One of the most crucial factors in Cali Boost’s impressive club season is that each of its players bought in to what coach Steve Wade was teaching.
Cali Boost players dug in on the defensive end, executed on offense, relished in doing the intangibles and, most importantly, played for each other.
Wade, who played collegiately at the University of Pennsylvania, has been developing the games and minds of Cali Boosts’ core over the last five years.
Each of those qualities, along with the strong rapport between players and coach, resulted in Cali Boost finishing the first three events of the Adidas Gold 16U circuit with a 13-5 overall record, earning it a top 10 finish in its division and a berth in the Adidas Gauntlet Finale in South Carolina.
One of Cali Boosts’ strongest performances came in the Adidas Gauntlet Finale regional qualifying event, the Magic Memorial Day tournament, at Orange Lutheran high school.
Boost opened the tournament with seven straight victories, including quality wins over Utah Exum Elite, Team Harden and Arizona Power, before falling to host team Compton Magic in the championship game.
Cali Boost put together yet another strong performance down south, going 3-1 with impressive wins over fellow Southern California club Dream Vision, New York Jayhawks, and Florida-based Team Knight.
That performance earned Cali Boost a “Super Pool” seeding at the Adidas Summer Championships in Las Vegas and the squad did not disappoint finishing in the top 8 out of 100 teams.
In Las Vegas, Cali Boost drew the eyes of college coaches from across the country. With those coaches watching, Boost earned victories over four teams ranked in the top 20 nationally in D1 Minnesota, Team Bradley NW Panthers, Team St8ment and Upward Stars before falling to then-No. 1-ranked Iowa Barnstormers in a hard fought contest in the Elite 8.
Cali Boost has three players from the class of 2021 and one player from the class of 2020 playing up at the highest of levels that 16U has to offer.
Six-foot-7 rising ninth grader Obinna Anyanwu, who holds an offer from Georgia Tech, is making the case to be included among the top forwards in his class, while fellow 2021 prospect and point guard Alex Wade orchestrated the offense to a “T” and made tons of hustle and high IQ plays.
Six-foot-3 wing Thomas Notarainni, along with 6-foot-4, class of 2020 wing Beon Riley, who were crucial two-way players who scored in a variety of ways and proved to be lockdown perimeter defenders, round out the nucleus for a team that followed last season’s 8th Grade D1 National Championship with incredible success playing much older competition this year.
The key additions that helped lead to Cali Boosts’ strong spring and summer were high energy two-way 2021 guard Paris Dawson, high-scoring 6-4 2019 shooting guard Joe Octave, versatile 6-5 2019 forward DJ Carter-Hollinger, and physical and tough 6-5 2019 power forward Jakob Alamudun.
Octave currently holds Division I scholarship offers from Montana and San Jose State, while Dawson, Carter-Hollinger and Alamudun have received a host of collegiate interest.
With four starters returning next year, expect Cali Boost 16’s to vie for recognition among the nation’s best.