The spin-off from Jimmy Salmon's Playaz Basketball program will have Mike Jarvis II doing the coaching – pending he doesn't pickup another college job first – and T.J. Gassnola running things.
The centerpiece of this year's team is Kendric Price, a 6-7 ½, 195-pound junior at BB&N who can really shoot it from the perimeter – but needs to get tougher.
``I think he's the best player in the state," Gassnola said.
Alvin Lewis, a 6-1 guard who will likely spend next year prepping at Northfield Mount Hermon, will run the show and play alongside unknown sophomore shooter Alex Zampier, a 6-1 guard from Columbia High in Albany, N.Y.
``He doesn't even miss," Price said of Zampier. "He's that good. He's definitely a better shooter than me."
Price will get some help on the frontline from Colin McIntosh, a 6-7, 190-pound junior who came on strong at Northfield Mount Hermon last season, and Tim Brown, a 6-8, 220-pound inside guy who needs to get in better shape and is headed to prep school for a year.
Brown will get some help on the inside from a couple more Springfield natives – 6-9 sophomore James Brown and athletic 6-7 sophomore Trevon Welcher. New Leadership 6-foot floor leader Yusef Abdul-Wadud will push Lewis for minutes at the point.
``We may not be great early, but by the time the summertime comes we'll be pretty good," Gassnola said. "Are we as good as Jimmy's Playaz team? No, but we're not that far behind, either."
New England Playaz (Springfield, Mass.)
Coaches: T.J. Gassnola, Mike Jarvis II, Mike Wallace
Top Prospects: WF Kendric Price (6-7 ½, 195, JR)
Projected Starters: C Tim Brown (6-8, 220, SR*); PG Alvin Lewis (6-2, 175, SR*); F Colin McIntosh (6-7, 190, JR); WG Alex Zampier (6-1, SOPH)
Others: BF James Brown (6-9, SOPH); Trevon Welcher (6-7, SOPH); G Andrew Lyle (6-4, JR); PG Yusef Abdul-Wadud (6-0, SR*)
Opening Tourney: Spring Fling (N.J.) – April 1-3
Famous Alum: N/A