|Chase Rankin-5-1 PG Gahanna MS East|
On Sunday, I had a chance to check out some of central Ohio’s top 6th graders at the tryout for the 6th grade Buckeye Prep travel team. During the skill sessions and scrimmages, several players caught my eye; so much so, when I release by state-wide top 6th grade list in a few months, these kids are likely to be listed.
Chase Rankin, a 5’1 PG at Gahanna Middle School East, displayed a skill level and basketball IQ beyond his years. Rankin already has decent size for his age, a tight handle, a nice looking shot, and is a willing and able passer. Rankin players hard and he already just seems to understand how the point guard position should be played. Coach Tony Stiab and the Gahanna Lincoln Lions could have another elite floor general heading their way.
|Julius Brown-4'10 PG Walnut Springs MS|
Julius Brown, Rankin’s likely back court team, only stands 4’10, but this crafty little guard already has a lot of tools in the box. Brown already has the ball on a string and can go to one of several dribble moves to beat his defender. Not only can he get to the cup, Brown’s excellent vision allows him to find open teammates. That’s not all; Brown, who attends Walnut Springs Middle School, can also hit the jumper if left unguarded.
|Kristian Pechac-5'4 SF Woodward Park MS|
I also plan to keep an eye on Kristian Pechac, a 5’4 SF from Woodward Park Middle School. Although it is far too early to suggest that Pechac will one day earn a “paycheck” playing hoops, it is already safe to say that the kid has talent. Pechac is blessed with good size for his age, is athletic, and already understands how to attack the bucket. Look for Pechac to add some toughness and scoring in the paint for Coach Ed Lyshe’s 6th grade Buckeye Prep squad. I also saw some good things in Remington Martin (5’3 SF New Albany) and Malik Lyshe (4’7 PG Westerville).
|Remington Martin-5'3 SF New Albany MS|
I know it’s still very early to be talking about kids who will not graduate from high school until 2018; however, Buckeye Prep has been covering middle school aged kids since we started about 10 years ago. So, look for Buckeye Prep at a lot of tournaments this winter, spring and summer as we continue spotlighting Ohio’s top young ballers.