2017 Tru Ballaz PreSeason
By Brett Wilson @brettwilson715 and Derrick Irving @BC_Recruits
This year Tru Ballaz celebrated it’s ten year anniversary. Maxwell “Bingo” Cole is the tournament director, and he has grown Tru Ballaz into the premier preseason tournament in The Bronx. Bingo says that the tournament continues to attract teams from NYC and surrounding areas, both public schools and private /catholic schools. With a steady stream of coaches at the ready, Bingo said the future is looking good and the best is still yet to come. Over the years, hundreds of New York City’s top players have been able to gear up their game before the start of high school season.
The tournament consists of 24 teams with 12 making the playoffs. Games are played FDA III and Eagle Academy in The Bronx. This year the following teams made the playoffs: Mt. St. Michael, St. Raymond, All Hallows, Eagle, Stepinac, Wings, Iona Prep, TMA, Brooklyn Law, Cardinal Hayes, Monsignor Scanlan and Christ The King who suddenly dropped out due to travel conflicts.
The 2017 Tru Ballaz Playoffs kicked off on Tuesday, October 17, these are the players we noticed in the first and second round:
Josh Alexander 2018 6’8 center Iona Prep - good rebounder. Will give you second chance points on the offensive glass. Decent at passing the ball out of the post. Good in the post with when he gets deep position. Showing the potential to develop more perimeter abilities. Needs to be more aggressive post defender and not allowing the post entry pass.
Sal Koureissi 2018 6’9 forward Iona Prep - emerging with the ability to shoot the 3pt shot. Decent rebounder. Runs the floor and he can get above the rim. Has some ability to put the ball on the deck but he needs to work more with his dribble if he is looking to step away from basketball and have more perimeter responsibilities.
Bryce Wills 2019 6’6 wing Iona Prep - solid player. Has triple threat ability. Good agility and athletism. Active defender. Has increased muscle and still developing which will add to his talent level. Can make plays and passes off the dribble. Needs to be a more vocal leader on the court.
Zedric Ferral 2018 6’0 guard Iona Prep - good with his dribble drive. Good control with his dribble. See’s the floor and can be effective with his passes. Will give a good effort on defense. Needs to be more aggressive with the mid range shot.
Romar Reid 2018 6’0 guard Iona Prep - can hit open shots. Decent feel for the game. Makes good plays. Can handle the rock. Good energy on defense. Needs to be athletic at the basket.
Moumadou Nimaga 2019 6’0 guard Wings Academy - plays hard. Not afraid and likes to attack the basket. Good with his dribble drive. Decent enough floater when driving the lane. Will defend you hard. Needs to develop his shooting ability and his ability to finish with his weak hand.
Omar Silverio 2018 6’2 guard St. Raymond HS - combo guard. Has 3pt shooting range. Good with his dribble. Effective with the pass. Good skill level. Needs to stay consistent.
Dallas Watson 2018 6’2 guard St. Raymond HS - quality player. Has nice offensive moves. Good court awareness. Knows how to set up his teammates. Can be a scorer. Good on the fast break. Needs to active on his one on one defense.
Darius Lee 2018 6’6 forward St. Raymond HS - can finish plays when he gets the ball at the basket. Effective rebounder. Moves well in the post. Knows how to catch the ball in some traffic. Needs to create more offense for himself.
Demarco Watson 2020 6’3 guard St. Raymond HS - good guard skills. Can handle the ball. Has the ability to pull up in the paint with a shot or floater. Average defender. Needs to work harder on 3pt shooting.
Ibrahim Whattara 2020 6’5 forward Mt. St. Michael HS - strong body. Aggressive player. Goes hard for rebounds. Plays hard on defense. Can finish at the rim. Needs to develop more on the perimeter.
Truth Harris 2019 5’11 guard Mt. St. Michael HS - good handle. Has some shake and bake moves. Will beat you off the dribble. He is always working to make plays. Can get to the basket. Needs to be a better shooter.
Michael Green 2019 5’9 guard Mt. St. Michael HS - good passer. Not afraid to dribble under pressure. Good ability to play fast and push the tempo. Needs to be a better shooter.
Danny DeCosta 2018 6’3 guard Monsignor Scanlan HS - shows versatility in his game. Can score when in rhythm. Has the strength to finish with contact. Doesn’t mind being a rebounder. Needs to be a consistent 3pt shooter.
Matt Mayers 2020 6’7 forward Monsignor Scanlan HS - young player with good length. Has a good offensive mindset when he gets the ball. Gets decent position in the post. Decent footwork. Needs to be more aggressive so he can get more touches.
Rodney Bailey 2020 5’6 point guard Monsignor Scanlan HS - good speed. Can beat you in transition when he is pushing the ball. Plays hard. Has the ability to get into the lane. Needs to get his shot off over the bigger defenders.
Joe Toussaint 2019 5’10 point guard Cardinal Hayes - one of the top guards in NYC, confident floor general who knows when to the push the pace and when to slow it up, quick and tight handle keeps defenders off balance, strong athletic finisher, tough perimeter defender, non stop motor on both ends. Needs to distribute more.
Tyrese Williams 2018 6’2 shooting guard Cardinal Hayes -a tacks the basket strong, quick first step, good form and balance on his pull-up jumper. Needs to be a more consistent shooter from 3. Committed to Quinnipiac University
Adam Cisse 2019 6’9 Center Cardinal Hayes - shows good footwork in the post, comfortable taking an outside shot, great emotion and energy on the court, decent rebounder. Needs to be more disciplined on defense and work on his outside shot.
TJ Reaves 2018 5’11 point guard Cardinal Hayes - good 3pt shooter, shifty handle, pesky perimeter defender, sneaky athleticism. Needs to gain muscle.
Joel Soriano 2019 6’10 center Archbishop Stepinac - rim protector allows no easy baskets down low, runs the floor very well for his size, good rebounder. Needs to be more aggressive on offense and gain weight.
RJ Davis 2020 5’11 point guard Archbishop Stepinac - high IQ floor general gets everyone involved, throws sharp passes, good court vision loves to get the ball up court quickly, moves well without the ball, quick hands on defense. Needs to be a more consistent shooter.
Xavier Wilson 2018 6’7 small forward Archbishop Stepinac - good rhythm on his jumper and can knock down 3’s, athletic finisher who invites contact on the drive. Needs to work on his handle.
Eduard Minaya 2019 5’11 guard Archbishop Stepinac - goes all out on defense, can get hot from three point range, hustles for loose balls. Needs to become more of a point guard.
AJ Griffin 2021 6’3 wing Archbishop Stepinac - long arms and good discipline on defense, good handle will get better with more experience. Very raw offensively but shows good potential.
Malcolm Chimezie -2021 6’5 forward Archbishop Stepinac -long arms, nice athletic frame, very raw but has the physical attributes to be a good player with more experience
Larry Moreno 2018 5’11 point guard Brooklyn Law and Tech - quick and crafty scorer, creates good separation with his crossover, confident shooter from 3 with a quick release, lefty. Needs to put on muscle to be more effective on the drive and finishing thru contact. Committed to St Francis College (NY)
Victor Ogbo 2018 6’5 forward Brooklyn Law and Tech - tough interior defender uses long arms to contest and block shots, positions himself well on the offensive glass, can finish thru contact, relentless rebounder. Needs to get more trim and increase his vertical.
David Grady 2018 6’5 small forward Brooklyn Law and Tech - can defend positions 1-4, displays good discipline on defense, good timing on his blocks, very explosive leaper (almost caught a nasty poster off the vert!), potential to be a point forward. Needs to be a more consistent shooter.
Donald Hartley 2018 5’10 point guard All Hallows - quick and shifty guard that throws strong passes, has good passing skills and court vision, can finish around defenders on the drive, quick hands on defense. Needs to work on his pull-up jumper.
Joel Simpson 2019 6’0 guard All Hallows - attacks the basket strong, can get up and hammer it down despite his size (got a steal and a nice breakaway dunk), good defensive instincts, plays hard and hustles on D. Needs to be a more consistent shooter.
Nick Johnson 2019 6’2 wing All Hallows - attacks the basket strong, create driving lanes, adept at drawing fouls on the drive, good free throw shooter. Needs to have more faith in his jumper and be more consistent.