May 2nd, 2012
Hype crowned 2012 Eastern Basketball Alliance champs
From Left: Head Coach James Ryans, Nick Carter, Kayode Ayeni, Sam Wallace (rear), Mike McNair, Kiwan Smith (rear), Anderson LaBase, Steffon Farley (rear), Doug Childs, Gerald Carter, Nick Leon, Owner Allen Pickett and Assistant Coach Andre Ricketts. The Hype won the 2012 EBA championship, 103-92.
The Cinderella season for the Hudson Valley Hype recently ended in a 103-92 victory over the Metropolitan All Stars and the title of 2012 Eastern Basketball Alliance Champions. Finals MVP honors went to St. Peters standout PG Nick Leon.
The Hype’s only loss of the season came at the hands of the division rival New York Wizards. Teams in both the Northern and Southern divisions began to see the offensive and defensive strength of Hudson Valley, as they not only beat teams by an average margin of 28.7 points, but more importantly held teams to a meager 88.9 points per game, both of which are historic margins for a team in the Eastern Basketball Alliance. The Hype also set league records this year for most assists in a single game by veteran Gerald Carter and most three point field goals by Nick Carter.
The season started under new management, with Owner Allen Pickett taking the franchise from 1-11 to 11-1, including a championship title, in just one year.
Pickett explains, “My goal and the focus of the coaching staff since the pre-season has been defense. The league is filled with players that can score 30-plus on any given night, but if you have a team defensive concept over anyone’s individual stats then you are going to come away with a victory more times than not.”
“This was literally 16 months of basketball and business to get to this point,” continued Pickett. “I started clinics and tryouts in May of last year, then moved on to NYC summer tournaments, exhibition games and then we officially started the season a month earlier in the Northern Division in order to keep the momentum going. The team was overwhelmingly loaded with talent from the start; most teams have one or two players move onto higher professional careers but we had four during the season. Dominique Jones went to Germany, Lou McCrowskie to Canada, Cesar Jacobo to Costa Rica, and Lloyd Clinton to the famous Harlem Wizards. We even lost our starting point guard to Mexico for a short period. But with an iconic basketball coaching legend like James Ryans and the scouting mastermind of Andre Ricketts, we didn’t skip a beat.”
The season was not only about winning percentages - the Hype and Hudson Valley Hype Enterprises, LLC made charitable donations and completed community service work throughout the year to food shelters, coat drives for the homeless, and even a league-first Breast Cancer Foundation awareness theme for the final regular season game that raised money based solely on donations for admittance.
The Hype also made accommodations for all Hudson Valley Big Brother Big Sister and Boys Club members to come see the best team in NYC for free this year.
“The Hype, as a franchise, have always made the best possible attempt to not only be accessible to the community and our fans but give back to those that have made us feel welcome as well,” said Pickett.