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Castle Players Strut Their Stuff at the Gym Rat

May 29, 2015

The Gym Rat released its tournament recap yesterday and named its All-Tourney Teams. Although the Castle Knights did not win the “Chips”, our players were certainly recognized. In the 17U bracket, Jordan Lee (Cardinal Hayes) and Michael Laster (Collaborative) made the tournament team, with Cheich Kone, George Pena and Vinace Zoungrana gaining honorable mention accolades. At 16U, Malachi DeSousa (Kennedy Catholic) and Victor Potter (Monsignor Scanlan) received all-tournament recognition. The 15U unit had Jordan McAllister (Monsignor Scanlan) and Souleymane Koureissi (Iona Prep) making the top team, with Hasan Ringer getting the honorable mention nod. And, our 14U team was also well represented with Lee Mosley (Lab School) and Ty Rivers (Cobble Hill) getting tapped for the all-tournament team and Yassine Sakhi making honorable mention. We are very proud of all of our players and congratulate those who gained recognition.

The following are the write-ups regarding our All-Tournament players:

Jordan Lee, 6-6 Wing, Castle Athletics/Cardinal Hayes H.S.: A long, athletic wing who finishes at the rim with either hand. Has a nice high rlease and can shoot out to the 3-point line. Has a nice mid-range game. Elite-level athleticism that should get him a D-1 scholarship. Defensively has ability to get deflections and rebound his position. Looking at prep, some interest from LIU and St. Francis (N.Y.).

Mike Lestor, 5-11 point guard, Castle Athletics/ICE School: A floor general with ability to make teammates better. He is left-handed dominant but can go right. Has an explosive first step going left and finishes at the rim. Shoots out to 3-point range with high-arcing shot. Changes speeds well and gets deflections on defensive end.

Malachi DeSousa, 6-5 small forward, Castle Athletics/Kennedy Catholic: Plays bigger than his size, particularly on the defensive end. Has a nice and advanced offensive game. Capable of playing guard or either forward position. High court IQ. Exhibited a well-developed mid-range game. Hearing from some Ivies.

Victor Potter, 6-7 power forward, Castle Athletics/Monsignor Scanlon H.S.: Very high motor and very physical player. Dominates on the backboards, and finishes well around the rim. Gets off his feet and is an effective rim protector. High-level athlete. When he gets near the rim, he dunks everything. Played up an age level.

Jordan McAlister, 6-3 wing, Castle Knights/Msg. Scanlon H.S.: Aggressive player who goes hard to the hoop and either converts or draws fouls. Strong player who uses his physical gifts to slash. Good scorer who is difficult to defend in the paint. Can finish at the rim. Showed ability to take over a game.

Souleymane Koureissi, 6-7 center, Castle Knights/Iona Prep: Already good size and looks to have strong potential. A developed shot-blocker who rejects or alters more than his share of shots on the defensive end. Clearly someone to watch. He has the potential to be a special player.

Lee Mosely, 6-2 forward, Castle Athletics/ Lab School: A very athletic front-court player. Attacks the boards, particularly to great effect on the offensive end. Strong enough to catch and finish around the bunches. Showed an ability to put up points in bunches here. Plays with a high motor.

Tylique Rivers, 6-4 post, Castle Athletics/Scanlan School: A big man who runs the floor well. Gets out on the break, can catch and finish strongly against contact. Very strong rebounder who uses his length for a purpose on both ends. Showed good hands, catches everything thrown to him. Also already has good footwork.

Youngest and Oldest Lead the Way

May 11, 2015

This past weekend, all of the Castle teams enjoyed success, with three teams doing very well at the Providence Jam Fest (running deep in the brackets), and the 17U boys heading to the Championship at the AAU Districts and the 11U boys team copping first place at the Zero Gravity War in Western, CT. The balance of the squads took the weekend off to rest up and get ready for major tournaments over the next two weeks.

The 11U squad was not bested throughout the weekend. They finished off the tourney by beating back the East Coast Panthers 54-25 in the final. Coach Pichardo said that “the boys are finally bonding and showing what they can do when they play hard and together.”

At the 17U D1 AAU Districts, the boys went 4-0, pushing their way to the Memorial Day Finals, where they will find the 15U boys playing as well. The team won their pool play games by an average of 13 points per game, beating NYC Blue Devils, The Gauchos, and Crown Lightning. In the semi-final, the Knights took on another Crown Lightning team and won by seven points. Coach Ghandhi felt that the defense was strong this week, but that the team shooting was not at the usual level. “We will be taking many shots this week, from all over the court, to make sure we are prepared for our next challenge.”

For many of the boys teams, the next challenge is the Hall of Fame Spring Classic next week in Springfield and surrounding areas. The younger squads will be local at the Zero Gravity tournament in the Purchase area.

Castle Boys Continue to Roll to Victories

April 21, 2015

This past weekend, the Castle boys’ 14U, 15U, 16U and 17U teams kept up their hoop onslaught and all took home the gold at the Zero Gravity Rage for Royalty tournament staged throughout NYC and Westchester County. The tournament brought in some of the top teams from the region who were using the weekend as prep for the upcoming “Live” period. As a result, for all teams in the tournament, the competition was much stiffer than expected and lived up to the hype and the tournament title.

Coach Rudy King of the 14U squad was impressed. “We are starting to put it together and it comes at the right time. This is getting to the meatier part of our schedule and the talent is better each time out. Our boys are rising to that level and playing hard together.”

Coach Ghandhi Martin of the 17U team also liked what he saw. “Last week, we played hard at the Jam Fest and a letdown could have happened. But, the team hung in there and played some great ball the entire weekend. Good things are happening at Castle.”

The 15U team took on all comers and knocked them aside. Led by the play of Soulemayne Koureissi, Ahmed Fall and Victor Nzeama, the team dominated inside and had considerable rebounding advantages. Koureissi also hit sweet jumpers from up to 18 feet, keeping the defense honest and opening the inside for other players.

The 16U unit also brought it. Avenging a loss in pool play, the team beat back Wiz Kids and their formidable team. It was a great game and the boys took a 2 point win in the Finals. Coach Marcus Matthews noted that “we have been experimenting with some different looks and the players are accepting and growing with the changes.”

Castle placed other boys and girls teams in the tournament as well, with several reaching their championship games as well. Our student-athletes are doing it on the court and off and we could not be more proud.

This week, the older squads head to live period tournaments at the Pitt Jam Fest and Boo Williams while the younger teams compete for New York State championships. The road just keeps on going.

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Saturday, May 30th - Sunday, May 31st
New York Metro Showdown
Long Island, NY
11U Boys, 12U Boys, 13U Boys, 14U Boys, 9th Grade Boys, 10th Grade Boys, 11th Grade Boys

Saturday, June 6th - Sunday, June 7th
Vassar Summer Classic
Poughkeepsie, NY
13U Boys, 14U Boys, 9th Grade Boys, 10th Grade Boys, 11th Grade Boys

Saturday, June 6th - Sunday, June 7th
Zero Gravity National Finals
Boston, MA
12U Girls, 14U Girls, 9th Grade Girls, 10th Grade Girls, 11th Grade Girls

Friday, June 12th - Sunday, June 14th
Zero Gravity National Finals
Boston, MA
11U Boys, 12U Boys, 13U Boys, 14U Boys

Saturday, June 13th - Sunday, June 14th
Gym Rat Championships
Albany, NY
14U Girls, 9th Grade Girls, 10th Grade Girls

Saturday, June 13th - Sunday, June 14th
ZG Nationals
Boston, MA
11U Boys, 12U Boys, 13U Boys, 14U Boys, 9th Grade Boys, 10th Grade Boys, 11th Grade Boys

Saturday, June 27th - Monday, June 29th
Hershey National Showcase
Hershey, PA
9th Grade Girls, 10th Grade Girls, 11th Grade Girls

Saturday, June 27th - Sunday, June 28th
HG Summer Showdown
Neptune, NJ
14U Boys, 9th Grade Boys, 10th Grade Boys, 11th Grade Boys

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