Last year, Team Breakdown’s guard play overwhelmed the Under Armor Association, losing just once in twelve games. This year’s contingent may not have the level of talent and experience that group did but that doesn’t mean that the expectations have dropped for Head Coach Kenny Gillion and the Pink and Black.
“This squad may be a bit on the young side but the talent is certainly there to compete for a title in the UAA”, Gillion said. “We’ll give our players the freedom to attack on both the offensive and defensive ends. This group sets up well for success, not just now, but in the future as well.”
Kai Jones, a 6’10 junior from Orlando Christian Prep will anchor the interior. D.J. Warren, a 6’8 junior from Fort Lauderdale HS, 6’7 junior Isaiah Turner from Auburndale, and 6’5 Angel Smith from Oakland Park Northeast all will contribute in some way on the inside.
“Jones has made great strides since coming over from the Bahamas about a year ago”, states Gillion. “While a bit on the thin side, he’s got the length and leap necessary to protect the basket. Jones also runs the floor well, cleans up missed shots on the offensive end and can step out and make shots facing the basket. Warren is a more traditional interior player. He does a good job of controlling his rebounding area, plays physically in the post, and makes the most of his scoring opportunities around the basket. Turner has the skills to play both inside and out. He has a quick first step to the basket, handles the ball and sees the floor well and stretches the defense with his perimeter shot. He already has several high D-I offers. Smith has been in our program for quite some time. He’s looking to take a prep year as he is young for his graduating class. He will help on the inside with his rebounding ability and explosiveness to the basket but he’s definitely a perimeter player at the collegiate level.”
A program known for its guard play, Breakdown will once again have a talented group out on the perimeter. While a young group, there is no doubt that they will be ready come the live periods of April and July. Jamal Mashburn, Jr., a 6’0 sophomore from Miami Gulliver Prep, made a lot of noise on the 15U UAA circuit last year and now steps up to the 17U level. He’ll be flanked by 6’1 Antonio Daye from Fort Lauderdale HS, 6’6 junior Demari Monsanto from Plantation American Heritage, and a pair of freshmen in 6’4 Jordan Shorter Fort Lauderdale HS and 6’5 Wesley Cadet from Oakland Park Northeast.
“Mashburn has an incomparable skill set for a sophomore”, Gillion said. “College coaches love his ability to score off the dribble from mid-range but he is also a solid shooter from deep and finishes well in traffic at the basket. He led the UAA 15U division in scoring last season and had the highest scoring average of anyone on the UAA circuit. Daye is an explosive guard that can knife thru the defense and finish above the rim. He’s a great athlete and plays much bigger than his size. Monsanto has put up some monster shooting numbers from beyond the arc in the past. He has a quick release but also isn’t hesitant about attacking the basket should the defense try to overplay him. Several high D-I programs are heavily interested. Shorter and Cadet both have bright futures. Long and skilled, they will be asked to do a bit of everything and won’t be given any slack because of their age. They played on the varsity level in high school and did well as they have a lot of versatility to their games. Together, they have the potential to be the best backcourt that the Team Breakdown program has ever had.”