Double trouble: YOMCA duo did work at EYBL finals

20 Jul

Jarnell Stokes is having a tremendous summer with Memphis YOMCA.

By Bobby Bancroft
National Hoops Report

Memphis YOMCA had one of the most successful showings at the 2011 EYBL Finals at the Nike Peach Jam last week by winning the U16 Division and coming in as the runner-up in the U17 Division.  The U17 team was lead by their 2012 frontcourt five stars –  Jarnell Stokes and Shaq Goodwin.

Before coming up short in the second half of the championship game against BABC (MA), Stokes and Goodwin lead their team to an impressive 7-0 record.  Perhaps facing their biggest, literally and figuratively, test in the semifinals against the Georgia Stars, led by their own big men in Tony Parker and Alex Poythress, the YOMCA duo passed with flying colors.

Shaq Goodwin came up with his biggest game of the tournament with 29 points and 12 rebounds in leading his team into the Finals.  Running mate Jarnell Stokes chipped in with 12 points and 17 rebounds of his own.

National Hoops Report was able to catch up with both big men after their semi final win.

“I’m just glad that Shaq covered for me because I started the game off bad,” Stokes said about his teammate.

“If it weren’t for him, we might have lost this.  That’s my guy for covering for me. The plan was to make their guards score and not let their bigs like Alex Poythress and Tony Parker score.  I think we did a good job of that.”

Parker and Poythress only combined for 19 points in the loss, far below their averages.

Stokes recently announced that he would be attending Oak Hill Academy (VA) for his senior year of high school.  The next big question is where will he be collecting rebounds and scoring in the post at the college level.

“I’m wide open,” Stokes said.

“I have a top six but I’m wide open.  I plan to visit after July.”

So those visits that he said he planned on making after this month, he wasn’t willing to let on as to where they might be.  He’s interested in keeping is recruitment close to the vest but he did shed some light on the schools that were coming after him the hardest.

“Arkansas, Tennessee, Connecticut, Memphis, Florida, Ole Miss, and Auburn are all coming at me the hardest right now,” said Stokes.

Stokes also indicated that he had received a 19 on his ACT test and that while it was enough for him to be eligible, one member of his family wasn’t satisfied – at least not yet anyway.

“It was my first time taking it”, Stokes said about his qualifying score on the standardized test used to determine eligibility.

“My momma is still not satisfied so I’m going to still keep on taking it until I get a 21.”

So what might be the deciding factor for Stokes when picking a college?

“Probably the playing style and winning,” Stokes said..

“I need to have a good relationship with the coach but just the way that they play is big for me.”

College basketball fans shouldn’t be holding their breath for Stokes to pick a school.  He plans on taking as long as possible to find the best fit.

Of course Memphis YOMCA doesn’t have just one top ranked player in their front court, they have two.  Goodwin is the other half and while statistically he didn’t have the tournament that he might have wanted, his presence went a long way towards his team making the finals.

“Honestly I haven’t been scoring well except for this game but I’ve been playing good defense and making hustle plays,” Goodwin said.

The Decatur, Georgia native has an interesting twist to his recruitment – he intends on being a two sport athlete.  Goodwin is also one of the nation’s top tight end recruits and the biggest factor in picking a school will be the ability to play both.

“Georgia, Memphis, UCLA, Florida, and Alabama are at the top of my list right now,” said Goodwin.

“If I go there, anyone of those schools, I can play football and basketball.”

The idea of playing one sport in college may seem overwhelming for many but the idea of playing both seems like a non starter for almost everybody.  Almost being the key word.  Goodwin doesn’t see a reason why it should be any different than doing it now and he loves both sports.

“Well some people say it’s going to be too tough to have a balance with a social life and play both of those sports but I don’t think so.”

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