Chicago MeanStreets entered EYBL Dallas squarely on the Peach Jam bubble.
Sitting with a 4-4 record heading into their final five games, head coach Tai Streets asked each member of his rotation to step up their individual production. If they intended to qualify for Peach Jam, he needed more.
Isaiah Rivera delivered.
MeanStreets' 6-foot-5 junior guard scored in double-figures in all five games, helping guide his squad to a 3-2 session record against some stiff competition. Rivera averaged 17 points on 55.5 percent shooting, adding in per-game averages of 4.4 rebounds and 2.0 assists. He defended multiple positions all weekend, and while his numbers don't stand out, his defensive skills showed rapid improvement.
Rivera started the session off in a full sprint, putting up 61 points (20, 20, 21) in MeanStreets first three games while shooting 25-for-40 from the floor. Rivera can do a bit of everything offensively, and his versatility has proven to be a huge asset for Streets and company.
"(Rivera) is a matchup nightmare because he can shoot it from deep and drive it at any point,' Streets said. "He has really stepped up for us as the season has went on."
Rivera stepped up in the absence of DJ Steward in MeanStreets' final game of the season, scoring a game-high 15 points in what figures to be a Peach Jam-clinching win. Rivera's teammates Destin Whitaker (12.6 PPG, 3.2 RPG) and Ahron Ulis (12.4 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 5.8 APG) were also impressive in MeanStreets' backcourt, and if they can continue to produce alongside Steward, then MeanStreets will have one of the most complete backcourts in North Augusta, South Carolina.
Streets loves the development from his junior guard from Geneseo (IL) high school, and he's certain that he'll continue to be a weapon during July. It took him a couple sessions to get comfortable, but this is the Isaiah Rivera that the basketball world should expect from here on out.
"When he’s locked in," Streets said. "He's unguardable."
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