“So Be It” and “Piggeé” documentary releases moved to 2023 by Basketball Society

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documentary

Two documentary projects from Basketball Society, “So Be It: The Rise of Jadin” and “Piggeé”, have been moved to 2023. The original release dates were set for 2022 as announced last year.

Executive producer Martin Soaries decided to move the release dates into next year for more time to produce the stories.

“So Be It” features Jadin Collins, a senior guard at Rutgers Preparatory School in Somerset, New Jersey. Jadin spent his first two years of high school at Roselle Catholic and then transferred to Rutgers Prep before his junior season. Jadin was named First-Team All-Conference and Third-Team All-State. He led Rutgers Prep to a 26-4 record and their first state sectional championship in school history. This past summer, Collins committed to play at Marist College on a full scholarship.

“Piggeé” features Cameron Piggeé, also a senior guard at Rutgers Prep. Cam broke out as one of the premier shooters in the state in his junior season. He led Rutgers Prep in threes and was named First-Team All-Raritan Division. He scored over 400 points, more than what he scored in his freshman and sophomore seasons combined and doubled. Cam currently holds college offers from Lafayette and NJIT.

Official trailers for both documentary projects should be expected towards the end of the year followed by release date announcements early next year.

Victor Wembanyama has the basketball world buzzing

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Victor Wembenyama

Victor Wembanyama is clearly the next basketball unicorn in line, and people are starting to call him the most anticipated NBA prospect since LeBron James.

The 18-year-old from France stands at 7’4 with an eight-foot wingspan. Wembanyama would make Kevin Durant look like an averaged size wing player. Right now, he is the projected no. 1 overall pick in the 2023 NBA Draft.

Most people like myself first came across Wembanyama on social media in the last couple of years. A viral video surfaced of the young prospect at 16 years old playing one-on-one against NBA big man Rudy Gobert. Needless to say he was giving the three-time NBA Defensive Player of the year plenty of issues.

Wembanyama had been working with basketball trainer Tim Martin, known for working with top-level NBA players. Martin has been posting some clips of their workouts on Instagram, which tapped more people like me into what was coming. It was clear to me then that Victor was a rare player. The way he was moving and the things he was doing were not normal at all for his size. It looked like the next progression of Kevin Durant.

After seeing Victor on television recently against G-League Ignite, the basketball world at large is now more on notice. He put up back-to-back 30+ point games against his 2023 draft rival Scoot Henderson. His performances garnered attention from Golden State Warriors guard Steph Curry, who called him a cheat code, and Lakers forward LeBron James.

Wembanyama does present the common concern with players his size when it comes to his physical frame, but he may still end up being the scariest prospect we’ve seen in a long time.

Draymond Green fight with Jordan Poole may have larger impact on the Warriors

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Draymond Green

Last Wednesday, Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green reportedly had a physical altercation with teammate Jordan Poole during practice. Green apologized to the team on Thursday, and the Warriors would agree on punishment for Green internally.

TMZ then leaked a video of the incident on Friday morning. It shows a verbal argument between Green and Poole. It led to Poole shoving Green and then Green throwing a punch at Poole that connected strongly.

Warriors general manager Bob Myers said this after the initial report of the incident, via ESPN:

“It’s unfortunate, I’m not going to deny it,” Myers said. “It’ll take some time to move through, but we’ll move through it and move forward. And I’m confident that we will. … This isn’t our first thing that’s happened, first sense of adversity. We’ve been through some of this before. Don’t like going through it but it’s part of the NBA and it’s part of sports.”

They have been through this exact scenario before with Draymond Green. His incident with Kevin Durant during a game in 2018 that many feel contributed to Durant’s eventual departure from the Warriors.

Draymond Green announced in a news conference on Saturday that he will be taking a leave of absence from the team.

Via ESPN:

“I’m going to continue to stay away, as I’ve been away, and continue to do work on myself, but also just give guys space. I do want to give my team some space, I want to give Jordan some space, and then also take a few days and continue to work on myself … take some time to let everything breathe.”

The way Jordan Poole feels about the situation will dictate the density of its impact on the Warriors going forward. Green said he wants to honor his feelings by stepping away.

“I watched the video 15 times, maybe more, because when I watched the video, I’m like, yo, this looks awful. This looks even worse than I thought it was. It’s pathetic.

Jordan’s feelings are the most important, and to be honest I’m not sure how he feels. That’s not a bridge we have crossed yet, nor should it be a bridge we’ve crossed yet.”

Green didn’t hold back with his remorse about the incident with Poole.

“That day that took place I was in a very, very bad space mentally. As a leader of this team, I needed to have a better feel for myself and just know and understand where my wick’s end was and what could possibly push me the wrong way. Frankly, I didn’t handle that well and I failed as a leader. I failed as a man, and I failed as a leader.”

Dealing with this kind of internal issue presents the first sign of vulnerability for the Warriors who are in favorable position to repeat as NBA champions.

Kobe Bryant sends a message to Pau Gasol in “The Redeem Team” Netflix preview clip

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The first look at Netflix’s “The Redeem Team” documentary is a clip featuring Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol.

Kobe and Pau were teammates on the Lakers when their national Olympic teams, USA and Spain, would meet in the 2008 gold medal game in Beijing. This was one of the big storylines going into the game.

The preview clip from the Netflix documentary shows Kobe being interviewed about the dynamic with his friend and teammate Pau Gasol going into the gold medal game, and shows him hugging and talking with Pau in a gym.

Gasol tells a story about how Kobe visited him and his Spain teammates one night, which they all appreciated, but admits he feels that was a tactic to soften him up before the game.

The message that Kobe sent to his Laker teammate in that gold medal game was demonstrative. It was “the first play of the game” as LeBron James recalls in the documentary, and it gave Bryant’s teammates the confidence that they would undoubtedly beat Spain.

“The Redeem Team” documentary his on Netflix on October 7.

How much will Donovan Mitchell improve the Cleveland Cavaliers?

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Donovan Mitchell

The Cleveland Cavaliers made the biggest upgrade this NBA offseason by trading for three-time All-Star guard Donovan Mitchell. Not enough people seem to be talking about it.

Even though Mitchell has averaged over 20 points per game every season of his career, he hasn’t yet established his winning legacy. The Utah Jazz made the playoffs in all five years of his tenure but never made a Conference Finals appearance. That isn’t a definitive knock on Mitchell, who quickly became their best player and the main reason why they were even in that position.

Donovan Mitchell is still approaching his prime as one of the elite young guards in the NBA.

That’s why Mitchell’s move to the Cavaliers should be more highlighted. Cleveland has legitimate young stars in Darius Garland and Evan Mobley. Pairing up Mitchell with Garland instantly makes for one of the most dynamic backcourts in the Eastern Conference.

Cleveland finished 44-38 last season under head coach J.B. Bickerstaff. That was the same record as the Brooklyn Nets starring Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. The two teams met in the play-in game to advance into the playoffs. Darius Garland scored 34 points but was overpowered by Durant and Irving’s combined 59 points.

The Cavs put up another quality effort in their next game against Atlanta, with another chance to make it into the playoffs for the first time since 2018. They lost 107-101 behind Trae Young’s 38 points.

Cleveland hasn’t been to the playoffs without LeBron James on the roster since 1998.

While the young Cavs experienced unexpected progress last season, Donovan Mitchell nearly guarantees them access to the postseason. Having a more established star while Garland and Mobley continue to evolve is only going to benefit all parties involved.

“The Redeem Team” basketball documentary trailer released by Netflix

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The Redeem Team

“The Redeem Team” is getting its own documentary.

The 2008 Olympic team brought together the NBA’s top players for an epic gold medal run in Beijing.

Executive produced by LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, “The Redeem Team” will air on October 7 on Netflix. The director, Jon Weinbach, was a producer on the Netflix/ESPN 10-part Chicago Bulls docuseries “The Last Dance”.

“The Redeem Team” trailer features interviews with LeBron, Wade, Carmelo Anthony, and clips from the late Kobe Bryant. Coach Mike Krzyzewski is heard in the trailer talking about the importance of recruiting Kobe to the team.

The team was assembled in response to USA coming up short in the 2004 Olympics in Athens. Team USA was then led by the likes of Tim Duncan, Allen Iverson, and Stephon Marbury. James, Wade, and Anthony were young members of that team, and took it upon themselves to come back stronger four years later.

The combination of Kobe, LeBron, Wade, Anthony, and others such as Chris Paul and Dwight Howard made for the kind of unstoppable combination that brought USA back to the Olympic glory it had become familiar with since the Dream Team first set the tone in Barcelona in 1992.

We can expect to see behind the scenes footage, more interviews and stories, and much more context behind how The Redeem Team came to be and the environment they created with each other on their way to making history.

Was Michael Jordan an underrated passer?

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Have you ever thought of Michael Jordan as a great passer? Most basketball fans know about the clutch moments and the championships, and mainly think about scoring when they think of the player who is most recognized as the greatest of all time.

Jordan fans might remind you that he averaged a 30-point triple-double over an 11-game span when Bulls head coach Doug Collins chose to play him at point guard during the 1989 season. He averaged eight assists per game that season.

They might also point out that Jordan averaged no less than five assists per game for 10 seasons, and averaged 6.6 assists per game in the playoffs from 1984-1993.

But more important than Jordan’s assist numbers on paper, which don’t jump out at you as anything but solid for a superstar player known for scoring, the way he passed the ball at his best might surprise the common fan.

Watching some of his best passing highlights on YouTube might give basketball fans a new appreciation for Michael Jordan’s passing ability. He won’t ever be known for it, but it’s an important factor that contributes to being regarded by many as the greatest player of all time.

Hannah Hidalgo narrows down college choices to six schools

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Hannah Hidalgo

Class of 2023 guard Hannah Hidalgo has named Michigan, Duke, Notre Dame, Stanford, Ohio State, and Central Florida as her six potential colleges choices.

Hidalgo is one of the top players in the country and just came back from winning a gold medal with the Team USA 17U World Cup Team in Hungary.

Earlier this year, Hannah was a guest on The Basketball Society Podcast and gave an update on her recruitment. At the time, she named Stanford and Rutgers as two schools on her list. Now it looks like Rutgers is out of the running for Hidalgo, with the defending national champions Stanford still making it into the top six.

Some things stand out looking at Hidalgo’s six schools. The locations are scattered from California to North Carolina to Ohio. Notre Dame presents an interesting opportunity for Hidalgo to team up with fellow New Jersey product Olivia Miles, who led the nation in assists last season as a freshman. There is also the prospect of playing for Kara Lawson at Duke, and then two Big Ten programs in Michigan and Ohio State.

Hannah says the process is still “a lot” in trying to make her final decision. She’s still factoring in where she can be the best fit with her uptempo, defensive-oriented style of play. Her role and relationship with the program is important to her as well.

We should hope to find out in the coming months where Hannah Hidalgo will take her talents for her college career.

Rutgers Prep guard Jadin Collins commits to Marist College

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Jadin Collins
(Photo by Martin Soaries / Basketball Society)

Class of 2023 Jadin Collins of Rutgers Prep announced his commitment to Marist College last week on social media.

According to Collins, choosing Marist was easy because it was clear that they prioritized him in their recruiting process. Collins received offers from the likes of Drexel, Hofstra, Rider and others, but didn’t feel the same consistency in their efforts.

Marist did the best job easily when recruiting me. Not only were they one of the first schools to show interest, but consistently showed interest in me and never stopped, unlike other schools.

Some programs offered Collins over the phone or during a visit, and he didn’t hear from them again. Others were spotty and some he felt were just too late to the process.

I committed to Marist because not only did they show a lot of interest with me but they kept me in the loop constantly, and consistently showed me that they wanted me. They also showed heavy interest in me not only as a basketball player but also my life at home, and I think that’s very important.

After spending his first two seasons at Roselle Catholic mostly under the radar, Collins transferred to Rutgers Prep and exploded onto the scene in his first full season as a starter.

The  6’1 guard recorded over 500 points, 100 rebounds, 100 assists, and 100 steals in his junior season. He averaged 17 points, six rebounds, four assists, and three steals.

Rutgers Prep head coach Matt Bloom via text:

“There’s nothing that Jadin can’t do on the basketball court. I’ve known Jadin since his 7th grade year, and he’s grown into a leader and a winner who makes everyone around him better. He’s an even better person, and he is loved and respected by everyone in the Rutgers Prep community.”

Collins was selected First Team All-Skyland Conference and was named Third Team All-State after averaging 23 points and eight rebounds in the state tournament, which included two 30-point games. Collins led Rutgers Prep to its first sectional state championship in school history with a 26-4 record.

“Marist has a similar feel to it,” Bloom said via text, “It’s a smaller school with a tight-knit community, and the coaching staff absolutely loves Jadin. He’s going to have an opportunity to play and to continue to develop his all-around game.”

Hannah Hidalgo reveals Stanford, Rutgers as college contenders

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Hannah Hidalgo

Hannah Hidalgo is almost ready to announce her top ten list of college prospects. The two-time South Jersey high school girls basketball Player of the Year holds offers from a long list of high major programs, including the likes of Stanford, Notre Dame, Maryland, and Arizona.

She’s coming off of a junior season where she averaged over 26 points per game.

In her recent appearance on The Basketball Society Podcast, Hidalgo revealed that Rutgers and Stanford will both appear on her list.

Hannah talked about the process of deciding what her priority will be when choosing a school. She could stay closer to home or branch out further away, and she could join a more established winning program as opposed to helping to build one up.

The two schools she chose to reveal represent those two spectrums. Stanford is the defending national champion making their second straight Final Four appearance this weekend. Rutgers hasn’t made it past the second round of the NCAA Tournament since 2009. One school is in Hannah’s home state while the other is on the other side of the country.

Hannah recalled one of the highlights of her recruiting process as speaking with Rutgers Hall of Fame coach C. Vivian Stringer. Another highlight she mentioned was talking to Arizona head coach Adia Barnes, who coached the Wildcats to their best postseason run in history last season, losing to Stanford in the national championship game. Arizona was led by one of Hannah’s favorite players, Aari McDonald.

The final decision for Hannah she says will likely be announced this summer after the July live period.

 

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