You thought basketball was over?
While there might not be any Section 1 representatives at the boys basketball Federation Championships this weekend, that doesn’t mean there isn’t any local basketball to enjoy.
Thursday marks the start of the 67th CYP tournament. Held at Our Lady of Mercy school in Port Chester, the CYP tournament marks the unofficial start of the AAU basketball season and brings in some of the best talent in the tri-state area.
Rodney Abrams is the tournament’s reigning champion. Felix Balamou and Christopher Obekpa helped lead Rodney Abrams to a 70-52 win over New York Blaze for its first CYP title. Both Balamou, who was the tournament MVP, and Obekpa are currently at St. John’s. Obekpa, a Big East All-Rookie honoree, is currently 2nd in the nation in blocked shots per game (4.13) trailing only Kentucky’s Nerlins Noel.
The CYP tournament has always attracted big name players. Kyrie Irving (reigning NBA rookie of the year), Moe Harkless (15th pick in last year’s NBA draft) and Russ Smith (top-seeded Louisville’s leading scorer) have all made appearances in the small Port Chester gym over the past few years.
Several local stars have also played in the tournament including Dallas Mavericks’ Elton Brand (Peekskill), Cleveland Cavaliers’ Kevin Jones (Mount Vernon), Cincinatti’s Sean Kilpatrick (White Plains) and West Virginia’s Jabarie Hinds (Mount Vernon).
Team Frenji will be chock full of local talent, including Stepinac’s Josh James, New Rochelle’s Joe Clarke and Section 1’s “Mr. Basketball” Eric Paschall of Dobbs Ferry.
The only new team to this year’s tournament is Dream Nation, taking the spot of the MetroHawks.
I’ll have a preview of the tournament in Thursday’s paper. I’ll also be on hand for the first day of games.
CYP TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE
Thursday, March 21st
PC Savages vs. BC Eagles, 7:15 p.m.
Team Frenji vs. Dream Nation, 8:30 p.m.
Friday, March 22nd
New Jersey Road Runners vs. Playmaker Academy, 7:15 p.m.
N.Y. Falcons vs. Frenji Jr., 8:30 p.m.
Saturday, March 23rd
PC Savages/BC Eagles winner vs. Panthers, 7:15 p.m.
Team Frenji/Dream Nation winner vs. N.Y. Blaze, 8:30 p.m.
Sunday, March 24th
New Jersey Road Runners/Playmaker Academy winner vs. Connecticut Select, 7:15 p.m.
N.Y. Falcons/Frenji Jr. vs. Rodney Abrams, 8:30 p.m.
Monday, March 25th
Saturday’s winners, 7:15 p.m.
Sunday’s winners, 8:30 p.m.
Tuesday, March 26th
Semifinal winners, 7:30 p.m.
Connecticut Select: Connecticut
New Jersey Roadrunners: Northern New Jersey
Frenji Jr.: Underclassmen from Westchester/Connecticut
PC Savages: Westchester/Bronx/Brooklyn/Connecticut
BC Eagles: Newburgh/Poughkeepsie
Dream Nation: Underclassmen from Westchester/Rockland/Bronx
Playmaker Academy: Putnam/Dutchess
Frenji: Westchester/Connecticut/New York City/New Jersey
N.Y. Falcons: Rockland/Northern New Jersey
Rodney Abrams: Westchester/Bronx
Panthers: New York City