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Media Workout: Prep Hoops Evaluates ENG United 2024

On Tuesday (April 27th) ENG United hosted a media day workout for guest Keith Agran of Prep Hoops, as we prepared for the Prep Hoops Circuit's, A-Town Showdown event on May 1-2 in Atlanta. Here is what Keith had to say about our group of rising basketball stars.

(Published April 30, 2021 at PrepHoops.com) It’s always an intriguing stop when you drop in on one of the many small independent programs in the ATL-Metro, the talent pool in town is so deep you’re bound to find some players who have the look of those primed for breakout status.

Such is ENG United 2024 and Coach Shaine Freeman, even with three of their feature players not in attendance Tuesday night, there was intrigue to be found from this group that covers a lot of different schools. Let’s have a look at a few of the standouts:

Gabriel Mason, 6-4, SF, Kennesaw Mountain

Has the look of a future star prospect, great length for the long strider, sinewy strong getting to the basket, nice looking stoke from multiple levels, glides to the glass and has sticky hands, can play as a rim-protector even if that’s not what they ask of him much, can see him adding a few inches and really stepping into a high-level category.

Quentin Rakestraw, 6-1, SG, Woodstock

Sweet stroke from distance, spot-up shooter with quick and efficient release, good size and frame to create space for his own shot, can use the bounce to get downhill, good athlete can defend multiple spots, when the 3 absent bigs are in the lineup he’s sure to see good looks.

Charles Kimani, 6-1, SG/SF, Harrison

Plays a little more like a forward than a guard, really gets a head of steam off the dribble and is powerful at the basket. Being lefty gives him that little edge that savvy lefty scorers tend to utilize. Goes to the glass hard as well, making him seem a lot bigger. Nice motor (as well).

Marquan Murray , 5-10, SG, McEachern

As we’ve come to expect all over town when you encounter a McEachern product, he’s a tremendous athlete. Has notable basketball acumen, but still appears very much in his learning stage, which is to say he’s not “a project,” as his upside is tangible and the kind of driving and high-rising skills he shows now can become special. As he kicks up his motor he’s got a shot to crack what will be a new, but still deep, Indians pool of talent. 

Jace Freeman, 5-6, PG, Cornerstone Prep

The engine for this group, quite content in pass-first mode with wings and options like he has. With the missing bigs his work off the dribble getting by people must reward them well. More than willing to pull it from past the arc if teams slack off and don’t respect his scoring chops. He's a sound defender who makes up for diminutive size with good feet and savvy.

Jordan Brabham, 6-2, SG, Sprayberry

Reminds a bit of an earlier version of talented 2021 Sprayberry guard LePra George, perhaps not the downhill explosion of George just yet but the athletic talents are similar, showed off shooting touch from range and some definite slashing ability, with time and drilling he can translate his inherent gifts into the kind of all-court game from the perimeter down to the bucket that George has come to show us.

OTHERS TO WATCH: Vernell Jones (Dominion Christian), Jakenes Heard (Model), Jeremias Heard (Model), Christian McAboy (Florida) 

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ENG United Joins 2021 Prep Hoops Circuit PASSION Region

ENG United will kick off the 2021 Prep Hoops Circuit - Passion Region - at the A-Town Showdown on May 1-2 in Atlanta, Georgia. 

Having already proven their toughness since the start of the 2021 spring grassroots basketball season, ENG United 2024 is prepared to continue building on their success at the Prep Hoops Circuit.  The A-Town Showdown event will feature some of the top independent 15U-17U teams in the southeastern U.S., with games taking place in the Metro Atlanta area at Marietta High School, Marietta Middle School, and Campbell High School. 

Prep Hoops will provide national media coverage, while college basketball coaches and other top media outlets are also set to attend or live stream the event on BallerTV.

ENG United will play four games at the Prep Hoops A-Town Showdown, as follows:

  • GAME 1 - Saturday, May 1st @ 8:00am (Court 2) vs. Auburn Raptors 2024
  • GAME 2 - Saturday, May 1st @ 3:35pm (Court 1) vs. East Carolina Elite 2024
  • GAME 3 - Saturday, May 1st @ 6:50pm (Court 2) vs. Georgia Ignites 2024
  • GAME 4 - Sunday, May 2nd @ 10:10am (Court 3) vs. GAA 2024
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ENG United 15U Battles Game Elite 16U | RYZE Spring League

On Wednesday, April 21st, ENG United 15U faced one of Georgia's top Adidas 3SSB Circuit teams, Game Elite 16U, in the RYZE Hoops Spring League (16U Division). From start to finish, the game was a battle!

Due to a slow start by ENG United, Game Elite got out to an early 16 - 3 lead, showing why they are a respected name in Georgia grassroots basketball.  But, thanks to a team defensive adjustment, and an offensive injection by Vernell Jones - who scored 5 unanswered points - ENG United was able to slow Game Elite's fast start to a manageable pace.  But, due to a late first-half run, Game Elite was still able to go into halftime with a 12 point lead (34-22).

But, in the second half, the resilience of ENG United proved to be difficult for Game Elite's 16U players to continue their dominant run.  ENG started the half with smothering defensive intensity on the perimeter by Jace Freeman, Marquan Murray, and Vernell Jones, coupled with shot blocking rim protection by Jeremias and Jakenes Heard, Gabriel Mason, and Jordan Brabham.  As a result, the team was able to cause a number of Game Elite turnovers, which led to several unanswered buckets by ENG United.

As the game wound down to the final 3:00, ENG was able to take a 39-38 lead, forcing a late-game timeout by Game Elite.  After a few missed shots by ENG United, Game Elite was able to take back the lead on a big three-pointer with just over 2:00 left on the clock.  In the end, ENG United was unable to take back the lead, and ultimately came up short with the final score being 45-41.

ENG United's next tournament will be the Prep Hoops Circuit, Session 1: A-Town Showdown, April 30 - May 2nd in Atlanta.

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ENG United Joins Elite 15U Teams At OTR Sweet 16

ENG United showcased at an elite level in front of NCAA D1 & D2 scouts and national media, and proved their toughness at the 2021 On The Radar Sweet 16 in Atlanta, Georgia.

The showcase event took place April 9-11 and featured more than 70 of the top 15U teams in the southeastern U.S., including teams from AL, FL, GA, KY, LA, NC, SC, TN and VA.  ENG United saw four (4) games of pool play action, finishing the weekend with a 2-2 record.

Game 1 took place on Friday, April 9th against a familiar opponent in Atlanta-based Elite Playmakers (Black). The game was a battle that went into overtime on a buzzer beating 3-pointer by ENG United's own Gabriel Mason, who finished the game with a team leading 22 points. In the end, ENG United pulled out the win with a final score of 82-77.

Game 2 took place on April 10th versus Titan Sports Academy (Atlanta), in which ENG United jumped out to an early 17 point lead behind smothering team defense, the sharp-shooting of Jace Freeman who hit four 3-pointers, and the strong paint presence of Jeremias Heard and Christian McAboy. Despite some careless moments by ENG that caused their lead to dwindle to three points, the attacking offense of Marquan Murray, Quentin Rakestraw and Charles Kimani, ENG United was able to walk away with a vicotry of 72-67.

To close out the weekend, on April 11th, ENG suffered two tough losses; one to Memphis (TN) based Showboat Express with a final score of 49-34, and a two-point buzzer beater loss to Atlanta based Promise Elite with a final score 56-54.

ENG United's next tournament will be the Prep Hoops Circuit, A-Town Showdown event on April 30 - May 2nd in Atlanta.

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ENG Debuts With 3-1 Record at RYZE Hoops Tip-Off

ENG United 2024 opened up the 2021 travel basketball season strong this past weekend, tallying a 3-1 record at the RYZE Hoops Tip-Off Classic in Atlanta, Georgia.

The event was held on March 27-28 at LakePoint Sports Complex, and featured some of the top 15U-17U grassroots basketball programs and players in the Southeaster U.S.  ENG United showcased well, finishing the tournament ranked #5 out of 23 teams in the 15U division, as well as seven (7) of our 10 players landing in the Top 150 performers out of more than 250 participants in the 2024 class.

Every one of our players performed well, and each one contributed heavily to the overall success of the team. We are proud of them ALL!  Those ENG United players ranked among the TOP 100 included:  Marquan Murray (#10), Jeremias Heard (#27), Quentin Rakestraw (#39), and Gabriel Mason (#65).  HONORABLE MENTIONS TOP 150 included: Charles Kimani (#113), Jordan Brabham (#114), and Jace Freeman (#142).

ENG United's four games went as follows:

  • GAME 1 vs. Elite Playmakers 15U, ENG United won 66-57
  • GAME 2 vs. Georgia Impact, ENG United lost 77-64
  • GAME 3 vs. SDA Hawks 2024, ENG United won 67-33
  • GAME 4 vs. SBT 15U, ENG United won 63-58

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ENG United Joins Other Elite Teams At RYZE Hoops Tip-Off

ENG United will join a host of top 15U-17U grassroots basketball teams at the 2021 RYZE Hoops Tip-Off Classic in Atlanta, Georgia.

This event will take place March 27-28, 2021 at LakePoint Sports Complex, and will feature some of the best sponsored and independent grassroots basketball programs in the country. More than 100 college coaches/recruiters, as well as top media outlets are set to attend this live streamed event either in-person or online via the Playsight app.

ENG United will play four games at the RYZE Hoops Tip-Off Classic, as follows:

  • GAME 1 - Saturday, March 27th @ 9am (Court 7) vs. Elite Playmakers 15U
  • GAME 2 - Saturday, March 27th @ 3:15pm (Court 10) vs. Georgia Impact
  • GAME 3 - Sunday, March 28th @ 10:15am (Court 12) vs. SDA Hawks 2024
  • GAME 4 - Sunday, March 28th @ 3:15pm (Court 10) vs. SBT 15U
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ENG United 15U Wins By 32 In Ryze Hoops Spring League Opener

In preparation for the 2021 national travel basketball circuit, ENG United 15U (2024) boys kicked off the season Wednesday night with a 69-37 win over the Cartersville Canes 2023 team in the RYZE Hoops Spring League 16U division.

Wednesday's game at LakePoint Sports also marked the first game ever played by an ENG United team. Thanks to smothering team defense, and solid offensive execution, ENG United got out to an early lead against the Canes and never looked back. Led by the scoring efforts of Charles Kimani (25pts), Jace Freeman (13pts), Gabriel Mason (11pts), and Marquan Murray (10pts), ENG's season opener was a decisive team win.

The team's next RYZE Hoops Spring League game will take place on Wednesday, March 24th @ 8:15pm versus North GA 16U at LakePoint Sports Complex, Court 1. The game will be streamed live online via the Playsight app.

ABOUT RYZE HOOPS:  RYZE Hoops is a new basketball platform based out of LakePoint Sports Complex in Emerson, Georgia, just outside of northwest Atlanta. RYZE Hoops includes basketball tournaments, leagues, camps and a training program. RYZE Hoops also offers national media coverage and live streaming of it's grassroots basketball events. You can follow RYZE Hoops on social media (@RYZEHoops).

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Atlanta Xpress 2024 Is Now ENG United

We are proud to announce that we will no longer be known as Atlanta Xpress 2024, and instead will compete as ENG United Basketball Club in the Prep Hoops circuit for the 2021 NCAA Live Recruitment periods.

After three successful seasons with Atlanta Xpress on the Under Armour Future circuit, the move to launch ENG United for the high school journey was not an easy one.

"While we appreciate the amazing opportunity given us by AX, we felt it would be in the best interests of our players and staff to continue our a grassroots basketball journey independently," says ENG United's Founder & Head Coach - Shaine Freeman.

Coach Shaine states, "When the 2020 coronavirus pandemic forced us to sit out the eighth-grade travel season, we used that downtime to evaluate our team's vision for the 15U-17U high school years. We quickly realized that we needed to pursue a more suitable option for our team, and felt that launching ENG United was the right move.  We are excited to continue our journey as one of Georgia's top grassroots basketball teams, with the same goal of helping our talented and high-academic student-athletes secure college scholarships."

ABOUT PREP HOOPS CIRCUIT:   Prep Hoops Circuit is the largest independent league in American grassroots basketball. Prep Hoops provides independent programs an opportunity to compete against the best teams in the country, while gaining exposure to college coaches at the NCAA, NAIA, and NJCAA levels.