Written by Joe Scotchie Thursday, 12 September 2013 00:00
With last year’s NBA strike a bad memory, things are looking up again for RBA Sports, the sports agency co-operated by Brian Rubenstein and East Hills resident, B.J. Bass.
According to the website, RidiculousUpside.com, two of Bass’s top clients, Vernon Goodridge and Tony Taylor, both have the eye of NBA scouts and the agency, in general, is using the league’s D-League system as a way to groom college stars for the big leagues.
Moreover, Bass is using his Basketball City in lower Manhattan as a prime training spot for his players.
“[Bass’s] vision for helping players achieve their goals and life dreams entails being able to grow them organically,” the website said. “With an eye for talent not many others have, Bass finds potential in the youngsters who otherwise fly under the radar. Providing them with a prime training spot at Basketball City, Bass understands how to get them ready for the professional game, and values the NBA D-League as an especially special way to do so.”
The web article focused on Taylor’s rising stock as he hopes to land a job in the NBA.
“Fresh out of George Washington University last summer, Taylor was thrust in a handful of NBA workouts in the off-season,” the article noted. “Though he perhaps lacked the confidence, aggression, and the experience necessary to compete, the Tulsa 66ers (the D-League affiliate of the OKC Thunder) saw his immense amount of potential and drafted him in the second round of the NBADL Draft last fall.”
With a year of pro ball under his belt, Taylor was a star of the RBA’s second annual sports showcase, held at Basketball City.
“With executives from teams like the Knicks, Nets, Pelicans, and others present, [Taylor] and Goodridge stole the show yet again,” the article continued. “Taylor displayed maturity in running the floor and impeccable instincts. He charged to the basket a few times, faded away for a couple of long balls, and even came in hard for a thunderous dunk during one of the many scrimmages of the day.”
Brooklyn native Vernon Goodridge was one of Bass’s first major finds. Goodridge, most recently, has played ball in the Ukraine, but as with Taylor, he hopes for a spot on an NBA team.
“Goodridge proved yet again he’s as prime and prepared for another opportunity than he’s ever been,” the article said. “Also playing better than last year, the big man still proved to be a physical and intimidating force defensively. He knows how to assert himself and make his presence felt. What was pleasantly surprising, however, was his ever-consistent mid-range jumper. Perhaps showing the international game has rubbed off on him, Goodridge had one of the better mid-range strokes you’ll find for a big man.”
Taylor and Goodridge aren’t the only two players in the RBA stable that are catching the eye of NBA scouts.
The article noted that D-League alumni like the Los Angeles D-Fenders’ Phil Jones and fellow 66ers’ guard Isaiah Wilkerson also competed. Jamine “Greedy” Peterson, who in 2010-11 scored 40 points during a game for the New Mexico Thunderbirds took part in the Basketball City scrimmages. Also on the scouts’ radar are RBA clients Orion Outerbridge, Lester Prosper and Dami Sapara.
Bass is a former football star at Roslyn High School, where he played during the mid-1980s. Closer to home, he has taken a great interest in the career of George Beamon, the Roslyn native who set numerous scoring records at Roslyn High School in 2009. Beamon’s senior year at Manhattan College was marred by injuries. However, the standout guard is set for a rejuvenated senior year, which if successful, should place him as one of the most sought-after guards in the NBA draft.