MEQUON -- The fact that high school age hoopsters from coast-to-coast gather every summer in Mequon for events run by NY2LASPORTS is fitting. Founder Antonio Curro has built a national reputation by being right in the middle of the action.
"I think there's a lot of hard work, collectively, and relationships. The city of Milwaukee, the state of Wisconsin has embraced what we do -- from the grassroots programs, to players, to the coaches, to the parents, to the spectators -- they are all a part of it," Curro said.
The prep sports scene was quite different when Curro was attending Wisconsin Lutheran and Oconomowoc high schools, and law school was different as well. Now, Curro invites many of the top AAU teams to Wisconsin for his "Next Level" and "Summer Jam" tournaments. The players on those teams attract college coaches, who have recruiting on their minds.
"Head coaches, for lack of a better term, they are decision makers. They are there to offer a young man a scholarship or not. Opening night -- to have 300 some coaches in the gym, and some of the biggest names like John Calipari, Buzz Williams," Curro said
Drew Diener is now coaching at Cardinal Stritch University.
"A lot of the kids when they are 17 or older start to fall into place of what the pecking order may be and there's a lot of different levels of coaches there, and we're not all watching the same guy on the same court," Diener said.
Diener says he's impressed by Curro's prominence.
"He's brought a lot of good teams and good players to this area, and brought a lot of access to a lot of coaches to see a lot of great players at one time," Diener said.
"I think the next step is to continue to maintain a high level of quality -- maybe improve by adding a few more teams from around the country, but we've had the number one player, the number two player in the country. It's just consistency. Every year, this is without question one of the top events, and we want to keep it that way," Curro said.
The best teams and players on the summer hoops scene won't stay away from Wisconsin, thanks in no small part to Antonio Curro.
Curro posts a lot of player rankings and videos on his website because he says that is where today's high schoolers are, and that's where college coaches know they can find the most up-to-date information.
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