By Walter J. O’Neill, Jr.
Athletes spend their early years honing their skills. Countless hours shooting baskets, dribbling, throwing, catching and running. They attend special camps, take private lessons all in the hope of one day becoming an elite college or professional athlete.
Well, if you go to Manasquan High School this summer from Tuesday-through-Thursday from 7:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., you will see a huge number of athletes who are living that dream. They are all part of the 55th season of the Jersey Shore Basketball League.
One of those outstanding athletes is Nate Pierre-Louis. He was born in North Jersey he attended Roselle Catholic High School, one of the top basketball teams in the state and country. He then played hoops at Temple University, where he was a 6’4” shooting guard.
After college he joined the South Bay Lakers (part of the LA Lakers franchise of the NBA) in the G League of the National Basketball Association. One of his teammates on that squad is Scotty Pippen, Jr., whose dad was on the Chicago Bulls, who won six world championships.
During the summer, Pierre-Louis, plays for Larson Ford in the JSBL. The other night when they faced Sea Shore Auto, Pierre-Louis scored 32 points, had eight rebounds, one assists and three steals as Larson Ford won the game 88-85. Larson Ford is the only team that has been in the league for all 55 years. With the win they improved to 1-1 this summer.
The game was tied 11 times with eight lead changes. It was a great display of high level basketball. Melik Martin, who graduated from Monmouth University and is currently pursuing a MBA, and was able to play for the Dragons as a fifth year graduate student, scored 21 points for Larson Ford. He also had 11 rebounds and six assists, two blocks and one steal.
Sea Shore Auto was led by Sa’eed Nelson, graduate of St. Augustine High School and American University. He currently plays professional hoops for the Sheffield Sharks in South Yorkshire, England. In the loss to Larson Ford he had 28 points, 15 rebounds, nine assists and two steals.
With the loss, Sea Shore Auto, drops to 1-2 this summer. Which was not sitting well with team management, so they are adding two big names to their roster. Scottie Lewis, 6’5” shooting guard who was a 5-star high recruit from Ranney School in Tinton Falls. He selected the University of Florida for collegiate career.
The Charlotte Hornets of the NBA selected him in the second round of the 2021-2022 NBA draft. He was signed to a two-way contract, splitting time with the Hornets and their G League squad the Greensboro Swarm. During the 2022 NBA Summer League, Lewis broke his leg during practice. It required surgery, and the team ruled him out indefinitely. He was scheduled to play against Larson Ford but was not in the gym that night.
Sea Shore Auto also has a 50/50 chance of getting Naz Reid, 6’9” Asbury Park native who played at Roselle Catholic High School and Louisiana State University. Currently, he is on the Minnesota Timberwolves roster of the NBA. He averaged 11.5 points per-game this past season for the Wolves.
For more information on the JSBL visit their website at: https://jsbl.leaguerepublic.com/index.html
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