By: Claire Mulgrew
This weekend in Ardsley, NY at the House of Sports, Zero Gravity hosted the Empire State Challenge where teams from all over the tri-state area came out to show their talents. Some of the top performers at the tournament included the following:
Max Mitchell (2020) 6’3” Forward, Greens Farm Academy, Hometown: Westport, CT AAU Team: CT Premier Hoops Development. Mitchell has exceptional big man skills, despite the fact that he is only in 8th grade. He can go hard to the basket, while also sinking outside shots. He grabs many rebounds and plays with confidence.
Joey Gulbin (2020) 5’7’ Swing, Fairfield Warde High School, Hometown: Fairfield, CT AAU Team: CT Premier Hoops Development. Gulbin is a strong defender who puts his heart in every possession he plays. He is always hustling and plays with determination to see his team win.
Diontae Eady (2020) 5’8 Point Guard, Hometown: Milford, CT AAU Team: CT Premier Hoops Development. Eady has good ball handling skills and also makes smart passes to his teammates.
Jadyn Tabois (2019) 5’11” Guard, Fairfield Prep, Hometown: Southport, CT AAU Team: CT Premier Hoops Development. Tabois has good shot, whether it be from outside, in the paint, or down low. He also is very consistent with his foul shooting.
Gavin Greene (2020) 6’2” Forward, Saint Joseph’s High School, Hometown: Monroe, CT AAU Team: CT Premier Hoops Development. Greene has a nice mid range jumper and is powerful down low as well.
Kameron Jones (2020) 5’9” Shooting Guard, West Genesee High School, Hometown: Syracuse, NY AAU Team: Gymratz. Jones is really increasing the depth of all of his ball handling skills and makes lots of steals. He hustles and stays with the play. He also has nice mid-range jumper.
Travis Gray (2020) 6’3’ Shooting Guard, Fayetteville Manlius High School, Hometown: Syracuse, NY AAU Team: Gymratz. Gray creates many opportunities for his teammates to score when he is on the court. He also gets many points inside, resulting in him getting to the foul line.
Will Amica (2020) 5’8” Point Guard, West Genesee High School, Hometown: Syracuse, NY AAU Team: Gymratz. Amica is a natural point guard. He can easily get around many defenders, making it easy to dribble up and down the court under pressure. He makes good decisions with the ball. He also has a good shot.
Charlie Godsden (2020) 6’3” F/C, Fayetteville Manlius High School, Hometown: Manlius, NY AAU Team: Gymratz. Grabbing rebounds is Godsden’s specialty. He plays strong and gets his points down low.
Zack Brown (2020) 6’2” Forward, Solvay High School, Hometown: Syracuse, NY AAU Team: Gymratz. Brown is an all around good player, who plays smart and uses that to help his team succeed.
Jaden Ezomo (2020) 6’3” Forward, Nottingtham High School, Hometown: Syracuse, NY AAU Team: Gymratz. A good outsider shooter, who is strong and able to block shots. He also is a dependable rebounder for his team.
Aidan Kudzy (2017) 6'0" Guard, Ludlowe High School Hometown: Fairfield, CT AAU Team: ABC-Krumins. It is not often we see a kid dominate a game from the defensive end. This kid plays stifling on-ball defense, gets to every loose ball and can also pin layups on the backboard. Gets to the rim and finishes.
Connor Payne (2018) 6’3” PF/C, Massapequa High School, Hometown: Massapequa Park, NY AAU Team: Lightning-Busch. Payne makes nice moves to the hoop, resulting in lots of rebounds and point down low. He uses his size to his advantage, often resulting in him taking charges and getting to the foul line.
Teandre Rountree (2018) 5’9” Point Guard, Bellport High School, Hometown: Bellport, NY AAU Team: LI Elite. Rountree overwhelms any team trying to defend him with his exceptional ball handling skills and his overall ability as point guard. He is a good defender, making it tough for players to get around him.
Troy Goode (2018) 5’9” Point Guard, Riverhead High School, Hometown: Riverhead, NY AAU Team: LI Elite. Goode is fast, which helps him create turnovers for the other team. He goes strong to the basket and gets points down low.
Sean Braithwaite (2019) 6’4” Guard, Center Moriches, Hometown: Center Moriches AAU Team: LI Elite. Braithcoaite does a little bit of everything for his team. He can also shoot well from the 3-point range.
Jake Gaudiello (2018) 5'11 Guard - HS Team Westhampton Beach HS, Westhampton NY AAU Team: LI Elite. Heady guard who competes at both ends; has tremendous range and good IQ. Made winning plays down stretch to help his team secure win.
Elijah Harding (2017) 6’1” Forward, Bridgehampton High School, Hometown: Bridgehampton, NY AAU Team: LI Elite. Harding clogs up the middle, and is always helping his teammates out on defense. He uses his body to his advantage down low and finishes his shots strong. He is a true team player who is always hustling.
Micah Snowden (2019) 6’4” Center, Southampton High School, Hometown: Southampton, NY AAU Team: LI Elite. Snowden consistently gets to the line and makes his foul shots. He is strong down low and always goes hard to the basket.
Jack Reese (2019) 5’7” Guard, Easthampton High School, Hometown: Easthampton, NY AAu Team: LI Elite. Between his quickness and ability to get to the basket, when Reese is on the floor, he gives it his all. He makes smart passes, grabs rebounds, and always goes the extra mile for his team. He is an all around good player.
Hayes Kelchner (2017) 6’6”, Forward, Ludlowe High School, Hometown: Fairfield, CT AAU Team: ABC-Scott. The cornerstone of any successful basketball, a hard playing, tough minded big. Kelchner is all of that. Relentless rebounding effort, and runs the floor well in both directions . He is a strong defender, who is a road block to the rim.
Hamilton Forsythe (2017) 6’7" Wing, Weston High School Hometown: Weston, CT AAU Team: ABC-Scott. Forsythe is blessed, a high academic with a D1 body. He is smooth and athletic. Too athletic to be guarded by bigs on the perimeter, and too long to be guarded by guards in the paint. He has a pretty and high release on his smooth jumper. Very active and mobile on both ends of the court.
Cole Prowitt-Smith (2019) 6’2” Guard, Greens Farms Academy Hometown: Fairfield, CT AAU Team: Academic Basketball. Smith has excellent change-of-direction athleticism, gets to the line frequently and is a very consistent shooter from deep. Despite playing two years "up" in the 17u division, he plays with confidence that helps bring his team to success.