Younger players shine at the 2014 New England Junior Best 40

BOSTON – After high school players took center stage at UMass-Boston on Saturday, it was younger players who had their moments to shine on Sunday. Over 50 players in grades 5-8 were in the Clark Athletic Center getting better and competing.

Players went through a series of skill stations, then transition drills before finally getting into game play. Each team played two games and got some instruction from the coaching staff during each part.

Ray Porch, most recently an assistant at Emanuel College, directed the day’s events. He had good help from Charlestown head coach Edson Cardoso, UMass-Boston assistant Tyler Papadinis, Washington Irving Middle School assistant Mat Antoine, former Milton Academy head coach and Simmons College assistant Jeff Jackson (who also does a fine job officiating games as well) and Cambridge Rindge & Latin assistant George Rodriguez. Each took time to point out what they saw to every group they dealt with in skill stations and game action.

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Over 50 players gathered for the New England Junior Best 40 (Oderra Jones photo)

The talent was seen in all ages, from fifth graders like Dasonte Bowen and Abdulai Aden to sixth graders like Sean McCarthy and Joshua Roseboro, all the way up to eighth graders like Jonathan Cenescar, Bryan Desir and Brendan Grant. There were plenty of players who showed bursts of potential as well and will be worth watching as time goes on, especially since they are as young as they are in their physical development.

We’ll have much more coming later on some of the individual players at Sunday’s showcase, including more detail on a few who stood out as well.

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