By David Cordova
In the state of New Jersey, there is a hotbed of talent. There are plenty of talented ballplayers coming out of North & South Jersey. One of the breeding grounds of talent in the Garden State is in Central New Jersey.
The Love Ballin Athletics organization was started by Tyreek McNear and Bilal Benjamin in 2012 in Ewing, NJ as a way to help kids develop their basketball skills through mentoring, training, coaching, camps and basketball clinics.
This year’s event will feature two girls games on Friday, June 5th at the Ewing Senior Community Center in Ewing, followed by two boys games that will be played on Saturday, June 6th at Life Center Academy in Burlington, NJ.
8th Grade Game Rosters
Boys High School All-Star Game
Trevon Duval, St. Benedict’s Prep, Class of 2017
Alex Morrow, DeMatha Catholic (MD), Class of 2017
Ja’Quaye James, Teaneck, Class of 2018
Ryan Conde, Ewing, Class of 2018
Shemar Robinson, Lawrence, Class of 2018
Yeshua Powe, Life Center Academy, Class of 2018
Pat Higgins, Class of 2018
Ronald Gaskins, Medford Tech, Class of 2017
Jordan Livingston, Class of 2018
Andrew Ortiz, Phillips Academy (NH), Class of 2018
Tyree Pickron, Archbishop Wood (PA), Class of 2018
Myles Mitchell-White, Lawrence, Class of 2017
David Kachelries, Emmaus (PA), Class of 2017
Markquis Nowell, St. Anthony, Class of 2018
Jamal Anderson, Class of 2018
Roderique Massenat, Roselle Catholic, Class of 2018
Richard Jones, Class of 2018
Aziz Parker, Medford Tech, Class of 2017
David Coit, Northern Burlington, Class of 2018
Angel Rivera, Trenton, Class of 2018
Girls High School All-Star Game
Denia Campbell, Solebury (PA), Class of 2017
Mya Grimes, Ewing (NJ), Class of 2018
Maria DeVincenzo, Trenton Catholic (NJ), Class of 2018
Kiyla Peterson, Ewing (NJ), Class of 2018
Leah Johnson, Class of 2019
Ryan Robinson, Class of 2018
Jaycee Lowe, Class of 2019
Hailey Jantorno, Notre Dame (NJ), Class of 2018
Natalie Stralkus, Peddie (NJ), Class of 2018
Kaiya Burnett, Notre Dame (NJ), Class of 2018
Ayanna Johnson, Pennington (NJ), Class of 2018
Ce’Nia Bowser, Trenton Catholic (NJ), Class of 2017
Jalynn Spaulding, Lawrence (NJ), Class of 2018
Myasia Jackson, Class of 2019
Imani Lewis, Trenton Catholic (NJ), Class of 2018
Kaela Reed, Trenton Catholic (NJ), Class of 2018
Maylissa Clark, Ewing (NJ), Class of 2017
Tyasia Lewis-El, Trenton Catholic (NJ), Class of 2017
Here’s our Q & A with Love Ballin co-founder Bilal Benjamin:
How did the Love Ballin’ program come about?
We always wanted to start our own business but didn’t know what. We didn’t want to just do a clothing line, so while we were away at college we brainstormed different entrepeneurial ways to go about it. The things we factored in were that it had to be something we loved that can help others. Then we came up with starting an organization, not just camps and clinics but apparel, showcases, one on one training and more. We wanted to differentiate ourselves from others. Most basketball clubs/organizations focus on one gender.
What is the primary motive of the program?
We’re here to foster leadership, social stability and love for the game. The Love Ballin philosophy centers on you and your development as a person and as a baller. The philosophy, developed, focuses on a comprehensive approach to each student, of any age, male or female, and at any skill level. The philosophy requires you to be a person of good moral and ethical character, be a baller with strong passion as well a a tough mind and sound body. To be a servant and steward to others, on & off the court.
What are the notable players that you have trained?
Frantz Massenat (Trenton Catholic Academy, Drexel University. Pro ball in Germany)
LaKeisha Sutton (Trenton Catholic Academy, University of South Carolina, Pro ball in Germany)
MyNeshia McKenzie (Rider University, Pro ball in Portugal)
Davon Reed (University of Miami)
Carlton Allen (Manhattan College)
Eli Cain (St. Benedict’s Prep, DePaul University commit)
Dennis Tunstall (Life Center Academy, Towson University commit)
Myles Powell (Trenton Catholic Academy, Playaz Basketball Club)
Shaquan Worthy (Trenton Central High School, New Jersey City University)
Roderique Massenat (Roselle Catholic High School)
Justin Galea (Playaz Basketball Club)
Myles Mitchell-White (Lawrence High School, SportsU)
Denia Campbell (Solebury School)
Chase Lewis (Princeton Day School)
Shanera Hampton (Nottingham High School)
Craig Wrenn (Fisher Middle School, New Jersey Warriors)
Jada Atchison (Burlington City High School)
Kaison Randolph (Philadelphia University)
Kessly Fellzor (Highstown High School)
Ryan Conde (Ewing High School)
Jordan Livingston (Ewing High School)
Richard Jones (Born To Make It)
Paul Jones (Centenary College)
Mateo Walker (Ewing High School)
Where do you see the program going in the future?
I see it being national. Expanding our game national. Eventually moving Love Ballin’ to the West Coast.
What can we expect to see for Love Ballin’ Weekend?
In our 2nd annual Love Ballin Rising Stars Weekend, you can expect to see some of the best young talent in the area. Kids with maximum exposure already and kids with none, but whom also can play at any level, but lack exposure. You can expect to see not only great basketball, but some awesome music by Jaryd Lewis, who will be performing at halftime of the boys high school game. All of our new apparel will be on display. We would also like to thank our sponsors, Chick-Fil-A & Body Armor SuperDrink. Overall, the atmosphere will be incredible. This is a weekend you don’t want to miss. Last year, the girls game was better than the boys game. So don’t downplay Friday night’s game because the ladies can ball too.
Here’s footage from last year’s game: