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Travel Team Preview: Nike Team Florida - 16/U
Posted, 3/26/2005 10:03:08 PM

By Rick Staudt

Formerly know as the FBVA Orlando Raptors, this group of players has been very successful on the national level for the past 8 years. Coach John Calathes is looking forward to one last go-around with the team before they move on.

"We may not pass the look test when we take the floor, but after about a minute, the other teams know we can play", says Calathes. "I have gotten letters from college coaches saying how much they enjoy watching our kids play basketball the right way."

The team is led by 6'4 WG Nick Calathes and 5'11 combo guard Jon Roberson, teammates at Winter Park (FL) Lake Howell. They are joined in the backcourt by 6'0 PG Danny Krazit of Orlando (FL) Bishop Moore, and Steven Babb, a 6'3 combo guard from Orlando (FL) Boone.

"Nick has grown since last year and may not be done. He minds some of Bobby Frasor in regards to his all-around skills", says the elder Calathes. "Jon is a lights-out shooter who can finish over bigger players in the lane and a strong defender. Krazit does a good job of running the team and getting players in the right place at the right time. Steven Babb is a reliable shooter and gives maximum effort every time out."

Some newcomers will join the team this year. Jermain Johnson, a 6'7 PF from Ft. Lauderdale (FL) St. Thomas Aquinas and Amadau Sambou, a 6'9 C from Tallahassee (FL) Pope John Paul II will join veteran shooter 6'6 small forward Jordan Boltan of Winter Park (FL) HS, 6'6 Chandler Parsons of Winter Park (FL) Lake Howell, and 6'7 athlete Jeremy Jackson of Winter Park (FL) Lake Howell.

"The new guys give us a dimension we did not have before: some size on the interior. Their presence will open up the floor for Boltan and Parsons, who are both very good shooters. Jackson is an excellent athlete who can get out on the floor and defend and rebound with just about anyone," say the coach.

The 16U edition of Nike Team FL plans to follow a very difficult schedule for the upcoming season. Their tentative schedule is below.

  • April 1-3: Nike Team Florida Raptor Challenge, Orlando
  • April 8-10: Boo Williams event, Virginia
  • April 22-24: Next Level National Invitational event, Dallas
  • May 13-15: Travel Basketball Championships, Gainesville
  • May 20-22: Coast to Coast Invitational, Miramar, FL
  • July 19-21: 16U Super Showcase, Orlando
  • July 22-24: AAU Super Showcase, Orlando
  • July 25-Aug 1: AAU 17U Nationals, Orlando


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