I popped out to one of the local gyms today to catch the NMForce AAU team as they prepare for the upcoming Reebok Denton Great American Shootout in Denton Texas, and later this month the big one in Las Vegas later this month.
Unfortunately this was their last practice and I was running a little late, but I did get to see 4 players that really stood out for NMForce and over the next couple of days we will be looking at all 4 of these young men starting today with Hobbs HS (Hobbs NM) Allen Tate.
At 6-6 165 lbs this combo guard/small forward impressed me from the moment I hit the gym. In the hour that I was able to watch Tate this afternoon he displayed excellent ball handling skills, while finding ways into the paint. Once getting down low Tate shows no fear of taking the rock right up and over larger defenders, as he is very explosive around the hoop.
I spoke with Ross Romero about Allen Tate…
"Allen is a guy that a lot of people are overlooking him due to the play of guys like Marcus Williams (Rio Rancho HS), Chad Adams (Highland HS, Albuquerque NM), and teammate Jeff Taylor (Hobbs NM) as these young men are getting most of the publicity in the state," says Romero. "That is their loss as Allen is a well rounded and versatile player at the 1,2, and 3 positions."
I asked Coach Romero what they felt Tate's strengths are as a player and possible D-I player. "Allen is a very versatile player with a nice shot, he can put the ball on the floor and break down a defense and create off the dribble," says Romero. "He (Tate) continues to gain more confidence each time out on the court and realizes that he can play with the top talent in the country."
Allen agrees with Coach Romero's assessment. "I have a strong outside shot and can penetrate to the lane," said Tate. When asked what position(s) he felt were to his liking Tate didn't hesitate to answer, "I prefer to play the guard positions. It allows me the ability to penetrate and either take it all the way for a dunk or pull up and hit the short J," replied Tate.
Allen Tate takes it to the rack!
As far as school recruiting this young man from Hobbs "At this point Allen has 9 schools showing a lot of interest in him at this point ranging from Arizona St., Pepperdine, all the way to Montana St," says Ross Romero. "I look for that list to grow as he continues to get more experience and his confidence grows. Allen is starting to realize how talented he is as he works on getting stronger, being more aggressive, and taking it to the hole, more schools are going to take notice, as I believe that Allen Tate is one of the best players in the state.
For more information and updates on Allen Tate and the rest of the NMForce AAU team check out their website at www.NMForce.com and of course here at TheRedMenace.com
Thanks to Ross Romero for taking time out of his practice to speak with us about some of the player's on his current squad and for the young men to take time and speak with us as we wish them well in their upcoming tournaments. If you are intersted in helping these young men out as they are always looking for funding for these trips please visit their website and find out how you can join the NMForce.