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NYBL Session I: What We Learned
by Spencer Pulliam, Future150 (11:16 AM CT, Wed March 26, 2014)
Teams throughout North America are participating in the NYBL
Teams throughout North America are participating in the NYBL
Spencer Pulliam
Spencer Pulliam:

GM / National Sr. Analyst

District Heights, MD (Future150) -- The National Youth Basketball League (NYBL) returned to action over the weekend, as many of the top teams from across North America made the trip to the outskirts of Washington, D.C. to participate.

The second-year league returned the core of its 2019 division, and the now seventh grade group has added even more competition to the field. The league also introduced a new sixth grade division, and the teams on hand from the Class of 2020 were also impressive.

Here are ten topics worth noting from the opening weekend of the 2014 National Youth Basketball League:

The NYBL Is Great For Youth Basketball

Nothing trumps experience. Despite only being in its second year of existence, the people involved with the NYBL have dedicated many years to middle school basketball, and all the participating teams and coaches seem to have bought into the concept. I’m all for organization and positivity in youth basketball and the NYBL provides that and more. Parents and players were excited, and the atmosphere was special. Rarely is so much talent under one roof. If I'm a shoe company interested in getting involved in youth hoops, my first call is to these guys. I'm hopeful the NYBL will become a staple of the middle school travel circuit. If it does, perceptions of basketball at this level will change for the better.

Nobody Talking About All-Ohio Red... Until Now

Most of the people I spoke with about the NYBL's 2019 division were excited to see at least one team in particular during the opening weekend. However, nobody mentioned All-Ohio Red. In an attempt to find something newer and something better, most have forgotten that this is the same squad that won the inaugural NYBL Championship last year. So how did they look? One of only a handful of teams that left Session I unbeaten, the seventh grade group once again appears to be the favorite to make a run to another NYBL title.

Canada's Next Star Emerges

From a scouting and evaluation standpoint, nothing gets me more excited than to find an unknown prospect. Identifying and projecting talent before the masses is one of the main reasons I work almost exclusively with younger players. That said, opening weekend at the 2014 NYBL provided a special memory for me within the 2019 class. Watching seventh grader Rowan Barrett, Jr. of Brampton, Ontario, Canada play for the first time was one of the many highlights from Session I. will have more on him later in the week, but in short, this current seventh grade prospect has a chance to ascend to the top of the list when the next national rankings are released.

South Division Dominates NYBL's Class Of 2019 Division

It only took one weekend for the South Division to again establish itself as the power of the NYBL. The eight team group combined for a 33-7 record at Session I as the Carolina Chaos (NC), Reach Higher Kings (GA), South Carolina Hornets (SC), and Team United (NC) all went 5-0. The 2013 sixth grade AAU National Champions CP3 All-Stars (NC) went 4-1, losing a rematch of last year's AAU title game to Express Elite (TX), in their opening NYBL contest.

Team Rio Responds To My Statement With Strong Showing

Apparently I provided some unintentional bulletin board material for Team Rio (NJ) when I made the statement that the CP3 All-Stars (NC) 'dismantled' the team at a recent tournament hosted by the New Jersey-based club. The Class of 2019 squad responded by finishing 4-1 at Session I of the NYBL, with their only loss to All-Ohio Red, occurring at the very beginning of the weekend. They're well-coached, have at least a trio of prospects worthy of national recognition, and are currently in a three-way tie atop the North Division standings. This is far from the last time this team will be mentioned throughout the spring and summer.

George Hill's Program Is Full Of Rising Stars

There has been much dissension within Indiana's 2019 class in recent seasons on the travel circuit, as many of the top players have been spread across multiple teams. This year, it appears the majority of the better prospects identified to date are suiting up with the G3 Rising Stars (IN) seventh grade team, and that's great news. The group made a strong debut, going 4-1 on the opening weekend, and find themselves in a tie for second place in the East Division headed into Session II of the NYBL.

West Coast Makes The Most Of Their Cross-Country Trip

Two of the top teams in the NYBL's sixth grade division are clearly the Oakland Soldiers (CA) and West Coast All-Stars (CA). Combined, the two clubs traveled more than 10,000 miles to make the round trip to opening weekend at the NYBL, and will travel nearly 50,000 miles combined to complete the 2014 NYBL season. The result was a combined 9-1 start, as Oakland Soldiers stand alone atop the West Division at 5-0, and West Coast All-Stars are a close second at 4-1 overall. will have more on the teams' individual talents later this week.

Premier Sweeps Session I In 2020 Class

The D.C. Assault organization has undergone some reorganization and the result is the emergence of the D.C. Premier program. In the Class of 2020, the former Assault squad picked up where they ended last season, posting a perfect 5-0 record at their NYBL debut. The current sixth grade group leads the NYBL's North Division and joined the Oakland Soldiers (CA) as one of only two clubs to escape the opening session unscathed.

Local Talent Shines In North Division Match-Up

'DMV' stands for 'D.C.-Maryland-Virginia', and refers to the areas encompassing and surrounding the nation's capital. The region is a known hoops hotbed and produces some of the country's best basketball prospects annually. On Sunday, at the opening session of the 2014 NYBL, two local programs from the area clashed. In a heated contest, Team Glory (DC/VA) defeated Banneker Kings (MD), but the game provided more than just a winner and a loser. Both teams high-level play proved that the DMV is still the place to look for up-and-coming talent. It shouldn't come as a surprise that D.C. Premier, Banneker Kings, and Team Glory made their region proud, boasting a combined record of 12-3 at Session I of the NYBL, and start a respective 1-2-3 in the NYBL's 2020 North Division.

Brighter Days Ahead For Butler Elite

Veteran NBA forward Caron Butler, a native of Racine, Wisconsin, is the sponsor and namesake for current seventh grade squad, 'Butler Elite'. The group made their NYBL debut, finishing a respectable 3-2 on the weekend, and tying for fourth place in the current East Division standings. But the Class of 2019 club has a lot more to offer. They have a centerpiece, and national-caliber prospect in 6-foot-8 Nobal Days, who should only continue to improve. With his growth, expect the team to adjust to the rigors of the NYBL, and emerge as a potential sleeper down the stretch.


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