In its first year of existence, the National Top Sports Institute (NTSI) is still trying to find itself, but is well on its way.
The prep boys basketball program, located at Scotland Campus, has big plans for the future, and has made significant strides this season. The team is 10-4, has several players being looked at by colleges and hopes to take a big step this week when it hosts its first tournament.
The six-team event is Thursday evening and Friday afternoon at Alpha Gym and will feature some prominent prep teams.
Jacob Stiles, NTSI's program director, said, "We didn't get quite the turnout of teams that we were expecting, but it's the first year. We've still got some good teams and good players and there will be plenty of college scouts there. And we want to try to get as many people there as possible."
Admission is just $3 for adults and $2 for kids.
The schedule includes:
- 5 p.m. - NTSI Blue vs. Isaiah Christopher Academy
- 7 p.m. - NTSI Red vs. Massanutten Military Academy
- Noon - NTSI Red vs. Rocktop Academy
- 2 p.m. - NYSI Blue vs. Coastal Academy
- 4 p.m. - NTSI Red vs. Isaiah Christopher Academy
- 6 p.m. - Rocktop Academy vs. Coastal Academy
In the latest prepcircuit.com rankings, NTSI and Massanutten were just outside of the top 10 nationally.
"We're getting better each week," Stiles said. "We had about six new guys come in for the second semester, and we're still working them in, so we're not where we want to be yet. But we hope to hit our stride in late January and February.
"The kids we get have 18 years of bad habits and we have to break them of those habits in six months."
Some of NTSI's top players include Jalen Jordan of Conyers, Ga., a 6-foot-3 guard getting Division I looks; Rasheed Browne of Philadelphia, a 6-3 guard being pursued by D-1 schools, including Florida Gulf Coast; Tyler Morman, a 6-9 center with D-1 interest; and 6-0 guard Chris Parker, who has D-1 and D-2 interest.
Stiles said, "We have 23 or 24 guys now, so we split them up into two teams for this tournament. We think there are a couple of players in this tournament with NBA potential. The best game might be Friday at 2, with our Blue team against Coastal."
When: Thursday (games at 5 and 7 p.m.) and Friday (games at noon, 2, 4 and 6 p.m.)
Where: Alpha Gym at the Scotland Campus
Teams: NTSI Blue, NYSI Red, Isaiah Christopher Academy (N.J.), Massanutten Military Academy (Va.), Rocktop Academy, Coastal Academy (N.J.)
Cost: $3 for adults; $2 for kids
For more info: The NTSI website is www.ntsihoops.com, and some game tapes are now available on YouTube.