PITTSBURGH,PA–The only Canadian team to drive home with a Championship from Hoop Group’s Pitt Jam Fest was the 17U Waterloo Wildhawks, who defeated Ann Arbor Magic after an exhausting schedule and two close games.
TJ Lall who helped lift the Waterloo Wildhawks to Steel Bracket supremacy has made tremendous leaps in his overall game within the past six months.
He was first discovered two years ago at the Adidas Tri-City Top 40 camp, where he had a clear size advantage over the competition. Lall has grown two inches since then and elevated his game.
The element of confidence is one that is rare to find in prospects. There is a major difference between confidence and being selfish by jacking up shots. TJ Lall has shown increased confidence starting with his decision making and in his perimeter shooting and his takes to the rim.
On one particular play near the end of the semifinal game, Lall went up for a dunk off of the baseline that lit up his team and gave them a boost in the final minutes.
Head Coach of the Waterloo Wildhawks, Borko Popic acclimated this 2015 forward as the leader on this team. Our scouting team projects him as an impact guy to a CIS program. There are also division one talent south of the border that would be interested considering he continues to add mass and become more explosive.
Coach Popic echoed these sentiments.
“I feel like he’s got a shot at division one scholarship. Especially, after what he’s showed over the past three weeks, at Ryerson for Battle of the Boards, at York and here at this tournament. Regardless of who he played against, he’s shown that he’s the best player on the floor.”
“TJ is shining on two sore ankles, when he’s healthy he’s always a threat.”
Popic credits the win to unselfish play and the teams versatile pieces.
Most of the pieces on this team will likely play a role on various CIS programs, some like Lall, have a chance to cross the border on scholarship in low conference.
Time is of the essence. There’s a lot of time before summer’s first Live Period and a lot of gaps to fill. It’s time to rise and grind.