Updated: Jun 8
by Kevin McCaskill Jr.
5/24/23 * 2:15 PM
(SPRINGFIELD) - Last weekend, BASKETBULL kicked off their AAU season with the Hall of Fame Spring Classic 2023. BASKETBULL is based in western MA and ran by Western New England University Men’s Basketball Head Coach Colin Tabb. The Hall of Fame Spring Classic is a tune-up for the upcoming summer AAU schedule.
The most notarized program in this tournament was BABC. BABC is based in Boston, MA and has been a staple of the New England AAU scene for decades. They had been a part of the Nike EYBL circuit. They are now on the Adidas 3SSB circuit.
I didn’t see BABC play this weekend. However, I do know that former Springfield International Charter School Forward Sam Fleming plays for BABC and the team he is on, played @ BASKETBULL HoF SC. Fleming has moved on to Wilbraham & Monson Academy for the next chapter in his high school career.
For this AAU season, FPM/FPS is focused on the kids that are closest to graduating from High School. At the HoF Spring Classic this past weekend, I mainly watched the 11th grade divisions. There was some good talent here that Prep Schools and Colleges should be paying attention to.
Here are the Standout Players from this year’s Hall of Fame Spring Classic:
(FPM coverage of BASKETBULL Hall of Fame Spring Classic '23 was sponsored by Pokémoto Northampton, located at 18 Main St. in Northampton, MA)
Griffin Collins (Worcester Academy ‘25)
Gargey Suryadevara [6’9] (Worcester Academy) ‘24
Tyson Mobley (Hargrave Academy VA ‘24)
Alex Johnson (Worcester South ‘24)
Marcus Graves (Beaver Country Day School Newton, MA ‘24)
Justice Uhunmwuagho (Boston Latin Academy ‘24)
Pat Faughnan (Our Lady of Lourdes (Poughkeepsie, NY) ‘24)
Matt Apenteng (Our Lady of Lourdes Poughkeepsie, NY) ‘24)
Jahsemar Olembe (Kitchener, ON; Bobby Allen Skills Academy (Brampton, ON)
Caleb Stewart (Stevensville, ON; Eden HS (St. Catherine’s, ON)
Anthony Parks (Brooklyn Democracy Academy ‘24)
Zyon Lord (Salisbury School (CT) ‘24)
Some notes on each player 📝:
Griffin Collins - The former Longmeadow HS athlete has a very promising future. He is athletic. He can score from anywhere on the court. He passes the ball willingly and he plays with patience. He should flourish in his career in the NEPSAC.
Gargey Suryadevara - He was probably the tallest player in this tournament and he played like it. He can block shots with both hands. He goes after rebounds aggressively and doesn’t just rely on his height to get boards. He has a soft touch around the basket and can finish at the rim effectively. He has a good jump shot. For a bigger young man, he has very good conditioning; he can get up and down the floor effectively and with purpose.
Tyson Mobley - He is a very good PG. He plays with great balance. He is steady and a very good ball-handler. He can get in the lane to score or to pass to open players. He is very even keeled and plays well under pressure.
Alex Johnson - Johnson has a very good all-around offensive game. He is a good ball-handler, he can shoot and he can get to the basket and score around the rim. Even though the offensive end is his strength, he plays defense well. He can guard perimeter players even if they are a little taller than him.
Marcus Graves - Graves can play either Guard position. He can be a PG and run the offense and distribute or he can play off the ball and score. He is very effective at getting past his defender and scoring in the lane.
Justice Uhunmwuagho - 🆙 This young man launches himself to the basket when he is attempting a dunk. He has great athleticism. He is good in transition and runs the wing hard. In the half-court, he can hit open shots and he can get past his defender to get to the rim.
Pat Faughnan - He is a very good all-around player. He makes plays on offense and took the challenge on defense of guarding Suryadevara, who is about 3 inches taller than him. It’s clear he understands the game and plays the game wisely.
Matt Apenteng - A taller PG that looked very good over the weekend. He plays on-balance and doesn’t try to do too much. He is very good at breaking his defender down with his dribble and getting into the lane.
Jahsemar Olembe - Another great athlete. He has a good vertical but he also has a good jump shot. He plays under control and didn’t monopolize the ball. He can make shots from 3-pt range. He is definitely a player colleges in the Northeast should be looking at.
Caleb Stewart - Stewart played the hardest of any player I saw this weekend. He wasn’t taking charges or diving on the floor for loose balls, [which honestly is a bit much for AAU]. He ran the floor on every possession; he went after every rebound. He played through fouls and didn’t overly complain to the referees. Stewart isn’t just about intangibles, he is offensively skilled. He can get to the basket to score and he has a good mid-range jump shot.
Anthony Parks - A very good PG out of the NYC area. He played hard in every game, all weekend. He is a very good ball handler. He plays well in transition and got multiple fast-break layups over the weekend. He plays defense with intensity and can stay in front of the person he is defending. He has great conditioning/endurance. Team Jerome only had 7 players. Parks played a lot of minutes and didn’t seem tired at all.
Zyon Lord - Lord did everything for Team Jerome. He can score from anywhere on the court. He attacks the basket effectively and can finish around the rim. He plays like a perimeter player but because of his height he was matched up with taller players while on defense. In that situation, he played good defense against slightly bigger opponents.
BASKETBULL- Hall of Fame Spring Classic was another great event in Hampden County. Stay tuned to FPM for upcoming BASKETBULL events and other AAU Tournaments in the NorthEast.