|A. Harris, K. Derden, J. Keene, R. Hampton, J. Lipscomb & N Elmore|
For the past 17 years, All-Star Saturday has attracted some of the most elite middle and high school players from around the state of Ohio. The middle school game was very competitive and featured players from as far as Cleveland, Dayton and Ironton. By the time the final horn sounded in the middle school game, the East All-Stars was ahead. The East squad may have won the game, but the West team had more of the highlight plays. We had not heard of him before the game tipped off, but the performance Kayin Derden (5’11/WF/2019/Columbus) logged in was nothing short of amazing. Derden currently runs with All-Ohio Takeover, but he has the kind of talent that suggests he should be on the organization’s top team. Long, explosive and silky smooth best describes Derden’s game. Derden is not only dunking the ball (he had several in the game), he throws it down in traffic and in guy’s faces. From what we saw, Derden has a big upside and could be a great looking prospect going forward.
We can’t forget about the game’s MVP, Andre Harris (6’0/P/SG/2019/Cleveland) who made the trip down from Cleveland and represented the enormous talent in northeast Ohio. Harris made numerous athletic plays throughout the game and confirmed that he is an elite prospect in Ohio’s class of 2019. We were also impressed with Columbus’ Jeremiah Keene (PG/2019/Columbus) who displayed an advanced skill set, which included a tight handle and the ability to shoot off the bounce from deep. Dayton’s Ronald Hampton (WF/2019/Dayton) logged in another solid performance and continues to impress us with how hard he plays. Kyle Adkins came out firing from the opening tip and was a threat to knock down the deep trey the entire game. Gahanna’s Jaidon Lipscomb (SG/2019/Gahanna) has always been considered an elite shooter and his play on Saturday confirmed that he still has it. Lipsomb may have been his team’s leading scorer and was a big contributor in the win. We also have to acknowledge Elyjah Aekins (5’2/PF/2021Columbus), the 9-12 year old MVP, who was a man-child and finished with a game-high 14 points. Big, strong and athletic are Aekins’ strengths. We plan to keep an eye on Aekin’s growth and development. Below is a complete list of the MVPs in each division. All-in all, it was a great day of basketball. Congratulations to Richard Crockett, the Metropolitan Youth Foundation and staff for putting together another great event!
Jay’reon Laws (6-8)
Elyjah Aekins (9-12)
Andre Harris (Middle School)
Hannah Shaefer (High School Girls)
Rodney Willis (High School Boys)