Melrose is a football school and for the last 4
years has had some mediocre basketball. Before then
Melrose was a force in basketball but now every
other opponent picks this game as a sure win for the
First year Coach Jermaine Johnson has
brought back the spirit of basketball to Melrose. I know
Melrose in the recent future has been known for football
but it's heart line and star power is from basketball
hands down. His assistants will contribute tremendously
with veteran assistant Nathen Ervin from powerhouse
Mitchell High School and local summer program icon
MemphisHoopers.com summer squad. Assistant Daryl Wiggins
is a major contributor and
One of the top 3 freshmen
recruiting classes in the state and ranks high
nationally. Led by freshmen phenom Adonis Thomas
(6'5 - 200 lbs.,
diamond in the rough)
who is going to be very special. Other freshmen of
interest are Telvin Wilkerson (6'3 - 190 lbs.), Quentin
Lowe (6'5 - 175 lbs.), Chris Jones (5'10 - 165
Senior Courtney Pittman and Jamrcus Toney will
contribute enormously after they come off the football
field. Senior Chris Mason will notch big minutes
throughout the season. Junior Antoine Oakley (6'4 -
180 lbs.) has major potential also.
Diamond in the Rough Team with legitimate off the
(college coaches click here).
BY : ANDRE WHITEHEAD
OF TENNESSEE PREP HOOPS
It was the best
of times, it was the worst of times. I think there is a
book that starts off that way, but I digress.
The anticipation of the upcoming AAU or summer campaign
was alive and kicking all over the country in May of
2005, especially in Memphis.
The expectations seemed enormous, having finished second
in the 17 and under nationals last season as 16's the
Memphis YOMCA seemed primed for the ultimate run.
Something happened on the way to the gym.
It was apparent the Bluff City faithful were not the
only parties interested in getting a piece of the star
Adidas wanted to get a foothold in the ever burgeoning
Memphis hoop scene and this seemed to be the initial
move to start this particular ball
So the YOMCA was no longer in the loop and the Memphis
Pump-N-Run were officially born.
Taking a peek at the roster one could not blame Adidas
for their bold move. Thaddeus Young, Willie Kemp, Wayne
Chism, Pierre Niles and Brandon Powell made up a nucleus
that would surely lead Team Memphis to the promised
The summer campaign started with a most interesting
scenario as the "PNR" lost a game to the Mid-State
Ballerz, who ironically had Willie Kemp running the
show. This was an illusion that would soon change, as
shortly thereafter joined the PNR.
With all their ducks in a row, the PNR set out to
establish themselves and put a benchmark on the national
attention that would follow.
The Real Deal on the Hill, the first major tournament of
the summer that coaches could attend. The pundits pined
for the impending matchup between Team Memphis and the
defending mythical goliath The Indy Spiece Heat. The
Heat were led by the consensus top player in the class
Greg Oden and numerous other high level prospects who
could actually match the
PNR with name recognition.
The reputation was established and the aura of the PNR
was created as the boys from Memphis soundly defeated
the Heat and made a huge cry across the land as the best
summer squad in existence.
Another funny thing happened on the way to their future
For some inexplicable reason the PNR did not suit up for
any of the Memorial Day festivities and was sparsely
seen until the Adidas Super 64 in Atlanta, following the
The aforementioned players participated in various high
level exposure camps and the three major shoe camps and
kept their names on the tongues of coaches nationwide.
After achieving individual success at these various
camps, the boys got back together with the purpose of
putting the finishing touches on a grand and final run
through the top programs the country had to offer. They
added Ridgeway jumping jack Ernest Fields and ECS
powerhouse Tim Johnson to the fold and things looked
Once again a funny thing happened on the way to the gym.
The time off and the lack of continuity played havoc on
the chemistry of the PNR and they bowed out early in
Heading to Las Vegas for the final big time event of the
summer, the PNR seemed poised and ready to achieve.
After dominating pool play the lack of chemistry once
again reared it's ugly head and some resentment among
the players seemed to end this summer campaign on a sour
This team had the potential to be one of the best of all
time. It is truly unclear what precipitated these events
that grounded this team for much of the latter portion
of May and June, but it truly had it's effect on their
None the less these kids are part of the best class of
seniors to dot the Tennessee landscape in many years.
The decision to completely disassociate themselves with
organization that they grew up playing for in retrospect
now seems like a mistake. The YOMCA will continue on
with quality younger teams and what to make of the
Adidas affiliation with the Bluff City at this juncture
BY : ANDRE WHITEHEAD
OF TENNESSEE PREP HOOPS