ESPN's basketball recruiting analysts gathered for a roundtable to discuss the highlights of the July live period, and among the frequent topic was the success of the Boston Amateur Basketball Club, which won the Nike EYBL Championship as well as the AAU Ninth Grade National Championship.
The BABC popped up several times among the memorable moments, highlighted below:
Paul Biancardi: In the quarterfinals of the AAU Super Showcase the BABC had a comfortable double-figure lead at the half vs. SYF Players. SYF made an outstanding comeback and had a 2-point lead with 2.3 seconds to go. BABC had to go the length of the floor and coach Leo Papile ran Jaylen Brantley (Springfield, Mass./Wilbraham & Monson), the team's best 3-point shooter, off a screen. With his momentum going towards half court, Brantley caught the pass in the backcourt, took a couple of dribbles and from just about half court hit the game-winner to have BABC advance to the finals.
Adam Finkelstein: This summer's signature performance doesn't belong to one individual player in my mind, but instead to one program. The Boston Amateur Basketball Club put together one of the most dominant months that the AAU world has seen in recent years, rivaling All-Ohio Red's superiority from the summer of '09. BABC won their "big three" this month scoring national championships at AAU ninth grade nationals and AAU 10th grade nationals, while also taking the Nike EYBL title at the Peach Jam.
John Stovall: Nerlens Noel (Everett, Mass./The Tilton School) is the best shot-blocker and perhaps the best defensive force in the country, regardless of class. He is one of the players who can dominate a game without scoring a point. That point was made very clear in BABC's win over the Oakland Soldiers in the semifinals of the Nike EYBL. Noel had a triple-double, scoring a modest 12 points in the game and a solid rebounding effort with 10 boards, but he really made his presence felt with 11 blocks. Those blocks still don't tell the story of how dominant he was. He changed or altered at least that many shots and affected the Soldiers' shooting even more. That game elevated Noel's profile even more in not only my mind but the minds of all of the coaches and scouts present in the gym.