Media Ready to Screen for Talented Girls Hoopers at WPA Bruins Tip Off
From April 16-18, the WPA Bruins will once again host the WPA Bruins Tip Off, a national women’s basketball tournament that will bring together more than 185 teams from across the country.
The tournament features teams from 10U to 17U, including many of the country’s top-ranked high school prospects. When it comes time for the tournament, many US media will travel to Pittsburgh to cover the event. Pittsburgh Sports now spoke with a few of these members of the media and explained what they are doing as well as why they will be covering the event.
Tenishia Benson will be at Tip Off, covering both Ohio Girls Basketball Report as good as Eye for prospects.
âI’ll be there under two different brands,â Benson said. âI’ll be under the Ohio Girls Basketball Report (OGBR) which is a business I own. Here I will be able to see some of my teams from Ohio that will be there as well as teams that will be there from neighboring states. I’ll also be there with Eye for Prospects, a scouting service that does more national things. I’m doing this because I’m a McDonald’s All American Game voter, so I’m going to watch the promising players in our country. This tournament has quite a few players who will be potential power five players as well as mid-level players and a whole bunch of players from all over the world. I can rate them and watch some good basketball. “
Why come to the WPA Bruins Tip-Off?
âWe’ve been there before and there were a lot of teams that I had never seen before. It was a great competition. Sometimes when you go into tournaments you usually get the same teams, the same style, and at Tip Off they have great competition, very diverse, and I like that especially as an evaluator. I know there will be great Ohio teams coming up and talent from across the country. They do a great job of bringing this together under one roof.
Jason wilkins at Lady Baller Insider will also be present. Wilkins focuses his coverage on the best prospects for eighth-grade girls in the Midwest.
âIt’s one of the best spring events in the country. You get teams from Ohio, Indiana, Pennsylvania, DC, and this is your best chance to see all the kids before they get old and more exposed. It’s a good opportunity to see them play early. You can see Under Armor teams, Nike teams, Adidas teams under one roof, before heading to their events.
Who is Wilkins excited to watch?
âYou have West Virginia Thunder, Team Takeover, WPA Bruins, and more. They are quite strong clubs. They still have some of the best talent in the region.
Shane Laflin will cover the event for Premier Basketball Report, a scouting service.
What does the Premier Basketball report focus on?
âWe run events, have teams under our umbrella, and more,â he said. âThe basis of our organization is events first. Then the scouting service develops the game, finds the players, serves the college coaches, and at the same time also helps the players. Help players find a place, mentor them, help them understand the process and how to evolve in the game. As for the service, we have had it for about ten years, and we try to see and to evaluate as many players as possible. Integrate them into our database, publish reports and offer them opportunities.
Why come to the WPA Bruins Tip-Off?
âNumber one, John Tate is just a real basketball player. Renowned WPA Bruins, a historic club. The event has just taken off, they have done a very good job. The bottom line is that there are a ton of good teams. People travel from the DMV, the northeast, and it gets great talent. It ended up being a great place to watch players, rate players, network with coaches, and support John and what he’s doing. It’s only growing and it’s been a really impressive effort. “
Who does Laflin keep an eye on?
“There is going to be a ton of it,” he said. âStarting with John’s group, the Bruins. Then you have the West Virginia Thunder. I followed the twitter list of the incoming teams, but he posted so many that it was difficult to keep up. All that have been posted are legitimate. We have seen players from all over. They really are, from top to bottom, serious players of all skill levels. Ohio Future, Elevate Elite, Michigan Basketball Academy, Team Durant, Cincy Angels, Mass Rivals, DC Premier, and more, so yes. Everyone he has is really good. It’s going to be awesome.”
Kenneth pannel will be there too. Pannell runs a business called Continuous performance athletics which is a scouting service.
“I’m going to do a lot of scouting, looking for who’s next, who is now, who’s improved during the pandemic, and see who’s doing the job and who isn’t,” Pannell said.
Why the Bruins’ denunciation of the WPA?
âThe level of talent that will be present at the event and the event has been excellent for years now. John Tate and the WPA Bruins just hosted a big event. You wouldn’t think something in Pittsburgh would be so good, but because of the quality of the teams, the quality of the lineup, the quality of the way they treat people, that’s what separates this tournament from any other tournament in the country, to be honest with you. Doing this during a non-evaluation period just doesn’t happen. He does a great job of getting people there, whether it’s the referees, the teams, everything. It’s just quality. It is a great event. “
Joe costa will be there with Bluestar Media as well as 412 Report.
âI wear two different hats,â he said. âI work for Bluestar National, which is a national screening, ranking and events agency. My local thing, 412 Report, focuses on areas of Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Ohio. The center of PA to maybe not quite as far as Columbus. We cover all of West Virginia, part of that area of ââwestern Maryland. So it’s a gold mine for me.
Why the Bruins’ denunciation of the WPA?
âIt’s probably the best event because John can put all that talent together and put it in one place,â he said. âThe talent comes, in my case, from my area of ââresponsibility, and then I can see that talent playing against the next level, which are other areas that I can’t cover. They are talented kids and now my local kids can play against these other talented kids. The other reason is that it crosses the lines of shoe manufacturers. He brings in the Under Armor teams, the Nike teams and all of them. Usually these leagues are very conventional, they play on their own and don’t play in the other league very often. With this tournament, John has to make sure that happens.
Who Costa is looking forward to watching?
âFor starters, John’s group alone. He has the most talent in the Western PA region. You can watch them in high school, but even then they are in their own situation. Here he has them all in one place. They are all in one team. Some of these teams have players who no longer have to carry their team like in high school, which allows them to be a more complete player.
Sasha palmer will also be in attendance, covering the tournament for BluePrint Scouting.
The company is based in Atlanta, but has representation across the country. They have a nationwide scouting service and will focus on everyone at Tip Off, looking to set up players with scout profiles and more.
âWe got there last year and we want to go as much as possible to cover that area of ââthe northeast,â Palmer said. “These are just great runs, a lot of good kids in this tournament.”
As for the scouting report, Palmer adds, BluePrint will be looking at all players, not just the top ranked.
âWe put all the levels in our screening report,â she said. âWe’re doing portraits and we’ll have someone who will talk to all the kids, get all of their information, so we really love doing and helping college with any kid at any level. We have the best kids and we have Division III players. We will be there to reach all levels of talent and not just always the strengths, because these are given. “
The event will start on April 16, 2021. More information about the tournament can be found at the link below.