NPH East Coast Showcase Kicks Off at Mount Allison!
North Pole Hoop’s first ever excursion into New Brunswick kicked off Friday evening with Deon Wilson — Head Coach of the Boys 15U Nova Scotia team & NPH East Coast Analyst leading a group of roughly sixty players through a number of different drills. Players ranged in age level from junior high school players to high school and provincial team stand outs. The focus of the evening was to maximize their skill development and reinforce good habits among the players participating.
The showcase started off with the NPH team explaining showcase expectations and maximizing potential with a relentless work ethic. Players travelled from as far away as Ottawa, Ontario (13-hour drive) and Newfoundland (2-hour flight) in order to participate in the three-day event.
The skills development portion of the showcase started off with players getting a feel for the court by practicing their ball control skills and footwork.
“Once they got familiar with me and what they were doing, their intensity really went up and they really worked hard at what we were trying to teach,” explained Wilson.
The players then proceeded into a number of drills that involved them developing their dribbling, passing, shooting and footwork skills all at once. Wilson had players hustling constantly in between drills in order to sutstain intensity levels, while getting out of their comfort zones.
Holding each player accountable to the rest, the group of finished as one and encouraged on those who were finishing last, creating a positive support system in which they could develop their skills to their upmost ability.
The players developed their ball handling skills through participating in various environments; large groups, in teams of two and individually. Regardless of the tests presented to the prospects, Wilson demanded short bursts of high energy bringing out the maximum effort from all players in attendance.
In addition to a list of prospects at the showcase, university coaches took in the skills development portion on day one.
Duane Starratt, fresh off his first full season as the head coach for Mount Allison’s Men’s team in the CCAA was impressed by what he saw on the floor. He noted that in a potential recruit, he was looking at the, “work ethic and determination that they would have when pushing through some of the tough drills.”
Peter Vincent who coachs Mt. A’s inter-conference rival, the UNBSJ Seawolves, joined Starratt at Friday’s session. “This is a great opportunity to see some kids that are from a broader area than just Saint John or even New Brunswick,” he noted. Discussing what he looks for in each player, Vincent commented, “For me it’s a balance, I’m looking for guys that are athletic but I’m also looking at the mental side of things too.”
The showcase on the East Coast comes on the heels of Erik Nissen, NPH East Coast Showcase alumni, who recently committed to the University of Maine of the NCAA.
Other alumni include A.J Simmonds (Acadia), Davonte Provo (St FX), Travis Adams, Jayden Nordin (SMU), Lorenzo Parker (UPEI), to name a few.
The showcase will continue on Saturday with the players now divided into teams according to their age and skill. Wilson was looking forward to seeing the players in action noting, “I expect the kids to come out, play hard and really challenge each other.”
“Lay it all on the floor and say this is who we are, this is East Coast basketball.”
To stay up to date on the event follow along on Twitter using the hashtag #NPHshowcase. A full list of prospects attending the conference can be found here.