NBE Basketball Report
Florida International Recruiting


July 26, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

by Alex Schwartz

GALLOWAY, N. J. – The first full day of July’s final Live Period took place yesterday and NBE Sports was back in South Jersey for Live In AC.

We had a chance to see several more teams in action as well as catch a few quality squads for the second day in a row.

Ernest Aflakpui had a nice outing for the We R 1 16s squad. The 6-foot-9 center out of Archbishop Carroll (PA) has a big body with a good overall build and he plays hard. Aflakpui, a class of 2015 prospect, runs the floor very well and looks to contest shots. He is not a great athlete, but can swat some shots.

Levan Alston of Team Final Blue 16s may well have been the best player of the day. The 6-foot-3 combo guard scored at will, dropping 30 points on Team Takeover in the semifinals. Alston has a nice feel for the game, gets in the lane and comes from a basketball family, as his dad played at Temple. The class of 2015 recruit does need to get a bit stronger, but he grabs defensive rebounds and also score in the paint, as he is comfortable with his back to the basket.

Princeton-commit Amir Bell has a chance to be a star in the Ivy League. A class of 2014 prospect from East Brunswick (NJ), Bell has nice size for a player who can play some point, at 6-foot-4. More of a combo guard, Bell does need to show he can shoot the ball consistently. He is a bit thin, but is a solid athlete who can defend multiple positions.
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June 17, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

By Matt Whitfield, Mid-Atlantic Recruiting Analyst

The National Basketball Players Association (NBPA)’s 20th Anniversary of the NBPA Top 100 High School Basketball Camp kicked off Wednesday at the University of Virginia’s John Paul Jones Arena in Charlottesville and concluded over the weekend. Media was allowed to begin attending sessions on Thursday and NBE was back on the road and in attendence.

The NBPA Top 100 High School Basketball Camp was created by the NBPA in 1994 to assist elite high school student-athletes in the development of their basketball and life skills. Throughout the last 20 years, the Camp has grown into one of the most highly touted and renowned camps of its kind and has seen hundreds of its participants go on to successful NBA careers. You can follow the camp on Twitter @Top100Camp and be sure to follow @NBESports for all of our updates as well.

To close our recruiting updates, NBE caught up with Craig Victor, Satchel Pierce, Khadeem Lattin, Abdul-Malik Abu, Brandone Francis, Skal Labissiere, Chinanu Onuaku, Kevon Looney, Trevon Blueitt and Trayvon Reed, which you can see below…

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Mernagh: From East Baltimore to Vermont to Miami, Daquein McNeil’s road ends at FIU

October 1, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Daquein McNeil is a grinder. By the time the sun comes up in leafy Vermont, he’s already hard at work, bucking the odds.

Whether he’s perfecting his skill-set on the hardwood, getting stronger in the weight room, or cracking a book, everything McNeil does on a daily basis is done with one goal in mind — to prove the perception that exists about kids like him wrong.

What perception?

“People don’t think kids like me will amount to anything,” says McNeil, “kids from East Baltimore aren’t expected to make it.”

McNeil makes it a little each day. He makes it just by waking up and realizing he’s safe. He makes it by understanding he’s in a place, at Vermont Academy, that gives him a chance.

And for a kid like Daquein McNeil, who can still feel the pulse of the Latrobe Projects coursing through his veins, a real chance isn’t always something you can count on. It’s evident when you speak to McNeil that the young man is wise beyond his years. He understands he deserves what he’s been given because he’s put in the work, but he also knows that nothing is ever guaranteed in life (except for the sounds of sirens ringing out 24/7 in East Baltimore).

“Most of my friends from Baltimore are either dead or locked up,” says McNeil, “none of them were really trying to play ball or anything like that.”

But McNeil wasn’t only trying to play ball, he was playing it well enough to run with Baltimore Elite on the AAU circuit.

And it was at a tournament a few years ago, in the under 15 division of the Playaz event in New Jersey, that McNeil first met a man that would become influential in his college decision. “We played New Heights in the final four that year,” says McNeil, “and I played pretty well against Coach Kimani Young’s team.” The two spoke afterwards and Young would often check in with McNeal’s coach and ask about the kid who scored bucket after bucket against his team.

“He was always asking how I was doing and my coach would let me know that,” says McNeil. “When he got hired as an assistant at FIU, it was definitely a place I was going to check out.”

McNeil’s relationship with Young was vital to get his attention focused on FIU, but he says once he visited the campus in Miami and experienced Richard Pitino’s program firsthand, he really understood it was the best place for him. “Coach Young was huge,” says McNeil, “but it was a collective effort by the whole staff and players once I went down there.” And the funny thing is that the kid from Baltimore wasn’t dazzled by the sunshine or South Beach.

In fact — “It rained when I was there,” says McNeil, laughing.

So what attracted him to the point where he gave a verbal commitment to FIU yesterday?

“The way they worked reminded me of how we do things here at Vermont Academy,” says McNeil. “They worked out at 6 am and then they came back later and lifted. It was all business, but upbeat too, and I just wanted to be a part of it.”

Hard work was the attraction.

One other thing — McNeil says we shouldn’t buy into the perception that FIU will struggle this season.

“They’re going to surprise people,” says McNeil, “they work too hard not to have success.”

Daquein McNeal knows about hard work, about how the perception doesn’t have to be the reality.

And success?

Daquein McNeil’s the epitome of the word.


July 28, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

by Alex Schwartz

KISSIMMEE, Fla. — Friday was a day at 11th Grade AAU Nationals where NBE Sports watched a number of games from outside the Gold pools. This allowed us to see some teams that might not be as nationally known and catch some players who might be flying under the radar a bit. However, we did check out some Gold games too and some of our top performers come from those squads too.


Trevin Joseph gets the nod as the top performer of the day on Friday, though several players could put together a nice case for the honor. Joseph is the second straight 2013 shooting guard from Georgia to get the nod, following Ryan Wilkins on Thursday. Joseph is a 6’3 rising senior from Stockbridge (GA) who runs with Gold Coast and is part of a deep, talented backcourt. Joseph showed off some major scoring ability in the night’s final game and it was rare to see him actually miss a shot. A strong player with a very good build, Joseph s a knockdown 3-point shooter and is lethal off the catch. He is a smooth player and is his stroke looks quite good. Joseph is also adept at getting to the basket and he finishes once there. Overall, he is a talented offensive player who could be a stud scorer at the next level.
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July 14, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

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By Brian Bosworth, National Recruiting Analyst

Friday at the Adidas Invitational brought pool play to a close and marked the start of playoff action. It also allowed a chance to view some of the tournaments younger talent as the 15U pools wrapped up at the main site I’ve been stationed at. Star performances became the norm with one Texas big man standing out as top dog on the day.

Top Performer of the Day:

Jordan Mickey (Urban DFW Elite 2013) – The 6’9” post player was unstoppable in an afternoon playoff victory dominating the paint from start to finish. Mickey has outstanding footwork on the block and can score over either shoulder with either hand. He uses spins, drop steps, and a host of other moves keeping the defense on its heels all the time with his wide array of options down low. Mickey also succeeded from the high post where his 15 foot jumper is deadly and he can use 1 dribble to attack the rim. Still a bit on the slender side, a college weight room will do wonders for Mickey’s development and he projects as a go to low post scoring option within his first couple years on a high major college campus.
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July 13, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

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by Alex Schwartz

PHILADELPHIA – Reebok restarted its July camp last year after some time off and had some pretty nice talent on display. This year, though, the Reebok Breakout Challenge has gone to a whole new level and is absolutely filled with big-time talent from coast to coast.

NBE Sports was on hand the past two days and had the opportunity to see each and every team. Several usual suspects turned in impressive performances, while some lesser known players also made names for themselves.


Aaron Harrison of Travis (TX) is the best shooting guard prospect in the country and he played like it in Philly. The 6-foot-5, class of 2013 recruit has a terrific combination of skill and athleticism that makes him extremely difficult to contain when he is on his game. While at Reebok, he was absolutely fantastic and basically scored at will. Harrison showed off a lethal stroke from long range right from the get-go, nailing six 3-pointers in the first half of the very first game of camp on Wednesday evening. He has deep range so he cannot be sagged off of too much, but if you play him too tight he is more than capable of getting to the rack off the bounce. Harrison is also adept at drawing fouls around the rim, so even if he misses down low, there is a strong chance he will still get some points for his effort.

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