With just three practice sessions to try and turn a collection of local all-stars into a team, Hudson Valley basketball coach Tyrone Carver feels as though he’s come across a winning formula. As his club prepares for the annual Basketball Coaches Association of New York, BCANY, Summer Hoops Festival, which kicks off on Aug. 3 in Johnson City, Carver is hoping to see his players make the most of their athleticism, as they try to out hustle and out run the rest of the field to earn a gold medal at the games.
The BCANY Summer Hoops Festival pits nine regional teams from across the state against one another in a three-day affair in Broome County. The Hudson Valley squad has not won the tournament since 2014, but Carver is pleased that the club has quickly warmed to his game plan, which is centered on the entire team’s ability to run the floor.
“I want them to embrace it,” said Carver, who guided the Mamaroneck Tigers to the Class A final four last season. “I want them to be able to get up and down the floor and maximize their skill sets; if we can pressure the ball and get open in transition, that can lead to easy buckets and help us showcase our talents.”
Malik Moore, an All-Section guard from Tuckahoe High School, said that the team’s fast-paced style is fitting for a squad filled with tough defensive guards and a versatile, athletic frontcourt.
“This is how I like to play,” Moore said. “And we have a lot of bigs who can run, so I can just throw it up to them on the break.”
One of those bigs, rising Woodlands senior Noe Fleurimond, said it hasn’t been difficult to adapt to Carver’s coaching style and added that it was easy to find common ground with his new teammates.
“We can shoot and we have a lot of athleticism,” Fleurimond told the Review. “I’ve played against each and every one of these guys at some point, but we have a common bond and it’s that we want to win gold.”
Carver said that his team’s desire to win has been evident in their brief time together, and that his players have embraced the challenge of winning the area’s first tournament championship in four years.
“We have a good group, some really good kids,” he said. “They want to do well, not only for themselves, their communities and their schools, but also for our region.”
Carver’s squad will get its first taste of competition on Friday afternoon when they take on the Rochester-area squad at 5:30 p.m. at Johnson City High School. On Saturday, they will tangle with Suffolk County at 9 a.m. before taking on Central New York at 2:30 p.m. The tournament will conclude on Sunday with a single elimination tournament to determine the eventual winner.