Thursday, May 3, 2012
Summer Schooled: BABC
By By Mike Grimala
Each week this summer leading up to the AAU National Championships in Orlando in July, ESPNHS will profile one of the nation's top AAU teams and tell you why you should be paying attention.
ESPNHS profiles some of the elite AAU clubs this season. Read the archives.
Team: BABC Location: Boston, Mass. Coach: Leo Papile
What you need to know about BABC:
Coach Leo Papile has built BABC into a national powerhouse. Last year, led by superstars like Kentucky-bound Nerlens Noel, the Boston-based squad won the Nike Peach Jam. Without the shot blocking of Noel to anchor the defense this season, there will be a void in the frontcourt. But what BABC lacks in height, it makes up for in quickness and athleticism. Few teams in the country can match up when BABC goes small.
"With the loss of Nerlens, people don't expect us to be as good this year," says Class of 2013 point guard Jaylen Brantley. "We're out to prove everyone wrong."
Jaylen Brantley, G, 2013: Brantley is rated as the No. 1 player in Massachusetts for 2013. A strong, tough point guard, he's responsible for running the offense and creating havoc in BABC's pressure defense.
Rene Castro, G, 2013: A 6-foot-2 guard, Castro won Gatorade State Player of the Year honors as the top baller in Massachusetts this winter. He averaged 23.4 points per game for Worcester Academy and hit 41.7 percent of his 3-pointers. "He can score pretty much whenever he wants to," says Brantley.
Wayne Selden, G/F, 2014: The No. 6 player in the ESPN 25, Selden is a swingman who does most of his damage in the open floor. At 6-foot-5, 200 pounds, Selden overpowers opponents on his way to the basket.
EYBL Session 3: May 11-13 in Dallas
EYBL Session 4: May 25-28 in Oakland, Calif.
Boston Shootout: June 2-3 in Boston
Nike Peach Jam: July 18-21 in North Augusta, S.C.
Selden is looking forward to the Nike Peach Jam and believes BABC can defend its crown, despite losing an incredible amount of talent from last year's team.
"Last year there were a lot of talented teams at Peach Jam," he says. "I'm not downplaying anybody, but this year I don't think there's any one team that stands out. I think it's anybody's to win. No one has really set themselves up as that clear No. 1 team, so it's still up for grabs."