2016 Battle at the Big House

By Emma Yavel

Ardsley, NY Zero Gravity continues to keep the region’s gyms and gym rats busy in the fall. This week they hosted Battle of the Big House at the House of Sports in Ardsley, NY and Hooperstown in New Rochelle, NY. Here’s some of the Top Performers:

Tadhg Crowley (2020) 6’6 Center High School: Sacred Heart (Yonkers, NY) AAU Team: GOSH Warriors. No more hurling for this Irish lad. Picking up hoops as his American sport was the right move. This freshman is an All Conference high school level player now. If he continues to add a few more inches, he will go to college for free. Great energy and mobility for his size. Very aggressive and very physical. Terrific ability to finish off his back-to-the basket moves for a young, very, big man.. No Hack-a-Shaq here, the not-so-wee lad makes his free throws.

Matthew Brand (2020) 5’10 Shooting Guard High School: Archbishop Stepinac (NY) AAU Team: GOSH Warriors. The GOSH squad’s half court offense plan was pretty easy to scout. They were going to pound you inside with Crowley, and attack you from the outside by getting the ball to Brand. Brand earned the neon green light from his coach and teammates with a quick-release three point shot, and the accompanying attack-the-close-out basket drives. Being so critical to his team’s scoring, he has developed a great off-the-ball set up game.

Shawn Smith (2017) 5’6 Point Guard High School: Montclair High (NJ) AAU Team: NJ Crusaders. Great ball handler and passer who gets everyone involved. He can also can hit the open jumper. Scrappy defender as well. Needs to improve on finishing around the basket when the defense steps to him.

Sean Lachman (2019) 6’3 Wing High School: Kellenberg High (Long Beach, NY) AAU Team: LI Lightning.  Lachman is a 6’3 three man with a huge wingspan and unlimited energy. He runs the floor hard and finishes well around the basket.  Also has good range out to the three point arc.

Alex Loukopoulos (2019)  6’1 Guard High School: Holy Cross (Queens) AAU Team: LI​ Lightning. Loukopoulos is an extremely high IQ player, with an inside-out game.  His mid range jumper extremely strong, and he has the inside moves of a big man. He is a very good rebounder who makes his team better.

Alex Sabastiani (2017) 6’3 Guard High School: River Dell High (NJ) AAU Team: NJ Crusaders. Sabastiani is a reliable 3-point shooter. He plays with an emphasis on being a lock-down defender. He has a high motor and gives maximum energy for four quarters. He is an unselfish basketball player with a high assist to turnover ratio.

Kevin Hunter (2018) 6’0 Guard High School: Livingston High (NJ) AAU Team: NJ Crusaders.  Solid combo guard with an exceptional shot that has both good elevation and range. Finds open teammates and makes the right pass. Solid ball handling skills. Needs to work on finishing around the rim.


Taurean Thompson (2020) 6’1 Forward High School: Sacred Heart (Yonkers, NY) AAU Team: GOSH Warriors. Thompson has the body and spirit to play this game at a high level. Long, athletic, physical and aggressive. He’s not wasting time trying to go around defenders, he is just going past them. A nasty weak side defender in the zone press, possessing great instincts and ability to make impactful rotations. He does not currently appear to have a jump shot offensive game. If he invests in building himself one of those, he will have options at the next level.

Sivon DiConcilio (2019) High School: Ellenville High (NY) AAU Team: NY Ratz. This kid is super fast with superb ball handling. One and even two defenders have a tough time staying with him in transition where he’s a willing passer and capable scorer. His toughness and quickness makes up for his small frame as this young sophomore is an all around PG who shoots the ball well from deep and defends his position.

Myles DeBrecourt (2020) High School: Seward High (NY) AAU Team: NY Ratz. DeBrecourt is a high energy freshman with a good outside touch and has a knack for finding himself on the FT line where he shoots it well. He is a quick guard who gets up and down the floor with ease.

Avery Taunton (2020) 5’9 Point Guard High School: Iona Prep (New Rochelle, NY) AAU Team: GOSH Warriors. Classic Greater NYC point guard. Elusive in the open court. Lethal stop-n-go move. Dangerous with either hand. Don’t let him get the ball in transition,or he’ll hurt you. If he gets in the gym and develops an outside jumper, he will be a player.

John Donaldson (2019) 5’11 Guard High School: Lynbrook High AAU Team: LI​ Lightning. Donaldson is a super-athletic high energy 2 guard.  He has a nose for the ball and the rim. He is extremely tough to guard. He is a defensive stopper, with unlimited energy and a high level sense of transition basketball.

Nick Schneidler (2019)  5’7 Guard: High School: Massapequa High (NY) AAU Team: LI​ Lightning. Schneidler is a sharpshooting point guard with extremely crisp passing skills as well.  As he learns to penetrate and finish more, he will have significant upside.

John Mastando (2019) 5’11 Guard High School:  Manhasset High (NY) AAU Team: LI​ Lightning.  This sophomore shoots the lights out from 3, and also gets to the rim very well.  His transition game is excellent.

Tyrone Holloway (2021) 6’1 Guard School: St James MS (Stratford, CT) AAU Team: TYSKILLZ SELECT. Holloway is a talented and versatile play-maker who can fill any position on the floor. He’s shifty off the dribble. His coach says he has shown improvement as a finisher at the rim.  He has excellent size and can create for himself as well as for others. He is a lock-down defender. If he makes the investment in the gym, he could realize on his great potential.

Robert Berland (2019) 5’11 High School: Syosset High (NY) AAU Team: LI​ Lightning. Here we have another well coached, high IQ player playing for the LI Lightning. Berland has a soft touch both inside and out.

Adrian Tabada (2019) 5’9 High School: North Babylon High (NY) AAU Team: LI​ Lightning. Tabada is a slasher and a sharpshooter, who also plays extremely tough defense.  He is a high energy 2 guard.

Randy Zane Fulton (2020) 6’0 Guard High School: Fordham Prep (NY) AAU Team: Marlon Smith Hoops. Zayn is a Martial Arts champion and he plays basketball with that kind of strength, athleticism and agility. He is strong to the hoop, strong busting traps and a foul magnet. He is a Euro-step How-to demo tape. If this guy moves out of the dojo and into the gym for some jump shooting reps, he will be a force.

AJ Raines (2018)  6’0 PG High School: Edison High School (NJ) AAU Team: Hoop Nation (Red) Excellent ball handler.  Able to knock down the mid range shot and push the ball efficiently.  Plays hard all the time.

Jordan Salisbury (2018)  6’3 PG/SG High School: North Brunswick High (NJ) AAU Team: Hoop Nation (Blue) Good ball handler who is able to make plays to the basket. Finishes very strongly and is able to step out and hit the 3 ball and mid range jumper.  His length is very deceiving and allows him to be a multi positioned guard. Always in attack mode.

Luke Patel (2018) 5’11 PG High School: Monroe High (NJ) AAU Team: Hoop Nation (Blue) Extremely good ball handler with great court vision.  Excellent in transition to make plays for his teammates.  Has a strong basketball IQ.  He can knock down the 3 ball as well as any mid range shot. Plays good defense on and off the ball.

Jack Seegers (2020) 6’1 Swing High School: Greens Farms Academy (CT) AAU Team: Tri-State Thunder. Hard to peg the position that Seegers plays on the court, because he can apparently handle them all. Great energy. Finds the open teammate with the right pass at the right time. Nice use of the jump-stop to create plays within the heart of the defense. If he can add a long ball to his arsenal, he will be an impact player.

Matt Panganiban (2018)  5’9 High School: Bishop Ahr High (NJ) AAU Team: Hoop Nation (Blue) Excellent shooter from the outside.  Has a quick release and can knock it down all over the floor.  Ball handles very well and finishes at the basket in transition. High energy player that can boost your team at just the right time. Capable of playing hard full court defense on the ball. With a 3.8 gpa in the classroom, Panganiban will have some excellent options ahead.

Jesse Perel (2018) 5’8 High School: East Brunswick High (NJ) AAU Team: Hoop Nation (Blue) Floor general. A little under-talented but will give exactly what you need.  Leads the team in every aspect. Can control the tempo of the game and plays extremely hard defense.  Excellent guard in transition to make plays. Has a strong build and frame.  Extremely above average basketball IQ. Good finisher and ok mid range jumper. Works very hard.

Simon Llaguno (2018)  5’11 High School: Bishop Ahr High (NJ) AAU Team: Hoop Nation (Blue) Very coachable player who gives you whatever you need. Has a good basketball IQ.  Plays very hard defense, knocks down mid range jumpers and 3 pointers, ball handles decent and plays with passion.  Per his coach, Liaguno is he perfect gym rat that will do anything for the team and doesn’t ever miss a practice or workout.

Zach Kaczmarek (2018) 6’2 Wing High School: Sayreville High (NJ) AAU Team: Hoop Nation (Blue) Decent shooter mid range extended. Runs the floor very well and plays with a lot of energy. Works very hard at his game. He is focusing on improving his ball handling to make himself a more versatile guard.

Christian Jones-Langston (2022) 5’10 Guard School: David Wooster MS (Stratford, CT) AAU Team: TYSKILLZ SELECT. Jones-Langston is a talented guard who can score from anywhere on the floor, but he does most of his damage attacking the basket. He is a slasher with a great wing span and can play with or without the ball.  He is very efficient on offense and also can quickly fill the scoring sheet. Can guard multiple positions on the floor. The sky is the limit for this young man.

Tyrell Staples-Santos (2021) 5’8 Guard School: Flood MS (Stratford, CT) AAU Team: TYSKILLZ SELECT. Staples-Santos is a flashy floor general. He has great ball-handling skills and has an extremely quick first step which he uses to get pass his defenders. He has shown the ability to be a high volume scorer whose game is growing and also can consistently knock down the perimeter jump shot.

Matt Donnell (2020) 6’4 Center High School: Manhasset High (NY) AAU Team: LI​ Lightning. According to his coach, Donnell is a fast developing big man. He led Lightning 15U back from a double digit deficit in one of the Battle games, scoring 28 points.

O’Zhell Jackson (2021) 6’1” (PG/SG) Hometown: Harlem, NY AAU Team: Riverside Hawks. Jackson has excellent ball handling skills. He sees the court well and always find the open player in the hole. Jackson creates great passes and initiates almost all points. The true leader of the squad. Clutch player that plays well under pressure.

Gavin Greene (2020) 6’2” (Forward) High School: St Joseph’s (CT) AAU Team: CT Premier Hoops Development. Excellent jump shot from all ranges; especially mid-ranger. Played out of position, but due to his athleticism, Greene has developed into a solid high school forward. Greene’s ability to showcase perimeter skills will determine his level of play at the next level.

Chad Vickers (2018) 6’2” (Swing) High School: LaSalle Academy (NYC) AAU Team: Riverside Hawks. Absolutely unstoppable on the court. Between his incredibly consistent jumper and his shake and bake moves, Vickers can be an incredible addition to any college roster. He’s athletic and is ready to break through.


Kevin Green (2018) 6’2” (Guard) High School: W.H.E.E.L.S (NYC) AAU Team: Riverside Hawks. Enthusiastic player who definitely cashes in solid minutes during a given game. Reliable player who loves making buckets. He is quick and relentless.

Jadyn Tabois (2019) 5’11 (Guard) High School: Fairfield Prep (CT) Home Town: Southport, CT AAU Team: CT Premier Hoops Development. Solid guard who leads the team at the top of the key. He is a pesky defender and a flashy offender. This guy is relentless everywhere on the court. In unusual fashion, he banks in all his 3’s.

Charles Clemons (2019) 5’10 (Guard) High School: Notre Dame-Fairfield (CT) AAU Team: CT Premier Hoops Development. Clemons is an outstanding athlete. He has a great jump shot, but can also score on an athletic basket drive.