Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Teams from New York and New Jersey dominated the action this past weekend at the Hoop Group Jam Fest in Providence, winning the Gold and Silver brackets in both the U-17 and U-16 events.
**Despite playing without superstar Lance Stephenson, the Juice All-Stars won the U-17 Gold bracket, 69-61, over the Bingo All-Stars. Vincent Council led Juice with 16 points. Two other Lincoln stars, Devon McMillan and James Padgett also play for Juice. Stephenson, who appeared Monday night at the Tribecca Film Festival premiere of Adam Yauch’s new film, “Gunnin’ For That #1 Spot,” will make a guest appearance this weekend with Derrick Favors and the Atlantic Celtics when he visits Kansas for the Jayhawk Invitational.
**New Heights 2010, another New York program, won the U-17 Silver bracket despite playing up a year. That New Heights team features Bishop Loughlin star Jayvaughn Pinkston as well as the two players who recently transferred to Bob Hurley’s legendary St. Anthony program in Jersey City: Devon Collier and Ashton Pankey.New Heights beat Team Underrated, 71-70, behind a game-high 21 points from Collier and 19 from Harold McBride. Pankey did not play in the final.
**The Paterson Playaz represented New Jersey by taking the U16 Gold title with a 73-54 victory over the New England Playaz. Ryan Rhoomes, a 6-7 big man from Middletown, N.Y. led the Playaz with 16 points while Paterson Catholic sophomore Fuquan Edwin talled 14 points and 6 rebounds. The Playaz are loaded with talent and also feature Edwin’s teammates from Paterson Catholic’s Passaic County championship team, 6-6 T.J. Clemmings, 6-5 Jayon James, 6-3 Jermaine Peart and 6-5 Shaq Thomas. Edwin and Clemmings each hold offers from Rutgers and Seton Hall, while the others hold various offers. The Playaz also feature 6-2 sophomore Cameron Ayers of Germantown (Pa.) Academy, 5-11 junior Michael Celestin of Lenape (NJ) and 6-2 sophomore guard Isaiah Epps, who recently picked up a scholarship offer from Maryland coach Gary Williams.
**Team NJABC won the U-16 Silver bracket and features numerous New Jersey players, including Marcus Kennedy, a sophomore at St. Patrick of Elizabeth.
(Photos courtesy Maurice Wingate & Jay Gomes)
Adam Zagoria is a New York Times contributor and Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.