PLAYER SPOTLIGHT

MARCH 2019

 

Sosa
March 27, 2019
 
 
The Alliance is proud to announce the first athlete to kick-off the Player Spotlight section - Casey Etienne!
The Alliance Player Spotlight section highlights players who not only show a tremendous amount of talent on the court but those who also possess intangibles that set them apart from the pack, create a certain buzz and have an unexplainable X factor.
I was able to watch over 30 games during the March 23-24 Hardwood Classic tournament in Broward County. During this time I couldn't help but to notice Casey who first caught my eye during previous SLAMFEST events. Seeing him in action at the Hardwood Classic validated his smooth style of play and made me realize this kid is special! Although I don’t consider myself a household name when it comes to evaluating national or state caliber players, I would highly recommend the experts to take into consideration my 20 years of hosting tournaments as some form of accreditation.
 
If you haven’t heard of Casey Etienne, here is your first opportunity to learn about this outstanding player. As good as he is as a basketball player there something even more impressive that I'll share in my conclusion. Enjoy the write-up and interview, and give Casey a follow @jellyfam_case.
 
Casey Etienne of Bad Boy’s 7th grade could possibly be the most skilled 7th grader in Florida. Standing at 6ft, Etienne has amazing PG skills with superior decision making. Etienne gets to the basket with his initial first step. He easily blows by his defender with his ball handling. He is a smooth player that can slash his way to the basket, finish with contact, and is most effective in the open court. Initially, one might believe his acrobatic layups are a bit of luck until you watch him consistently make similar shots throughout the flow of the game. Etienne can score from well beyond the arc with consistency. He has a quick, high release effective from everywhere. Defensively, Etienne is long and can defend 94 feet. He's extremely quick laterally and can force his opponent into poor passes while creating turnovers. In the paint, Etienne is an effective rebounder on both ends. His length is most evident in the paint and on defense. As a leader, he’s vocal and directs the team accordingly.
 
So here’s the question: Is Etienne an elite player? I’m not one to label a 7th grader, however, I’ll go back to my initial statement - Casey Etienne of Bad Boy’s 7th grade could possibly be the most skilled 7th grader in Florida.

 
GET TO KNOW CASEY ETIENNE
 
Sosa: How long have you been playing basketball and what do you enjoy most about the game?
Casey: I’ve been playing basketball since I was 2 years old. I enjoy the fact that basketball is a team sport and you have to incorporate everyone to be successful, you can’t do it by yourself.
 
Sosa: What is your mindset while your playing? I’ve watched your games over the past 3 months and can’t help to notice your athleticism while driving to the basket. You’re very effective finishing around the basket with some incredible acrobatic shots. Honestly, when I first watched you at the SLAMFEST I thought those shots were pure luck. After watching you over the past 3 months you make some of the most difficult shots look easy. Your body control in the air is unbelievable. Where did you learn how to finish baskets like that? Is that something you practice?
Casey: Yes, I do practice contact drills around the basket. The contact drills really help me finish around the basket.
 
Sosa: Have you played outside of the State? How would you rate the competition?
Casey: Yes, yes sir. I’ve played in Alabama, Virginia and Georgia. Florida has a lot of competition, however, competition outside of the State is a little bit better because teams from all over the United States are playing in the same tournament.
 
Sosa: What is you goal with basketball? Where do you see yourself when you’re a senior in high school?
Casey: My goal is to attend a major university on a basketball scholarship.
 
Sosa: So, I would imagine you’re doing very well in school?
Casey: Yes Sir.
 
Sosa: What’s it like being coached by your dad?
Casey: You know it’s tough sometimes, he pushes me to a higher level than everyone else, it’s tough, however, it works out.
 
Sosa: What professional NBA player do you look up to and model your game after?
Casey: Lebron, a lot!
 
Sosa: A lot?
Casey: Yes sir.
 
Sosa: So, the Michael Jordan, Kobe & Lebron debate, Lebron is your man?
Casey: Yes sir!
 
Sosa: Are you watching the NCAA tournament? What college players do you model your game after?
Casey: Yes sir. I try to model my game after Zion Williamson, R.J. Barret and Ja Morant.
 
Sosa: Will there come a time when you want to play on one of the National Circuits?
Casey: Yes sir, the circuit is definitely where I want to be.
 
Sosa: What are your top 3 Universities you would like to attend?
Casey: Probably, Duke, Kentucky & North Carolina.
 
Sosa: Where do you get your passion to play?
Casey: I just love the sport.
 
Sosa: How often do you practice?
Casey: Monday-Thursday, Friday is our recovery day before tournaments.
 
Sosa: How do you get your teammates involved?
Casey: I like to drive and kick.
 
Sosa: I noticed that in your games. I watched you give up some baskets and pass the ball to the shooter in the corner. I saw your excitement when he hit two 3’s off your passes. That’s really good!
Casey: Yes sir, that’s the main thing, get everyone involved. Not only myself, everyone needs to be involved.
 
Sosa: Now of all the great things I can say about you, what are some areas you would like to improve?
Casey: Shooting and probably my composure. Sometimes if I’m struggling, I need to maintain my composure. I know I need to work on that.

 

Sosa: Good, what’s most important is you’ve identified two areas you’d like to improve. I’m sure you’ll improve in both of those areas.  What’s your favorite subject in school and your favorite teacher?
Casey: Math, my favorite teacher is Ms. Kahn. Ms. Kahn pushes me to a higher level and wants every student to be great.
 
Sosa: Is there anyone you would like to thank?
Casey: Yes, Bad Boy’s and The Alliance for the opportunity.
 
 
CASEY ETIENNE QUICK FACTS
Favorite Movie: Amateur
Favorite Music Artist: Lil Baby Most
Memorable Basketball Moment: Winning 5th Grade National Championship
Goals This Year: Win a National Tournament & Attend a Private School.
Other 7th Graders I Respect: Jordyn Kee, Adrian Shackleton, Stone Bureau, and Bradley St. Preux. I respect them because they’re all great players and work very hard.
 
SOSA'S CONCLUSION
This is my first interview and I hope I was able to share with you the extraordinary talents of  Casey Etienne. In the beginning of this article I said I would share something that’s even more impressive than Casey’s basketball skills, and that's his MANNERISM! He responded with “yes, sir” nine times! Casey is a very intelligent and respectful young man with a bright future. We at The Alliance wish him the very best in the years to come.  I’ll be rooting for him along the way!
C-YA ON THE COURTS
Respectfully,  Sosa