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 without bias at any level.

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 recent years of the league have not only brought an increase of college coaches, but several college coaches haveĀ coached teamsĀ in the league.

EST one-day events and combines have also proven to be a very effective way to get noticed & get better. The unique perspective on the showcase event format 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 in a very evaluation-friendly environment. 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 each year has been astronomical. 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. In the last two years, there have been approximately 50 participants in each class to find homes at the collegiate level. On top of the high school events showcasing the best of today, the EST Middle School Combine, started in 2018, has also been able to showcase many of the shining stars of tomorrow. It’s proving to be a haven for high-level basketball players serious about playing at the next level!

2019 will see the continuation of the summer league, with this being the 5th installment. It will also include the 5th annual Upstate Fall Showcase in the fall, along with the 3rd annual Summer Kickoff on the Friday prior to the Gym Rat Challenge (June 14) & the 2nd annual EST Middle School Combine. The fall of 2019 will be a busy one for EST – on top of the aforementioned showcases, a first-of-its-kind in the area FIBA Rules 3v3 League will see its inception, along with continued concentration in Western New York with the hopes of running a showcase in the Rochester area. 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)