High school student athletes seeking an opportunity to play college basketball took part in the 13th Annual Unsigned HS Senior Basketball Showcase at Urban Assembly School for Global Commerce (UASGC) in Harlem this past weekend. Credit: Bill Moore

This past weekend, the National Association of Each One Teach One Inc, and its partners, Rucker Pro Legends Inc, You-B-U Internet Radio and the Urban Assembly Basketball League, held their 13th Annual Unsigned HS Senior Basketball Showcase at Urban Assembly School for Global Commerce (UASGC) in Harlem in front of coaches from several institutions of higher learning including Ulster County Community College, Hostos Community College, Lackawanna College and Lehman College.

The event was not only an opportunity for the high school seniors to continue their hoop dreams at the next level, but also a vehicle for them to achieve their academic goals and forge career pathways.

“It gives players an opportunity not only after PSL (post secondary learning) and before PSL, [but also] it gives our players an opportunity to be seen as well. We do this all here with limited funds, and limited exposure,” said Roony Vizcaino, principal of UASGC, who added that the showcase is presented with leadership and community in mind.

“I’m not getting paid for it,” he said. “A lot of the referees here are volunteering their time, there’s cameramen volunteering their time. If I had to pay every single person, I couldn’t do it. So they’re seeing us be leaders, us as Black and Brown men being leaders, first and foremost.

“The second piece,” Vizcaino continued, “is it gives them a safe space to play, to have fun, to build camaraderie, and then definitely the third piece is post-secondary. It gives them the opportunity to either go to college, be seen by somebody and play sports.”

Harlem native and Lackawanna assistant coach Derrick Haynes also weighed in on the importance of the showcase.

“There are a lot of high school players that are overlooked or because of various reasons aren’t being recruited by many schools,” Haynes said. “There’s always diamonds in the rough.

“Once you watch them play and speak with them, learn about their athletic and academic aspirations, you may find they are a perfect fit for your basketball program and school.”

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