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Travel Team Preview: Tallahassee Wildcats - Blue
Posted, 3/26/2005 10:03:08 PM

By Rick Staudt

The successful Tallahassee Wildcats program has added a second 17 & Under team this year. The team is made of players from the central Florida area that played together last year under the Nike banner.

"The kids have played together for a while, so the chemistry is there", says coach Stan Pietkiewicz. "They had success playing up last year as 16s, so we feel pretty confident we will continue to be successful."

John Pietkiewicz, a 6'4 PG from Winter Park (FL) HS, will run the show full time with this group. He split the point guard duties on his high school team. Joining the younger Pietiewicz in the backcourt will be 6'2 combo guard Ricardo Lewis of Lake Wier (FL) HS, 6'4 swingman Deandre Williams from Oviedo (FL) HS, 6'4 swingman Eric Greene of Orlando (FL) Dr. Phillips, and 6'0 Mike Osahon from Winter Park (FL) HS.

"Our perimeter players are very versatile", says "Coach P" as his players call him. "Lewis is a tremendous athlete who can blow by people and has a good mid-range game. Williams is great defender who is long, athletic, and has a high basketball IQ. Greene can all finish at the rim, pull up for medium-range jumpers, and is a good rebounder for his size."

The interior group may be small, with only 1 player over 6'6, but they are very athletic and aggressive. Francis Aihe, a 6'9 center from Winter Park (FL) HS will be flanked by 6'6 PF Patrick Sullivan and 6'4 WF Sheldon Oliver, both from Orlando (FL) Edgewater HS. The fourth member of the group is Tyronne Curnell, a 6'6 WF from Winter Garden (FL) Ocoee HS.

"Aihe continues to make strides every day in practice. He is getting stronger and more skilled with his back to the basket. Sullivan is long, athletic, and a good offensive player around the basket. Oliver has a very good game from 17 ft and in. He is also a very smart player and always plays within his abilities", says Coach P. "The best of the bunch may be Curnell. He is a true 6'6 wing forward who can slash to hole and dunk on anybody or create a medium range shot for himself. He can be as good as he wants to be."

This group of Wildcats will follow a schedule similar to their sister team. The only change is they will play in Orlando during the late evaluation period.

  • April 1-3: Nike Team Florida Raptor Challenge, Orlando
  • April 22-24: Next Level Invitational, Dallas
  • May 13-15: Travel Basketball Championships, Gainesville
  • May 27-29: Adidas Memorial Day event, Washington DC
  • July 12-15: Adidas Showtime event, Suwannee, GA
  • July 22-26: AAU Super Showcase, Orlando
  • July 27-Aug 1: AAU 17U Nationals, Orlando

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