The Circuit’s 3SSB Coach of the Year has officially been voted upon, and our committee is proud to announce that Mass Rivals head coach and program Director Vin Pastore has earned highest-honors.
The award - presented by Hudl - is in its second year of existence. It aims to honor the coach who performed well-above expectations throughout the entire spring and summer.
Pastore’s Mass Rivals squad did just that, racking up a 37-7 record throughout the 5-month schedule. The Boston-based adidas 3SSB affiliate finished as the 4th-ranked team in The Circuit Top 25, rattling off a perfect July under Pastore’s leadership.
Most impressively, Pastore was able to win despite two difficult variables; a very young lineup featuring six underclassmen, and arguably the most difficult “non-conference” schedule of any team in the country. Mass Rivals opened up the season by competing at The Circuit League I, and followed it up by playing in six independent events which bolstered the strength of their 44-game schedule.
2023 guards Jordan Clayton and Jaden Ndjigue (UMass commit) each had standout seasons for the Rivals, and they had a bunch of help from rising juniors Kur Teng, George Turkson, and Bryce Dortch. Pastore raved about the upside of his squad in early March, and they turned out to be one of the toughest and most steady teams in the top half of the circuit.
“Playing for Vin is like learning how to be a winner. It’s not easy but he develops his players to learn and execute what it takes to win at the highest levels.” - Jordan Clayton
“Playing ball for Vin is not something everyone wants to do but something everyone needs to do. Although it is very challenging and rigorous, he gets you to play harder than you ever thought you could, helps you identify weaknesses in your game you need to work on, and teaches you how to win.” - Jayden Ndjigue
“Vin is my friend, my family, we never utter those words aloud, but that's how we are treated and how we treat each other. This environment allows for us to push each other to limits we never thought possible. We know we are in this together and for those reasons alone everyone achieves their goals.” - Assistant Coach Tom Nelson
“Vin is a special coach, he demands 110% effort. His way of coaching allows us to build a winning mentality as well as a mindset to always get better. When you buy into hard coaching, and training, you’re bound to succeed. That’s what we all did, and that’s how we were able to battle with the best of the best.” - George Turkson
“In my opinion, Vin Pastore is the best grassroots basketball coach in the country. He knows exactly how to lead his team to buy into the pursuit of winning. His players trust him with their development. The Mass Rivals play every possession like it’s sudden death and the results continue to speak for themselves.” - Nate Buss