in a game. Again, this incident took place 21 years ago. What is the relevance to the 2022 state champions? There is none… But, the goal is create a distorted perception about Dajuan and his family… Sucka shit… That’s what it’s called ’round my way.

Cognizant of the fact that many will remain ambivalent and some will view teenage fights and a visit to a strip club as a something akin to a right of passage, Armstrong decided to include references to the trial and conviction of Dajuan Wagner’s stepfather Leonard Paulk. The hitman noted that “Paulk was convicted and sentenced to life in prison.” What he failed to do, however, was to explain how the legal troubles of Wagner’s stepfather from 18 years ago are related to the 2022 Camden High School basketball team.

Paulk’s arrest and conviction are included as part of the hitman’s sustained effort to shape and reinforce a decidedly negative perception of Dajuan and the Wagner family… Period.

After attempting to painstakingly disparage Wagner and his family, the hitman set his sites on Rick Brunson, coach of the Panthers for the past three seasons. The hitman wrote that, “In 2014, [Brunson] was accused of sexual abuse but was acquitted.” Why… What purpose does the inclusion of this allegation serve? Judge James Booras ruled the state was “unable to meet the burden of proof required” to convict Brunson for the April 2014 incident. Furthermore, during the trial Brunson’s defense team questioned why the woman waited 10 days before contacting police and claimed the woman was seen on video laughing with Brunson after leaving the massage room.

He beat the case… In America, you are innocent til proven guilty. Right? Brunson is innocent… Period. This incident is a non-incident and is included as a salacious sidebar.

Nonetheless, the hitman understood that inclusion of this allegation could further his effort to characterize the Panthers as a lawless program.

Rick Brunson, former Camden HS coach

Next up on the hitman’s list was Pervis Ellison. His “crime”? Pervis “fundraised aggressively” according to the hitman. The hitman also took quick shots at William Wesley and John Mirenda, CEO of Greentree Mortgage. Mirenda is called into question because he’s “listed as treasurer and financial director for Scholars Elite.” Why is that problematic for the hitman? Because right after Dajaun was drafted and signed a $7.4 million dollar rookie contract Greentree provided him with a $258,000 mortgage for a West Deptford house for his mother.

What da fuck does a 20 year old mortgage deal for an NBA lottery pick have to do with the 2021-2022 Camden HS basketball team?

Nothing… Absolutely nothing…

The hitman was just throwing a whole lotta shit on the wall and hoping some of it sticks.

Hitmen are noted for their persistence and Armstrong is no different. He carefully stalked his prey. He described what he witnessed while on a stakeout, “on a Tuesday in May. Two schoolchildren dribbled until their yellow bus picked them up around 8 am. Soon after, Bradshaw walked out of Juanny’s house and Perkins followed him. They got in a red Chrysler, which Perkins drove to school.”

Da’ fuck? The hitman’s staking out the homes of HS basketball players…

His six-month detail completed, the hitman submitted his special report, NJ.com published it.

The investigation has commenced…

Unable to beat ‘em on the court. Governor Codey and a few competing coaches have retained the services of NJ Advance Media and NJ.com to knock the mighty Camden Panther program out of contention. Armstrong’s defamatory piece was just the first public salvo in what will surely be a relentless campaign to prevent the Black kids from the poor, but exceedingly, proud city of Camden from beating the shit down the legs of their New Jersey opponents.

I can’t wait to see next season’s versions of the mighty Panthers…

U want Da High?

“Hell no” is apparently the response from some influential folk in NJ scholastic athletics.

Check rock… Stop Bitchin’!

Penn State Lands Demetrius Lilley (Lower Merion/Philly Pride)

September 24, 2021 – Camden, New Jersey – In March of 2020, in a piece titled “The Big 10’s (Successful) Attack on Philly Mid-Majors!” I shared former Big 10 Commissionser Jim Delany’s thoughts about the Big 10 annexing Rutgers, Penn State and Maryland. Delany stated how significant the mid-Atlantic presence is to the Big 10’s long-term plans. “I don’t think people should evaluate this in the short term. But in a 25-year or 50-year period, I think they’re going to be very competitive. They are added value. “If you don’t venture out,” Delany said, “you never gain anything.

Newly installed Penn State basketball coach Micah Shrewsberry has demonstrated that he plans to venture out to Philly. Under Shrewsberry’s predecessor, Penn State established a solid recruting foothold in Philadelphia. Former Head Coach Pat Chambers and his top assistant Keith Urgo repeatedly come into Philly and landed some of the best players. Newbill (Public League), Carr (Catholic League), Stevens (Catholic League), Garner (Catholic League), Watkins (Public League) and Brockington (Catholic League) played very well for the Nittany Lions.

The Chambers regime left Seth Lundy (Catholic League), Sam Sessoms (Friends League) and John Harrar (Central League) on the Nittany Lion roster.

One had to wonder if Coach Shrewsberry and Penn State would continue to aggressively recruit Philadelphia. Moreover, assuming they wanted to, it was fair to ask if they would be able to continue grabbing top shelf Philly prospects.

Well… The answer is yes and yes.

With the commitment of Demetrius Lilley (Lower Merion/Philly Pride) to Penn State, joining Jameel Brown (Westtown/Team Final) Penn State has effectively demonstrated a commitment to recruiting Philly.

Jameel Brown is ranked #148 by Rivals. According to Rivals, Lilley is the #31 center.

Full Court Press on ALS: VIP Reception Recap

WASHINGTON, D.C. (September 25, 2017) – On Sunday, September 24, 2017 supporters of Full Court Press on ALS gathered for a VIP Reception to raise awareness and spell out the non-profit’s annual plans at The Park at 14th in Washington D.C. More than two hundred fifty prominent basketball coaches, philanthropists and humanitarians came out for an incredible evening that celebrated the transformational work and the ambitious agenda of Full Court Press on ALS.

We had fun. We raised funds. And we felt incredibly inspired to help move the bar closer to finding a cure for a disease that does not receive a lot of attention due to the limited number of people affected by it. Full Court Press on ALS is committed to closing the gap in funding for medical research and raising awareness. Through educational seminars and collegiate basketball games, Full Court Press on ALS seeks to raise funds to assist in finding a cure for this debilitating disease.

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Howard Coach, Kevin Nickelberry, MD Eastern-Shore Coach, Bobby Collins & Full Court Press on ALS Co-Founder Michael Hornets

Thank you to everyone who joined us and supported us! Prominent guests such as University of Pennsylvania Head Coach, Steve Donahue, La Salle University Head Coach, John Giannini and Howard University Head Coach, Kevin Nickelberry enjoyed a delicious dinner in a beautiful space, had good conversations with friends old and new, and felt renewed excitement and hope throughout the evening program.
It was a very special night, as Full Court Press on ALS celebrated a formal partnership with the Ivy League and spelled out ambitious goals for the 2017-2018 basketball season. We were inspired by our Board Chair, Marco Morcos, Coach Donahue, FOX News critic Jesse Waters and other speakers. All were provided extraordinary examples of leadership, determination and success.

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Pennsylvania Coach Steve Donahue (L) and Fox News critic Jesse Waters (R)

The VIP reception was one of our most important events to-date, bringing together a distinguished group of coaches in the nation’s capital. The gathering reaffirmed the commitment among participants to to help major ALS research and medical organizations have an annual revenue stream for research and experimental treatment trials.

Every dollar raised through collegiate basketball games produces ripple effects in the fight to find a cure. Because of the efforts of these coaches, doctors and graduate students will be to conduct innovative research, conduct treatment trials and contribute to our understanding of this horrific disease. Until a cure is found, we will relentlessly deploy a FULL COURT PRESS ON ALS!

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Marco Morcos, CEO & Co-Founder, Full Court Press on ALS

About Full Court Press on ALS: Full Court Press on ALS was founded with the goal of finding a cure for a disease that does not receive a lot of attention due to the limited number of people affected by it. This leaves medical and research establishments relying heavily on private funding.Full Court Press on ALS was started to provide funding assistance to major medical organizations and to raise awareness about the disease. Through educational seminars and collegiate basketball games, Full Court Press on ALS seeks to raise funds that will help to find a cure for this crippling disease.

Contact:
Marco Morcos, CEO & Co-Founder
201.895.3250
morcos@fullcourtpressonals.com

 

Sign the Damn Transfer Papers!

Stink-Stink is 15 years old… All his life, he has done just enough to get by… He NEVER does homework… He NEVER truly studies…

As a result, he has a 1.5 Grade Point Average at the end of his sophomore year at SouthWest Philly High. SW Philly HS is a traditional neighborhood school. Most of the kids live in the community immediately surrounding the school. The 4-year graduation rate at SW Philly HS is 47%… The 4-year graduation rate for Black males is 26%…

Stink-Stink is a Black male…

play nyc 4 st-crop

While he never really took basketball seriously, he was always gifted. He could flat out score. Whether it was playing late night money games with the Ol’ Heads from the projects or unlimited summer league games ’round the way… Stink-Stink got buckets!

As a 9th grader, he averaged 17 ppg and he didn’t even really understand the plays. His relationship with his coach was strained because Stink-Stink was frequently absent from or late getting to school. It was a constant struggle to get him to submit class assignments on time. Never disrespectful to teachers or administrators, Stink-Stink just didn’t take school seriously…

That summer, a scout from Philly Funk, the Converse sponsored AAU program, approached Stink-Stink and got him to play with their 16U team. Flying for the first time in his life, Stink-Stink played in Chicago, Memphis, Houston and Las Vegas over the summer… He was truly grateful… Stink-Stink had never stayed in a hotel before those trips…

Highly motivated… He showed his ass!

Dunk, New York

Going against the top rated guards in the country, he repeatedly scored 25 or more in big games… More than the point totals, it was the way he did it… NASTY!! No screens… No back doors… Off the dribble, crossovers, in and outs, floaters, step-backs, to the left, to the right…

Stink-Stink BUSSED dey ass!!

His self-esteem and confidence was through the roof…

When he returned to SW Philly HS, he was unstoppable… He took basketball very seriously now… He got to school early and put up 200 jumpers… He lifted weights… He watched film… He was learning his craft…

He tore the Pub up… As a sophomore he averaged 24 ppg… He had three games of 40 or more…

One of his Philly Funk coaches, Big Earl, got an assistant coaching job at Uptown Charter School…

Uptown Charter has won 6 State Championships over the past 8 years… They have sent 24 kids to D1 programs over that span…

Big Earl explained to Stink-Stink’s Grandmom that SW Philly HS hasn’t had any kids go D1 in basketball in 15 years… Big Earl explained that the avg. SAT score at SW Philly HS is 680… He told Grandmom that Stink-Stink would have to score at least 900 IF he was able to raise his GPA from 1.5 to 2.3 in order to accept a scholarship… The average score at Uptown Charter is 860…

Big Earl showed his Grandmom that St. Joseph’s is $55,000 per year and $220,000 over 4-years… Drexel is $70,000 per year and $280,000 over 4-years…

Big Earl suggested that Grandmom transfer Stink-Stink from SW Philly to Uptown…

Grandmom told Big Earl to go to Graterford and talk to Stink-Stink’s Dad about it… Big Earl made the trip… Done deal…

Beller-NYC-Basketball

When Grandmom submitted the transfer papers, the SW Philly coach refused to sign off… Fuck is wrong this dude?

The Guidance Counselor grilled Grandmom… “Are you doing this for athletic reasons?”

Grandmom said, “I’m doing what’s best for my grandson…”

“But is it for athletic reasons? I’m worried about SW Philly’s program… I’m tired of the big Charters taking their best players.”

Grandmom replied, “With all due respect sweetheart, I don’t give a FUCK about the SW Philly program… I’m worried about my grandson… His Mom is strung out doing who knows what, who knows where and his Dad is locked up… I’m trying to put him in position to get a scholarship… His GPA is 1.5 here… He needs a fresh start at Uptown Charter!”

The Guidance Counselor signed the papers…

As she should!

Stink-Stink gonna go D1…

South Carolina’s Sedee Keita Transferring

Columbia, South Carolina – May 26, 2017 – University of South Carolina freshman power forward, Sedee Keita (WeRone Hoops/22ft Academy), has announced his intention to transfer. After sitting out a year, as required by the NCAA, Keita will have 3 full seasons of eligibility left.

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A key reserve as a freshman, Keita played in 29 games during rookie campaign.  He posted averages 1.1 points, 2.0 rebounds and 0.4 blocks in 9.6 minutes per game. In SEC play, he saw action in 14 games, posting 0.7 points and 1.9 rebounds per game.

His offensive output was hampered by a wrist injury that caused him to miss the first four games of the season. Keita tallied a season high seven points in win over Lander (Dec. 27), and pulled down a season high seven rebounds in non-conference finale at Memphis (Dec. 30)

He played a season high 28 minutes at No. 13/12 Florida (Feb. 21), posting two points with six rebounds. He also collected two blocks in Elite Eight win over No. 20/17 Florida (March 26).

Keita immediately becomes one of the best available power forwards in the nation. South Carolina Head Coach signed Keita’s release without any restrictions.

Keita is an athletic power forward who has a strong frame and good mobility and agility for his size. This year he demonstrated an ability to be an excellent post defender. He was a four-star recruit according to ESPN.com and rated the 85th player in the ESPN100. Also a four-star recruit according to Rivals.com and the No. 82 prospect overall.

La Salle and Pittsburgh have expressed an interest in Keita. He will likely hear from programs in all the major conferences.

Teaneck’s Pierre Sow Commits to Hampton University!

Pierre Sow (pictured below) is an unassuming, quiet and highly intelligent young man. A strong student, Sow has very good grades and an outstanding SAT score. He also happens to stand about 7’0″ tall and is fast becoming a very good basketball player. A key member of the 2 time State Champion Teaneck (NJ) High School Highwaymen basketball program, Sow has worked his way to a Division 1 scholarship. On the morning of April 7, 2017 he committed to play for Coach Edward Joyner, Jr and the Hampton University Pirates. IMG_1876

Sow just began playing organized basketball a couple of years ago and has really progressed while playing for Teaneck’s fine coach Jerome Smart. However, Division 1 colleges in New Jersey paid little attention to Sow. They missed out on kid with a chance to be a good college player. Sow’s former HS Assistant Coach, Roland Whitley firmly believed in Sow’s ability to compete at the Division 1 level.

“The kid has all the tools… He’s long, he has good timing and he’s very agile. He lacked strength and experience. But, I knew he was a Division 1 player”, said Whitley. “More than anything else, I just needed more people to see him play. So I asked Black Cager Scouting Service to come and check him out two years ago. Delgreco Wilson (below left) came up and agreed that Pierre was a D1 prospect.”

Pierre Sow Poster-page-0.jpg

Wilson noted, “I saw a kid that was raw with a huge upside. The immediate goal was get him in the gym against other good big guys in the off season. I reached out to several Philadelphia area AAU/Grassroots programs. Only Philly Pride invited Pierre to come work out. He didn’t end up playing with them for the summer because the travel was too much, but he made it to several workouts and made some important contacts.”

Philly Pride directors Nette Bennett and Amauro Austin are proud Hampton University alums. Austin reached out to Hampton and strongly encouraged them to offer Sow a scholarship. He had been considering prep school.

“Those guys at Black Cager Scouting really helped me through this thing,” said Whitley. “I played at North Carolina State under Jim Valvano but things are much different these days. I really leaned on them to help me guide the family. We are extremely happy with Hampton University.”

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According to Wilson, “academically, Pierre is the type of kid that usually ends up in the Ivy or Patriot League. Hampton is a perfect fit for him because he has the intellectual tools to really take advantage of Hampton’s academic programs. The University President, Dr. William R. Harvey (above right) made Sow’s mother (above center) feel welcome and assured them that he would take care of their son. There is no substitute for the intimacy and familiarity one finds on HBCU campuses. Jaekwon Carlye is a Philly Pride kid completing his freshman year at Hampton and he loves it there. I know Pierre made the right choice.”

 

 

Shit Ain’t Fair… We Need Search Firms for Families!

There’s a BIG ASS thumb on the scale in the college coaching market… I am sure Adam Smith is rolling over in his grave. In this particular market, the “invisible hand” has been amputated! You see… Free Trade and open market exchange are SUPPOSED to automatically channel self-interest toward socially desirable ends. However, in the college basketball coaching market free trade and open markets have been usurped. A group of overwhelmingly white men have formed cabal that controls access to the 350 or so Division 1 head coaching positions. This search firm cabal severely limits minority candidate access to these highly desirable positions.

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In some ways, the existence of these “search firms” is easy to understand…

Choosing a Division 1 basketball or football coach is very difficult task… Where do you begin? These guys are silky smoooooth… They really know how to come across as personable, gregarious and charming. It’s hard not to like most of them… They present themselves well at all times…

They are TOP NOTCH salesmen… Some would say “slick”… The product they are selling, at all times, is themselves…

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Guys like Mark Turgeon (Maryland), Mike Hopkins (Washington), John Calipari (Kentucky – pictured above), Frank Martin (South Carolina – pictured below), Phil Martelli (St. Joseph’s), Fran Dunphy (Temple), Pat Chambers (Penn State), John Giannini (La Salle), Zach Spiker (Drexel), Martin Ingelsby (Delaware), Todd Bozeman (Morgan State), Kevin Baggett (Rider), Joe Dooley (Florida Gulf Coast) and Mike Brennan (American) are ALL good dudes… Spend a few hours with any of these coaches and you will like them…

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The very best among them can sell water ice to Eskimos in the dead of winter… They can sell a furnace to Satan himself… Oh… they use different approaches and different tactics but selling is selling… It’s what they do best… Buyer beware!!

Indeed, the overwhelming majority of the 351 Division 1 Head Basketball Coaches come across as “good dudes” precisely because they are highly capable pitchmen… The questions that ultimately matter are: Which one is best for you? Which one should you entrust with your future? How do you begin to figure it out?

Two distinct groups grapple with these crucial questions year after year: 1) predominantly white male athletic directors, and; 2) predominantly Black families. They bring vastly different backgrounds and resources to the decision-making process. The former are, generally speaking, experienced and well educated. Most ADs have Masters or Doctorate degrees. The latter are, for the most part, novices in the world of college athletics and often lack Bachelors, much less, advanced degrees.

The differences between the two groups are really profound…

One recent survey found that whites are 89 percent, 90.9 percent and 95.9 percent of the athletic directors in Divisions I, II and III, respectively. Additionally, only 8.3 percent of Division I athletics directors are women. Plainly stated, hiring a college coach is, more or less, a white male task.

Conversely, in 2015-2016, Blacks (3,153) made up a majority (57%) of the total number of Division 1 basketball players (5.472). Black Division 1 football players (13,453) also outnumber white players (11,240) and all other racial groups.

Both groups, white male ADs and Black families, routinely face the difficult challenge of selecting a D1 coach… For both groups, it’s an extremely important decision.

Let’s examine the way each approaches selection processes…

On one hand, university presidents and athletic directors have become increasingly reliant on search firms. The aforementioned cabal has assumed the role formerly played by Athletic Directors in the dysfunctional college basketball coaching market. For that, they are handsomely rewarded. It’s not uncommon for universities to shell out anywhere from $50,000 to $325,000 for assistance in making such decisions. Search firms, supposedly, dig deep into the background of the coaches and provide detailed reports to institutional decision-makers. Thereby enabling highly informed and rational decisions. In this way, it is argued, the help the market function better…

However, very little attention is focused on the extent to which qualified minority coaching candidates are EXCLUDED through this process. With search firms in place, they often can’t even get a sniff!

Black families choosing a coach, on the other hand, all too often are left to fend for themselves… They, typically, have little to no experience and even less background information.

Who provides Mom and Dad a detailed report? Who tells them about the 6 players the coach ran off over the past 3 seasons? Who tells them the program has NEVER had a Black Head Coach in 120 years? Who tells them Black players ALL major in Parks and Recreation? Where are the search firms for families?

There are none… In fact, when well-informed AAU coaches or HS coaches offer assistance and guidance, the media and the general public at large are quick to condemn them as “interfering handlers” or, worse, self-centered “pimps.” The cry is to “let the market prevail in a fair and unfettered manner”…

To sum up… Helping athletic directors = good… Helping families = bad…

It’s a highly hypocritical position to hold… Shit makes NO sense…

These days, presidents and athletic directors rarely rely on their own contacts and instincts… They don’t perform their own due diligence… Parents, however, are forced to go it alone in many cases…

The cabal works in the shadows…

Very little is said about the way university administrators use search firms to shield access to their decision-making process. Arguably, search firms are used to favor some groups and exclude qualified candidates from full consideration.

If a candidate is not on the search firms short list, he has absolutely no shot! He can’t even get a fucking phone interview…

Search firm dealings are Top Secret! They clandestinely develop lists of coaching candidates and put out feelers to “preferred candidates” without divulging any information, should the match not be made. Search firms also prevent problematic situations for coaches under contract at other institutions. Their names are usually not revealed as applicants for said opportunity, preventing awkward conversations with current employers. Perhaps, most importantly, an athletic director can place the blame for what could be a future bad decision on the search firm thus save his own ass.

Compare that to the situation faced by families. Every single offer a family receives from a D1 coach is immediately broadcast on several recruiting websites, college message boards, twitter, instagram, local newspapers, etc. Everyone knows the family’s business… Everyone knows which coaches are vying for their child’s services. If they turn down an offer, everyone knows… Unlike, presidents and athletic directors, families have no one to blame for what could be a future bad decision. The media and the general public hold families accountable for their decisions.

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Shit ain’t fair… We need search firms for families!

Such firms could lead parents to selecting certain coaches in manner similar to the way universities are led to preferred candidates. Search firms could match parents of elite Black prospects with Black coaches, programs that have high Black student-athlete graduation rates and/or programs with Blacks in leadership positions.

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Of course such intervention would foster heated discussions among the media and university athletic administrators. Such outcomes would be vilified… The media would predictably condemn a process whereby “middle  men” steer prospects to certain coaches…

The same media  is largely silent while “middle men” steer presidents and athletic director to certain coaches…

I call BULL SHIT!!

These consultants offer a mix of headhunting, background checks and other services formerly performed by Athletic Directors. Cost is no object for NCAA D1 institutions.

At the same time, those offering similar “consulting services” to families are commonly labelled pimps and handlers…

But who is truly pimping the game? According to USA Today, Texas paid the search firm Korn Ferry $267,000 for services associated with the hiring of football coach Charlie Strong. Three years earlier Colorado State paid about $320,000 for a company to run its football coaching search.

Tennessee coughed up $50,000 plus expenses for Collegiate Sports Associates to oversee its men’s basketball coaching search which yielded Rick Barnes. George Mason paid $50,000 paid to Parker Executive Search to help them hire Dave Paulsen away from Bucknell. More recently, N.C. State paid $90,000 to Parker Executive Search to help hire Kevin Keatts and Missouri paid $80,000 to Parker Executive Search to help hire Cuonzo Martin.

Street-agents and handlers ONLY look out for themselves we are told… They do a lot of self dealing… Right?

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Well… Last year Quinnipiac University used the Chicago-based search firm, DHR to hire its athletic director. This year, Quinnipiac fired its men’s basketball coach -Tom Moore. DHR receives the contract to replace him. DHR targeted Villanova Assistant Baker Dunleavy (pictured above) who was recently announced as the Head Coach. Meanwhile, Ashley Howard, also an Villanova Assistant (pictured below), is, apparently, not on the search firm short lists for some reason… SMH…

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Hmmmmm… Pretty sweet arrangement for DHR…

Many hardworking single Moms have no awareness of the differences between low-major, mid-major and high-major programs… They don’t know the Big 10 and from the SWAC… They don’t know how to research NCAA Academic Progress Rates… In too many cases, Dad is not involved… Mom may be working two or more jobs trying to keep food on the table…

These folk need help making extremely difficult choices among D1 football and basketball coaches. In my opinion, low to moderate income Black families need help with these decisions waaaaaaaay more than white guys running $20-$200 million dollar athletic departments.

I’m just saying…