Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Non-Buckeye State Standout Performers

Jordan Simmons-Chicago PG With BIG Game

Although the 2012 Buckeye Prep Elite Showcases cater to Ohio kids primarily, more and more kids from around the country are making the trek to Columbus in search of competition and exposure. On Sunday, there were several kids from outside the state of Ohio who displayed an impressive level of talent and caught the eye of the scouting services who were covering the event. Below are profiles of some of the kids who made an impact on Sunday.

Although he is still very young, Jordan Simmons, a dynamic point guard from Chicago, had the gym buzzing with a spectacular display of skill, competitiveness, IQ and swag. The 5’4 sixth grader’s combination of handle, craftiness, vision and passing ability far surpassed that of any guard at the event regardless of class. Now that’s saying a lot considering some of Ohio’s top floor generals were in the house, but the kid’s game warrants that kind of praise. Simmon’s outstanding play would later garner him all-star honors, including an MVP nod. We all know Chicago has been known for producing elite PGs, and Simmons has a chance to follow in the long tradition of Chi-town guards. Believe me when I say this; the kid has game!

Eric Hamilton-Atlanta Wing With Bounce

In the high school division, Atlanta’s Eric Hamilton created his own buzz, as the athletic big man used aggression to impose his will on his opponents. According to an opposing coach, Hamilton relentlessly attacked the rim, and did his best to dunk over people. Hamilton is big, athletic, can play both inside and out, and has good length and great bounce. Once Hamilton adds some strength, he is really going to be tough to handle. If I had to make a call, D-I college coaches might want to get this kid on a mailing list. In addition, Hamilton’s AAU teammate, Peyton Smith, made a little noise of his own. Smith is a smart floor general with a solid handle and is a good defender for his size. According to his coach, Smith was his best overall defender.

Algevon Elchelberger-Michigan Post

Michigan’s Algevon Elchelberer is no stranger to the Buckeye Prep Elite Showcase as he has attended several past events and has excelled every time. Sunday was no different as the 6’5 eighth grader dominated the paint in the games I watched. Elchelberger is a wide body who finishes at a high rate in the paint, rebounds well and blocks or alters a boatload of shots. As he has done every time he has made the trip to Columbus, Elchelberger established himself as an all-star. Oh yea, did I mention that Elchelberger has already received interest from at least 1 Big Ten school? The kid has a chance.

Chris Hedgepeth-Indiana Guard

Indiana’s Chris Hedgepath lived up to the billing. Several months ago a scouting friend of mine told me about this kid in Indiana who he really liked, and suggested I invite him to the showcase. Well I took his advice and I’m glad I did. Hedgepeth is an athletic 5’10 combo guard who has a high motor. His coach described him a “very coachable,” a “good listener,” and “plays hard.” The Indiana guard can play multiple positions and excels at getting to the rim. After some of the observations this weekend, kids who are coachable and possess a good attitude are at a premium! Stayed tuned to Buckeye Prep as we profile other standout performers from Sunday's action!

Showcase Pictures

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