June 14, 2011

Watch for One Nation

Kevin McCarthy

There are sponsored club basketball teams who not coincidentally feature the prominent players in prep hoops, are invited to the most prestigious events around the country, and, of course, sport the gear handed out by whichever shoe company is fronting the Benjamins. The One Nation (ON) basketball club represents the very opposite end of that spectrum.

photo of a One Nation player

Besides the moneyed squads, there are also those who rep a socio-economic area where the parents of the players and maybe a local business or two can afford to chip in to defray expenses.

A third level is the squad lacking recognizable names plus usually size but consists of players banded together through some sort of commonality. One Nation is the latter example.

ON is the result of Coach Gary Styles' efforts. Featuring players out of the East Bay (especially Berkeley High), Styles' bunch may lack height and a degree of experience but pose a threat because of burgeoning basketball skills.

A trio of 2013 talents, eventual college recruits, lead the squad. Those being (descriptions supplied by Coach Styles):

Noah Wellington, 6-foot-3, Berkeley, 2013 - "A combo guard who is better at the two spot, he already has college level shooting range."

Henry Cornelous, 6-foot-4 Berkeley, 2013 - "A swingman, he will be the next Berkeley High superstar. He can shoot outside and in the paint, able to dunk with one step as a soph. Working hard at the defensive end is what he needs to work on."

Romel Styles, 5-foot-9, Berkeley High, 2013 - "A diamond in the rough, he can go left and right and has a solid three-point shot. He can blow by anybody and is as fast as any 16-year-old guard. Anywhere else but Berkeley High and he would be starting."

The younger Styles also sports a 3.2 grade point average.

The other One Nation team members are:

It also looks like Berkeley High, coming off a 21-5 overall and 9-2 league record has any needed reinforcements for remaining among the elite of the Alameda Contra Costa Athletic League. The Yellowjackets downed Castro Valley and Woodcreek during the season before falling to Newark Memorial 65-62 in Newark to close out the schedule.