AAU season is underway and for the Riverside Hawks, a new year means a new level for the program. After being a part of Adidas silver gauntlet league last season, the Hawks are new members of the Gold circuit for the 2019 season. They Join the NY Jayhawks as the second NY area team on the gold circuit.
Riverside Church has been back on the rise to prominence over the past few years. So many countless alums that have played for this program from NBA and college players such as Lamar Odom, Elton Brand, and Ron Artest, Donovan Mitchell and many more. NCAA champions such as Eric Paschall (Villanova) and Ty Jerome (Virginia) have started or played with their program during their AAU career.
The 17U squad features some of the best rising seniors from the tri-state area. The team features many notable prospects such as the duo of Cardinal Hayes guard Julien Soumaoro and Forward Shemani Fuller, CHSAA All-City second-team selection Louis Kortright and PSAL champions Dwight Davis Jr, Anthony Latty and Philip Joseph of South Shore High School. The Riverside Hawks also feature 6-7 guard Daniel Braster and 6-3 guard Miles Brewster.
Transitioning from the silver circuit to the Gold circuit will be very beneficial to the Hawks which will have the chance to play against some of the top prospects and the nation as well as potentially be seen by numerous Division 1 coaches. When it comes to goals for the upcoming season, having a strong season enough to make the playoffs as a goal.
“ Going from silver to Gold is a big transition, so we wanted to make sure we got enough adequate pieces necessary, and we have been working hard just to make sure we can be successful on this level”. says assistant coach and director of player development John Hawthorne”. From the looks of the workouts and drills, this riverside team plays an uptempo style and have versatility at all positions. With their style they have the tools to compete with many teams on the circuit.
L-R Miles Brewster, Daniel Braster, Louis Kortright, Julien Soumaoro, Shemani Fuller
The goal of winning a championship is always on the minds of many but for the Riverside Hawks 17U team they want to focus on getting to the playoffs first. “ Well, the goal is one by one is win and get a good record so we can qualify for the playoffs. We have to win as many games as possible” Hawthorne added.
The Riverside Hawks are off to a solid start. During their first session in Massachusetts, the Hawks went 2-2 with wins against KLow Elite and New World. Davis Jr averaged 17 points, three rebounds and three assists per game while shooting 60% from the field. Soumaoro proved to be the team’s top three point shooter in the first Session. The junior guard averaged nine points and three assists per game while shooting 56% from three-point range. As the Hawks head to Dallas this upcoming weekend, they will look to build on what they did Boston and finish with a winning record.
The slow rise of the Riverside Hawks is some encouraging news when it comes to NY area teams in the AAU landscape.