As 2019 comes to a close and this decade wraps it up it only seems fitting to release the NY2LA Sports All-Decade team.  A number of factors played into it and given the amount of talent we decided to go with a group of ten (10) players that we thought checked the most boxes over the years.  There was so much talent in the gym that we could’ve easily released a list that included ten different names.  So with that being said here’s the NY2LA Sports All-Decade team from the 2010-2019 era…

Note – Listed in alphabetical order

At the start of the decade basketball was beginning to reassert itself on the regional and national landscape in Wisconsin a number of talented prospects were doing their fair share on the hardwood but none more so than Burton who was the alpha in the 2013 class and that meant high caliber performances in middle school and high school settings.  One of the most explosive and powerful athletes the state has seen, Burton cracks this list as much for what he did on the court as he meant off the court.  He was a foundational piece of the basketball boom in Wisconsin and a part of the DNA of the NY2LA Sports brand which in some ways went hand and hand this past decade.  

Few, if any, epitomize the term grassroots development as this young man.  He came up through the GNBA proving grounds and stayed the course at the high school level becoming one of the most decorated prospects of the NY2LA Basketball Association and in some ways was the alpha of those platforms.  While shoe company teams clamored to recruit him year in and year out Carton never deviated and stayed the course with the Quad City Elite (i.e. now Mid-Pro Academy) and the end result was a highly recruited national prospect, a scholarship to Ohio State, and he’s trending toward being a first round draft pick.  If anyone is front and center as a face of the NY2LA Sports brand this past decade it’s D.J. Carton.

While the early years of the decade saw Burton lead a charge that included a handful of other talented prospects, the middle to later part of the decade saw this young man become one of the key faces of the NY2LA Sports brand in a lot of ways.  A naturally gifted talent instinctively, Herro really started his ascent in the 7th grade years and he never looked back.  He was a part of the inaugural GNBA year where he helped his team to the championship and whether it was standing out at the Generation Next All-Star Camp, delivering an MVP performance at the NY2LA Sports Futures Camp, or simply ripping the nets at various tournament platforms Tyler Herro became so many things that NY2LA Sports was about as he used the platforms to showcase his development, skill, and talent annually.  The end result was one of the most decorated prep careers in state history, a scholarship to Kentucky, and he’s now front and center as an NBA lottery pick for the Miami Heat where he’s delivering like a potential Rookie of the Year so far.  He sits front and center with a few others on the Mt. Rushmore of the NY2LA Sports brand. 

In some ways the early year foundation of the likes of Burton, Wilson, Thomas, Showalter, etc. in Wisconsin helped pave the way for those that followed and one talented young man that basically grew up inside the NY2LA Sports platforms every year of this decade was Jalen Johnson.  A highly talented prospect with exceptional athleticism and instincts, Johnson helped power middle school teams in the GNBA and high school teams to various tournament championships with some electric performances and his exploits nationally saw him help his Phenom University 16U team to a 2nd place finish at the prestigious Nike Peach Jam in 2018 before following that up with a First Team All-EYBL performance last spring.  A consensus top 5 prospect nationally, Johnson has secured a scholarship to Duke University.

A model of pure class on a number of levels while growing up inside the NY2LA brand so to speak, Looney took the next step as a prospect when he stepped out to UCLA and then was drafted by the Golden State Warriors.  As a middle school standout and a high school prospect Looney started in various Generation Next All-Star Camp platforms, showcased his skills at the Futures Camp, and delivered time and time again in various tournament settings.  Off the court he was always quiet, humble, and professional and a leader that most up and coming players could look up to.  Add to his resume an NBA Championship and hopefully a long and extended NBA career with the Golden State Warriors and it’s easy to see why the first half of this past decade Kevon Looney was one of the big faces of the NY2LA Sports brand.

As performances go few, if any, delivered electric effort after electric effort on the NY2LA Sports hardwood like Shabazz Muhammad.  When his Dreamvision group hit the hardwood of the NY2LA Sports Summer Jam during the early years of this past decade there was electricity every time.  Whether it was powerful matchups against Willie Cauley and MoKan Elite or electric showdowns against Branden Dawson and the SYF Players Shabazz Muhammad and Dreamvision were one of the most exciting teams to watch time and time again.  At a time where the NY2LA Sports brand jumped front and center into the national spotlight with its Swish N’ Dish and Summer Jam platforms, it was Shabazz Muhammad who delivered some of the most electric performances in the brand’s history.  Shortly thereafter he headed to UCLA, was drafted and played in the NBA, and now delivers on the courts of China.  One of my all-time personal favorites to watch play.

There are a few talented young prospects that we’ve been blessed to watch their entire progression of each year and Courtney is one of those that makes that list.  A standout national champion at the early middle school years, Ramey continued to develop and he and his talented Ramey Basketball team were part of the inaugural GNBA campaign that saw them outlast Mac Irvin Fire in the playoffs in OT in what I regard as the greatest GNBA game to date at the 14U level.  Ramey simply delivered each and every year capturing tournament championships or leading his team deep in tournament runs.  Gifted as a leader, scorer, and playmaker, Ramey was a highlight waiting to happen with his smooth overall game that eventually landed him a scholarship to Texas.  Still writing his story in terms of overall games won and accomplishments whether it was at the Generation Next, GNBA, Futures Camp, or tournament level, Ramey was among the best of all-time in the NY2LA Sports brand.  As mentioned with Tyler Herro, Ramey is on the Mt. Rushmore of the NY2LA Sports brand, if one existed.  

At the start of the decade the 2011 and 2013 classes in Illinois were front and center with hype and substance and Parker led the charge with the ladder.  The son of a former NBA player, Parker was a model of consistency game in and game out during the grassroots travel season.  He grew up through the Generation Next All-Star Camps the last decade and he was front and center in high school during the early years of this decade.  He captured MVP honors at a number of camps, helped his teams to deep tournament runs, and he was in a lot a ways the face of NY2LA Sports during the 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013 years along with the likes of Deonte Burton, Kevon Looney, etc.  A quiet unassuming prospect as a middle school and high school prodigy, Parker captured state championships in high school and then made his way to Duke before being drafted in the NBA lottery by the Milwaukee Bucks.  A couple stops later he currently plays for the Atlanta Hawks.  In a lot of ways Parker is inside the DNA of the NY2LA Sports brand as he basically was around at the inception and like Herro and Ramey he’s another that would be on the Mt. Rushmore of anything NY2LA Sports related.

Always regarded as an elite middle school talent, Tatum hit the hardwood of the Swish N’ Dish Spring Warm-Up at the 15U level and much like Harrison Barnes a decade before him Tatum never looked back.  An MVP performance solidified his status as one of the truly gifted prospects in the country for his glass and in some ways early on I felt he could eventually become the best to ever hit the courts of NY2LA Sports.  Whether that becomes the case of not is still up for debate, but there’s no mistaking that Tatum’s performances in the NY2LA Sports Swish N’ Dish platforms were legendary year in and year out and he’s an easy call for the All-Decade team.  After finishing high school he spent a year at Duke and then was a lottery pick for the Boston Celtics where he is one of the best the league has to offer on any given night.  

Early on this decade the Texas Select squad was putting forth high caliber talent at a high level and one reason why was this talented interior prospect.  At first alongside Emmanuel Mudiay Turner was a bit of a background player that many thought had potential but didn’t really know where it would go.  As they transitioned from 16U to 17U Mudiay moved on but Turner stayed with Texas Select and the result was an exceptional 17U campaign that saw him achieve top 25 national status, a McDonald’s All-American selection, etc.  At that time Turner and Texas Select participated in the NY2LA Sports Spring Extravaganza and the NY2LA Sports Summer Jam and he really took to flight during his 17U years as he just kept delivering and trending upward with each passing month.  The end result was a scholarship to Texas and then an NBA lottery selection by the Indiana Pacers in the 2015 draft.  Turner is a prime example of how things can take off overnight and he used the NY2LA Sports proving grounds to sharpen his game during the early part of this decade and the rest is history.  

No programs captured more high school championships at the various NY2LA Sports tournament platforms than these two.  Whether it was 15U, 16U, or 17U age groups and these two were in the building you knew there was a final four or championship game finish happening.  The rosters have dripped with talent over this past decade but when it came down to pure winning both were always front and center every time they were here and they did it in dominant fashion.

Our family from Chicago is one of those must watch shows each time they take the court as you never know what’s going to happen.  In terms of athleticism, highlights, etc. rosters that have dripped with Jahlil Okafor, Cliff Alexander, Jabari Parker, Wayne Blackshear, Mike Shaw, Jalen Brunson, Adam Miller, Sam Thompson, etc. have graced the NY2LA Sports courts year in and year out.  Whether it’s a battle against Karl Anthony-Towns and Sports U-Team Izod at the Summer Jam or a showdown with D.C. Assault at the Swish N’ Dish the one thing that’s certain is the Mac Irvin Fire want all the smoke and they rarely if ever disappoint. When the hardwood in Illinois was starting to light up once again during the early years of this decade it was the trio of the Illinois Wolves, Meanstreets with Anthony Davis, and the Mac Irvin Fire that were front and center in the resurgence.  

Two different landscapes and both have excelled in exceptional fashion.  Mike Mullins and his Illinois Wolves navigated through the later years of the Reebok shoe platforms before eventually landing with the Under Armour brand where he currently resides so to speak.  Despite the various changes to the landscape Mullins and the Illinois Wolves have consistently delivered a high caliber product with prospects that have delivered on the collegiate landscape and some that reached the NBA as well.  Always organized and professional in terms of their approach, the Illinois Wolves led by Mike Mullins were not only standouts in the various NY2LA Sports platforms but generally speaking their one of the more respected programs in the country and that speaks to the leadership of Mullins over the years.

On the flip side few, if any, have grinded their way across the landscape like Gavin Sullivan.  The founder of the Peoria Irish that became the Illinois Irish and now the leader of Mid-Pro Academy (i.e. Illinois Irish & Quad City Elite), Sullivan has done it his way with a blue collar approach that consistently delivers a quality product.  He takes the kids he has and delivers scholarships and deep tournament runs each year despite annually being picked at by shoe company teams trying to poach his top players.  Regardless, Gavin’s leadership and toughness is a testament to his character and his players and teams compete hard, are coached well, and achieve both in high school and at the collegiate level.  

Last but certainly not least is Logan Wynn of Quad City Elite (i.e. now Mid-Pro Academy.  At the start of this decade Quad City Elite didn’t exist but by the back end they had become one of the most dominant and talented independent programs annually in the country.  Add to the mix a number of talented prospects and an alumni history that includes Isaiah Roby (Dallas Mavericks) and D.J. Carton (Ohio State), and it’s a good bet that the success of the Quad City Elite brand was powered by Wynn.  His organization, coaching ability, and leadership was among the very best for the better part of this past decade and he did it independently while continuing to produce each and every year.

Both are no questions in my mind as each has had their teams excel time and time again and both represented their kids and their programs in high caliber fashion.  Litscher was exceptional throughout the past decade as part of the Wisconsin Swing organization.  During the early years it was a group powered by Josh Monogan and Zak Showalter, during the middle it was Lamonte Bearden, Luke Fisher, and towards the end it the likes of Isaac Lindsey.  In terms of leadership and professionalism Litscher is one of the best the state of Wisconsin has ever had and when it comes down to just pure coaching and an ability to take whatever his personnel is and compete he’s among the best in the country.  When you play his team no matter the age group they will compete at a high level, fight for every possession, and play the game with respect.  In a world where egos prevail Litscher always curbs his for the better of the kids and he’s an even better man off the court than he is on the court.  One of the true diamonds the state of Wisconsin has to offer on the sidelines regardless of the arena, Litscher is one of the most accomplished coaches of all-time in the NY2LA Sports platforms.

The leader of the Ramey Basketball brand in Missouri is an easy selection as well as Terrell Ramey is one of those guys you want next to you in any fox hole.  Whether its middle school or high school when he’s on the sideline that particular Ramey team is a problem to deal with as they will play hard and can beat anyone on any given night.  Not afraid to challenge his guys or lead them depending on what they need that day, Terrell has captured a number of tournament championships at the middle school and high school level over the years and inside the NY2LA Sports brand this past decade when they hit the court they were must watch basketball.  In the state of Missouri when you see names like Courtney Ramey, Torrence Watson, Caleb Love, Mario McKinney, etc. all of them started inside the Ramey Basketball brand at the middle school years.  

When it comes to taking what you have and taking it to the next level in college few, if any, in Minnesota have done it better than Chris Lewis and the Minnesota Comets this past decade.  Year in and year out his teams produce on the hardwood and in the classroom and when it’s all said and done his kids end up in school at the Division 1, 2, 3, NAIA, or NJCAA level.  Game in and game out his top teams compete with anyone and year in and year out he places kids in school.  In the purest since of grassroots basketball, Chris Lewis and the Minnesota Comets are everything travel basketball is about.  

As much as Chris Lewis and the Comets did, the Wisconsin Blizzard did more with less throughout the decade.  While most programs grab from all over the Blizzard continuously take from a smaller area and at their best they deliver quality teams that compete at quality levels.  Rich Kuranda does a great job on the sidelines and the one thing they always do is put their kids in the best possible position year in and year out.  They compete, play hard, and place kids in college and they do it off of just hard work without the politics.