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August 13th, 2014

A City of Newburgh Tradition is in the Making

OC Bulls, 2014 Futures Stars Champions

NEWBURGH - The music blared and the DJ kept the fans engaged, as a packed crowd at the Newburgh Armory Unity Center gathered for the finals of the ROCK Roundball Classic. The ROCK isn’t just another summer league; this league was created on premise of bringing the New York City basketball scene to Newburgh. Players don’t wear t-shirts; they play in full Anaconda Sports uniforms. Players are also not drafted on to teams, like traditional summer leagues. These teams enter the league as already formed units. The top AAU and travel programs from Orange, Ulster, and Sullivan Counties comprise the divisions, such as the BC Eagles, Kingston Komets, Middletown’s Finest, Coast to Coast, and the Newburgh Panthers. Many of the area’s top players are alumni of the program; Elijah Hughes (Beacon), Kena Gilmour (Kent School), Anthony Salmon (Burke Catholic), Chris Paul (Don Bosco), Isaiah Boissard (Valley Central), and Jordan McAllister (Monsignor Scanlon).

The program was formed 4 years ago by Derrick Stanton and played at the Stewart Air National Guard Base in New Windsor. His friends Les LaFrance and Otis Cowart were instrumental in the early success of the league. Les helped through his connections at Anaconda Sports and Otis convinced his referees to work at a discount for the first year tournament. In its inaugural season, the league had only two divisions, but teams like the BC Eagles and Kingston Komets gave it instant credibility and help set the competitive foundation. Although the first year went well, there was still something missing to make it a true summer league and that was the location. The league needed a place where the players and spectators could walk to and enjoy the games. That’s when James Gagliano and Diedre Glenn worked out a plan for the league to move to the Newburgh Armory Unity Center. Four years later the league has 5 divisions and plays in the summer and fall seasons. And with Derrick Stanton becoming the new Recreation Director for the City of Newburgh, the league is now run under that department, which gives the City of Newburgh ownership of what DJ Mitch repeated numerous times during the evening, "the best summer league in upstate New York".

Below are the results for the four championship games, as well as, the All-Star Weekend festivities:

Jr. Pee Wee Championship

Newburgh Panthers-Heppes 64 Newburgh Panthers-Rabess 42

MVP: Jah’Likai King (Newburgh Panthers-Heppes) 20 points

Pee Wee Championship

Middletown’s Finest 55 Team Barnes 43

MVP: DaeQuan Clark (Middletown’s Finest) 16 points

Future Stars Championship

OC Bulls 43 NY Dragons 30

MVP: Joel Simpson (OC Bulls) 19 points

Rising Stars Championship

Coast to Coast 65 BC Eagles 55

MVP: Xavier Mayo (Coast to Coast) 21 points

Bigman Skills Challenge

Jr. Pee Wee: George Patsalos

Pee Wee: Noriel Brown

Future Stars: Marquis Gill

Rising Stars: Xavier Mayo

Guard Skills Challenge

Jr. Pee Wee: Jah’Likai King

Pee Wee: Everton Brown

Future Stars: Zeccheria Barnes

Rising Stars: Tyrese Williams

3-point Shootout

Jr. Pee Wee: Julian Brown

Pee Wee: Drew Santa-Lucia

Future Stars: Makai McMillian

Rising Stars: Sameer McKenzie

Jr. Pee Wee/Pee Wee

All-Star Game

Blue All-Stars 68 White All-Stars 66

White MVPs: Julian Brown (Jr. Pee Wee), Noriel Brown (Pee Wee)

Blue MVPs: Amari Tice (Jr. Pee Wee), Josh Hunter (Pee Wee)

Future Stars/Rising Stars

All-Star Gam


Black & Red All-Stars 63 White All-Stars 61

Black & Red MVPs: Zeccheria Barnes (Future Stars), Chris Wright (Rising Stars)

White MVPs: Joel Simpson (Future Stars), Tyrese Williams (Rising Stars)

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