Basketball: New England Playaz South triumph

New England Playaz South 12U team members (front row) are: D’Angelo Williams (Bridgeport), Joshua Daniels (Bridgeport), Jeremiah Jenkins (New Britain), Khalil Flowers (Stratford) and Troy Ashkinos (Fairfield; (second row) coach Dominique Langston, Theodore Mante (Norwalk), Tavon Daniels (Bridgeport), Josiah Mosley (Stratford), Tyler Lampley (Monroe) and NE Playaz South Director Damell Stovall.

New England Playaz South, part of the New England Playaz Basketball Club’s 12U and 13U teams, with players from Monroe, Fairfield, Bridgeport, Westport, New Britain and Norwalk have won their first three spring tournaments — the Gatorade Presents the Norman Edwards Jr Classic in Bloomfield, the Master’s School Spring Showcase in West Simsbury and the Trailblazers Spring Classic in Springfield (Mass.).

The 14U New England Playaz South team, coached by Craig Davis, won titles in both the Masters School and Gatorade Tournaments.

“This year’s squad is a powerful group of athletes,” said NE Playaz South Director Damell Stoval. “They are showing that they are committed to working hard and they are wide open for instruction. The momentum our boys have already is exciting, and we’re looking forward to continuing a great spring season.”

Dominique Langston, who is both the Fairfield Warde High School JV boys basketball coach and head coach of the 12U New England Playaz team, said, “The boys come to us with all different skill sets and experiences in basketball, and we work hard to help them understand and respect the game.

“Yes, it’s shooting, passing, rebounding, stealing and learning plays  — and it’s also about teaching the boys to work together and trust us as coaches and trust their teammates.”

At this weekend’s Gatorade Tournament, the 12U team defeated its opponents by more than 20 points in each game, including Sunday’s championship game against South Windsor.

Bridgeport parent, Lucille Daniels has two sons in the New England Playaz South program, 12-year-old Tavon (who averaged 15 points a game this weekend, and more than half a dozen steals and half a dozen assists in each game) and 10-year-old Joshua (who was hitting 3s this weekend while playing up on the 12U team).

Daniels called the program “remarkable” for its focus on the basics, while it encourages boys to fulfill their potential as athletes and as students. “The quality of New England Playaz coaching is outstanding,” she said. “The players are learning basketball the way it’s meant to be taught, from the ground up. That helps them go far in school and on the court.”

For more information about the New England Playaz South teams, or to help support to the program as it plans future tournament travel, please email [email protected].

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