Thursday, July 28, 2011

Onix Collazo to CSI

IPRB confirmed this morning that the College of Southern Idaho will offer a full scholarship to Onix Collazo. Collazo is a 6'3 pure point guard with tremendous upside who graduated from Adianez after spending a year at Florida Air Academy. PR Playmakers Founder, Todd Washington was introduced to Collazo by a mutual friend who asked if Washington could help Collazo find a school.

"Onix is a good kid. Anytime a young man like that wants to further his education and go to college, we will do whatever we can to help make that a reality, said Washington.

CSI is the NCJAA Division 1 defending National Champions. They have placed close to 200 players at D1 programs.

Ledo Is Loving Puerto Rico

Ricky Ledo has spent less than 24 hours in Puerto Rico but he already feels like he did as a young kid when he used to come here during the summer. "I used to come to Puerto Rico like every summer. So being here kind of reminds me of that time. I used to come here every year until I was 13 years old. Then I started playing AAU basketball so I didn't have time to come. I'm excited to be back, I'm loving it!" Ledo said.

Ledo and his mentor/AAU Coach Todd Quarles arrived yesterday and after checking into the hotel, getting a quick bite to eat, the two of them arrived to National Team practice with Federation Executive, Jaime Lamboy. Lamboy is leading the Federations effort to get Ledo to play for Puerto Rico. Once Ledo arrived at practice, he put on some practice gear and after meeting with coaches and other staff, he played a couple of games of three on three and then got some shots up. Ledo's aunt and uncle who are here on vacation were also able to attend practice.

Ledo said,"I had great time at practice. The ball is kind of different. I had trouble getting a feel for the ball. I'm ready to come out tomorrow and do my best. The guys on the team are really good guys and I want to show that I can play at this level."

Ledo's issue with the ball reminded PR Playmakers Founder, Todd Washington of the situation with Mike Rosario, when he came to Puerto Rico in 2009. "When I brought Mike down to play for the 19U Team in 2009, he didn't make a shot for the first three days. Some of the coaching staff and his teammates starting whispering that maybe he wasn't as good as advertised. He probably shot 10 airballs in those first couple of days. After the third day of practice, we got him a ball and told him to keep it with him everywhere he went. He slept with ball like he was a little kid and by the end of the week he was killing everybody. So I told Ricky at dinner tonight that we are going to get him a ball so he can get accustomed to the weight and feel."

Rosario went on later that summmer to lead the world in scoring as Puerto Rico finished 6th the 2009 FIBA World Championship. Washington told IPRB that he is getting Rosario and Ledo on the phone, so that Rosario can share his experience in Puerto Rico with Ledo and help him in his decision.

Washington thinks there is a real chance at him playing for Puerto Rico provided he can make the team. "When Todd Quarles and I began discussing the idea of Ricky playing for Puerto Rico, I made it clear that this is no cake walk. There are a lot of really good players trying out. I told Ricky to enjoy the trip, spend time reconnecting with his family here on the island and give it his best. That is all you can ask a young man his age to do. Give it his best. I think there is a relly good chance that he will decide to play for Puerto Rico. We are doing everything we can to help him make the right decision for he and his family."

Ledo went to The Palm in the El San Juan Hotel for dessert. He ordered a big piece of chocalate cake, ice cream and a glass of milk. As he looked at all of the pictures of famous people on the walls you could sense that Ledo felt his picture would also be up there sometime in the near future.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Ricky Ledo Arrives

IPRB has learned that Ricky Ledo and his mentor/AAU Coach, Todd Quarles arrived in San Juan, PR about an hour ago. Ledo is widely considered to be one of the best players in the Class of 2012. At 6'6, he has the size and athletic ability to play in the NBA. Ledo's father is from Puerto Rico and has family including his grandmother who live on the island. Ledo, Todd Quarles and Ledo's aunt who is on vacation in Puerto Rico will be meeting with the Federation executives and hopefully getting on the court to practice with the National Team. Jaime Lamboy has been leading the effort on behalf of the Federation in getting Ledo on the island.

We will have an in depth interview with Ledo tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Canada's National Team Will Benefit From AAU Basketball and Programs Like CIA BOUNCE

Five years ago nobody took Canada seriously when you talked about basketball. Even after Steve Nash won two NBA MVPs, most people in the sport did not predict what was about to happen. In the 2011 NBA draft two 19 year olds from Canada were selected in the first round, with one of them being picked 4th overall. Tristan Thompson and Corey Joseph are products of the circuit They played on the elite travel team, Grassroots Canada/Team Takeover, attending powerhouse, Findlay Prep and then playing at the University of Texas for one year before opting to enter then NBA draft. These two guy are perfect examples of why many in the International Basketball think that Canada has figured things out as it relates to developing players.

IPRB spoke to an NBA Scout whose job it is to identify foreign players and he said," Canada has figured it out, they have developed and are in the process of developing 20-30 guys who have a real chance at playing in the NBA. One of the main reason that we are seeing the such an increase in talent out of Canada is what CIA Bounce and Ro Russel's program has done in terms of teaching players about the culture of the game. The experience these Canadian players had playing on travel teams and being a part of the circuit was so important. Then on top of that the Federation has really done a great job of cooperating with the travel teams to ensure that players are given a chance to experience both situations. Playing for your country always comes first!"

See the Zagsblog article on Canadian Powerhouse, CIA Bounce!

http://www.zagsblog.com/2011/07/25/cia-bounce-wins-super-showcase/

Friday, July 22, 2011

#2 SG In Class of 2012 Considers Representing Puerto Rico

See Zagsblog article below,

http://www.zagsblog.com/2011/07/22/ledo-to-consider-playing-for-puerto-rico/

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Prestigious Washington, DC Prep School Interested In Puerto Rican Student Athletes

St Johns College High School in Washington, DC is widely considered to be an elite private school. With a long list of prestigious alumni including Under Armour Founder and CEO, kevin Plank, St. Johns is not your run of the mill high school. We wrote earlier this year about rising 12th grader Abidel Badillo's interest in attending an elite private school and the possibility of St Johns being his first option. IPRB confirmed today Badillo is finalizing paperwork to attend St Johns in the late August. St Johns assistant coach, Coach Murphy is coming to puerto Rico in early August to spend time with Badillo and his family.


"We are also trying to place Bryan Rodriguez or Jadiel Ozuna at St Johns as well. St Johns may also have an additional spot available and we are going to try and get either Bryan or Jadiel admitted. Both of them are great players and even better students. St Johns has rigorous academic requirements and the admissions process is more difficult than most. St Johns plays in one of the top high school leagues in the country and more importantly the coaching staff does a great job of preparing them for the next level, said PR Playmakers Founder, Todd Washington.


Badillo played in this years' Jordan Classic International Game and already getting interest from several High Major Division 1 programs.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Team Barea Enters Grassroots Game

IPRB has confirmed that JJ Barea and his childhood friend have started an Travel Team Program, TEAM BAREA. Sources close to the team have confirmed that Christian Santaella is the President of the program which enters the grassroots game this summer by fielding a team at the prestigious Nike Global Challenge. Santaella spent last year with the front office at the Washington Wizards while completing his graduate degree at Georgetown.

His first move was getting former NBA Champ and Puerto Rican legend, Butch Lee to join the coaching staff as Associate Head Coach of the 19U Team after getting Rolando Hourrutiner to accept the Head Coach position.

Team Barea will field a 16U and 17U team next summer. More info to come on this move and how it impacts other travel team programs including Pump and Run, Bucaplaa and Miami Tropics.

JJ Barea Super 60 Exceeds Expectations

Hats off to JJ Barea and the guys at Team Barea for bringing a world class event to Puerto Rico! 60 of the best players ages 13-18 spent 4 days in Salinas, competing and learning from a group of great coaches. Log on to www.fivestarbasketball.com for a three part series on the Academy.