Jamboree Preview: Northeast

 

By: Patrick Ronan | @pk_ronan


Big Names and Loaded Rosters Headline the Jamboree Northeast

5:45pm EST: uKnighted (Rutgers Alumni) vs. Silver Spring's Willows Runners WatchESPN

7:30pm EST: Champions vs. Stars & Stripes WatchESPN

Buckle up for the Jamboree action in the Northeast – a region that has two of the best teams in the Jamboree and maybe the most entertaining tandem TBT has ever seen.  Let’s take a closer look at the four teams competing for a spot in the Northeast.

Champions

When the very first Jamboree slot was purchased back in April, all we knew about the team was that a basketball-loving, New York attorney named Wesley Paul decided to buy a spot and build a team.

No team name. No potential roster. No coach.

Paul decided to keep things simple with his team name, but the roster he put together is anything but that. The Champions’ roster features what could be the coolest two-player combo in TBT history.

Running the point for Champions will be Earl Boykins – yes, the 13 seasons, 652 career NBA games Earl Boykins. Currently the head coach of the Douglas County High School varsity basketball team, Boykins will bring unrivaled experience to the team and his knack for coaching will only compliment his experience.

At 5’5”, Boykins is the second shortest player in NBA history. At 7’6”, Mamadou Ndiaye is the tallest player in TBT history…. and watching defenses try to account for both Boykins up top and Ndiaye is going to be phenomenal.

You probably remember seeing Ndiaye on TV in the past few years. He was a three-year player at UC Irvine from 2013-2016, earning First-Tem All-Big West as a senior and twice being named Big West Defensive Player of the Year.

With the likes of former 2011 NBA second round pick Chu Maduabum and former Polish League MVP Torey Thomas leading a talented supporting cast, Champions is a serious threat to win the Northeast.

Uknighted

After deciding they’d rather live or die by their play rather than by battling for votes in the uber-competitive Northeast, the Rutgers alumni team Uknighted opted for the Jamboree route to TBT2017.

Aided by a trio of Stoney Brook alumni/former players and supported by the heart of Rutgers sports (former football player Eric LeGrand – booster) Uknighted has an extremely well rounded team that will get contributions from the entire roster.

They’ll have size in 7’1” center CJ Gettys, leadership in two-time Rutgers captain Kadeem Jack and elite scorers on the perimeter led by two-time Rutgers scoring and assists leader Myles Mack.

(Insert podcast)

Silver Spring’s Willows Runners

GM and point guard Jeremy Williams’ team made some serious noise competing for those top nine fan vote spots in the Northeast, pulling in almost 900 votes. Those numbers will put you squarely in the top nine in the West or Midwest, but weren’t enough in the Northeast.

The idea of proving they deserve an invite to TBT2017 is welcomed with open arms by Williams and the Runners.

“We feel that we have always gone unnoticed when it comes to the game of basketball, so TBT 2017 is the perfect platform to show everyone that we can play with anyone on any level,” Williams said.

The team is primarily made up of players who have grown up playing with or against each other in Silver Spring, Maryland.

  • Shooting guard Zaid Hearst played four years at Quinnipiac (2011-2015) and was the league-leading scorer for Spanish pro league LEB Gold this past season.
  • Power forward Eric Anderson spent the 2017 season playing for T71 in Luxembourg and led NCAA Division II in rebounding while at New haven.
  • Small forward Jamal Olasewere played college ball at LIU-Brooklyn, where he named Northeast Conference Player of the Year and AP Honorable mention All-American in 2013. For his career, Olasewere scored a school-record 1,871 points and collected 964 rebounds. He has played in Italy, Belgium and was most recently in Israel during the 2016-17 season.

A motivated team that likes to run could be the perfect Jamboree recipe. Don’t sleep on the Runners.

Stars and Stripes

Made up of mostly Division II and Division III players, Stars and Stripes is the least known team in the Northeast.

Expect the team to be led former Philadelphia University standout Nick Schlitzer. While at PU, Schlitzer poured in 1,707 career points (12th all-time) and drained 242 career three-pointers, the third most in school history.