Would a minimum of 10 future McDonalds All-Americans catch you attention?
Would 6’10, 6’9, 6’8, & 6’7 players competing on Middle School basketball?
How about the top point guard in the class going head to head?
Maybe a sold out arena and standing room only for kids 14 and under?
Wait we know! Multiple cameras, top national scouts, college coaches, and some bigtime slam dunks!
Ok now that we have your attention; please note that we are not talking about a weekend tournament or camp – we are talking about one game. Not any game – the game that was entitled as “The Game of the Millennium”.
As the “kids” walked onto the floor the respective line-ups were bigger than many college teams, many of the players bodies already translate to the college level. As soon as the ball tipped the NYBL 2019 squad featuring national championship team members Wendall More and Kobe Langley immediately attacked relentlessly on both the offensive and defensive end; NYBL and personal pride seemed to the theme for the this group. Langley made and impact early and often as a defender, scorer, and facilitator; he did it all early and dictated the pace while getting easy basket for himself and teammates. The result of those effort allowed the NYBL to opened with a quick 7-1 run as the Nation squad struggled to find a rhythm.
Pressing off made baskets the NYBL consistently doubled the ball out of all point guard Marquise Walker (Illinois) – Sharif Kenney immediately stepped up as an offensive force to keep the Nation team in the game. The Mitchell twins Mahki and Mahkel had some good looks deep in the paint but were contained by some physical play and tough misses.
Jeremiah Francis controlled the tempo and showed off his offensive prowess in leading the NYBL team to an early 21-7 lead. Marvin Price (MD) enter the game and took the load off Kenney working the middle of the floor – very effective in this area the new class of 2019 left handed wing display the ability to work the perimeter as well as press the paint.
Balsa Koprivica was controlled for most of the first half by the combination of Tariq Ingram (DE) and the twin who contested everything coming in the paint. Controlling the 6’10 behemoth was a tough task and he had the early play of the game with a bigtime dunk off the low post. Mahki Mitchel handled the rock and found the open the spot as the Nation begin to figure out the dynamics of the NYBL’s trapping defense.
The NYBL took the lead into the half but as always, basketball is a game of runs. With National Championship caliber coaching on the NYBL bench from Keyford Langley and Demarko Bradley the Nations staff had its work cut out for them. National Select who brought in assistance Coach Bilco (Indiana MVP) and Coach Galloway (Culver Academy) to assist program director Coach Francis decided to meet pressure with pressure and to press the NYBL in the second to up the tempo and create turnovers.
The game plan starting out the second half proved to be successful; Christian DePollar and Makani Whiteside (CA) one of the most unheralded and most talented players in the class created a phenomenal change of pace stepped in and created turnovers and scoring opportunities to cut into the lead. Whitehead clearly is a versatile player who is a multiple category contributor and bigtime ball handler. Mahki and Mahkel begin to exert themselves as well controlling the offensive side within 15 feet and off beating the double team. Keon Brooks (Indiana) kept of the pressure dunking and showing off his total package skill set.
As the game moved into crunch time, big time players make big time shots – Marquise Walker found open men and cap it with a huge transition basket followed by 3-pointer from NBA range to cut the lead to 7 with 3 minutes to play. After a missed heat check by Walker and a tough miss in transition on a tough contest, time became a factor.
Jeremiah Francis who has had a fantastic end to his summer became a big factor down the stretch controlling the ball and tempo. A bigtime drive and finish along with a trey ball cut the lead to 4 with less than 20 seconds to play. After a time out Christian DePollar created a turnover and giving the Nation a chance to cut the game to one. Price shot from the top of the key with 5 seconds remaining and just missed – as the NYBL secured the rebound time expired giving them the victory.
As the NYBL portion of the day concluded no one in the gym was disappointed; Rob Taylor’s NYBL proved they were who they said they were. CP3 and All Ohio Red along with the G3 crew of Brooks and Dexter Shouse Jr. proved their metal as championship level players. Wendell Moore did it all and clearly was difference maker down as the game wound down scoring, passing and acting as a primary ball handler and distributor – Moore again affected the game in all areas event when he wasn’t scoring – a clear cut top player in the class. As well Sharif Kenney showed why his is considered by many to be a top player in country effective at all three levels and Korbin Spencer (KY) and came in and displayed the hard work ethic and skill set he is becoming nationally known for.
The MVP honors went to Marquise Walker and Kobe Langley proving the value of the point guards even at the highest level and with giants on the court.
A 4 point NYBL win follow by a Nation’s win in the first game was the perfect ending to what will remain forever two of the greatest games of all time. The only hope is this is the first of many game to be played between two of the best entities in middle school basketball.
The final question remains is how do you top this? Follow in the NYBL as it enters its 3rd season and USA National Select for the answers. Game of the Millennium? Yeah, without question.
Just remember this was just the Saturday morning - stay tune for continued converge - and don't forget P2bball.com National Rankings will be released Monday September22nd