Boston High School: Middlesex Magic

NMH's Miller commits to Princeton

July, 31, 2012
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Northfield-Mt. Hermon senior center Peter Miller has verbally committed to Princeton University for the 2013-14 season, his coach with the Middlesex Magic AAU club, Mike Crotty Jr., told ESPNBoston.com.

"I am thrilled for Peter to be attending one of the world's most prestigious universities, and I believe that he has an outstanding opportunity to make an impact on their basketball program immediately," Crotty said in a statement.

The 6-foot-10 Miller is a Winchester resident, and played two seasons at Winchester High before transferring to NMH and reclassifying to the 2013 class over the summer of 2010. Last March, he was part of a Hoggers squad that downed a favored Brewster Academy (N.H.) juggernaut to win the NEPSAC Class AAA championship.

Crotty offered more thoughts on Miller and his commitment in an email statement:



Peter has played in our program since he was 12 years old. I have coached him for years, and was able to coach him with my father, Mike Sr., before he passed. Peter has blossomed into a tremendously skilled 6-foot-10 big man, who possesses great touch around the basket and shooting the ball from the perimeter. Over the past two years he played with Middlesex Magic standouts like Pat Connaughton, Pat Ackerman, Joey Glynn, Connor Mahoney, Bryan Hurley, and he has gained a lot of toughness as a rebounder and a defender. This season, his last in a Magic uniform, was an amazingly successful one as he captained and anchored a team that won the Division 1 Massachusetts State Championship as well as the Basketbull Hall of Fame National Invitational Championship. Peter averaged 13 [points], 15 [rebounds], and 4 [blocks].


Schedule set for Boston Shootout, Crotty Game

May, 30, 2012
5/30/12
4:28
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The third annual Mike Crotty Sr. Memorial Game, held during the weekend of the Boston Amateur Basketball Club's "Boston Shootout", is set to take place this Friday at 7:30 p.m. at Tufts University's Cousens Gymnasium.

Held annually to honor the Crotty Sr., the late former director of the Middlesex Magic AAU club, this year's game will pit the Magic versus Mass. Rivals, in a rematch of their double-overtime thriller from the first memorial game in 2010.

Middlesex Magic director Mike Crotty Jr. passed along more information regarding Friday's game, and his father:



The game is played in honor of Mike Crotty Sr. The founder and Director of the Middlesex Magic AAU Basketball Program who guided and helped shape the lives of countless student-athletes over the past three decades. It was through basketball that Coach Crotty Sr. found his passion, and one of his greatest joys was seeing his players go on to achieve academic and athletic success.

Coach Crotty helped guide hundreds of high school students to college, and built one of the most respected AAU basketball programs in the country. Academics always came before athletics for Coach Crotty Sr., and his son, and former Middlesex Magic player Michael Crotty Jr., has led the program with the same principles and helped guide over 25 student-athletes to college in the past two years.

The game is open to the public, and we hope to have as many current/former players, parents, opponents, family, friends, and all others as we look forward to a tremendous evening of basketball to celebrate a ONE-OF-A-KIND man!


BABC Director of Operations and media relations coordinator Jay Demings also passed along the finalized schedule for this weekend's games at the tournament:



FRIDAY, JUNE 1
7:30 PM Mike Crotty Sr. Memorial Game - Middlesex Magic vs Mass Rivals

SATURDAY, JUNE 2
9:00 AM Soph Game 1 New England Playaz vs MBNation (ME)
10:15 AM Soph Game 2 BABC vs CT Select
11:30 AM Junior Game 1 New England Playaz vs Eric Gordon All-Stars (IN)
12:45 PM Fresh Game 1 CT Select vs Albany City Rocks
2:00 PM Fresh Game 2 BABC vs East Coast Elite (CT)
3:15 PM Junior Game 2 BABC vs USAD (CT)
4:30 PM Soph Game 3 The City (NY) vs New England Playaz
5:45 PM Soph Game 4 Albany City Rocks vs CT Select
7:00 PM Junior Game 3 Mass Rivals vs Loser Junior Game 1
8:15 PM Junior Game 4 Albany City Rocks vs Loser Junior Game 2

SUNDAY, JUNE 3
9:00 AM Fresh Game 3 Loser Fresh Game 1 vs Loser Fresh Game 2
10:15 AM Soph Game 5 MBNation vs The City
11:30 AM Soph Game 6 BABC vs Albany City Rocks
12:45 PM Junior Game 5 Winner Junior Game 1 vs Mass Rivals
2:00 PM Junior Game 6 Winner Junior Game 2 vs Albany City Rocks
3:15 PM Finals - Division TBD on Saturday night following games
4:30 PM Finals - Division TBD on Saturday night following games
6:00 PM Finals - Division TBD on Saturday night following games


Spellman's Joey Glynn commits to Bentley

February, 8, 2012
2/08/12
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Cardinal Spellman forward Joey Glynn has verbally committed to Bentley University for the 2012-13 season, his coach with the Middlesex Magic AAU squad Mike Crotty Jr. confirmed today.

Glynn, a 6-foot-5 Abington resident, was also fielding interest from Navy, as well as Division 2 schools like Stonehill and St. Anselm. The Falcons had been on him last summer, Crotty said, but at the time had one scholarship to offer and were in need of a guard. A scholarship at Bentley opened up last Friday, and by Super Bowl Sunday Glynn was on the Waltham campus taking a visit.

The Middlesex Magic posted more about Glynn's commitment on the team's website today:



Glynn emerged onto the recruiting scene last spring and summer by leading the Magic’s 11th grade team in scoring and rebounding as they took a pair of spring titles and continued to play well deep into the month of July, scoring wins over the likes of Terry Porter Elite, Grassroots Canada, and Hoop Heaven Elite before heading to Orlando.

“Joey Glynn is as tough a competitor and as versatile an athlete as we have had in the Middlesex Magic program,” said Magic director Michael Crotty Jr. “He is a tremendous rebounder on both ends of the floor, and his athleticism allows him to be a lock down defender on forwards and guards. He can score the ball in a variety of different ways, and when he has an advantage situation he finishes powerfully high above the rim.”

Glynn has also distinguished himself on the high school circuit. Last year he averaged over 20 points and 10 rebounds per game while leading Cardinal Spellman to the Division III South sectional title and being selected to the Boston Herald All-Scholastic team in the process.

He becomes the third member of last summer’s Magic squad to commit to an NE-10 program, joining Connor Mahoney (Le Moyne) and Anthony Barry (Merrimack), and the 8th member to make his college commitment thus far, joining Kyle Reardon (Rochester), Cooper Ainge (BYU), Eric Olson (Northwestern/football), Jesse Pagliuca (Amherst), and Mike Thorpe (Emerson).

“I believe that his [Glynn’s] will to win, work ethic, and toughness will allow him to make an immediate and profound impact at Bentley,” Crotty Jr. said. “I have thought that Joey was a perfect fit for the NE-10 conference as a player, and more importantly, he has the opportunity to get a first class education at Bentley.”


Player Perspective: Michael Thorpe

December, 14, 2011
12/14/11
3:39
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NEWTON, Mass. -- It's a season of change at Newton North High School. Last year's Division 1 South runner-up is going small, after a nice run the last few years with big men Greg Kelley, Tevin Falzon, and his younger brother Aaron Falzon. With both Falzons off to prep school, the Tigers are for once without ideal height, and are adopting a most fast-paced mentality as they get set to run the Bay State Carey gauntlet.

With a reloaded squad in defending champ Weymouth, as well as improvements from Brookline, Needham and Braintree, it's expected to be one of the most wide-open Carey Division races in recent memoery. Leading the charges is guard Michael Thorpe, a returning Bay State Conference All-Star who will be taking a new role this season as one of the lead scoring options, rather than a distributor.

Thorpe had a pretty good run over the offseason with the Middlesex Magic AAU squad, capped with a win over the powerhouse Boston Amateur Basketball Club (BABC) last October. Head coach Mike Crotty Jr. had the following to say about Thorpe following the summer run:


"Thorpe emerged as a terrific combo guard for the Magic all season long. He has blazing speed and quickness which he uses to bother opposing guards and to create scoring opportunities for himself and his teammates. He has a very good shooting touch from deep and a great ability to finish in traffic. Thorpe will provide a versatile guard with great scoring ability at the next level."



Thorpe spoke with ESPNBoston.com following a Tuesday afternoon practice, to talk about his preparation for the upcoming season.

Q: What kind of goals have you set for yourselves this year?
A: "Just try to do the best we can. Last season was last season, we can never say we're going to go that far again this year. As a team, I think we'll do pretty well."

Q: The theme this year for many of the top MIAA schools is going to be what they do in spite of their lack of size. You guys are probably one of the prime examples of this. How does the gameplan change with this personnel?
A: "We want to get up and down, pressure. We're not as big as recent years, so we're going to have to use our speed and athleticism to get up and down and make teams play faster then they would like."

Q: How has it changed for you? The last couple years, you've had a pretty good high-low game with Greg Kelley and then the Falzon brothers. This year it's a different look in the frontcourt.
A: "It is. It makes me want to shoot a little more, because we don't have the scoring presence that we used to. I'm not bringing the ball up as much. I'm more getting out on the wing, out on the break to score a little more, so that's a bit of a different look."

Q: How competitive do you guys anticipate the Bay State Conference being this year?
A: "I think it'll be pretty competitive. Needham just beat Lexington, that's a big win for the league. It looks like Braintree will be pretty good, Weymouth, Brookline, so the league's going to be very competitive."

Q: You went off in a game against the BABC this fall. How exciting was that?
A: "It was huge. BABC was the national champs, obviously they were down a little bit, but whenever you get a shot at them you've got to play your best. We came out big, and it was huge, really huge. Especially going into the season, knocking off BABC and going right into the season."

Q: Where would you say you've improved the most?
A: "It's hard to say. I think just making my overall game efficient. Not over-dribbling, or taking the forced shot. I just think efficiency is where I've improved the most."

Q: What's your favorite play to run?
A: "I don't know. I just like getting out on the break and having the game flow. Not really a play per se, but just having the game go up and down."

Q: How do you prepare for the game?
A: "I like a good snack, usually something with honey because honey is a good supplement that gives you energy. It's not like sugar, where you get energy and then you crash afterwards. So I like to get a really good snack, and then I just focus. I talk to my team, talk to my coaches about what the [other] team is going to bring, then I just go out and play."

Q: What's going to be the biggest keys for you guys as a team this season?
A: "As coach [Paul Connolly] says, communication. It's a brand new team than last year, got a lot of young kids, and we've just got to communicate and work through it. We're going to win games, yeah, but we have to communicate. How many we win, who knows?"

Q: Can you tell us about the tattoos on your upper left arm?
A: "I've got "Family First" [just above the elbow], because no matter what happens, basketball, whatever, your family's always going to be there. Then I have the sun rise [across the lower bicep] -- like early in the day, the sun rises and family's the first thing you think about. Then up top I have a basketball and then night, because I like to end the night with basketball. But I always have family first at the beginning of the day. So it's kind of like a day -- an ellipse. [On each letter of 'Family' is a different family member's name] Susan's my mother, Jason's my brother, Latoya's my sister, Walker's my brother, Emily's my sister, and then Patrick is my brother."

Q: Did that hurt?
A: "Not as much as people think. After a while, it gets numb, and then it's fine after that."

Q: How excited are you for the first game?
A: "Aw, extremely excited. We're going to Norwood, they've got a brand new gym, it's going to be the first game ever there at that gym, so it's going to be huge. I'm very excited."

Brooks' Anthony Barry commits to Merrimack

October, 24, 2011
10/24/11
12:08
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Brooks School shooting guard Anthony Barry accepted a scholarship offer from Merrimack College and committed to the Division 2 Warriors yesterday, according to his AAU coach with the Middlesex Magic, Mike Crotty Jr.

Barry, a 6-foot-3 Milford native, has seen his stock rise slowly since transferring from his native Milford High and repeating his junior year at the North Andover campus. Last summer, running with the Magic, he displayed impressive athleticism at AAU Nationals.

Crotty Jr. had this to say about Barry at the time:



"Barry continued to show his fantastic athleticism on both ends of the court all Summer long. A bona fide D2 prospect with multiple scholarship offers in hand, Barry continued to impress as he shut down many heralded wings from all over the country. His ability to defend at such a high level, paired with his great ability to finish and make the mid-range jump shot have Anthony in a great spot in terms of his recruitment. He is also one of the best rebounding 2 guards I have ever had the pleasure to be around, and he possesses fantastic leadership qualities."


Middlesex Magic conclude promising summer

August, 1, 2011
8/01/11
10:38
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Middlesex Magic director and coach Mike Crotty Jr. passes along some notes about his summer AAU squad, which went 15-7 overall for the month of July, including a 7-6 slate at AAU Nationals down in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

If you can recall, one year ago Pat Connaughton catapulted into the ESPN 100 following an explosive showing at Nationals, and Pat Ackerman played his way into a Big Ten scholarship offer. This year, players like Cardinal Spellman's Joey Glynn, Rivers' Kyle Reardon and Brooks' Anthony Barry and Connor Mahoney led a squad that won some tight contests in pool play before falling to Elite Eight contestant Alabama Challenge in the second round of bracket play.

"I think that Glynn, Mahoney, and Reardon all solidified themselves as low D1 and definite D2 players," Crotty wrote in an email. "Patriot League, NE-10 [Northeast-10], and some others were consistently following and have expressed serious interest. You know I am partial to D3, but I really believe all three of these kids, along with Anthony Barry, did more than enough to gain multiple scholarship offers."

Crotty wrote in to ESPNBoston.com with his thoughts on his standout players:



Joey Glynn (Cardinal Spellman) -- leading scorer and rebounder for the Magic in 13 games in Orlando (showcase and nationals). Joey Glynn is a division I athlete who played high above the rim for the Magic throughout their entire Summer run. Glynn showed his relentless work on the glass on both ends of the floor, his ability to defend multiple positions, and his versatile ability to score the ball. His endless motor and amazing upside are qualities that college coaches can not ignore.

Connor Mahoney (Brooks) -- Connor was the leader of the team and he stepped up on both ends of the court this entire Summer. In Orlando, in particular, he has back to back 25 point scoring outbursts where he showed his terrific 3 point shooting range, but also the ability to score driving the ball to the rim, in the post, and a deadly pullup jumper. His rebounding sometimes goes less noticed, but he was the team's second leading rebounder and he also defended wings and big with great effectiveness. In addition to his great basketball IQ and leadership, you get one of the most reliable players and people I have ever had the chance to be around. He is an instant positive addition to any college program on and off the court.

Kyle Reardon (Rivers) -- Kyle Reardon has the reputation of a terrific shooter and he is that. What people who watched him this Summer also learned is just how amazingly smart and unbelievably tough a basketball player he is. He became as invaluable a player as the Middlesex Magic had, as he played shooting guard-power forward doing whatever was asked and consistently creating match-up problems for whoever guarded him. Reardon can score in a variety of ways with a great long range jumper, ability to drive to the rim, and a tough back to the basket game. His toughness willed our team to many victories this Summer, and he will be a fantastic college player.

Anthony Barry (Brooks) -- Barry continued to show his fantastic athleticism on both ends of the court all Summer long. A bona fide D2 prospect with multiple scholarship offers in hand, Barry continued to impress as he shut down many heralded wings from all over the country. His ability to defend at such a high level, paired with his great ability to finish and make the mid-range jump shot have Anthony in a great spot in terms of his recruitment. He is also one of the best rebounding 2 guards I have ever had the pleasure to be around, and he possesses fantastic leadership qualities.

Aaron Davis (Brooks) -- The Middlesex Magic point guard battled an ankle sprain throughout the Summer, but he showed signs of exactly the type of player he is when healthy. Simply put, Davis is a throw-back point guard who sees the floor and creates for his teammates unlike any other point guard I have ever coached. He has tremendous ball handling skills, is a terrific passer, sees the floor, and is incredibly unselfish. On top of that he is a tremendous shooter, deceptive athlete who pressures the ball extremely well, and he is a natural born leader. I feel strongly that this young man will take the ball for some Coach's program and he will lead them for four years.

Michael Thorpe (Newton North) -- Thorpe emerged as a terrific combo guard for the Magic all season long. He has blazing speed and quickness which he uses to bother opposing guards and to create scoring opportunities for himself and his teammates. He has a very good shooting touch from deep and a great ability to finish in traffic. Thorpe will provide a versatile guard with great scoring ability at the next level.

Peter Miller (Northfield-Mt. Hermon) -- Peter Miller stood out for the Magic this Summer as he emerged as one of New England's best 2013 prospects. The 6'10 center can run the floor, has great back to the basket post game, and he is a terrific weak side shot blocker. He continues to improve in all aspects of his game including his jump shot and post defense, and he drew a variety of division 1 programs to come watch him put his skills on display.

Cooper Ainge (Wellesley) -- Cooper started off the Summer by showing that he might be the Magic's most versatile offensive guard. Ainge has a great stroke from deep, an excellent pullup jump shot, and he can get to the rim to finish and create for others. Defensively he has great lateral quickness and terrific instincts. Cooper is one of the smartest players on the Magic team, and his well rounded abilities will allow him to be a great college player.

Chris O'Keefe (Lexington) -- O'Keefe is one of the most hard-nosed players the Magic has ever had. He defends and rebounds his position extremely well, and he is as tough a player as there is on the floor. He is an efficient scorer who can make open shots and drive to the rim to score. His work ethic and competitiveness will make him an immediate value add to a college program.

Mike Corcoran (BC High) -- Corcoran consistently stepped in and showed his speed, amazing motor, and tremendous ability to defend. His ball pressure frustrated each opponent he faced, and his ability to manage a two tempo offense of transition and half court motion was invaluable to the team. The BC High Captain will return to the Catholic conference with a wealth of experience under his belt and poised for a big senior season. He is seeing interest from a variety of Division III schools.

John Mullane (King Philip) -- Mullane is a jack of all trades player who scores in a variety of ways and has the ability to defend both guards and forwards. Mullane is a tenacious rebounder and a consistent three point shooter who played multiple positions all year for the Magic. He is seeing recruitment from many Division III schools as he heads into a promising senior season.

Crotty Memorial Game set for tomorrow

June, 3, 2011
6/03/11
10:59
AM ET
The 39th Annual Boston Shootout is set to begin tomorrow morning at Tufts University's Cousens Gymnasium, pitting some of the area's premier AAU clubs against each other, and for the second straight year one of the matchups has been designated the Mike Crotty Memorial Game.

This year the Middlesex Magic, founded by the late Mike Crotty and now run by his son Mike Jr., will take on the Albany City Rocks at 5:45 p.m. tomorrow.

Below is a press release, courtesy of the Boston Amateur Basketball Club:


For 39 years, the Boston Shootout basketball tournament has brought together great teams and players for a weekend of competition. While it is considered an honor to take part in the competition, the tournament itself is honored to serve as host of the Mike Crotty Sr. Memorial Game, a special event to honor the highly respected coach, husband, father and friend.

The Shootout will honor Coach Crotty's legacy with a ceremony and game between the Albany City Rocks and the Middlesex Magic. Tip-off is set for this Saturday, 5:45 PM, at Tufts University's Cousens Gymnsium in Medford, MA.

Over a 17 year span, Coach Crotty built the Middlesex Magic into one of the most reputable and elite AAU programs both regionally and nationally. Through the Magic program, Coach Crotty touched thousands of kids’ lives, where he also helped hundreds to realize their college dreams. His sudden and untimely passing in February of 2010 shocked the basketball community, but his spirit lives on through the Middlesex Magic program now run by his son, Michael Crotty Jr. Coach Crotty's legacy continues as his son also serves as coach of the Middlesex Magic squad.

The Boston Shootout staff would like to invite all those who Mike Sr. knew, coached, mentored, coached against, as well as all the friends of the Middlesex Magic and AAU basketball in New England, to join us for a great night of basketball in honor of a special man.


BABC to host Boston Shootout this weekend

June, 2, 2011
6/02/11
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The Boston Amateur Basketball Club will be hosting the 2011 Boston Shootout this Saturday and Sunday, June 4-5, at Tufts University's Cousens Gymnsium. The weekend event marks the 39th year of the longstanding tournament that has annually featured some of the top youth basketball teams and players in the region.

“We are excited to host some unbelievable talent in this year's tournament,” Shootout Tournament Director Jay Demings said in a press release. “The Northeast is full of elite-level basketball players who are among the best nationally. The teams and players taking part will showcase some extremely talented young people who will play on the next level very soon.”

This year's Shootout will consist of a freshman and a junior division, where top area talent will be on display. Participating clubs include the Metro Hawks (N.Y.), Middlesex Magic, Connecticut Select, New England Storm, Albany City Rocks (N.Y.), Connecticut Basketball Club and tournament host BABC.

One particularly interesting game on the first day falls in the Junior A division, where BABC's highly-touted big man Nerlens Noel could potentially match up against CBC's Andre Drummond, the No. 1 ranked player in the Class of 2012. That game will be followed by the Mike Crotty Memorial Game at 5:45, to be held between the late Crotty's Middlesex Magic and the Albany City Rocks.

Middlesex Magic, N.E. Storm host 'College Night'

May, 11, 2011
5/11/11
12:26
PM ET
Mike Crotty Jr. of the Middlesex Magic and Rick Gorman of the New England Storm AAU programs have linked up tonight to host "College Night" at Tufts University, from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Anywhere from 25 to 40 coaches from Northeast-10, NESCAC and NEWMAC schools are expected to be in attendance for the event.

"Rick Gorman of the New England Storm and I believe that bringing our players together for this event will be a great night for them to gain exposure, and for coaches to have the opportunity to see two teams full of collegiate level basketball players," Crotty said in a press release.

Below is a list of some of the most notable players expected to play tonight:

Aaron Davis, Brooks
Mike Corcoran, BC High
Cooper Ainge, Wellesley
Michael Thorpe, Newton North
Chris O'Keefe, Lexington
Connor Mahoney, Brooks
John Mullane, King Phillip
Anthony Barry, Brooks
John Parsons, Willmington
Peter Miller, Northfield-Mount Hermon
Kyle Reardon, Rivers School
Joe Glynn, Cardinal Spellman
Chris Lee, Lexington

BABC Veteran's Day Classic schedule set

November, 3, 2010
11/03/10
4:06
PM ET
The Boston Amateur Basketball Club will be hosting the Veteran's Day Classic this weekend at the Reggie Lewis Center at Roxbury Community College. Some of the top New England underclassmen talent, including the BABC's 16-and-under AAU National Champion squad, will be competing.

Here is the schedule:

Saturday, Nov. 6
10:00 a.m. - Boston Warriors vs. New England Eagles 8th grade
11:15 a.m. - Blackstone Valley vs. Boston Promise 10th grade
12:30 - Boston Warriors vs. BABC Academy 8th grade
1:45 - Middlesex Magic vs. Rhode Island Hawks 10th grade
1:45 - BABC Academy vs. BSS 8th grade
3 - CT Select vs. BABC 11th grade
3 - BABC Academy vs. NE Eagles 8th grade
4:15 - Blackstone Valley vs. BABC 10th grade
4:15 - Middlesex Magic vs. CT Select 10th grade
5:30 - Boston Promise vs. BABC 10th grade
5:30 - Maine BBP vs. RI Hawks 10th grade
6:45 - Rhode Island Hawks vs. Middlesex Magic 11th grade

Sunday, Nov. 7
10 a.m. - BABC Freshmen vs. Boston Promise 10th grade
10 a.m. - CT Select vs. Rhode Island Hawks 11th grade
11:15 a.m. - BABC Freshman vs. Blackstone Valley 10th grade
11:15 a.m. - Maine BBP vs. CT Select 10th grade
12:30 - Rhode Island Hawks vs. BABC 11th grade
12:30 - BSS vs. NE Eagles 8th grade
1:45 - Maine BBP vs. Middlesex Magic 10th grade
1:45 - RI Hawks vs. CT Select 10th grade
3 - CT Select vs. Middlesex Magic 11th grade
3 - BSS vs. Boston Warriors 8th grade
4:15 - 10th grade Championship
5:30 - Middlesex Magic vs. BABC 11th grade

BABC takes national title in Orlando

July, 31, 2010
7/31/10
6:13
PM ET
Last Thursday morning, Rene Castro found himself boarding a plane from Logan Airport at 5:50, destined for Orlando. And upon touching down at Orlando International Airport at 10 a.m., greeted by his Boston Amateur Basketball Club teammates, he wasted no time getting down to business.

Mind you, this was a kid who hadn't picked up a basketball in ten days; he was down in Mexico, visiting his ailing grandfather. Yet with two words -- "I'm ready" -- he laced up the shoes at 1:20 p.m., and provided great spark for BABC throughout the rest of their run at the AAU Boys Basketball National Championship, at the Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Fla.

With Castro added to an already-competent lineup, BABC downed the Georgia-based Southern Kings (63-47), Illinois Rising Stars (48-33) and All-Ohio Red (56-52) to take the 16-and-under National title.

"I don't think we would have won this thing without Castro down there," BABC director and head coach Leo Papile said. "He was an extra ballhandler, extra set of eyes, for us. He's had a hell of a July."

Such a monstrous July, in fact, that Papile said the University of Kansas may soon extend a scholarship offer. Castro, who transferred to Beaver Country Day and re-classified after helping Milton High win a Division 2 state title in 2009, is already receiving interest from many Big East schools.

In all, the BABC allowed just 40.7 points per game in the tournament, which was played with 32-minute high school regulation. Most prominent among the defensive stoppers was Tilton School's Nerlens Noel, who averaged nearly 10 blocks a game for the tournament. In the BABC's win over All-Ohio in the final, the 6-foot-10 Noel had three blocks over the final 90 seconds, including one with 15 seconds left that allowed teammate Jaylen Brantley to scoop up the loose ball and ice the game with free throws.

Playing at what Papile roughly estimated "75-80 percent" due to a hip flexor, Noel still managed to impress the scores of high-major Division 1 coaches on hand. In the final, he had just one point, but seven blocks and nine rebounds.

Noel is still building his quadricep back up to strength after a nasty leg break last February that damaged his growth plate, but there is tremendous upside. From correspondent Adam Finkelstein:

"Noel has put on a defensive clinic all week to lead his team to the U-16 finals. A long and athletic player with incredible instincts for blocking shots, Noel has terrific mobility and agility for a player his size and phenomenal timing. Undoubtedly the best pure shot blocker in Orlando, Noel's defense is still far ahead of his offense. Still, he shows flashes on the offensive end as well, scoring with both hands from inside six feet, making quick spin moves, and passing out of the post."


The BABC also got great offensive performances during the week from Tilton's Georges Niang and King Philip's Jake Layman. Eight of the BABC's 14 players will be eligible for 16-and-under games next year, including Noel, Castro, Brantley, Wayne Selden, Goodluck Okonoboh and Kamali Bey.

Connaughton turns heads

The other local to open many an eye down in Orlando was Arlington resident Pat Connaughton, playing for the Middlesex Magic under head coach Mike Crotty, jr. Connaughton put on quite the show in front of a slew of big-time Division 1 coaches, averaging nearly 30 points a game throughout the tournament. Connaughton, who excels in both basketball and baseball at St. John's Prep during the school year, has expressed a desire to play both at the next level. He may just get his wish; Notre Dame, Tennessee and Iowa State are among the schools that are offering him that chance.

Noel overseas venture not out of realm

A few weeks ago, Papile raised a few eyebrows when he told the recruiting website HoopScoop that Noel could forgo his senior season at Tilton School and play overseas. Noel, who transferred from Everett High and is repeating his sophomore year at Tilton, would turn 19 in April of 2013.

When asked to clarify those comments this afternoon, Papile reaffirmed his disposition.

"He's talked about that," Papile said. "Long term, it's something he's interested in, but there's nothing (formal) at this point...Definitely not ruling it out, it's definitely something we want to look and see what it means terms of his education and in terms of his long-term future."J

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