Empire State Takeover aims to provide a unique platform for girls’ basketball in upstate NY & the surrounding Northeast region. Its goals are centered around a high level of competition and ample, meaningful exposure to college coaches.

The EST summer league, the backbone of Empire State Takeover established in 2015, is a quality-controlled event that not only brings out many of the best players in the region, but it also brings out the best in those players. The art of competition has helped establish future stars and proven to be a meaningful experience for many. The coaches have followed, as the last two years of the EST summer league have shown a drastic increase in college coach attendance.

EST one-day events and combines have also proven to be a very effective way to get noticed & get better at an affordable cost. The unique perspective on one-day events has been well-received by its participants. The typical full-court 5v5 games seen in an exposure event are supplemented with uptempo 3v3 play to allow athletes more court time and greater opportunity to make an impact. Individual skill work and breakdowns have also proven to be a valuable piece to the event puzzle, which have been put together & led by current/former collegiate coaches.

The growth of EST in three short years has been astronomical and something I couldn’t more thankful for. In its first year, 12 participants from the rising senior class (Class of 2016) went on to play college basketball. In the following year, 30 Class of 2017 participants moved on to play at the collegiate level. There have now already been 36 EST participants in the Class of 2018 that have made verbal commitments to play at the collegiate level, including 12 that have signed to continue at Division I or II institutions. Several participants are currently being recruited by colleges and have yet to make their decision. It’s proving to be a haven for high-level basketball players serious about playing at the next level!

2018 will see the continuation of the summer league, with this being the 4th installment. It will also include the 4th annual Upstate Elite one-day event in the fall, along with the 2nd annual Summer Kickoff on the Friday prior to the Gym Rat Challenge (June 15). In addition, the spring will see the birth of a new event, the 1st annual Middle School Combine for 7th-8th graders. In late October, the first ever EST event strictly for high school teams will take place with the 1st annual Pre-Season Varsity Tuneup. Be on the lookout for information on these events, which will be on here, the blog, and social media! If there are any questions, contact me directly or use the ‘Contact’ tab to leave a message.


Jeff Mlinar (Founder, Empire State Takeover)