The annual NY2LA Sports Generation Next Basketball Association “GNBA” made its 2019 debut on Friday with talented teams from across the Midwest competing in the middle school proving grounds platform.   Here’s another perspective of some of those that stood out on opening night in Wisconsin…

Note – Note listed in any particular order

2023 Tye Pence – Illinois Irish 14U
Pence had a great showing on opening night of GNBA Session 1 scoring 19 pts for Illinois Irish in their win over WI Premier. The 6’4 wing has a deadly stroke from deep with a quick smooth release and gets great rotation on his shots, and knocked down 5 threes. Pence didn’t force anything, making the extra pass to open teammates and utilizing a soft touch from the midrange when defenders ran him off the three point line. He has a solid handle and battled on the glass in helping lead Illinois Irish to the win. 

2023 Dalen Davis – WI Phenoms 14U
Already having proven himself on the GNBA circuit during the 2018 season, Davis did not disappoint in WI Phenoms Friday night matchup with Mac Irvin Fire leading the Phenoms to the win. He is at his best in transition and playing downhill in the half court and used his tight handle to blow by defenders and get into the paint. Davis was able to finish at the rim and used a nice pull up jumper from the midrange to avoid the length of the Mac Irvin frontcourt. He also did a good job of finding open teammates when the defense collapsed with drop offs and kick outs to open shooters. 

2024 Nas Beamon – Team Takeover 13U
Beamon looked the part of an elite prospect for his age scoring 16 pts for Team Takeover in their win against WI Blizzard. He is extremely skilled while also being one of the biggest and strongest players on the court and was able to grab defensive rebounds and push the tempo off the dribble. He has a shifty handle getting defenders off balance and attacking the rim where he can finish with either hand in traffic. Beamon also impressed as a passer and did a good job of knowing when to look for his shot and when to get teammates involved. 

2023 Gus Yalden – WI Phenoms 14U
Yalden was a monster on the glass for WI Phenoms on Friday, controlling the defensive boards and throwing accurate outlet passes to start the break. He uses his big body to seal defenders and establish good post position on offense, and has the footwork and touch to finish around the rim. Yalden also showed great soft hands which is extremely valuable at his size – able to catch tough passes and grab rebounds in traffic. 

2023 Ethan Kizer – Illinois Irish 14U
Kizer had a good showing for the Illinois Irish in their win, showing improvement across the board from the 2018 GNBA. He has good length and athleticism, blocking shots and catching some big time lobs on backdoor cuts finishing with dunks. Kizer hit a smooth mid-range jumper from the short corner and has good shot mechanics. He also showed the ability to grab defensive rebounds and then push the ball in transition with an improved handle. 

2023 Darrin Ames – Mac Irvin Fire 14U
Ames had a solid game for Mac Irvin Fire 14U in their loss to WI Phenoms, finishing with 16 pts to lead all scorers. A shifty guard, Ames was able to get defenders off balance and drive to the rim and finish. He also hit a couple of nice jumpers from three to keep Mac Irvin in the game in the 2nd half. The most impressive part of Ames performance was his competitiveness on the court, playing hard from start to finish even when the game seemed out of reach. 

2023 Prentice Young – WI Phenoms 14U
Young is part of an extremely talented group playing with the WI Phenoms 14U team. He thrives in up tempo games using his strength and athleticism to attack the rim in transition. He is a tough defender and used his length to bother Mac Irvin guards while also being strong enough to battle in the post. Young also showed touch on his jumper knocking down a three and both his hitting FTs.