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.