PHILADELPHIA -- Jarelle Reischel didn't know what to expect at the Reebok Headliner Tryout Camp last month.
Like most teenage basketball players, he was hoping to catch the eye of talent evaluators for a chance to punch his ticket for the prestigious Reebok All American Camp.
Funny thing, he never expected an invitation to the elite summer camp after a subpar performance.
"I was totally off," said Reischel, a 6-foot-6 rising junior wing/forward.
Much to his surprise, the Reebok evaluators begged to differ.
"I was happy, excited," Reischel said. "I couldn't believe it."
The same could be said when colleges found out about Reischel, who is from Frankfort, Germany. He enrolled in September at Point Pleasant Beach High in New Jersey.
Reischel, whose father is an American soldier (and South Carolina native) stationed in Germany, took a leap of faith when he left home to chase a dream of playing big-time college basketball.
"If you want to be a good player this is where you need to be," Reischel said.
One of his biggest supporters is former Seton Hall coach and standout forward Richie Dec, who works out Reischel.
"Once I found Jarelle was willing to be critiqued, I wanted to help develop his game," said Dec, who is a member of the Seton Hall University Athletic Hall of Fame. "When I coached in college, I was the advance scout. What I do with Jarelle is review his game, point out his shortcomings.
"He's a great student because when you tell him something he works on it. You don't have to tell him things twice; he grasps things right away."
Reischel said Dec coaching style is just what he needs.
"[Dec] is straight up with me; no lies. We work on my shot, defense and the mental side of the game. He has been great for me."
Reischel also has sparked interest in the dormant Point Pleasant Beach program.
As a sophomore, he averaged 21 points and 9.1 rebounds a game, earning Second Team Group 1 All-State and First Team All-Ocean County honors.
He's already been offered by Monmouth. Others are watching, most notable are Rutgers, Seton Hall, St. John's and West Virginia.
Reischel's game has a definitive European feel -- smooth 3-point shooting, discipline and intuitive defensive prowess on the perimeter -- but is tinged with the American way, featuring play above the rim and up-tempo offense.
"Speed is the American game; it's not like that in Germany," he said.
Reischel, like most German youngsters, played soccer. He said it helped his early athletic development, especially footwork and lateral movement.
He plays for the German 17 and Under National Team, which will participate at the inaugural FIBA U17 World Championship in 2010.
"He's a solid mid-major player right now," said one Big East coach. "He runs the floor well and is an intelligent player."
Reischel is one of 142 players at the third Reebok All American Camp at Philadelphia University, which opened Monday for a five-day run. The camp was formerly the ABCD Camp but morphed into a new event in 2007 when it moved from Fairleigh Dickinson University in Teaneck, N.J.
The initial two days of camp consisted of drills, lectures and team practice. The final three days featured round-robin bracket play, with championship and consolation games on Friday at the Gallagher Center.
DECISION: Tyrone Garland, a highly-rated point guard from John Bartram High in Philadelphia, announced at a Thursday afternoon press conference he'll attend Virginia Tech.
Garland, 6-1, chose the Hokies over local Atlantic 10 schools Temple and LaSalle and WAC participant Nevada. He also took unofficial visits to Drexel and Maryland.
What sold him on the ACC school?
"It's a quiet town [Blacksburg, Va.], a place where you can focus on basketball," Garland said. "The coaches are great and they have a new practice facility. My main goal is to graduate and get better."
As a junior, Garland enjoyed a breakout season, earning First Team All-City honors, according the Daily News.
Garland's on-court style is like "an assassin and a whirlwind," said Philadelphia area analyst Amauro Austin.
Garland, an Associated Press First Team All-State player, averaged 28.5 points last season as the Public League's top player, and was the lone underclassman on the Class AAAA top team.
His laid back attitude and guard skills draw comparisons to local prep legend Lynn Greer, who played point guard at Temple and then the NBA.
"He's the total package," Bartram coach James Brown said. "It's hard to get him rattled."
CAVALCADE OF STARS: Tony Chennault did not disappoint his local fan base Friday night at the Reebok All American Camp All-Star Game. Chennault, a 6-3 guard from powerhouse Neumann-Goretti (Philadelphia) contributed 11 of his game-high 17 points in the second half, rallying the White Team over the Gray Team, 90-84.
"Whatever it takes for my team to win, I'll do," the Wake Forest recruit said.
Trailing 43-40 at the half, Chennault's inspired play triggered a quick turnaround, as the White Team used a punishing transition game to seize the lead. Chennault's crowd-pleasing, no-look pass and three twisting layups in traffic sparked the comeback. LeBryan Nash, a bruising 6-7 junior from Lincoln (Dallas), topped the Grays with 14 points.
Here's a look both all-star game rosters (players are listed with their hometown and are rising seniors unless noted).
Gray Team: 6-9 Patric Young, Jacksonville, Fla.; 6-7 junior Nash; 6-5 J.J. Moore, Brentwood, N.Y.; 6-4 Stacey Poole Jr., Jacksonville, Fla.; 6-1 Tyrone Garland, Philadelphia; 6-6 Khyle Marshall, Pembroke Pines, Fla.; 6-8 junior LaQuinton Ross, Jackson, Miss.; 6-4 Jesse Morgan, Philadelphia; 6-3 Pe'Shon Howard, Cleveland; 5-11 junior Deville Smith, Jackson, Miss.; 6-8 Ryan Rhoomes, Flushing, N.Y.; 6-6 Joel Wright, Brooklyn, N.Y.; 6-5 Dominique Carr, Riverside, Calif.; 6-0 sophomore Deion Jackson-Houston, Duncanville, Texas; 5-9 junior Myles Mack, Paterson, N.J. Coaches were Kelvin Jefferson and Scott Smith.
White Team: 6-11 junior Chris Coleman, Durham, N.C.; 6-7 Dominic Morris, Wynnewood, Pa.; 6-5 Travis McKie, Richmond, Va.; 6-5 Fuquan Edwin, Paterson, N.J.; 5-11 Joe Jackson, Memphis; 6-6 junior Devonta Abron, Dallas; 6-9 junior Tyler Olander, Worcester, Mass.; 6-6 Jarrell Eddie, Concord, N.C.; 6-1 junior Sterling Gibbs, Scotch Plains, N.J.; 6-3 Chennault; 6-8 junior Sidiki Johnson, Bronx, N.Y.; 6-4 junior Korie Babineaux, Folsom, Calif.; 6-7 sophomore Kyle Anderson, Paterson, N.J.; 6-6 Tom Droney, Pittsbugh; 6-3 Lenzelle Smith, Zion, Ill. Coaches were Reggie Morris and Mike Byrnes.
The trio of Edwin, Anderson and Mack form a solid nucleus at New Jersey power Paterson Catholic.
Isaiah Sykes, a 6-5 wing/guard from Finney (Detroit) was selected to the all-star game but was not allowed to participate under Michigan state rules. Also selected but unable to play because of injuries were 6-10 center Tyler Adams of Brandon (Miss.), 6-9 center Michael Cobbins of Palo Duro (Amarillo, Texas) and St. Anthony (Jersey City, N.J.) teammates 6-8 forward Devon Collier and 6-9 forward Ashton Pankey.
INTERNATIONAL INTRIGUE: Findlay Prep (Henderson, Nev.) rising seniors Cory Joseph and Tristan Thompson and graduate Carlos Lopez had major contributions to the national teams of Canada and Puerto Rico, respectively, at the 2009 FIBA U19 World Championships in New Zealand, which concludes Monday.
Joseph, a point guard, was second on the Canadian team in scoring with 14.1 points per game and added four rebounds, playing 30 minutes per game. Against Croatia, Joseph had 24 points, eight rebounds and three steals. The Texas-bound, 6-9 Thompson, No. 2 in the ESPN 100 Class of 2010, rebounded from a high ankle sprain this spring to contribute nine points and 5.5 boards at the competition. Thompson, who resides in Brampton, Ontario, had 18 points and eight rebounds against the Americans.
Lopez, a UNLV recruit, averaged 7.9 points, 6.9 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game. He topped the Puerto Rican squad in rebounding, logging 21 minutes per contest.
Additionally, 6-5 wing Aaron Brown, who enjoyed a solid week at the Reebok All American Camp, will play for the U.S. Virgin Islands U17 National Team next week at a Central America qualifying tournament and then heads off to Italy for a competition before starting his senior year at St. Benedict's (Newark, N.J.) later this month. Brown's mother is from St. Thomas, V.I.
Christopher Lawlor has covered high school sports for more than 20 years, most recently with USA Today, where he was the head preps writer responsible for national high school rankings in football, baseball, and boys' and girls' basketball. He also worked for Scholastic Coach magazine, for which he ran the Gatorade national Player of the Year program for nine years. Lawlor, a New Jersey resident, grew up in Rochester, N.Y., and is a graduate of St. Bonaventure University.