Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Gary Browne Could Announce His Decision Next Week

Class of 2011 PG Gary Browne is getting close to making a decision on where he is going to college. University of West Virginia, University of Miami, University of Central Florida and Texas Tech are all very interested in Browne with West Virginia probably being the first school to make their offer official as soon as next week. Sources close to WVU confirmed that Associate Head Coach Larry Harrison who has been recruiting Browne all year is simply waiting for their NCAA Compliance Department to give the Basketball Department the green light to make the offer official. University of Miami has recently made a strong push for Browne and sources close to the coaching staff told IPRB that Miami will also offer as soon as they complete the NCAA Compliance process. NCAA Division 1 late signing period is in two weeks so Browne will only be able to make a verbal commitment until the first day of the signing period.

"Since the season has ended things have really picked up in terms of recruiting. A lot of schools really didn't know who Gary was and when they saw him play they liked what they saw. Most people don't realize how much time goes into schools making decisions on what players they decide to recruit. This is especially true of the PG position. In essence, they will be handing the keys to Gary and letting him drive and direct the offense. WVU has seen him at least 3 times and they have done a great job spending the time evaluating Gary. All four schools have communicated their interest in offering him a scholarship, said Todd Washington, Founder of PR Playmakers and Browne's mentor.

Browne is back in Puerto Rico on Spring Break and spoke to IPRB earlier today. "I'm real excited about making my decision. A lot of schools have come to see me since the season is over and I am real confident that I'm going to end up at a great school. I'm going to sit down with my family, and Todd and make a decision shortly. All of the schools interested in me are great schools and I am thankful to have the opportunity to go to college and get an education", said Browne.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

It's Official Abdiel Badillo Is Playing In Jordan Classic International Game

IPRB confirmed earlier today that Abdiel Badillo has been invited to play in the 2011 Jordan Classic International Game next month in Charlotte, North Carolina. Badillo will be the second player from Puerto Rico to be selected to play in this game. Current Montrose Christian PG, Carmelo Betancourt played in the game last year.

"I'm so happy for Abdiel, his mother and their entire family. A lot of times kids from that part of the island are over looked and don't get the same chances kids from the San Juan area get. He is so deserving of this honor and PR Playmakers is excited that we could leverage our relationship with Nike and get Abdiel a chance of a lifetime. Mark Bayne from Nike continues to work tirelessly to help Puerto Rico Basketball. The real credit in getting this done should be directed to him. This is the second year in a row he has worked with the people from Jordan Brand to ensure that elite players from Puerto Rico get a chance to showcase their talent on the big stage. Carmelo Betancourt carried the flag for Puerto Rico last year at the Jordan Classic. We are extremely confident that Abdiel is up to the challenge of following in Carmelo's footsteps and representing Pueto Rico to the fullest", said Todd Washington Founder of Nike Sponsored ELite Travel Basketball Club, PR Playmakers.

This years Jordan Classic will be held in Charlotte, North Carolina at the Time Warner Arena which is the home of the NBA's Charlotte Bobcats. In years past, the Jordan Classic has been held at the famed Madison Square Garden. There are three games each year with a "regional game", "international game" and the "all american" game which typically consists of the top 20 players in the country. The All American Game will be televised on one of the ESPN

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Roy Moreno Leaves TAAG Academy and Returns To Puerto Rico

Class of 2011 SF Roy Moreno had his ups and downs this year. The 6'4 SF left Puerto Rico Powerhouse, St. Francis and decided to attend TAAG Academy. Many close to Moreno thought it was an unwise decision but Moreno decided to attend anyway.

TAAG academy is part of a new breed of basketball post graduate programs that seem to be sprouting up all over the country. Here today, gone tomorrow these "academies" are not traditional schools rather places where players can go to develop their games and showcase their talents. Not all Post graduate programs are failure and some do a heck of a job providing opportunities for players to graduate, qualify and showcase their talents.

Moreno started his senior season off strong with an All Tournament Select in the highly competitive College of Southern Idado Tournament which had several top prep school and junior college players competing in the event. Moreno showed an ability to play at a very high level and created a nice buzz.

Soon after that performance, Moreno injured his knee and had to sit out the reminder of the season. While sitting out and rehabbing his knee, several of his teammates got caught stealing and were expelled. The program felt apart shortly thereafter and Moreno came back to PR to finish school online and rehab his knee.

"I had some good experiences while I was at TAAG and got to play against a lot of really good players. I proved that I an play at a really high level. I'm back in PR doing my classes online and rehabbing. My knee feels great and I'm almost back to being 100 percent", said Moreno via text message.

PR Playmakers Founder Todd Washington says this is a cautionary tale and both parents and players need to be careful when deciding what school to attend. "We tried as hard as we could to discourage Roy from attending TAAG. When making a decision to leave a really good situation like he was in at St. Francis it only makes sense if you going to go play for a superior program. Leaving just for the sake of leaving is never a wise decision and in many cases what happened to Roy is the norm. Roy is a great kid who will use this experience as a learning lesson. He's a hard worker and part of the PRP Family. We were disappointed that he did not accept the advice we offered but we don't turn our back on kids who make bad decisions. Roy needs a couple of years at a JUCO and he will be a great addition to a mid major program."

Several In Class of 2011 Have Yet To Sign

With the NCAA Late Signing Period about a month away, several of players in the Class of 2011 have yet to sign an NCAA Letter of Intent which is required when accepting a scholarship offer. Several players decided to attend a school on the mainland with hopes of increasing their exposure and playing against the top players in the country.

Carmelo Betancourt, Gary Browne Ramirez, Rasham Suarez, Gabriel Anglero and Roy Moreno all decided to leave PR and attend school on the mainland while other top players like Giancarlo Santiago stayed and had great seasons playing for local schools.

Suarez who has been attending schools in the states since his Freshman year signed early with Georgia Southern. Both Browne and Betancourt have garnered a lot of interest from top 20 colleges and universities yet neither has secured an offer. Anglero did not get the playing time he expected but had a solid year and is getting looks by several D2 and D3 schools. Moreno got injured during the season after having a strong start. IPRB spoke with a high school recruiting expert, who said, " Both Browne and Betancourt proved they can play at a high level and compete against the best players in the country. Big East power, West Virginia has shown serious interest in Browne and Miami, Mississippi State and Alabama recently expressed in interest as well. There is a long list of mid major schools interested in Browne. Betancourt had a very solid season at Montrose and schools like Georgetown, Davidson, and UCF have expressed interest in Betancourt along with a long list of mid majors.

Since both of these players were not on the recruiting scene until this year coaches have been paying close attention to both. Both of these guys are fantastic players and should be considered a steal for any program that signs them.

"Gary and Melo had great years and played for Top 20 programs. This was an important experience for them, to compete at the highest level and get accustomed to competing for playing time. We try to tell all of our guys that this is going to be a reality for them moving forward. When players advance from one level to the next they encounter a higher level of competition. For a lot of our players in PR they have been "the man" since they were like 9 or 10 years old. They have never competed for playing time and are accustomed to being one of the best players on the court every time they play. Making that transition is not easy but it is necessary if they are going to play D1 ball. The same is true for guys like Anglero and Moreno. All four of these guys are great players and fantastic young men. They have all improved, matured off the court and learned a tremendous amount spending a year away from home."

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Abdiel Badillo To Play In Jordan Classic

Class of 2012 SF and National Team prospect Abdiel Badillo is doing big things! He has been working with PR Playmakers, Founder Todd Washington who has introduced Badillo to several prep schools and Badillo may have a chance to play in the Jordan Classic International Game. Class of 2011 PG and former Adianez standout Carmelo Betancourt played in the Jordan Classic last year and put PR back on the map. Betancourt went on to get a scholarship at Montrose Christian (Kevin Durant and Grevis Vasquez went to school there) after playing in last years Jordan Classic International Game.

"My guy Mark Bayne at Nike put it together for Melo last year. Melo went up to the Garden (Madison Square Garden) last year did his thing. He opened the door for other players to follow in his footsteps. I got introduced to Abdiel by Raul Alzaga from Primera Hora Newspaper last year. I've been tracking his progress and the kid can flat out go. Nothing is confirmed but we are going to do everything we can to get him in this years Jordan Classic International Game. Abdiel is a "straight A student" so schools are lining up. Like a lot of kids in PR he just needs someone to open the door for him. We've already got him in a couple of elite camps this summer and then if he and his mom are ready he will attend prep school for the fall semester, said PR Playmakers Founder and Badillo's mentor, Todd Washington.

Badillo is considered to be the top young prospect by many in the country. A local coach whose teams have played against Badillo said, " He is making real progress in terms of being a really special player. He does almost everything really well and if he gets into a program in the states where he can compete against top players he will get even better. He is also a great student and a fantastic young man."