Arguably one of the more consistent and successful teams in the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League (EYBL), E1T1 United is poised once again to make a run toward the league championship. We caught up with Head Coach Steve Reece to get a preview of this year’s squad.
“Our long-term goal is to qualify for the Peach Jam, the EYBL’s championship”, Reece said. “In the short-term, we want the team to get better every session of the EYBL and have our guys get better every time they set foot on the court. It’s important that they understand that college coaches are tracking their progress over the course of the April and July live periods and hope to see improvement as they consider a player for their program. We think this group will be able to do just that.”
The frontcourt will emphasize quality over quantity. Rifen Miguel, a 6’8 senior out of West Oaks in Orlando, 6’8 junior C.J. Walker from Orlando Christian Prep, 6’8 junior R.J. Duhardt from Delray Beach Atlantic and 6’6 junior Donte Wilcox from West Palm Beach Oxbridge Academy will be called upon to play big.
“Miguel is a physical player on the inside”, stated Reece. He plays with a mean streak and has solid footwork and a soft shooting touch inside but can also step out and score. Walker is a lengthy athlete that continues to improve at a rapid rate. He’s great at running the floor and finishing ahead of the defense as well as score from the perimeter or near the basket when the defense is set. Duhardt is an athletic rebounder and rim protector. He runs the floor swiftly in transition and has a nose for the ball coming off the offensive glass. Wilcox plays bigger than his size. He’s a powerful leaper and is quick off of his feet to challenge shots and grab rebounds. He can step out and score or put the ball on the floor and get to the basket.”
E1T1 will have depth and talent on the perimeter. Tre Mann, a 6’3 junior from The Villages Charter leads a group that is athletic and versatile. Joining him will be 6’2 junior Marsei Poston of Jacksonville Potter’s House Christian Academy, 6’4 junior Johnnie Williams IV from Sarasota Booker, 6’2 junior Lance Erving from Leesburg, 6’6 senior Keon Ellis from Leesburg, 6’0 Malcolm Whitlow from Tampa Carrollwood Day School, 6’3 junior Isaiah Kirby from Weston Cypress Bay and 6’2 Emmanuel Adedoyin from Orlando Oakridge.
“It won’t surprise me if Tre Mann makes a run at top-25 status this EYBL season”, exclaimed Reece. “He scores from all three levels, gets others easy baskets, defends well, and is a solid and cerebral all-around player. Poston is a very athletic guard with great scoring ability. He excels best when the game is uptempo. Williams plays with great energy and is a tremendous finisher at the basket. He is also a dynamic athlete that shoots well from beyond the arc. Erving is a deep shooting threat that should stretch the defense for us. He is also a solid scorer when putting the ball on the floor as well as a dogged defender. Ellis has decided to take a prep year in hopes of raising his recruiting profile. A versatile defender with length, he also a crafty scorer with the ability to make tough shots. Whitlow was one of the top scorers in the state last year. He excels at running the pick-and-roll and is a consistent shooter beyond the arc. Kirby is an excellent scorer, both off the drive and the catch. We expect him to provide us a spark on the offensive end when called upon. Adedoyin will do a little bit of everything for us. He plays with great energy, is very quick to the basket as well as a deadly spot up shooter, and a tenacious defender.”