Alleyne, East Looking Strong

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The 2002 USA Basketball Youth Development Festival kicked off on Thursday. Most of the attendees originally slated to be in town made their way to the USA Olympic Campus. Here's a brief recap and some notes on the day.

Michigan Kids, Shakur Skip Event

Ndudi Ebi didn't make it into town on Thursday but should be around on Friday. While Ebi should be around for the start of Friday's games, four players will not join him. Guard Brandon Cotton told the USA Basketball reps that he had a family emergency. Fellow Michigan preps Dion Harris and Walter Waters will not be in attendance. Mustafa Shakur was also on the roster but will not be in town this week.

East Looks Strong

There's no question that the team with the best chemistry thus far is the East. Loaded with members of the Tim Thomas Playaz, the East also boasts Sebastian Telfair, Chris Paul, Michael Nardi and Shagari Alleyne. Gary DeCesare worked the kids hard but created a fun atmosphere for them and they appear to be responding. If you are scoring at home, the South looks pretty strong as well. Keep in mind that while the West is markedly improved from last year, no West team has captured the tournament title in the previous four tries.

Injury Report

West point guard Marcus Williams is nursing a sore shooting shoulder. He'll probably be a go for the games. … Rodrick Stewart has been diagnosed with a thigh contusion. He played sparingly. … Andrew Lavender has a sprained ankle and did not play in the evening practice session. …

Athletes Galore

While it's extremely tough to get much out of practice sessions, a few guys were able to distinguish themselves. First of all, Shagari Alleyne and his size 21 sneaks barely have to get off the ground to dunk. ... Vakeaton Wafer is proving he's no one or two hit wonder. The kid has game and he tossed down one of the better dunks we saw today. … Speaking of dunks, Shannon Brown hammered one down that showed just how much athleticism he does have. … Tack Minor remains the single most unguardable guard in his class. …

Scout Hoops Top Stories