Can Jeurys Familia defend their back-to-back championships?
GARDEN CITY: Draft League Preseason Power Rankings
By Anthony Leo | Garden City Co-League Coordinator
1. Jeurys Familia
We begin our fourth season of the Garden City draft league and Jeurys Familia is back once again looking to defend their back-to-back titles. Team captains Jordan Oringer and Mike Mastro have shown no matter who’s on their team and no matter how the draft works out they can win a championship. They will once again have a new team centered around their first-round pick Corey Altman who is coming off a fantastic summer season. Jeurys Familia kicks off their title defense against CST Elite on Tuesday night.
2. Gale Force
Gale Force is led by team captains Richie Byrd and Sky Khaleel. They were voted the strongest pair and were dealt with the last pick of the first round, but that didn’t stop them from drafting a very talented team. When you look at this team on paper they have a big three that’s going to be hard to stop. Richie Byrd, Sky Khaleel and RaShawn Church all together bring a lot to the table. They have size, shooting, ball handling and play-making ability to lead Gale Force every single night. We’ll see how they are able to put it all together on the court.
3. CST Elite
CST Elite is back again with Rob Sargeant and Maxx Rosenbloom as captains. Rosenbloom and Sargeant have played together now for a few seasons in both the draft league and competitive Syosset open league. Together they make up the biggest front court in the league. In the draft they filled out their roster with tough players like Mike Gahan who can score, rebound and defend. On paper this team is one of the deepest and most talented teams in the league.
4. Shore Shack
Chris Frey makes his return to the draft league for the first time since losing in the championship game with his Thundercats draft team. This time Frey pairs up with Chris Pisciotta putting two players who played on the NYC National Tournament team on one squad. In the draft Pisciotta and Frey looked to grab some guards who can handle the ball and create some offense and they did just that by drafting Will Hennep who has plenty of experience in both the draft league and open league. They followed up that pick by taking the reliable Craig Rallo who is a staple of Unstuck, but now will play with Frey and Shore Shack.
5. Threat Level Midnight
Threat Level Midnight is led by team captains Brandon Perez and Donte Howell. Howell and Perez played their first season together in the summer open league in Syosset with the Thundercats winning a championship. Now they pair up for the draft league and they put together a solid roster that is filled with solid role players. Howell was the team GM at the draft and selected Donovan Jackson with their first pick. Jackson was a member of last seasons Jeurys Familia championship team and they are hoping Jackson can put in another good season for them.
The Monstars are another team with a really deep roster filled with guys who all have experience playing in the draft league. They don’t have any new faces who are rookies and that could help them out. Kevin Archbold and Chris Albano are the captains of this team and with the second pick in the draft they selected Jake Rosenbloom who lead his Lessons 4 Kids team last season to the championship game. The Monstars filled out their roster with a lot of play makers and shooters to surround Archbold who is one of the league’s best big men.
7. Red Storm
Red Storm formally known as Double Trouble with Matt Gelsomino and Steven Medard are back again with a well-rounded roster that may take some time to jell on the court. Gelsomino selected Haron Hargraves with Red Storm’s first pick and Hargraves is an excellent scorer who takes a high volume of shots. If Hargraves can fit into the offense with Steven Medard they can make for a great duo that will have Gelsomino ready to fire from beyond the arc. Red Storm also has some athleticism with Chris Hoffman and Carl Garcia who both can rebound the ball and defend well.
8. Ref Elites
Ref Elites is filled with new players up and down the roster who will be playing in their first ever draft league season. On paper they look like a talented team, but until we see them out there on the court together it’s hard to rank them any higher than at the bottom of the pre-seaon rankings. There is a lot of hype around the team that is led by Ming Wang. Wang will have to find a way to get everyone on the same page. It’s never easy to get guys who have never played in the draft league before all on the same page, but they are talented and they could easily surprise a lot of people early on.
9. Savage Storm
Savage Storm formerly known as Unshakable with Mark Thomas and Will Cheatham is back once again. They had the first pick in the draft and went with the best big man available in Matt Mehler, a walking double-double who can average 20 points and 15 rebounds if he’s healthy. Savage Storm will need Mehler to be the go to guy on this team. Thomas and Cheatham draft strategy was to try and surround Mehler with shooters and they selected Chase Jaloza who can shoot the ball well if he’s got an open look. The issue for this team will be their depth and how they handle rotations.