Thursday, October 14, 2010

Betancourt To Attend Midnight Madness At Georgetown

Class of 2011 PG, Carmelo Betancourt will attend Midnight Madness at Georgetown University confirmed a source earlier today. Betancourt who transferred to powerhouse Monstrose Christian Academy this fall has been on Georgetowns' recruiting radar since last spring when Coach Thompson was on vacation in Puerto Rico with his family.

PR Playmakers Founder, Todd Washington told us earlier today that, " Carmelo has been invited to Midnight Madness at Georgetown. Clearly they are interested in Carmelo but he has to show Georgetown and all the other schools that are interested in him that he can play at this level. Getting invited to Midnight Madness is a clear signal of the schools' interest but he is far away from getting an offer from Georgetown. The season starts soon and I feel confident that Carmelo will show everyone what we already know! He's a big time guard trapped and a small package."

Midnight Madness is the official start of the college basketball season with team hold practice at midnight on October 15th. Typically there are all types of festivities including a dunk contest, three point shootout, scrimmage and live performances.

Wale, a DC area native and rising star on the rap scene will be performing tomorrow at Georgetowns' Midnight Madness.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

When Do Kids Start Practicing and Playing on 10ft Baskets?

There are many benefits to having our young players play on 8.5ft baskets. It is clearly one of the reasons we are such great jump shooters. Young players can focus on developing the proper form and mechanics of a jump shot versus having the "chuck" a ball up to try and make a shot on a 10ft basket. This has been discussed at every local club and at every game. When is it the right time for average players to begin playing on 10ft baskets vs. when do elite prospects begin playing on 10ft baskets?

Are we delaying an elite prospects' development by forcing him to play games on 8.5 baskets against kids who are recreational players? IPRB is sitting down with NBA World Champion and former playground legend Butch Lee to discuss his thoughts on the subject.

He's got some interesting things to say!

11U and 12U National Teams Prepare for MIT

Hats to the the leadership at the Federation! IPRB has confirmed that the 11U and 12U National Teams will be playing in this years Maryland Invitational Tournament in February 2010. The MIT is widely regarded as the top event for ages 8-14 during the winter season. Top teams including DC Assault, New Heights NYC, Team Battle, DC Takeover and King Street Kings participate in this event annually.

Victor Ortiz who is responsible for this age group has created both an A and B team and is focusing on developing a year round program which will allow the best kids to train and play against each other. The MIT is an important part of the development of these young players given that many of them have yet to compete against this type of athletic talent.

IPRB spoke to a local youth coach who stated," Playing at the MIT is going to be an eye opener for both our players and their parents. The athletic level is superior to what most of our kids have seen and from a size standpoint we've got to get used to playing against bigger kids. Anyone who watched the World Championships or went to the World Basketball Festival saw us struggle against some of the bigger teams. Sending our kids to play and beat teams in Argentina and Cuba by 30-40 points isn't going to help these kids develop.

Several programs including Miami Tropics, Pump and Run Puerto Rico, ABB and PR Playmakers have been sending teams to play in AAU and the "Summer Circuit" for years. Look at the young players from 11U PR Playmakers and 11U ABB Teams. Some of those teams didn't win a game this year but that is not the point. Those kids learned to deal with losing, playing against players who are athletically superior and recognizing that they have to work on not only developing their jump shot but their bodies. Some of these kids play in leagues year round and have never worked on strength and conditioning. Every kid who leaves here to play in college says the same thing. I cannot believe how out of shape I was when I got to school.

Learning these lessons at an early age can only help these prospects get better.

Sunday, October 3, 2010


IPRB learned today, that the oldest professional basketball league in world, the Baloncesto Superior Nacional ("BSN") a Puerto Rico based professional basketball league and it's owners will be sued in the coming weeks for job discrimination. Information obtained by IPRB suggest that a group of foreign players has retained some of very powerful lawyers who plan to file the lawsuit in the coming weeks.

Much like the leagues in Europe and Asia, the BSN imposes a limit on the number of non-nationals who can play on a team to two. Many forget that the NBA only allowed two black players per team in the 1960's and leagues in countries outside of the USA do not have Federal laws which prohibit discrimination based on race, religion or sexual orientation.

We will share more information as it becomes available.


IPRB confirmed earlier today that UTEP Head Coach, Tim Floyd is in Mississippi visiting Raymond Cintron. Coach Floyd, former Head Coach of the Chicago Bulls and University of Southern California has 8 scholarships available for next year and is looking for shooters. Cintron who is being recruited by severals school including UNLV who offered this summer is the type of player who every coach would want.

Says a recruiting insider, "Cintron is a big time shooter and a "high major" type of talent. He's the son of a coach and has a very high basketball IQ. He will make an immediate impact no matter where he goes."

Gary Browne, Class of 2011 SG is also getting looks from a number of schools including UTEP. IPRB confirmed that UTEP will also look at Gary Browne who is also a fantastic shooter and scorer. Browne is one of those players currently under the radar and would be a steal. A long range shooter with a unique ability to make tough shots, Browne is the type of player who will come in and make an impact immediately.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Should Elite Players Stay or Leave to Attend High School In States?

IPRB is a huge supporter of sending elite players to the states because from a competition standpoint Puerto Rico simply doesn't have the athletes or "bigs" which is what players will end up seeing at the next level. Players 6'3 and up are forced to play out of position because of the lack of size on the island.

From a coaching and commitment standpoint, there are very few places in the world that rival Puerto Rico. The early stage development and competition are tremendous but you begin to see the fall off around 12 and 13 years old. By 14 and 15 a lot of players who were dominant in the younger divisions don't get taller or stronger and the game changes.

On top of that there is a focus on winning over development and high level competition. For the last several years US based basketball development was criticized for not truly developing players while European development was celebrated as being the model of the future.

Proponents of the "Euro model" fail to admit that what they do is not allowed in the USA or Puerto Rico for that matter. Elite players in Europe and other places around the world are identified and then turn professional as early as 14 years old. Take the case of Kentucky Freshman, Enes Kantner. Kantner and his family received over 100K in "living expenses since his early teens from a pro team in Turkey. He trained and worked day in and day out on his future profession for the last 5 years without having to attend school. Kantner's story is not the exception but the norm in Europe yet a European born player has never led a team to an NBA title. The NBA is dominated by players who are either from the USA or spent a significant amount of time learning the game and training in the USA.

So why are we so resistant to players from Puerto Rico attending school in the USA? Some of the best players including most of the current National Team attend college and benefitted from the competition the USA offers. Take the case of 2010 18U National Team PG, Carmelo Betancourt. In his first month of prep school at Montrose Christian he has had Gary Williams, John Thompson III and Jay Wright attend his practices! For those of you who don't know the college game, that is the head coaches from Maryland, Georgetown and Villanova. That type of exposure for players is critical to creating the buzz and hype which in today's recruiting world is critical to a player getting a scholarship. Hype and Buzz are what makes coaches show up at a school to watch a player and if a player has "the goods" then the hype and buzz are good things!

What's interesting here is the fact that no local based high school has decided to recruit outside of PR, bring in talent from around the region and then schedule the elite teams from the USA. The opportunity exists but for some reason nobody has done it. Programs in hotbeds' of talent around the USA have opened so that local talent can stay local versus having the leave to get the type of exposure and competition which is fundamental to developing elite players.