Archive for the ‘ basketball jobs ’ Category

The inaugural NC Top 80 was held on March 29, 2014 in Greensboro, NC and I wasn’t able to fully scout the event due to the fact that we were broadcasting six of the games live on NetCast Sports Network, but I still had quite a few notes and I’m putting up them here broken out by each game to try and make it as easy to review as possible. Today I’m posting my notes from Game Four. Note: This is the second game of the day in which we broadcast Team 8, so my notes on those players are the same as previously published.

UPDATE: #60 was listed as Shaun Kirk on the broadcast from the event roster, but was replaced at the last minute by James Dickey, 6’9″, 2015 from Word of God.

Game Four:

Full Event Roster

The fourth game we broadcast on the day was Team 6 vs. Team 8, with the following rosters:

Team 6
# Name Class Height School
1 Isaiah Blackmon 2015 5’11” West Charlotte HS
19 Michael Heuitt, Jr. 2017 6’1″ Village Christian
20 Demetrius Troy 2016 6’1″ Word of God
21 Jalen Harris 2016 6’1″ Greenfield
31 Kwe Parker 2016 6’2″ Trinity Christian
41 Akeem Tate 2016 6’3″ Green Hope
42 Telligence Johnson 2017 6’3″ Terry Sanford HS
42 Kylia Sykes 2016 6’5″ Trinity Christian
58 Rayjon Tucker 2015 6’5″ Northside Christian
71 Rob Brown 2015 6’8″ Millbrook HS
79 Hunter Seacat 2015 6’9″ Lake Norman HS

Team 8
# Name Class Height School
3 Alex Hunter 2017 5’8″ Leesville Rd
10 Jalen Sanders 2016 6′ North Rowan
23 Rob Whitfield 2016 6’1″ Wake Christian
32 Jaylen Fornes 2016 6’2″ Word of God
33 Greyson Kelley 2015 6’2″ Leesville Rd
34 Dennis Smith, Jr. 2016 6’2″ Trinity Christian
35 Ray Kowalski 2016 6’2″ Concord
45 Ian Boyd 2016 6’3″ Apex HS
60 James Dickey 2015 6’9″ Word of God
73 Lonzia Tyson 2015 6’8″ Trinity Christian
77 Isaiah Whaley 2016 6’9″ Ashbrook

Kylia Sykes (G/F, 6’5″, 2016) Athletic wing who showed a versatile game on the offensive end and an ability to play above the rim. Definitely a college prospect and one to keep an eye on.

Jalen Harris (G, 6′, 2016) Star point guard with explosive athleticism. One of the best point guards at the event and a serious collegiate prospect.

Kwe Parker (G, 6’1″, 2016) Explosive – as in elite – athlete above the rim but also showed an ability to spot up and knock down open threes today. One of the top athletes in attendance.

Rayjon Tucker (G/F, 6’5″, 2015) Easily one of the top players on the entire day. Absolutely lit up opposing teams at times- from windmill dunks to finishing in traffic, Tucker was another player who showed he was one of the top prospects in the Southeast and should be considered a national recruiting prospect. Elite athleticism, excellent build and college size for the perimeter. High motor.

Rob Brown (C, 6’8″, 2015) Good hands, runs the floor and gets involved in multiple ways. Cleans up a lot of misses around the basket and versatile in the post.

Greyson Kelley (PG, 6′, 2016) High motor guard who goes full blast all day. Can get buckets, works hard on defense.

Dennis Smith, Jr. (G, 6’2″, 2016) Explosive guard who gets a lot of notoriety for his athleticism on the offensive end, but played really hard on the defensive end as well. Can play on or off of the ball. Elite athlete at the guard spot.

James Dickey (SF/PF, 6’9″) Good length and versatile. Made a lot of the little plays – stealing a pass on the interior or grabbing a loose board for the putback. Was involved all day. Has some upside, raw athleticism.

Jalen Sanders (G, 6′, 2016) Physically strong combo guard who is at his best going at the bucket and using his strength to finish. Plays older than a sophomore.

Want to watch all of the game replays from the NC Top 80? Check them out on NetCast Sports

Marcus Shockley scouts high school basketball in the southeast and nationally. Want the latest scouting insight? Follow Marcus on Twitter, right now.

ABA Summer Basketball League 2014

Basketball Ref Pro Basketball Circuit

Across the U.S., each new basketball season brings a bevy of fledgling minor league basketball teams, all looking to establish themselves in the world of semi-pro sports. Unfortunately, almost all of these teams will fold in less than one season. Some estimates place the number of failed basketball teams over the past decade as higher than 200.

For the newly forming Pro Basketball Circuit, the existing model is flawed. Minor league sports in the United States cannot draw enough attendance to support the professional model; even the NBDL, affectionately known as the ‘D-League’, cannot draw enough fan support to be considered successful, despite the fact that the league is a subsidiary of the NBA.

So what makes the PBC think they can succeed where so many have failed? For starters, the league intends to create a system where teams play tournament-style play, with several teams at a single location, eliminating much of the cost of travel that often spells doom for new franchises. The majority of minor league teams barely break even or suffer slight losses on each home game, but take it on the chin when they hit the road.

Additionally, the PBC breaks the level of play into multiple divisions, allowing teams to move up or down in competition. The PBC also will heavily manage and regulate many of the things that wreak havoc in minor leagues: scheduling, referees, transactions and rosters. Many minor league owners complain about the lack of organization among existing teams and leagues.

The league also has options for players who want to gain exposure but cannot afford to leave their current jobs and families to chase a roster spot overseas. The league is going to propose a system for those players that will allow them to band together and play in games which fit around their schedule.

While only in the early stages, it’s unclear if this new model is radically different than what has come before, and only time will tell. Players, coaches, agents and potential team owners can learn more about the PBC by visiting

Dre Baldwin: No Excuses

If you haven’t heard of Dre Baldwin, prepare to be impressed. Dre, known to his Twitter followers as @DreAllDay, is a self made professional basketball player and trainer, who went from barely making his high school team as a senior to playing on several pro teams in multiple countries just a few years later. Dre has written about of all his experiences and philosophies on his site,, and you should definitely check it out.

This week we caught up with Dre to get his thoughts on his own career but also to pick his brain on playing pro ball outside of the NBA.

Dre Baldwin

You have written extensively about your playing career overseas, and you’ve also written about how you didn’t make your high school basketball team until your senior year, and only got a little playing time. Can you pinpoint a moment or point in time when you felt that you could play professionally?

Definitely. In my senior year of high school (after basketball season), I went to a tryout for a team in the Sonny Hill League, the biggest and best amateur league in Philadelphia. This is the same league Kobe played in when he & his family returned from living in Europe, same league Wilt Chamberlain dominated, Dajuan Wagner, any big-name player form Philly or the surrounding area, played in Sony Hill in high school, guaranteed. All of the best players in Philadelphia were there at this particular tryout which was more like a practice for all of them, these were the guys who never got cut from basketball teams. There were so many of us that they actually had to split it up into two teams. The club was sponsored by Philly legend and former NBA player Aaron McKie. This team was so talented, you could’ve grabbed the newspaper, ticked off the names on the all-city hoops teams and used it for roll call at practice, seriously. I wrote about this experience in my book Buy A Game (which is free in PDF version) One of my teammates on this team was Eddie Griffin, who (at the time) set the Philly scholastic scoring record, went on to Seton Hall and the NBA as the 7th pick — he died in a car crash a few years ago while with the Timberwolves. Eddie was so dominant that coach Joh Hardnett (another Philly legend in coaching who died a couple years ago) brought in Kevin Freeman — then a power forward at UCONN — to guard Eddie all practice.

Anyway, playing against those guys, I was making plays — dunking, getting a steal here or there, making a jumper — to the point that even though none of them knew me, I was respected to some degree. I didn’t even play much and we didn’t practice often once the games began, but the experience of just being there, amongst players so good, so confident, was huge for me. David Thorpe of ESPN talks about this: the best way for a player to improve is to be playing with/against guys better than him, every single day. Almost all of those guys went D1 the following fall. That experience was my turning point. Their energy, their confidence, rubbed off on me.

Knowing what you know now, what is a piece of advice or information that you wish someone had given you when you before you started trying to be a professional player?

Nothing really. I knew what I was up against — D3 school, no great video, unimpressive stats — I knew I’d have to hustle my way in the door, sell myself to the fullest, and then deliver. But I’m better at hustling and selling than I am at hoops! Haha… so I knew I’d end up where I wanted to be, one way or another. Players these days need to understand these realities and know that no one gives a damn about what you want or need or are dreaming about. Pro sports is an adult business, so be an adult and take 100% responsibility for your outcomes. No hand-holding here.

What is the biggest misconception you see from players who want to be professional basketball players?

That playing overseas is like their local LA Fitness pickup run, weekend pickup game, or that because they scored 30 in some rec league (against a team who had an overseas player, even), that they can go play overseas. If that were the case a lot of ball players would be playing for money, if that’s all there was to it. First off it’s a business — you have to get in the door before you get on the floor (which is the real hard part). And once you’re in, understand that every country and league is unique — some leagues, like Mexico, want Americans to go wild, scoring 30-40 points and shooting every time marks you as “good” even if you team gets killed. I know because I did it: I once led a tournament in scoring — shooting every time, EVERY TIME — playing center for my undermanned club, and was an absolute star out there, even though my club didn’t come close to winning a game. In Montenegro, on the other hand, the team is the star. One on one play is frowned upon — it will get you benched immediately. your job is to help the team win, regardless of your stats (or if you even play much). I was clearly the best player we had in Montenegro yet never started a game.

Given that the U.S. minor league basketball system is often considered inferior for players who want to earn money outside of the NBA, what are your thoughts on the NCAA and the current thought that the lack of a true farm system for basketball is due to the collegiate teams serving this role, and what are your thoughts on whether players in the NCAA should be compensated beyond scholarships?

We could go back and forth on that topic forever, but the fact is this: The best way to get to the NBA, for an American basketball player, is through the NCAA. And until someone comes along with a better option, the NCAA will be the route most will take. Personally I think a 2-year minimum should be the requirement, which indirectly mandates players be real students: you can’t BS through 3 semesters of college courses and still be eligible, but you can BS through one semester (like a one-and-done player could do now, since the last spring semester wouldn’t matter when you’re leaving early). On top of a 2-year requirement, allow high school-to-the-NBA again. Baseball players, gymnasts, and golfers skip college routinely and no one cares. The fact that these are young Black men making the NBA millions is a factor, whether one wants to admit it or not. If an individual wants to enter the working world at 17 or 18, so be it, who’s to say (s)he can’t? You mess up, you mess up. Live your life and the choices you made.

Do I think NCAA players should be paid? Not until some system that makes sense comes along. Understand that basketball and football are, for the most part, the only two sports that turn a profit, they pay for the other sports to even exist. The volleyball and golf team should not be paid a cent. And some players contribute more than others. So that must be factored in, LeBron should get more than Joel Anthony. All players are not equal. The most capitalistic solution: pay players based on performance and have negotiations. Leave straight from HS if you wish, or stay for 2 years.

Further, look at what they do in Europe: when a player expresses interest in a sport, he’s put into a basketball program at age 14 or 15 and thats where he stays for 5-6 years until college or the NBA comes calling, or the pro club he’s been with in Europe. You specialize early in Europe, unlike our one-size-fits-all educational system which is at the root of all of this, actually. An entire other discussion, haha…

One thing that’s obvious from the writing on your site and in your book that you are a prolific reader and an excellent communicator. Do you feel this has been an advantage in your professional pursuits?

Thank you and very much yes. I honestly don’t use anything I was taught in college in my current life — basketball, online, marketing, anything. And I have a business management/marketing degree from Penn State University. The American educational system is designed to create employees, nothing more. The world we are in now is nothing like the 60s and 70s, when this educational system was created. There’s no school for creating a website and marketing yourself, or using social media to get your message out, or handling competitors in business, or sales of any sort. Schools can’t or don’t teach any of this. But all of those things exist — heavily — in our current world. Again, another topic…
To answer your question, I read a lot. Websites, blogs, magazines, books. That’s been my real education, along with real-life experiences and human interactions. School cannot teach you how to communicate a message clearly, or how to explain a complicated concept in a way anyone can understand, or how to sell to a person who didn’t even know they needed what you’re offering. Those are life skills. School teaches employee skills. Books and life are the real educators.

Is there any person or persons outside of the world of sports who you admire, or see as influential?

I look to business people, not athletes. Since I have grown up with hip hop — my dad blasted Public Enemy and Poor Righteous Teachers as far back as I can remember — I look to the moguls and the business they do, Not the moves themselves, per se, since I’m not a musician — but the principles. Sean Combs (Diddy), Shawn Carter (Jay-Z), Curtis Jackson (50 Cent), Russell Simmons come to mind. Steve Jobs, Tim Ferriss, Robert Greene, Tucker Max are others, either from their lives or their writings or both. As far as athletes, not really. Becoming a superstar athlete is like winning the lottery and not everyone can win it, no matter what efforts you put in. Can you game-plan to do what Michael Jordan has done with Jordan Brand? or LeBron or DWade or Kobe or Beckham? No. They didn’t plan it, or strategize, until they realized they’d won the lottery. So I don’t look up to any athletes.

You’ve written about how players can balance school and sports, something we’ve written about on Basketball Elite quite a bit. Do you feel this is an area that is lacking in how we approach high school athletics?

No, I think people using that “finding time” excuse are just lazy. Fact: there are 24 hours in a day. You don’t “find” time for things, no one in history has ever had a 25-hour day. You make time. If it is important, you will get it done. If not, you will find excuses. Simple as that. How much TV are you watching, video games are you playing, how long are you hanging with friends doing nothing?

Bakersfield Jam Logo

BAKERSFIELD, August 10, 2013 – The Bakersfield Jam announced today that the team will hold five sets of open tryouts for the 2013-14 season. Tryouts will be held in Bakersfield and in its NBA affiliate markets (Los Angeles, Phoenix, Atlanta and Salt Lake City).

The first tryout will be held in Los Angeles on September 7th and 8th, followed by Phoenix (Sept. 21-22), Salt Lake City (Sept. 28-29), Atlanta (Oct. 5-6) and Bakersfield (Oct. 12-13).

Open tryouts offer athletes an opportunity to showcase their talents in front of Jam coaches and front office personnel while they compete to earn a position in the team’s official training camp, which is scheduled to take place in November.

Interested players should submit completed registration forms along with $150 non-refundable participation fee to the Jam office. Participants who register after the pre-registration deadline (listed on registration form) or day-of registration will be charged $200.

For registration forms and additional information, please visit or call 661-679-7932.

John Karaffa is the president of Pro Sport CPA, and one of the top accountants for professional athletes. Here he talks about what his company does for sports stars and some tips for athletes about to turn pro.

Elijah Johnson (PG, 6’4″) of Kansas talks to us about the Portsmouth Invitational and what he’s working on right now to try and further his basketball career with a pro gig somewhere.

Seth Curry Duke

By James Blackburn

Game Scouted: Duke @ Wake Forest

Duke Wins 75-70

Box Score

Seth Curry (6’2”, G, SR)

7-17 FG, 1-6 3 pt FG, 6-7 FT, 2 reb, 2 assist, 1 TO, 1 blk, 21 TP

Came out and really impacted the game on the defensive end, which I did not expect. Defended well overall this game, as he was active in the passing lanes, took some charges as the help defender, moved his feet, and even blocked a jump shot. Did a decent job of staying in front of C.J. Harris for Wake and contesting shots (C.J. was not 100% tonight and looked hampered with the goggles he has been wearing after an eye injury sustained against NC State). Most of Curry’s defensive contributions did not show up in the box score tonight, but he held C.J. to 4-12 shooting from the field and was active. Did not take any plays off on that end of the floor tonight.

Offensively, he was looking for his shot early on. He showed the ability to create his own shot by pulling up on the perimeter and had several drives to the basket as well, that he finished with lay-ups. Quick first step, better then I had thought coming in. Tremendous overall shooter, who is shooting better then 40 % from the field and from three, and is a plus 80% FT shooter for his career. Has a great release, rotation, follow through, he squares up nicely and is on balance and he can get it off against good defense with a quick release and by shooting the ball in rhythm. He showed he could hit shots from catch and shoot situations, coming off screens, off the dribble, and with feet set. When he misses, he follows his shot, and his misses are usually straight and off the back of the rim. Not just a 3 point shooter- hit several Rip Hamilton like mid range pull-ups from pin-down screens. Although he didn’t hit his first 3 until 2:45 remaining in the game after missing his previous 5 attempts from deep, he had the confidence to hit a huge 3 to put his team ahead at a critical part of the game.

Wouldn’t classify him as a playmaker, but he did show nice touch on an alley-oop pass to Plumlee when help came on a drive to the basket. Solid frame- looks bigger in the arms then the last year- is stronger.

Although it was not a big problem for Curry in this game, the fact that he is an under-the-rim type player with average athleticism at best, is going to hurt his ability to finish inside at the next level, similarly to what Duke alum Austin Rivers is experiencing now. He needs to improve his ball handling skills overall, is not capable at this point to advance the ball with pressure defense. Although he is a decent passer, he is not is not a PG and is not a playmaker, needs to develop in both of these areas. Questions then arise about what position he will play and defend at the next level.

Defensively he is content to switch all off the ball screens, which leads to him having to guard a bigger player- not going to work at next level. He did a decent job of staying in front of C.J. Harris this game, but C.J. was clearly not 100 % and I question his ability to defend NBA caliber PG’s.

Struggled shooting the three ball this game-missing his first 5 attempts from beyond the arc, but is a good shooter who Wake had to respect the entire game.

Curry struggled with his 3-point shot this game, but he played very well overall in my opinion, and was able to show off other parts of his game besides shooting because the Wake defenders ran him off the line. Played well despite suffering an ankle injury a couple weeks back against NC State. Curry did a solid job on the defensive end and his mistakes were minimal. Is having a career best year at Duke, averaging 16 ppg, which is second on team in scoring, and has helped Duke to 18-2 record. I believe he would be a solid pick for a team late in the second round. He will have trouble defending quicker PG’s and bigger SG’s but at worst he could be a knock down set shooter, and nearly every team could use one of those.

Although Curry is an undersized shooting guard with average speed and athleticism, all legit NBA concerns, he does bring consistent perimeter shooting, he comes from a good program, and he is going to work hard to improve every year, just like his brother did. He is a player you don’t have to worry about, as he is a high character guy, comes from a great family, and had a solid, consistent career for Duke for the past couple of years, after shining at Liberty as a freshman.

James Blackburn is the Director of Scouting for Basketball Elite and shares his reports with several NBA teams. You can follow James on Twitter right this second.

Carolina Cheetahs logo basketball

By James Blackburn

On Sunday October 9, 2011, 18 players converged at the Fleming Center on the campus of UNCG to compete on the last day of training camp for a coveted roster spot on the newly established Carolina Cheetahs of the American Basketball Association ( Players were put through a full 2 1/2 hour practice consisting of 3 on 2 drills, defensive closeout drills, and several inter squad scrimmages.

The team, which is coached by former NC State player and Winston-Salem State assistant, Tim Wells, will begin its season on November 19th against the Lynchburg Legends. The Fleming Center, which holds about 1800 spectators, will be used as the home gym for the Cheetahs. Here are some of the top performers that I noticed today.

Top Players

Dupree Hall (6’6”, 190 lb, East Mississippi)

Long and lanky player. Very athletic player who plays above the rim. Shot blocker. Active on the glass, especially on the offensive end. Limited a bit offensively, but shows potential.

Terrence Jones (6’6”, 250 lb, Livingstone)

Big and strong. Does a good job of establishing inside and deep position in the post. Has a solid back to the basket game, displaying a variety of moves, including hook shots, spin moves, and reverse lay ups. Has good footwork and is surprisingly agile for his size. Shot a few questionable shots in the scrimmage at the end, but will be a load to handle inside this season. This will be Jones 4th year playing in the ABA. Previous stints have included stops with the Charlotte Crossover and Fayetteville Flight.

Damien Goodman (6’6”, 205 lb, UNCP)

Hard worker, smart, and smooth- This is what Goodman’s game is about. Good inside/outside player- would be a great pick-and-pop guy. Showed the ability to guard bigger players in the post. Smart defender and with surprisingly quick hands. Runs the floor hard and gets a lot of easy buckets. Knows his role and excels at it. Seems to always be in the right place at the right time. Good shooter with feet set. Does a good job of drawing fouls. Great attitude. Played last season in Switzerland.

Landon Quick (6’0”, 175 lb, High Point University)

Smart- high basketball IQ. Floor general- controlled the pace. Solid ball handler. Does not try to do to much. Played last 2 seasons in Iceland.

Marsharee Neely (6’3”, 198 lb, Old Dominion University)

One of the best shooters in the gym today. Great set shooter from 3 point range. Lefty. Competes in drills and games. Athletic.

Rah-Shaun Davis (6’0”, 180lb, Hillsborough CC)

Quick and shifty, with the ability to break man down off dribble and create his own shot. A player who you want with the ball in his hands with the shot clock winding down. Good 3 point shooter. Played last season in Bosnia, where his team won the championship.

Bakersfield Jam


Tryouts to take place in Bakersfield and NBA Affiliate Markets (Phoenix & Toronto)
BAKERSFIELD, August 25, 2011 – The Bakersfield Jam announced today that the team will hold three sets of open tryouts for the 2011-12 season.

Detailed information for all is as follows:

˜ Phoenix Area – Saturday and Sunday, October 1 and 2:

o $150 pre-registration fee (arriving at Bakersfield Jam offices by Wednesday, September 28; $200 for after the pre-registration deadline and day-of registration).

o Location: Grand Canyon University located at 3300 West Camelback Road, Phoenix, AZ 85017.

o Registration begins at 8:30 am on October 1st, camp begins promptly at 9:45 am. Top 20 players will conclude camp with an All-Star Game on October 2nd from 10 am to 12 pm.

o Lodging: Quality Inn & Suites located at 202 East McDowell Road, Phoenix, AZ 85004. Room with 2 queen beds go for $71.20 + tax. To book group rate, please call 602-528-9100 and mention “Bakersfield Jam” or group acct # “100017.” Book before September 23rd to guarantee availability.

˜ Toronto Area – Saturday and Sunday, October 8 and 9:

o $150 pre-registration fee (arriving at Bakersfield Jam offices by Wednesday, October 5; $200 for after the pre-registration deadline and day-of registration).

o Location: Hoopdome located at 75 Carl Hall Road, Toronto, Ontario, M3K-2B9.

o Registration begins at 8:30 am on October 8th, camp begins promptly at 9:45 am. Top 20 players will conclude camp with an All-Star Game on October 9th from 10 am to 12 pm.

o Lodging: Days Hotel & Conference Centre- Toronto Airport East located at 1677 Wilson Avenue, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Room with 2 queen beds go for $78 + tax. For this group rate, please call 1-800-267-0997 or 416-249-8171 and mention “Bakersfield Jam Tryout Camp.” Book before September 23rd to guarantee availability.

˜ Bakersfield Area – Saturday and Sunday, October 22 and 23:

o $150 pre-registration fee (arriving at Bakersfield Jam offices by Wednesday, October 19; $200 for after the pre-registration deadline and day-of registration).
o Location: Bakersfield Jam Events Center located at 1400 Norris Road, Bakersfield, CA 93308.
o Registration begins at 8:30 am on October 22nd, camp begins promptly at 9:45 am. Top 20 players will conclude camp with an All-Star game played on October 23rd from 10 am to 12 pm.

o Lodging: Bakersfield Marriott located at 801 Truxtun Avenue, Bakersfield, CA 93301. Contact Vanessa Emo at 661-565-9307 and mention “Bakersfield Jam Tryout Camp” for a special rate.

Open tryouts offer athletes an opportunity to showcase their talents in front of NBA Development League coaches while they compete to earn a position in the team’s official training camp, which is scheduled to take place in mid-November.

Applicants must be eligible to play in the NBA Development League and are required to pre-register by submitting the official tryout registration form, player release and eligibility form, disclosure and background check forms, credit card authorization form (if paying by credit card), along with a $150 nonrefundable fee. Tryout forms are available online ( Completed forms and entry fee must be mailed (Bakersfield Jam. Attn: Tryout Camp. 1400 Norris Road, Bakersfield, CA 93308) or faxed (661-615-6555) to secure a spot in the tryout camp. Participants who register after the pre-registration deadline or day-of registration will be charged $200.

Contact Bakersfield Jam Director of Player Personnel, Brian Levy, at 661-615-6550 or with any additional questions.