A mainstay on the travel team circuit, Showtime Ballers should once again be a formidable opponent in every event they enter. We caught up with program director and head coach Diana Gillion to discuss this year’s squad.
“I’m looking forward to working with group”, Gillion said. “We’ve got guys that should attract college coaches from all levels. There is length, athleticism, and skill at every position and the talent level doesn’t drop off when non-starters get into the game.”
Simeon German, a 6’9 junior from Orlando West Oaks Academy will most likely anchor the interior. He’ll get help from the likes of 6’7 junior Alic Troutman from Tallahassee Rickards, 6’7 senior Tyreese Williams from Oldsmar Christian and 6’7 senior Tim Dalger from Fort Lauderdale Calvary Christian
“German is a very active rebounder and rim protector”, Gillion states. “While his defense is still well ahead of his offense, he makes the most of his opportunities around the basket, cleaning up missed shots and making hustle plays. Troutman was a big part of Rickards’ run to the state title game and he will be a big help to us. He’s strong with long arms, can defend in the post and on the perimeter, and converts well at the basket. Williams can play inside and out. He excels in transition, can handle the ball on the perimeter and is an improving jump shooter. Dalger will do a bit of everything for us: rebound, set picks, defend inside and out, make hustle plays at both ends of the court, and score from fifteen feet and in.”
On the perimeter, Showtime Ballers has a quality group of players that can explode offensively without notice. Tyrell Jones, a 6’2 junior from Orlando West Oaks Academy, will be a guy that will attract the most attention from the defense. He’ll be joined by 5’11 junior Jalen Nesmith from Jacksonville First Coast, 6’1 senior Tyrieke Blakeney from Orlando West Oaks Academy, 6’5 junior Robert Hardy from Clearwater Superior Collegiate, 6’5 senior Elie Cadet from Oakland Park Northeast, 6’5 junior R.J. Rhoden from Daytona Beach Mainland, 6’2 junior Dexter McKenzie from Pensacola Catholic and 6’0 freshman A.J. Neal from Orlando West Oaks Academy.
“Tyrell is an explosive scorer that gets points from all three levels’, Gillion said. “He’s strong, has a jumper that must be respected from deep and is active and quick on the defensive end. Nesmith is very quick with the basketball. He pushes the pace at every opportunity and puts a lot of pressure on the defense when attacking the basket. Blakeney has a real scorer’s mentality. He can put up points in a hurry, whether getting to the rim and finishing thru contact or knocking down shots from beyond the arc when the defense backs off. Hardy is best in an uptempo game where he can use his length and leap to its greatest advantage. His versatility on defense will give us a boost on that end of the floor. Cadet is best when driving to the basket and elevating over the defense to score inside. He is a solid shooter from mid-range and improving with his three point shot. Rhoden is an athletic big guard that can score in a variety of ways. McKenzie comes from a winning program and will be a key contributor at both ends of the floor. Neal will be instant offense off the bench. He has a quick release and is accurate to the NBA line but also has no fear in challenging bigger players at the rim.”
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