2022 GymRat Challenge Tournament Standouts
Excerpted from the 2022 GymRat Challenge Report by Steve Amedio, GymRat Challenge Director of Communications
Halfmoon, NY – the GymRat Challenge, 2022 tournament took place over Memorial Day Weekend, below are RecruitTheBronx.com players who drew notice
11th Grade Division All Tournament Team
Jah’likai King 6-0 guard, Swish/Newburgh Free Academy: A jet-quick guard who can get anywhere on the court via his physical strength, quickness and dribbling ability. Showed off his scoring prowess with big basket after big basket down the stretch of the Gold Bracket title-game victory with many clutch hoops coming against players at least six inches taller. Scores in bunches. Also showed an ability to make long-range shots. Extremely effective coming off ball screens and pulling up from the perimeter. Multiple 20-plus point games here. Plays in a program that demands defensive excellence, and King delivered that here, as well. Only solid offer so far is from D2 New Haven, but more expected to come quickly.
Matteo Cervone 6-5 wing, Chris Ward Basketball Green/Haldane H.S.: An undersized forward with good hands and feet and uses them well on both ends. Extremely aggressive on the glass at either board. Will look to post up smaller guards and is also capable of attacking bigs off the dribble. Showed off a very nice-long jumper from long range. Lebanon Valley, Williams, Trinity have shown interest.
Kevon Clarke 6-2 guard, Tribe Starz/Cambria Heights Academy: Super athletic off guard, plays above the rim. A versatile defender and turns a lot of steals into transition points. Explosive first step and finishes through contact. High court IQ, makes the right passes. Knows when to shoot and when to pass. Creates openings for teammates and delivers the ball to them. Alfred U. is interested.
Gavyn Pacheo 5-9 guard, Kings Basketball/John Jay H.S.: An extremely hard-working combo guard who can get past defenders and into the lane to create shots for teammates. Made some outstanding decisions handling the ball while at the point here. Always seems to deliver a good pass to open teammates. Uses quickness rather than size to finish in the lane with crafty moves.
Lukas Sotell 6-2 wing, CT Energy/Stamford H.S.: A very highly skilled combo guard/forward who has an ability to score at all three levels. Also an outstanding ball handler who gets past defenders to score or create for teammates. Very quick first step to get into the paint and score or draw and dish. Showed an obvious court IQ on both ends of the floor while here.
Jehdi Frederique 6-7 center, CT Energy/Brien McMahon H.S.: Outstanding finisher at the rim who uses his height and strength to great effect. Just a very strong post player who can finish with either hand. A relentless rebounder on both ends of the floor. Defensively does outstanding work as a rim protector, he seeks out the opportunity to alter or block shots on defense.
CJ Riley 5-9 combo guard, 6th Boro Hoops/Scotland Campus School: A high-scoring guard who is extremely aggressive with the ball in his hands. Always on the attack. A streaky shooter right now, but can heat up in a hurry. Outstanding defensive intensity. Already an effective contributor who will be even better with work on his left-hand dribble that will enhance his quickness. Hearing from Morgan State, Delaware State.
Mo Kante 6-5 forward, 6th Boro Hoops/Wings Academy: A mismatch nightmare from the forward spot. Uses his versatility to attack from the perimeter and finish in the paint. Absorbs contact on drives. A very active rebounder who can take it off the defensive boards and lead the transition break. Needs range on his jumper to complement driving ability. Tough defender who guards multiple positions. Interest from Pratt CC.
Mason Moss 6-5 guard, Riverside Hawks/Fieldston School: A big, long guard who showed a nice court IQ here. Tough shot maker, difficult to guard due to use of his size to elevate over smaller guards. Good from three-point, but better with a 15-foot pull-up. Excellent scorer. If he can add the element of making plays for others he will be a standout college player. Hearing from D3 high academics including Williams, Amherst, Swathmore.
Greg Kenney 6-6 wing, Nassau Pride/frederick Gunn School: A long, smooth wing with great length. Very confident and is effective in the open floor. Outstanding finisher off the bounce to drive or to catch and finish. Nice handle for his size. Can play and defend almost any position on the floor due to his length and athleticism. Plans to prep at Frederick Gunn School next season.
Matt Garside 6-3 guard, Nassau Pride/Kings Park H.S.: A good sized guard already. Outstanding backcourt skills. Very confident three-pint shooter and makes more than his share. Gets into the paint and has a consistently good floater or a pull-up jumper from the mid-lane range. Plays hard at all times. Took on a lot of his team’s ball-handling responsibilities, clearly capable of playing either guard spot. Hearing mostly from NESCAC schools.
Omarion Miller 6-2 guard, AAVBC/We Believe Academy: Very athletic combination guard. Class of 2022 grad who appears headed to Wells College. Uses his athleticism in a variety of ways. Does a nice job of beating his man and getting into the paint. Showed off creativity on his finishes using either hand. Good footwork in the paint. If he smooths out his jumper he will be very tough to guard at the next level.
11th Grade Division Honorable mentions:
Chris Ward Jr. 5-9 guard, Chris Ward Basketball
JoJo Wallace 6-2 guard, Swish
Aiden Roy 6-2 guard, Chris Ward Basketball
Dillion Chenard 6-10 forward, NorthStar Naturals
Justyn Davis 6-5 forward, CT Energy
Mario Piarulli 5-10 guard, 6th Boro Hoops
Giuliano Camporini 5-8 guard, Nassau Pride
Kamron Elliott 5-9 guard, Nassau Pride
Mohammad Sylla 6-3 guard, Riverside Hawks
Brandon Kelly 6-3 guard, Riverside Hawks
Sebastian Medina 6-4 wing, Riverside Hawks
10th Grade Division All Tournament Team
Brendan O’Keefe 5-10 guard, 6th Boro Hoops/Regis H.S.: A quick point guard with a tight handle. Very small, but his quickness and IQ make him tough to guard. Very good shooter with good range. Can knock down outside shots on the catch and shoot, or off the dribble. Very good passer who finds open teammates. Showed off good change-of-speed moves to get himself free from defenders.
Billy Feeks 5-10 guard, Chris Ward Basketball/Yorktown H.S.: A high-energy guard that does a good job scoring at all three levels. Does a good job attacking the gaps and getting down hill to the rim. Can finish with either hand in the paint. A knock-down shooter if left open. Smooth jumper with a quick release and plenty of range. Very fast, but changes speeds very well to get into good areas on the floor.
Kyshiem Nelson 6-0 guard, Tribe Starz/Jamaica H.S.: A strong, explosive guard that plays at the rim effortlessly. Good playmaker that gets into the paint and creates for himself and teammates. Can finish in the paint in a variety of ways. Very adept with a floater, a pull-up and through contact at the rim. His framework to progress and become a dangerous outside shooter with some work.
Christian Davis 6-0 guard, Northstar Natural/Alexander Hamilton H.S.: Shoots right-handed, good ball-handler in transition and is a decent athlete. Got very hot from three-point range in one game here. Showed a nice shooting form and is always well-balanced, although he tends to lean a little too forward when he’s shooting. Working on attacking the rim rin with force. Limiting turnovers would elevate his game.
Malaki Smith 5-8 point guard, NY Finest/John Jay H.S.: A very quick and shift point guard with a great handle. Consistently got by defenders and broke defenses down with his left-to-right cross-over move. Can catch and shoot a bit from deep and has creative finishes using the glass on drives. Uses his quickness to jump passing lanes for deflections, steals on defense.
Josue Jimenez 6-0 point guard, ACC Payton/Abbott Tech High School: An attacking point guard who thrives in up-tempo. Extremely quick and plays under control. Can beat defenders off the dribble, is a solid passer and a good free-throw shooter. Not afraid to drive to the basket or drive and dish. Doesn’t mind physical play. Can shoot the three-pointer, but needs more consistency with it. Quick hands and feet on defense. Wide wingspan allows him to get into the passing lanes. Sees the floor well and finds the open man.
10th Grade Division Honorable Mentions
9th Grade Division All Tournament Team
Kaelon Commodore 5-10 guard, PHD 2025/St. Joe’s H.S.: A small guard who is very heady. Ha good speed and cat past on-ball defenders. Very good ball handler and is mostly under control. He can really get into the paint with limited amount of dribbles and creates for others. Very good passing instinct in pick-and-roll and drive-and-kick opportunities. Showed some ability to shoot spot-up three’s here, but a better off-the-dribble shot coming off pick and rolls would lift his game higher.
Aidan Shea 6-0 guard, PHD 2025/Fairfield Warde H.S.: A versatile player with good all-around skill set for a combo guard/wing. Good size, capable outside shooter. Also able to put the ball on the floor and create with off-the-dribble moves. If he learns to stop trying to avoid contact when he gets into the lane, he’ll wind up at the line a lot more often and be a more efficient offensive player.
Jack Pearlman 6-2 forward, Riverside Hawks/Hackley School: Very good hands, controls errant passes. Showed an ability to score at all three levels. He will effectively take slower opponents off the bounce. Capable of posting up smaller defenders. Efficient in catch-and-shoot opportunities. Gets shots off quickly around the paint to avoid having them blocked.
Johnny Roggendorf 6-4 forward, Nassau Pride/Great Neck South H.S.: Johnny is a outstanding jumper. Uses his length effectively on both ends of the court. He’s got a nice touch around the basket. When he fills out and matures physically, he is going to be an even more-effective force. He knows how to effectively box out and can get up when he goes and gets rebounds. Defensively, gets in a good stance and works at it.
Chavis Jaden 6-3 forward, NY Finest/Peekskill H.S.: A big bodied player who truly plays big. He runs the floor very well for his size. He gets back quickly when converting from offense to defense. Hustles, gets into position offensively and makes. his presence known there. Takes up space in the paint and is a very effective rebounder. Knows how to box out and, then, go get rebounds.
Casper Leary 5-9 guard, CT Energy/Weston H.S.: A good, strong guard. Exhibits real leadership skills on the floor. Gives 110 percent on every play. Never seems to rest. Plays outstanding defense, on the ball and in help situations. Strong around the rim through tough layups. Showed a nice ability to shoot from long range, as well.
Nathan Charlot 6-0 guard, High Riser/Notre Dame-Fairfield H.S.: Defensive scrapper. Loves to cause problems for opposing offensive players. Bouncy around the rim. Athletic player who finishes with either hand inside. Sees the floor well, always has his head up to see opportunities to make a play himself or to distribute. Despite playing at the guard spot, he challenges shots around the rim.
Kam Salters 6-2 forward, High Rise/Notre Dame-Fairfield H.S.: Good size and build. Uses his physical talents to deliver outstanding work on the defensive end. Runs the floor well, and hard. High motor player, always seems to be on the move. Can get off his feet and protect the rim on defense. Shows good leadership skills on and off the court.
Jack Nally 6-4 forward, CT Energy/Greens Farms Academy: Good size for this age division. Knows how to use it, especially in the paint. Finishes strong around the rim and is unfazed by contact. Rebounds the ball exceptionally well, often out of his area. His athleticism makes him a factor in the paint and away from the lane.
Sev’yn Roberson (0) 6-2 forward, Chris Ward Basketball/Promise Academy: A long, lean and athletic inside player. The ultimate hustle man. Creates second and third chances for his teams via the little things ... offensive rebounds, diving for loose balls, bringing havoc with his defensive hustle. Very energetic player at both ends.
Jake Sussberg 6-1 forward, Chris Ward Basketball/Scarsdale H.S.: Shoots the ball extremely well. Showed outstanding versatility here. Outstanding and determined rebounder. Athletic enough to run the floor well and strong enough to finish off plays around the rim. Can get out and run in transition game.
Jerome Murray 6-4 forward CT Energy/Stratford H.S: A big youngster who is capable of running the floor well in transition. Gets to the hoop to score around the rim either in transition game or in the half court. Plays outstanding defense. Uses his height, length and determination to be a strong rebounder.
9th Grade Division Honorable Mentions
Jack Cramer 6-5 forward, PHD 2025
Kon Danso 5-11 guard, Riverside Hawks
Alexander Musso 6-3 forward, Riverside Hawks
Loxly Johnson 6-1 guard, Riverside Hawks
Jesse Roggandorf 5-10 guard Nassau Pride
Connor Mannix 6-1 forward Nassau Pride
Chase Hatwood 5-5 guard NY Finest
Dovian Dates 5-6 guard NY Finest
Kam Salters 6’3 guard High Rise
AJ Trimboli 5’9 guard High Rise
8th Grade Division All Tournament Team
Sam Clachko 5-6 point guard, PHD 2026/Bedford M.S.: An even-keel point guard that can light it up beyond the arc. His smooth, consistent jumper is a threat the second he walks through the door. He hit multiple threes in every game he played here, most of them out to NBA range. His shooting ability results in open driving lanes which, coupled with his killer hesitation move and dynamic passing skills, he is all but impossible to guard effectively. He had a stretch of eight point in one stretch of less than a minute here with back-to-back transition threes, followed by a transition layup.
Eli Senyange 6-0 forward, PHD 2026/St. Mary’s: A high-energy post player with stretch-4 capabilities. He utilizes his high motor, consistent effort and length to seemingly win ever loose ball and contested rebound. He has a feathery touch around the rim and is extremely effective with a short right-handed hook. His knock-down 15-to-17 foot jumpers and his strong face-up game from the top of the key makes him a difficult player to defend. His energy is felt protecting the rim and altering shots. He has good feet that allows him to defend pick-and-rolls at a high level.
Jamiko Smith 5-9 guard, Black Ops Cadets/Hackensack School: A sold, sturdily-built guard with versatility. Does a good job of creating shots for himself off the dribble. Tough to stop when he attacks the rim. Extremely bothersome on defense and forces a lot of turnovers. Distributes the ball very well. Tough to guard in transition. Looks to have a high ceiling.