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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.
Castle Student Athletes Enjoy Enrichment Sessions
April 16, 2015
Castle's academic enrichment sessions are fully underway and our student athletes are thriving and enjoying the process. Whether pinpointing specific academic areas that need to be further developed, assisting students with homework assignments or projects, or providing general overviews on global history and current events, they are succeeding. Already this Spring, students have worked on preparations for the recently conducted ELA exams, done readings from The Other Wes Moore, received SAT/ACT assistance and even worked on the latest viral logic brain-teaser of "When is Cheryl's Birthday?"
These sessions are part of the two-pronged Castle approach: mandatory academic enrichment sessions and basketball practices/tournaments for our student athletes. The joinder of the two promote each other, with participants who might not otherwise take advantage of the academics gaining by being in an environment where studying is not viewed as a negative thing. Rather, by having your peers/teammates participate, the sense of teamwork and camaraderie prevail and it is seen as a positive. We applaud all of our tutors for contributing and all of our student athletes for participating.
Castle Teams Enjoy a Big Weekend
April 15, 2015
Last weekend, Castle’s Girls and Boys teams were playing in tournaments throughout Pennsylvania and New York-the AAU Districts, the Rose Classic, the Zero Gravity Tip-Off Classic and the Hoop Group Spring Jam Fest-and having great success. The Girls 12U team took another chip, this time in the Tip-Off Classic. They have been playing fantastic team basketball, having worked hard at practices and in supplemental workouts. Coach Big Jeff sees tremendous possibilities. “The girls have blended together so well. They see the court and each other and all are willing to sacrifice for the team. Most importantly, they love playing for Castle and what it stands for, opportunities through academics. They come to the enrichment sessions and enjoy it.”
The high school boys’ teams were out at Spooky Nook, taking on all comers. It was an exciting opportunity to play with the best and the 17U and 16U teams did not let down. Each went 4-1 and made it to the Elite Eight before bowing out. Their play had many college coaches talking about the program and how some of our players are ready for the next level. Congratulations to both Coach Ghandhi and Coach Marcus on the great showing in PA.
This week, most of the Castle teams work on new stuff and get ready for Live Period tournaments next week at Boo Williams for the HS Girls and the Pitt Jam Fest for the HS Boys and the NY States for the younger teams.