Thursday, August 18, 2011

Fontan Confirms Torn ACL

IPRB just got off the phone with Jio Fontan and he confirmed that he has torn his ACL. This was a big surprise to Fontan who felt before his doctor's appointment this afternoon that his injury was not as serious as when the injury first occured.

Fontan who was clearly saddened and disappointed has the following to say,"I'm down right now but I'll be alright. I'm going to work harder than ever! I had worked so hard all year to get to a point where I was playing the best ball of my life ".

The prognosis is anywhere from 6-12 months. Fontan plans to apply for a medical redshirt for this year. He had already applied for an additional year from his time at Fordham in 2009 when he played only five games before transferring from Fordham and sitting out the Spring/Fall Semesters in 2010.

Fontan's mentor and the person responsible for bringing him to Puerto Rico to play for the 19U National Team, Todd Washington said, "Everyone has a different path in life. Jio is a warrior and if anyone can come back from this in an even better space, it is "G". I've been on the phone with him a couple of times today and he is down but not out. He is going to get a second opinion and then he and his family will sit down and decide the best course of action. While nothing is good about tearing an ACL, he has to feel good about going down to Brazil and dominating. He was averaging close to 30 PPG and putting on a show every night He'll be back better than ever!"

Fontan had averaged over 28 PPG while playing against some of the top professional teams in Brazil.

Jio Fontan Injury Is Not As Bad As Reported

USC point guard Jio Fontan was having a fantastic trip in Brazil. Fontan was averaging close to 30 PPG and showing the Brazilians why many feel that he has a chance to not only play professional ball but could possible be a late second round draft pick. Fontan injured his knee yesterday and some had reported that his injury was career threatening.

IPRB spoke directly to Fontan by phone this afternoon and confirmed that he has yet to get an official diagnosis from a doctor but by his own account it is not as bad as first reported.

"Coach flew me back to LA yesterday and I am on my way to get an MRI done this afternoon. It feels a lot better then it did when I injured it and I am able to put some pressure on it and stand on one leg so it is not as bad as we first thought", said Fontan by telephone.

Fontan played in 2009 for the Puerto Rico 19U National Team with his best friend Michael Rosario. That team finished 6th in the world and Jio led the world in assists while Michael Rosario led the world in scoring.

Giancarlo Santiago And The Good Ole Boys in Mississippi

Giancarlo Santiago is 6'6 and 230 lbs. He went from being a player many felt had not chance to play college ball to being someone high major programs are watching very closely. In less than a year, Santiago put on about 20 pounds of muscle and developed his entire game including a long range jumper which is as pure as ice water out to about 22 feet.

Santiago arrived in Mississippi last night to start his Freshman year at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College "MGCCC". MGCCC seems to be a place where Puerto Ricans are having some success. It started with Raymond Cintron two years ago and last year, Angel "The Little Monster" Matias enrolled at MGCCC. Matias lost weight, focused on his academics and got himself in shape. He and Santiago will create a formidable combination of size and scoring ability.

IPRB caught up with Giancarlo via text this afternoon. He was chillin' in his dorm, getting used to being the deep deep south! It is not easy going from Puerto Rico to Mississippi but when you have a dream you'll go anywhere to see that dream come true.

IPRB: Puerto Rico is in Mississippi! So how is it down there?

GS: Yeah! It's quiet now since school doesn't start until Friday. I'm happy to be here and excited.

IPRB: Raymond Cintron set the bar in terms of performance as he was a Junior College All American. Are you ready to fill his shoes?

GS: I'm here to do my job and play hard.

IPRB: Who are you rooming with?

GS: Angel Matias. He is not here yet, he is chillin at a friends' house until school starts.

IPRB: Why did you select MGCCC?

GS: They have a great coach, great facilities and other players from Puerto Rico have been successful here.

IPRB: A year ago many people thought you were not good enough to play Division 3. Clearly you have improved a tremendous amount but are you good enough to play Mid-Major D1?

GS: I can play High Major, Mid Major it doesn't matter to me. I'll play anyone, anytime.

IPRB: You played for Team Barea at the Global Challenge. What did you learn and what advice would you give young players?

GS:I learned a lot. I learned how important it is to practice and train everyday. I would tell young players to stop playing in all the leagues and start training more.

IPRB: You are one of the players we will be watching this year. We wish you the best!

GS: Thanks!

Barea In Hospital

IPRB learned this evening that NBA Champion, JJ Barea was admitted into a Puerto Rico hospital yesterday. Out of respect for his privacy and security, IPRB is not releasing the name of the hospital. It seems that Barea may have gotten a stomach virus. This is not a life threatening illness. We will share more info as it becomes available.

Rodriguez A No Show/Collazo Doesn't Get Scholarship

Selwyn Rodriguez decided at the last minute not to travel to visit Montrose Christian, IPRB learned yesterday. The class of 2012 PG and his family decided at the last minute that he may do better playing in a less competitive program with less pressure to perform. Word is he may decide to attend Patterson, NJ public school, Eastside High. Eastside is coached by Juan Griles.

IPRB reported that recent Adianez graduate was about to travel to Southern Idaho. Collazo did not live up to expectations and the coaching staff decided not to offer him a scholarship.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Selwyn Rodriguez To Visit Montrose Christian

Class of 2013 PG, Selwyn Rodriguez will be visiting Montrose Christian on Sunday and Monday. After showing up in a major way at both the JJ Barea Super 60 and FIBA 17U Caribbean Championship several programs have expressed an interest in him.

Carmelo Betancourt attended Montrose last year and opened the door for other players from Puerto Rico to also attend Montrose. Montrose won the National Championship last year and is loaded for the upcoming season. Rodriguez will have an opportunity to meet with the coaches, take the entrance exam, practice and allow both he and the coaches to be sure that this is the right.

Coach Stu Vetter who is widely considered to be one of the best high school coaches in America and Montrose Christian is one of only three high school programs sponsored by Jordan Brand. They are the only program high school program to also have its own television show on Fox Sports.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Source Confirms That Ledo Will Not Play This Year

A source close to the Ledo situation confirmed this evening that he has opted to not play for Puerto Rico this year. While this is not a good news for this years' National Team, the source also confirmed that is is highly probable that Ledo would play next year, if in fact, the Federation extended an offer for Ledo to tryout next year.

Ledo and his family have been weighing the option of having him represent Puerto Rico versus the USA since they left Puerto Rico. Ledo, his aunt and his mentor, Todd Quarles spent several days in Puerto Rico last month. Ledo had a chance to reconnect with family and practice with the team while he was here. He and Quarles also spent time with PR Playmakers Founder, Todd Washington

IPRB contacted Todd Washington, who was responsible for introducing Ledo to the Federation. Washington stated,"Ricky and his family are planning to call Jaime Lamboy to discuss their decision. Out of respect for their privacy I am not willing to comment at this time.

When asked when the call to the Federation would take place Washington responded by saying,"As soon as today".

Source Confirms That Ledo Is Still Not Sure Yet

Ricardo Ledo is still in the process of determining if he will play for the USA or Puerto Rico, a source told IPRB today. The source who requested anonymity, confirmed that Ledo, his mentor, Todd Quarles, Ledo's father and aunt are involved in the decision which could be made as soon as Friday.
When contacted by IPRB, Todd Washington said the following,"Ricky, his family and Todd Quarles are taking this decision very seriously. Jaime Lamboy and Tuto did a wonderful job hosting Todd and the Ledo family while they were here. Lets see what's happens."

Team Barea Goes 0-3 At Global Challenge

After beating the team that has won the Sub 22 Puerto Rico Championship the last three years, Team Barea travelled to Portland to participate in the Nike Global Challenge. The Top 30 High School players in the country, along with teams from Germany, Chinese Taipei, Canada and Puerto Rico participated in this years' event. Team Barea failed to win a game and had several chemistry issues even though they had verteran international players including, Carmelo Betancourt, Rasham Suarez and Wil Martinez Corea.

The disconnect between players born on the island and those whose are of Puerto Rican descent seemed to really create a chemistry issue. Many local born players and coaches seem to have an issue with players and coaches who are of Puerto Rican descent but were not born on the island.

PR Playmakers Founder, Todd Washington who arranged for Team Barea to participate in the event and acted as an Advisor to the Team had the following to say about the teams performance both on and off the court. "It was a wonderful experience for our players and coaches. Our coaches did a great job preparing our players. Rolondo, Xavier and Christian did a wonderful job. Our players simply didn't perform. No excuses, the guys that we needed to show up went MIA. Some of these players are not quite sure if they want to be Daddy Yankee or JJ Barea. Both guys are superstars but you cannot be both. Either you are an entertainer or a basketball player. Some of the guys who went out there were more concerned about what shoes they were getting from Nike and what the uniforms looked like than they were focused on playing basketball. All the mohawks, shaving eyebrows and hair gel is totally played out! None of the other teams were focused on that and even tough almost all of the Canadian players are from other countries in the Caribbean they stay together and played together."

Team Barea lost to USA West, Germany and Chinese Taipea. Wil Martinez Corea was selected to the International All Tournament Team. The team selected one player from each team, with Canada having two players selected.

Badillo to St Johns and Collazo Visits CSI

17U National Team SF/PF Abdiel Badillo has been accepted and will attend St Johns for his senior year. St Johns is a Washington, DC private schools which plays in one of the top conferences in the USA.

Former Adianez PG Onix Collazo is on an official visit at the College of Southern Idado "CSI". CSI is the defending NJCAA Division 1 Champions. More info on Collazo's visit later today.

"We are excited about continuing to help student athletes in Puerto Rico secure opportunities to further their education. Abdiel is a great player and even better student. He will do well at St Johns and open the door for more student athletes to attend private schools in the USA, said Todd Washington, Founder of PRP ELITE.

Grassroots Basketball and Helping Players

The grassroots game has always been a little slippery. AAU Programs competing for players and saying about anything to try and convince a player to run with them for the summer. Coaches and Program Directors constantly spread rumors and lies in an effort to discredit the competition. Programs are being run by agents and professional team personnel, yet they profess to have a real interest in seeing players attend the best schools. All of this in an effort to help a player get a free education! Atleast this is what most of the travel team programs suggest their motivation is yet for some reason none of the top programs will have anything to do with the other.

For the last decade, Miami Tropics and Pump and Run have dominated the grassroots scene. Two well respected programs, with well connected leadership, have placed well over 150 student athletes in high schools and colleges. Their success and refusal to partner with others in the game, has resulted in just about anyone believing that they can run a successful travel team.

PRP Founder, Todd Washington shared his thoughts on why helping players has gotten so competitive.
"We started our program 5 years ago focusing on developing and nurturing 8 and 9 year olds Our approach is different, We don't see Pilin and Jorge as competition. We will be successful no matter how successful Pump and Run and Miami Tropics are. We tell players and parents all the time, that if they prefer to play for either of those clubs, they should do so. And, if for any reason, they decide to play for those guys and they need our help we will be there to help them. We have no interest in controlling players or saying anything negative about any programs. We don't have to play that game that way in order to win. We are going to win regardless, so trashing other people is not part of what we do. I wish I could say the same for some of the guys out here running programs but that's the game in Puerto Rico. Program Heads and their coaches try to trash the competition instead of letting their record and performance speak for itself."

If it is really about helping players some would ask why more programs don't work together and focus solely on getting as many student athletes scholarships as possible.
The guys who last in this game perform, year in and year out. There are no shortcuts to success in the grassroots game, only hard work and discipline will ensure success.