The New York Gauchos held the first ever King of New York Classic this past weekend at various locations throughout the Bronx. The most notable venue was the famous Gauchos Gym, home of the legendary AAU program, which has produced NBA stars like Rod Strickland, Chris Mullin, Jamal Mashburn, Kenny Anderson and Stephon Marbury.
The field in the U-16 division headlined the tournament as programs including the Playaz, King James, All Ohio Red, New Heights, Team Final and the Albany City Rocks all came through the Gauchos' gym.
Austin Colbert (Elizabeth, N.J./St. Patrick's)
2013, PF, 6-foot-9, 200 pounds
He stood out as a prospect with virtually unlimited upside. Colbert was dominant on the defensive end, using his length and athleticism to block a variety of shots from the weak side of the floor. Offensively, he was able to get a variety of easy points in transition because he runs the floor like a deer, but he also showed a rapidly expanding skill set. The Team Final power forward consistently faced up to make shots and attack off the dribble from the high post, but also extended to the 3-point line with equally good results. He made open 3s when his feet were set, showing the same sound mechanics he does from closer ranges. However, the most impressive thing about Colbert was the way he used his length to get to the rim with one dribble and finish with a soft touch. Colbert still needs to work a little harder to get himself open for catches and to become a more dominant force on the glass.
Shadell Millinghaus (Schenectady, N.Y./Schenectady)
2012, SF, 6-4, 180 pounds
He is physically powerful and at his best when he is able to push the ball out in front of him in the open floor. Millinghaus goes equally hard to the rim in the quarter court and has good touch around the rim with both hands. He can occasionally get out of control and would do well to add a jump stop in the lane to prevent offensive fouls. While definitely a drive-first player and certainly not a pure shooter, he has a soft enough touch on his jumper that defenders must respect his 3-point shot.
• Kavon Stewart (Paterson, N.J./Paterson Catholic) has a remarkable feel for the game for such a young point guard. The 2013 prospect has incredible poise with the basketball -- both against pressure and going through the lane. He never seems to get rattled.
• Elijah Macon (Columbus, Ohio/Marion-Franklin) is a special talent with tons of untapped potential, but he has a tendency to play to the level of his competition. When challenged, the 2012 prospect is extremely active on both ends of the floor, but he can also be guilty of simply going through the motions at times.
• Jake Kretzer (Waverly, Ohio/Waverly) was the best shooter we saw all weekend long. Gauchos Gym has the high school, college and NBA lines down on their floor, so there was no denying that Kretzer was effortlessly stroking the ball from a couple of feet beyond the NBA arc.
• Jordan Forehand (Bridgewater, N.J./St. Anthony) could be the next great guard to come out of coach Bob Hurley's program. Forehand is strong, athletic and capable of making some big-time plays with the ball, but what is most impressive about him is his great feel for the game.
Adam Finkelstein is a frequent contributor, both in player evaluations and event coverage.