Introducing Mr. Ray Dennis Jr.
Ray Dennis Jr. which I call Ray J is the starting point guard for one of the promising AAU teams and programs Illinois Rise. Ray is the ultimate floor general, his basketball I.Q. is further advanced than most point guards at this stage. He has the feel for the game and knows how to run a team. Having just witnessed such events. In a heated, highly intense game between the Illinois Heat and Illinois Rise this past weekend. It was Ray J who handled himself quite well (against other Jr.hoopselite ranked guards) and led his team to victory. Ray J has been on the seen playing against and with the best for quite some time. While many have dodged the competition Ray J has always been willing to compete and give his all. He usually comes out on top, but even more importantly if he doesn’t that’s ok, he chalks it up as a lesson learned and goes back and works on improving. Ray attends Murphy Middle School in Plainfield Illinois where he just recently led his team along with Elijah Basnight and Kameron Battle to Conference and District Championships. Ray is currently ranked 52 in our top 2019 prospects (will be updated next week) he will definitely be someone to keep an eye on. Ray Dennis Jr. is an honor student a high quality basketball player and a young man that a father would definitely be proud of and for that we want to acknowledge him as one of our athletes of the week.
Elijah Basnight welcome to Illinois. Elijah is the do everything hard working basketball player who plays for Meanstreets Tim, AAU and Travel team. Having just moved here last August from Charlotte, North Carolina, not many actually know that much about Elijah. After participating in the Illinois Top Prospect Showcase in December and earning an all-star selection, I had many coaches asking me who is that kid? and what team does he play for? Elijah just recently won Conference and District Championships along with Ray Dennis Jr. At Murphy Middle School in Plainfield, Illinois. Elijah is the kid that brings a ton of energy, effort, heart and tenacity. He is the kid on the team that you have to find minutes for; he is what coaches call the clue guy he keeps everything in line. While others might not see all that a kid can bring to the table and all the value he has because he is not scoring 20 points, other understand how valuable commodity he is. Here is what a coach had to say at showcase about Elijah “That kid right there is a warrior I like him over everybody who is on the floor right now” So right now he is not as known here in Illinois as others, but the word is getting out on Elijah Basnight. Welcome to Illinois you are one of our Athletes of the week.
Introducing Mr. Andre White Jr.
Andre White Jr. is the starting point guard on one of the state’s best 14u AAU teams Future Elite. Andre White Jr. is a smooth operator. He is coached by his father Andre White Sr. and handles himself quite well. There can be a lot of pressure playing for your father, the rides home after a less than spectacular performance, the extra yelling because more is expected of you than any other player on the team and the look from everybody on the team saying he’s just in the game because his dad is the coach. Well Let me tell ya I’ve witnessed first-hand the young fella is a smooth operator. He plays the game with pace, I’ve never really seen him play out of control. when everyone else is running around out of control he is usually the one in control. Andre is one of the younger guards in his class, but he is also one of the better ones. He currently ranks 5th among guards and the 17th ranked prospect on the last rankings by jrhoopselite.com Andre White Jr. Attends Thomas Jefferson Middle school in Waukegan where he is an honors student who has all honor classes. Andre plans to attend Loyola Academy this fall. Andre is a great kid with a great attitude. He constantly smiles on the court and after games regardless of outcome. He is a quality kid who has learned to handle all the pressures that come with playing for your father quite well and for that reason Andre White Jr. is one of our Athletes of the week.
Dekimrick Hooks is one of those kids on the team you can’t help but want to see do well, he is always upbeat, always has a positive attitude and always smiling. Dekimrick plays for Smythe Elementary School a Chicago Public traditional powerhouse. Dekimrick Hooks is deadly from the outside once he gets going. The ball comes off his hands so pretty with rotation like Ray Allen. Dekimrick was one of jrhoopselite pre showcase top 10 shooters. In the Showcase coming up Feb28th he will be among 8 invited to participate in the 3 point contest to anoint the top shooter in state. Dekimrick is another kid who is an honor student who’s mom KIM stresses the importance of education. Dekimrick is a low ley kid, but coaches are starting to take notice. Dekimrick plays for coach Squirrel over there at Smythe and they are know to play every weekend in maybe 2 or 3 tournaments at a time, they may play 8 to 10 games in one week no joke and he is quite the character. In dealing with all that he deals with games, practices and all the extra’s while still maintaining a great attitude and grades. Mr Dekimrick Hooks is one of our Athletes of the week.
Introducing Mr. Marcus Wright
Marcus Wright is a quiet, nice and very respectable young man, there are not many kids who are as soft spoken and well mannered. However don’t let that fool you because he is an absolute warrior on the court. Marcus is the point guard on the number 1 grammar school team in the city (Beasley) he is currently ranked the #7 point guard and 25th overall prospect in the class of 2019 by jrhoopselite and that’s sure to rise in the updated rankings. Marcus is a point guard that plays on a loaded Beasley team and he has the task of keeping everyone happy, while still understanding when to engage himself in the offense. Too the average eye people would not understand how valuable and talented Marcus Wright is, he is not one to care about stats he is a winner. He is as clutch as they come. Witnessing Beasley in one of their toughest contest to date game against Laura Ward (Best of the Midwest Tournament) two minutes to go and down 1 Marcus hits a big three, then plays locked down defense and forces a steal and a layup and Beasley never looks back. A lot of kids get numbers and have the stats, Marcus plays big when the situations matter the most. Marcus is also an excellent student in the classroom and maintains his honor roll status while playing and participating is sports. We also want to congratulate Marcus on being a 2 sport star because he plays baseball maybe better than basketball. Can you say “WoW” and congrats to Marcus Wright he is an absolute stud and one of our Athletes of the Week.
Introducing Mr. Jesse Russell
Jesse is one of the kids on the team when you see him he just has that look of a Hooper. He has that walk and the arm length that may you say uh oh, not to mention he favors one of the best 2 guards in the league Klay Thompson. Jesse is a wing guard on the undefeated Brooks Middle School in Bolingbrook. Jesse plays on a star studded team with Deasaun Ratcliff, Demari Grant, Anthony Thompson and Tyler Cochran. Sometimes Jesse gets over looked playing with these kids who may get a little more attention. Speaking with Angela his mom “Academics are always first” Jesse is currently an honor Student at Brooks he loves presidential history and was on the award winning engineering team that built an electric car. Jesse is one of those kids who is just starting to find the love for the game. His best basketball is ahead of him. Jesse when playing with confidence has as sweet a stroke as you will find. I have witnessed several games where he has hit 5 threes. I even witnessed a game where he hit 4 threes in a 2 minute span to bring his team back and win. Jesse Played last year AAU ball with the Hoopers, Coach Miguel showed more confidence and allowed him to play more freely. Jesse Russell is an excellent kid, whom a mother should be proud of his accomplishments but even more proud of his character and that is the reason Jesse Russell is one of our Athletes of the Week.