The second leg of my northeast Ohio trip led me to Garfield Heights High School to check out Jermaine Gay’s TNBA Fall Basketball League. According to Gay, the 7-week league has over 300 players and 36 teams, and will finish up next week. The best player I saw was Devon Andrews, a 6’4 freshman from Loraine High School. I had heard a lot of good things about Andrews, and from what little I saw on Sunday, the praise was well deserved. Andrews is athletic, explosive and is surprisingly good at creating for himself and others. Also, Andrews has good length, a nice frame, good vision and solid passing skills.
I also had a chance to watch Brandon Peters, a 5’7 eighth grader from Bedford. Because Peters played up in the 9th grade division at my Buckeye Prep Elite Showcase a couple of weeks ago, he flew a little under the radar and did not get an all-star nod. With that said, Peters is consistently mentioned among the best 8th graders in the state. Although only 5’7, Peters is a strong, physical guard who knows how to play the game. Peters is not overly flashy, but his game is efficient, and because he regularly plays up a grade, his instincts are a bit advanced relative to his competition. Look for Peters to have another solid middle school season.
I also got a glimpse of a couple of bigs with upside potential. Calvin Calhoun, a 6’2 center from Cleveland Heights, moves well and is very active in the post for a kid his size. I really liked Calhoun’s aggressiveness in the paint, and it was clear someone is working with the big man. Also keep an eye on Jordan Davis, a 6’2 center from Garfield Heights. Like his big brother, Jermaine Davis, a 6’9 center who recently committed to LaSalle, Davis is big and takes up a lot of room in the paint. Although he still has a lot of work in the skill department, you can’t teach size. According someone close to the Davis family, the young Davis is already better than his older brother was at the same age. Coach Sunny Johnson could have another D-I post player in his program in a few years.
I also got a glimpse of Mikael White, a spunky 5’5 guard from Milkovich Middle school in Maple Heights. White, thou a little undersized, is strong, quick, and is at his best when he is attacking the cup. The kid played hard, showed leadership and really willed his team to the win. I was also impressed how the kid carried himself and communicated with his teammates, particularly these days when so few kids talk on the court.
Although we don’t often report on elementary aged kids, I got a kick out watching a 3rd grade game featuring the next generation Cleveland ballers. Garfield Heights coach Sunny Johnson has a son, Sunny Jr, and a nephew, Demetrius Johnson in the backcourt of a Garfield Heights-based team. On Sunday, a team sponsored by King James and featuring Delvon Roe’s little brother, out muscled the home team to claim the victory. Remember those names folks. Finally, thanks to Jermaine Gay and TNBA for their assistance on Sunday.