basketball Edit

The Cassidy Awards: New York City Invitational

THE BRONX, N.Y. -- The New York City Invitational featured many of the top-flight grassroots organizations in America's most-important basketball city. With the event now in the books, dishes out some awards based on the games that took place in the Bronx over the weekend.


Rivals Roundtable: Coaching hires, Iverson Classic, 2021 sleepers

2021 Rankings: Rivals150 | Team | Position

2022 Rankings: Rivals150 | Team | Position

2023 Rankings: Top 30



STOCK UP: Kyle Flipowski

Currently ranked as the No. 117 prospect in the 2022 class, Flipowski outplayed that ranking at the event. Playing for the New York Rens, Flipowski showed off a well-rounded game that included scoring on the inside, the high post and a couple of 3-pointers. He handles the ball well for a player of his size but isn't afraid to mix it up under the glass. His multi-facetted game certainly warrants a climb up in ranking.

Where he might land: Ohio State, Iowa and UCLA are the most involved parties for the time being.



Wilcher, who played up with the PSA Cardinals 17U team, started a bit slow on Saturday but reminded everyone why he carries a lofty ranking down the stretch in the second half. Wilcher boasts solid length which plays well defensively. He also comes with a motor that never seems to stop running.

The 6-foot-4 combo guard showed an ability to take defenders off the dribble and create his own shot from long-range as well as in the paint. Wilcher’s upside is obvious and he seems well on the way to reaching it should he become more consistent. There simply aren’t many guards in the 2023 class that match his blend of length, skill, court-vision and athleticism.

Where he might land: Oklahoma State, St. John's, Kansas and UConn are among the programs to watch for now, but it stands to reason that the touted sophomore will see his list of options grown in the year ahead.


THE BULLY: Joshua Rivera

Originally a member of the 2021 class, Rivera reclassified to 2022 in an effort to garner the exposure he missed when last year’s summer circuit was effectively nixed. It seems as though the 6-foot-6 forward made the right call, as he spent the weekend proving he’s more than just a big, bruising body.

The broad-shouldered and strong Rivera moves incredibly well for a player of his stature and impacts the game on both ends of the floor as well as on the glass. He creates matchup problems all over the floor and shows the ability to guard multiple positions. Rivera is an elite athlete that is becoming more polished as a finisher at the rim. He’s an absolute terror on the glass, as boxing him out is a tall order.

Where he might land: Rivera boasts a handful of low-major offers but will probably get high-major interest this summer playing for the New York Jayhawks. For that reason, it’s impossible to speculate where he may land.


NOW ON THE RADAR: Zaire Williams

One of the weekend event’s most pleasant surprises, Williams runs with the famed New York Gauchos and put on an absolute clinic in a game against an opponent loaded with D-I talent on Saturday night.

Williams was as active as any player on the floor, playing tenacious defense while having as good a shooting day as any player at the event. Williams possesses a quick release and what looks to be a consistent jumper from range. The weekend was a coming out party of sorts for the hard-nosed, dynamic scorer.

Where he might land: Williams holds offers from Hofstra and Manhattan College. He says his dream school is Arizona State, which has yet to make contact.


THE FLASH: Jayden Williams 

Williams created a buzz in the area during a pair of Saturday morning games that saw him showcase his trademark quickness and ability to distribute. The 6-foot point guard’s limited length will always hold him back a bit, but he has the speed, quickness, ball-handling ability and basketball IQ to help a number of college programs. On Saturday, he showcased that speed while rarely seeming out of control. He also flashed the ability to split defenders and finish at the rack.

Where he might land: Sacred Heart and St. Peter’s have extended early offers to the class of 2024 prospect, who could see his recruitment absolutely explode if he’s able to add significant length in the years ahead. Williams runs with the PSA Cardinals Grassroots organization, so he certainly won’t hurt for exposure.



The youngest brother of former North Carolina star and current Philadelphia 76er Danny Green, Dante Green played the weekend event with the New York Rens 15U squad. The class-of-2024 prospect has some work to do from a skill standpoint, but he’s extremely gifted from an athleticism standpoint.

He has the ability to take defenders off the dribble on occasion and knocked down a couple of 3-pointers at the event, but where he really shined on Saturday was on the defensive end. He wowed with a pair of impressive chase-down blocks that showed off his quickness and vertical.

Where he might land: Green has yet to pick up his first major offer.


MR. CONSISTENT: Chisom Okpara

Okpara has been solid on each of the three times we’ve seen him over the last few months. He’s sharpened himself against top-flight competition playing for powerhouse La Lumiere School during the high school season and then again this weekend, while running with the New York Rens. Nobody plays harder than the 6-foot-7 wing, who uses his upper-body strength and toughness to crash the boards and score on the inside.

Okpara is capable of playing on the perimeter as well, as he boasts NBA range when left open. Okpara seems to never have off days, as his defensive effort carries him during quiet stretches on the offensive end.

Where he might land: Seton Hall, Ole Miss, DePaul and Pitt have all offered Okpara. He seems like an obvious candidate to have a massive summer and see his list of options grow because of it.