|Q. Clark, A. Alexander, N. Peeples, F. Ayissi-Etoh & C. Bliss|
We will begin part II of the Basketball Spotlight Future Phenom Camp recap with a spotlight on a couple of the best bigs in the 2021 division, Donnell Harris (6’5/PF/2021/FL) and Caleb Furst (6’7/PF/2021/IN). Although Harris does most of his damage with power and above the rim athleticism, Furst is more skilled and finesse. Both guys can score the rock, rebound and protect the rim; they simply have different styles. With that said, both Harris and Furst are elite, nationally ranked, and both project as division I prospects going forward. Jake Koveman (6’3/WF/2021/MD) has really stretched out since the last time we saw him and his game has continued to develop as well. Koverman was at his best slashing to the cup where he finished near the rim more times than not. Koverman should make an immediate impact this upcoming school season. Any discussion about D-I prospects has to include Ya’Qin Staton (6’3/PF/2021/MD). Staton is a solidly built power forward who can both mix it up on the interior and step outside and hit the trey. With his length and bounce, Staton’s upside potential is significant.
One of the better PGs we saw all weekend was Carlos Alexander (5’7/PG/2022/MD), who proved his MVP selection at the Middle school All-American Game was no fluke. Alexander is a fiery floor general who plays with passion and intensity. Of course he has the requisite skill set, speed, vision and passing ability which is required of any elite PG, but Alexander’s poise, pace of play, and leadership set him apart from his peers. We also really liked young Christian Bliss (5’3/SG/2023/NY), who caught our eye with his ability to command a team, get teammates involved, and protect the rock and score when open. Bliss makes few mistakes, is poised under pressure and seems to understand the game at a high level. We plan to keep an eye our out for Quinn Clark (6’3/PF/2022/VA), who showed a lot of promise on Saturday. Already possessing good size for only a 7th grader, Clark is a rebounding machine who is athletic and quick off his feet. Clark is very active around the cup both offensively and defensively, and he has a nice touch around the rim, while also posing a problem for would be shooters. Clark runs the floor well, passes well for a big, and finishes with contact at a high rate. Clark is a great looking post prospect!
We have to mention the big time performance of Trey Thomas (5’8/PG/2022/MD), who was one of the top guards at the event. Extremely athletic to the cup with a nice stroke describes just some of Thomas’ gifts. Thomas’ game appears a bit more mature than his 2022 peers and his talent justifies national recognition. Speaking of dynamic PGs, we’re not sure anybody was more exciting to watch than Tyler Hawkins (5’3/PG/2022/NY). In true NYC fashion, Hawkins is a wizard with the rock, is lighting quick and his vision and passing skills are elite. He’s diminutive, but Hawkins can make plays and excite the crowd at the same time. We also saw a lot of great things from Aden Holloway (5’1/SG/2023/NC), who has good size for his position, is crafty and the multiple treys he knocked down in a game we watched confirmed he can shoot the rock consistently. We had not seen him before but his play this weekend suggests he deserves more national recognition. We could not have been more impressed than we were with Franklin Ayissi-Etoh (5’8/SG/2023/MD), who followed up a MVP performance on Friday with a MVP-type performance at the camp. Ayissi-Etoh’s combination of size, ball skills, strength and energy ranks right up there with the best in the class in the nation. In addition, his motor is elite and his stat stuffing game is very impactful. Ayissi-Etoh does it all; scores, defends, rebounds, but is still unselfish with the rock. This kid has to be top 10 nationally in our opinion! He’s young, but Daveyon Lynder (PG/2024/AZ), has a grown man game. Lynder has good size for his position, is very active, and does a good job rebounding the ball. In terms of explosiveness, Kahki Washington (6’0/WF/2020/CT) was seen jumping out of the gym. In the all-star game, Washington was a human highlight film with his above the rim antics.
Some of the other standout performers we saw included: Jahkary Towns (SG/2023/MI), Sherman Weatherspoon (5’9/PG/2020/MD), Ace Valentine (5’5/combo guard/2023/MD), Keon Henderson (5’7/PG/2020/MI), Elijah Hardy (5’1/SG/2023/FL), Luke Murphy (5’9/combo guard/2021/CT), Anthony Seoage (4’10/PG/2023/NJ), Joel Harrison (5’3/PG/2022/FL), Jayden Pierre (PG/2022/NJ), Sumeer Alleyne (5’1/WF/2024/PA), Marcus Dyes (6’2/SG/2021/NY), Bray Freeman (5’9/PG/2021/DC), Wesley Yates (2023/TX), Cameron Gillus (2023/VA), Tae Perie (PG/2021/OH), Ian Morton (MD), Vere Anthony (NY), Dameon Samuels (NJ), Toby Ojukwu (2023/NJ), Shaun Chandler (2023/DE), Sebastian Robinson (2023/NJ), Darryl Simmons II (2022/CT), Antoino Sellers (2022/NY), Julius Ellerbie (2020/MD), and Jack McFadden (2020/NY).
Congratulations to Mike Melton, Bill Francis and Drew Brelsford for putting together a very competitive and well rune event. Look for several of the above-mentioned players at the Buckeye Prep elite Showcase September 17th an d 18th in Columbus, Ohio.