By David Cordova
There have been many AAU teams that have made strong statements over the years. New Jersey has produced plenty of talents throughout the last 20-25 years. AAU programs such as the Playaz, New Jersey Roadrunners and most recently SportsU have produced countless Division I pros and NBA players. However, there is a new program on the rise with plenty of talent.
Meet Team Rio National, a powerhouse from South Jersey. They are sponsored by Miami Heat guard Mario Chalmers and Micah Lancaster of “I’m Possible” and are one of the top programs throughout the country. In the last few months, they have made a lot of noise and have dominated on the AAU scene. The 14U team, which is rated as the No. 1 eighth-grade team in the country has mad plenty of noise by winning championships in tournaments such as Funsport, MADE Hoops, Scranton March Madness, NYBL and Basketball Spotlight on the 14U level. But they have also played up on the 15U and 16U level as well, winning championships at Hoop Group Spooky Nook, Nike Houston Cup and most recently, Rumble in the Bronx.
This phenomenal group of players will do wonders within the next few years. The standouts consist of:
- Bryan Antoine, a 6-5 guard from Keyport, NJ that is a good shooter, can knock it down from long-range. is a scoring machine and also plays above the rim. He is a defender that can be a nightmare for the opposition. He will attend the Ranney School in New Jersey in the fall.
- Tariq Ingraham, a 6-8 forward from New Castle, DE, who is very mobile in the paint, has good size, is a good rebounder and is an efficient shot blocker. He will attend the Salesianum School in Delaware in the fall.
- Cole Anthony, a 6-2 guard from New York, NY, is a good ballhandler, knows how to run a team, makes clutch free throws in crucial moments and also knows how to get to the basket and score. His high school choice is undecided.
- Scottie Lewis, a 6-5 guard/forward from Hazlet, NJ, is the crown jewel of the group. He is a good rebounder, can post-up players in the low post, is great at going to the basket, is very athletic on both ends of the floor. He also knows how to get his teammates involved. He is also known for his highlight-reel dunks. He will be attending the Ranney School in New Jersey in the fall.
- Jalen Gaffney, a 5-11 guard from Columbus, NJ, is a pure scorer and is able to score in many ways. He is very quick and can get to the basket at will. He will attend the Pennington School in New Jersey in the fall.
- Amadou Sanahr, a 6-1 guard from Coatesville, PA, is a solid scorer that can get to the basket at will and is prone to getting steals on defense. He will attend Collegium Charter in Pennsylvania in the fall.
- Jordan McKoy, a 6-5 forward from Westwood, NJ, is an aggressive defender and scores when needed to. He will be attending Dwight-Englewood in New Jersey in the fall.
- Mikeal Jones, a 6-7 forward from Philadelphia, PA, is a big man that plays above the rim and has good ballhandling skills for his size. He will attend Roman Catholic in Philadelphia in the fall.
- Chris Autino, a 6-6 forward from Manalapan, NJ, is a skilled forward that can rebound and also make jumpers with a soft touch. He will attend the Ranney School in New Jersey in the fall.
This collection of players have dominated on the AAU circuit and will continue to make plenty of noise throughout the summer and beyond. The future is bright for this crew of players. You can catch them at the following events:
- Colgate High Prospect Camp, Hamilton, NY, June 27-28
- Under Armour Association Final, Atlanta, GA, July 15-18
- Adidas Uprising Summer Championships, Las Vegas, NV, July 22-26
The amount of talent that Team Rio posesses plenty of talent for the next four years. The future is bright for this crew of players. Watch out for Team Rio National, they are the future of tomorrow.