Niagara Gazette

Sports

July 11, 2014

NFHS heads to Hoop Group camp

Niagara Gazette — After a down 2013-14 season, at least by its lofty standards, the Niagara Falls boys basketball team is taking steps this offseason toward returning to prominence.

The Wolverines leave today to play in an invitation-only Hoop Group Elite Team Camp at Albright College in Reading, Pennsylvania. The Wolverines will play three games Saturday and at least two Sunday, against top national competition like St. Anthony’s (NJ), St. Paul VI (Virginia) and Gonzaga High School (DC).

“It’s the cream of the crop,” NF coach Sal Constantino said. “It’s a pretty big deal, the top high school team camp in the country.”

Niagara Falls earned an invitation through Constantino’s connection with ex-Rutgers coach Mike Rice, who is a tournament director with Hoop Group.

The last time the Wolverines took part in a camp of this magnitude was when Jonny Flynn and Paul Harris were bursting onto the national scene in Niagara County.

“The really exciting thing is that it’s during what the NCAA calls the ‘live’ period (of recruiting),” Constantino said. “There are going to be over 125 coaches on campus — not that we’re at that level, but that’s where we’re trying to be.”

Constantino is bringing eight players to participate. Seniors Joe Medley and Antwan Palmer, junior Breon Harris and sophomores Charles Lamar, Devin Sanders and Tyler Sanders spent last season playing varsity at Niagara Falls, while junior Daquan Hubbard played JV. Sophomore transfer Qeyion Williams joins the Wolverines after a solid freshman season spent at Niagara Catholic.

The schedule has not been announced yet, but Constantino said he asked to get an opportunity against St. Anthony’s. The Friars, coached by Bob Hurley Sr., father of University at Buffalo coach Bobby Hurley, have put out a long line of Division I and NBA players and are the defending champions of the Hoop Group camp.

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