Friday, September 27, 2013

All-Star Game Rosters and Pictures Released

8th Grade West All-Stars

As is the case with just about every showcase or camp, all-star game appearances are coveted and something to be proud of. Although the Buckeye Prep Elite Showcase attracted over 400 players from across the country and Canada, most of whom were very talented, only a small few them played their way into the final all-star games on Sunday. Fewer still were selected as Top 5 Award winners. Below are links to the all-star game rosters, as well as team photos and Top 5 Award winners. Congratulations to all of the players for achieving this honor!

Team Pictures & Top 5 Award Winners

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Buckeye Prep Elite Showcase Day 1 Report

AJ Harris & Chris Oakley-MVPs

As expected, Day 1 of Buckeye Prep Elite Showcase was talent-filled and competitive. With over 430 players registered for the event, including many of the NYBL’s elite; Indiana and Kentucky all-stars and kids from Canada. The opening day of the event featured a series of all-star games (12) that included interstate rivalries, international battles, as well as a regional contest between some of the top kids in the class of 2020 (6th grade). Not only were the top players shining on day one, about 20 scouting service were in the house to capture what went down.

Shamar Morror & Kyrie Walker-MVPs

In terms of the all-star game results, the Best of the Midwest Classic featured a regional contest between many of the region’s elite 6th graders. Most of the players hailed from either Ohio or Indiana, but Michigan, Tennessee and North Carolina had representatives in the game. The South All-Stars notched the win over the North in a very competitive game. The game MVPs were Kyree Walker (14 points) for the North and Shamar Morrow (24 points) from the South. Other leading scorers were Mike Saunders Jr. (13 points) and Grant Huffman (9 points).

Chris Payne & Dexter Shouse Jr.-MVPs

In the 7th grade division, Team Ohio put the first win on the board for the Buckeye state with a convincing victory over Team Indiana in the Ohio vs Indiana. The Buckeyes got out of the gate quickly and jumped out to a double digit lead and was cruising early. Although the Hoosiers would rally to close the gap, Team Ohio got the 86-67 win. The game MVPs were Chris Payne (19 points) and Dexter Shouse. Other leading scorers included Jordan Mitchell (17), Justin Smith (13) Tevin Jackson (12), Dexter Shouse (16), Keon Brooks (10) and Brandon Vernon (15).

Ed Sanches (NY) & Wendell Moore (NC)-MVPs

New this year was the association with the National Youth Basketball League (NYBL). As a showcase for top players in the league, the NYBL hosted two all-star games. Both the Top 20 and Top 40 games spotlighted the top 40 performers in the league. In the Top 40 game the East team raced out to a big lead, and was able to hold on to get the 66-43 victory over the West. The 2 MVPs were Terrence Williams (14 points) and Michael Green (16 points). Other leading scorers included Daniel Rodriquez (9), and Chris’Seon Stringer (10). The Top 20 game was much more competitive as the outcome was not determined until the last few seconds of the game. Eventually, the West outlasted the East 50-48. The game MVPs were Wendell Moore (11 points and 11 rebounds) and Ed Sanchez (11 points). The other leading scorers were Tyrese Maxey (9) and DaVion Harmon (9).

EJ Williams & Coulter Dotson-MVPs

The 8th grade division hosted 4 all-star games consisting of Ohio North vs Indiana, Ohio South vs Kentucky, Indiana vs Kentucky and Ohio North vs South. Ohio North went down to Indiana 75-54. The MVPs were Coryon Rice (10 Points) and Amari Sherod (13 Points). Ohio North and Ohio South went toe to toe and the North squad came out victorious (54-68). MVPs were Yahel Hill (13 points) and Dane Goodwin (13 points). Ohio South went down to Kentucky 62-48. The MVPs were EJ Williams (16 points) and Coulter Dotson (18) points). Kentucky and Indiana bumped heads and the Hoosiers prevailed 56-51.  MVPs were Kyle Rode (8 points) and Chance Coyle (12 Points).

Ishan Virdi (Canada) & Marcus Barton-MVPs

With the addition of a 9th grade Canadian all-star team, the event enjoyed “international” status for the first time. Brampton Warriors Elite rolled into the event with some quality players. Even with the talent, Canada took 2 losses to Ohio North (59-45) and Ohio South (67-61). MVPs for in the first game were Jarious Ward (11 points) and Abuhaef Kigab (17 points). In the second game the MVPs were Ishan Virdi (15 points) and Marcus Barton (16 points). Other leading scorers in that game were Jordan Fullerton (13 points), Keegan Seban (15), Jayden Sayles (13 points) and Craig McGee Jr. (12 points).

Omari Spellman & Trey Landers-MVPs

In 10th grade action, Ohio South squeaked out a 51-50 victory over the North. MVPs were Omari Spellman (20) points and Trey Landers (11points). Other leading scorers were James Manns II (8 points) and Derek Funderburk (9 points). The 11th grade game resulted in a blowout win for the North (82-65). The MVPs were Chris Oakley (13 points) and AJ Harris (19 points). If the competition on Day 2 comes anywhere close to what we saw on the opening day, fans are really in for a treat.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Elite Showcase All-Star Game Rosters Released

For the second consecutive year, day one of the fall Buckeye Prep Elite Showcase will include a slate of elite level all-star games. This year’s slate of games will include the inaugural Best of the Midwest Classic, featuring some of the region’s top 6th graders. The game will include nationally ranked players such as Ohio’s Shemar Morrow, Jack Pugh, Grant Huffman, Zeb Jackson and Keetaan Wyatt; Indiana’s Mike Saunders, Hunter Jackson and Brevin Jackson; Tennessee’s Kyrie Walker and North Carolina’s Kahlil Brantley.

Jordan Mitchell

Game two of the day will feature a 7th grade battle between the Buckeye State’s best and the Hoosier State’s top dogs, including Jeremiah Francis, Jordan Mitchell and Gerard Reynolds for Ohio, and Dexter Shouse, Keon Brooks and Simon Banks for Indiana.  The 7th grade Ohio vs Indiana contest is simply an appetizer, as the top players from the NYBL will be in Columbus to show why the NYBL was the hottest event of 2013. NYBL action will tip off with the Top 40 game at 9:15am. That game will feature nationally ranked players such as Keyshawn Langley, Levar Allen, Shamar Florence, Michael Green, and Terrence Williams. Ohio’s own Chris’Seon Stringer, Chris Payne, Alfonse Hale, Justin Smith, Darius Moos Jr. will also be in the mix.

Following the Top 40 game, the top performers in the inaugural season of the NYBL will take the floor for the Top 20 game. The game features North Carolina’s Wendell Moore, the consensus #1 player in the country. Other nationally ranked players include Scottie Lewis (NJ), Chris Hinton (GA), Kobe Langley (NC), DeVion Harmon (TX), Daniel Rodriquez (NY) and many more. Also in that game are Ohio’s Jeremiah Francis, Jordan Mitchell and Gerard Mitchell, all of whom are ranked nationally. In total, 21 nationally ranked 7th graders will be featured in the NYBL Top 20 all-star game!

Coryan Rice

In 2012 the Buckeye Prep Elite Showcase jumped off with a first-ever Ohio vs Michigan game; this year, the 8th grade division takes the interstate rivalry one step further, as  Indiana and Kentucky roll in town with their best ballers to go head-to-head with the Ohio’s elite. Ohio will field 2 eighth grade teams which will be divided between the North and South. The Buckeye State may have split the talent, but ALL of the top 8th graders in the state are accounted for in a 3 game round robin. Ohio has Coryon Rice, Dwayne Cohill, Jerry Higgins, Kane Cooper, EJ Williams, Isaiah Speelman, Jack Cravaack, Jordan Coovert and Dane Goodwin.  Make no mistake, Team Indiana is loaded with talent as well and will feature guys like Cobie Dillard, Antwan Cushingberry, Caleb Brown, Kevin Easley and Chance Coyle. Coach Lee Brones has some fire on his roster as well with Coulter Dotson, Bayley Rice, Willie B. Hill III, Kyle Rode Anthony Wales and a couple of more studs.

Logan Hill

Just when you thought the competition could not get any thicker, the Buckeye Prep Elite Showcase goes international! That’s right, Canada wanted a piece of the action, and will bring down an all-star team that boasts 6’7 and 6’8 in the front court. Jahmari Bernard, Jordan Fullerton will hold down the paint, but other guys like Jaskran Samra, Devante Ashmen, Rasheed Weeks and Abuhaef Kigab will be in support for the real “team up north.” Ohio will again be divided into 2 teams (North & South), but the Buckeyes have more than enough talent to compete. Tommy Schmock, Logan hill, Kelvin Calhoun and Naz Bohannon will hold down the North squad, while Jayden Sayles, Dylan Dupler, Caden Sanchez, Keegan Seban and Matt King will represent the South team.

Omari Spellman

The 10th graders will battle for intrastate bragging rights, as North vs South square off in the afternoon. The Class of 2016 will feature Brandon Peters, Anthony Christian, Derek Funderburk Jr., Omari Spellman and Tervell Beck for the North, while the South squad will go with highly ranked cats like Xavier Simpson, Seth Towns, James Manns II, Derek Daniels and Yavari Hall. For those of you who remember what went down last September, Omari Spellman rolled into the Buckeye Prep Elite Showcase as a virtual unknown, but by Sunday afternoon, he had blown up and was widely considered one of the top players in the crowed 2016 class.

AJ Harris

So far, we have talked about a lot of talented players, but the 11th grade game may steal the show, as Ohio’s most elite juniors will be in the gym. The South team features the top PG in the state and recent Ohio state pledge, AJ Harris! He’s not by himself, as his supporting cast consists of Kyle Ahrens, Montel McCray, Ahmed Wagner and Xeyrius Williams, Luke Fisher.  Not to be outdone, the North team has Carlton Braggs, Esa Ahmed, Kipper Nichols, Craig Randall, LaMonte Stone, Derrick Pardon and others. The top 3 point guards and the best bigs in the state will take the floor at the same time in this game.

Carlton Braggs

There are a lot of events, but you have to admit, NOBODY is doing it like the Buckeye Prep Showcase! This event just keeps getting bigger every year. You may not be entered into this event, but you really need to make your way to Central Crossing High School in Columbus to check out the action first hand. If you can’t make the trip, don’t worry, as there will be almost 20 scouting services and video guys documenting the action. All I can say, I would rather be in the action than reading about it on Monday morning.  Let’s do this!!!!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

NYBL Dominates Basketball Spotlight’s National 2019 Rankings

As we reported about a week ago, the National Youth Basketball League (NYBL) was well represented in national 2019 rankings released by the Hoops Report. The trend continues with Mike Melton’s Basketball Spotlight top 50 rankings which were released yesterday. In Melton’s rankings, 32 players who participated in the NYBL last year made the top 50 list.

As was the case in the Hoops Report rankings, North Carolina’s Wendell Moore occupied the top spot. Other NYBL alums in the top 10 included Scottie Lewis (New Jersey), Chris Hinton (Georgia), Kobe Langley (North Carolina), and Jordan Mitchell (Ohio). From Ohio, Jeremiah Francis (14th), and Gerard Reynolds (41st) made the cut. If you are interested in seeing some of the top 50 kids in action, you might want to head over to Central Crossing High School in Columbus next weekend, as more than half the players on Melton’s list will be ballin at the Buckeye Prep Elite Showcase. Congrats to all of the players who made the list!

Shemar Morrow-Ranked 2nd Nationally

While we are on the subject of national rankings, recently, 2020 Ballers Basketball dropped a list of the top 75 6sisxth graders in the country. A review of that list reflects that 12 Buckeyes got the nod. The Ohio natives on the list included: Shemar Morrow (2nd), Zeb Jackson (12th), Willeon Yates (17th), Ketaan Wyatt (19th), Matt Allacco (24th), Jack Pugh (26th), Joey Holifield (43rd), Grant Huffman (45), Meechie Johnson (48th), Savon O’Neal (57th), Marshon Robinson (66th) and Carter Mims (72nd). Many of the top players on the 2020 list will also be competing in the Buckeye Prep Elite Showcase on the 21st.  Congrats to all the players for their well deserved recognition!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Buckeye Prep Elite Showcase Rosters and Schedule Released

Below is an email I sent out to everybody on my bulk email list about the upcoming Buckeye Prep Report Elite Showcase.  For those of you with kids/players planning to attend the event, please review the email carefully.

"Below is a link to the initial draft of rosters and schedule for Buckeye Prep Report Elite Showcase. The initial draft is being released early in order for corrections (i.e., name spelling, division placement, scheduling errors, etc) to be made prior to the event. As you can see from the showcase documents, the event is now SOLD OUT and no additional players can be added at this point. Although the event is sold out, there are still players who have not paid their entry fee. At this point, if I continue to receive interest, I will replace an unpaid player with a paying customer in order to reduce the number of no shows. If your son/player’s name does not appear on a roster, he is not entered in the event. No “walkups” will be accepted.  Also, although some of the rosters reflect 11 players, I always over book each team by one player to account for last minutes no shows.  In most cases, the teams will settle in at 10 players. If you paid your fee using Pay Pal, please have your receipt available as confirmation.

Please review the rosters, schedule and showcase rules very carefully to insure your child/player is listed, was placed in the correct grade division, and his name is spelled correctly. Also, please check the other team rosters as well to insure your child/player is not listed twice.  If you see an error, simply email me at and I will make the correction(s). If a player is listed on one of the rosters and you know he is not planning to attend the showcase for any reason, please email the information so the spot can be made available to a player on the waiting list.

In addition to the games, the event will feature a parent’s seminar on Saturday (11:45am) that will address everything associated with the recruiting process.  The seminar is free to all parents and is well worth getting up and arriving at the facility a little early. Rosters for the Saturday all-star games will be released by next week.  For those players who are not participating in the Saturday all-star games, they will not need to arrive at the gym until 5:00pm on Saturday to register. After opening comments and team assignments, the showcase games will tip off at 7:00pm. Every team will play at least 1 game (2 games for some 7th grade teams) on Saturday. We will have a guest speaker (Jeremy McCool) from the NCAA on Sunday morning at 8:00am, and the games will begin at 8:30am.  The top 2-3 kids from each team will be selected for a final all-star game on Sunday afternoon. In addition, in most cases, games will start early, so make sure your son/player is in the gym and prepared to play at least 45 minutes before his game is scheduled.

For my coaches, please read the enclosed letter, and plan to report to the facility at 5:00pm on Saturday for a short coaches meeting. Also, please review the rosters for the team you are assigned to insure you are not coaching your son, a friend’s son, a player you coach or anybody else that might represent a conflict of interest. If that’s the case, please contact me so you can be re-assigned. Finally, you will be presented with a camp T-shirt that you will be expected to wear, so please dress accordingly.

I hope you and your son/child is excited about the event! As I have pointed out earlier, this event will be our biggest and most competive ever, with over 410 players attending from across the country. Also, there will be numerous media outlets in the gym to document the action. In closing, please arrive at the gym with a positive and healthy attitude. Because there will be a lot of people in the gym, please bring a healthy dose of tolerance and patience! If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to email me at and I will do my best to respond.  See you on the 21st!"

Rob Taylor

Event Director

Overuse Injuries in Adolescent Elite Basketball Players-not just “Growing Pains”

Below is the most recent edition in a series of articles written by Dr. Kenneth Ransom exclusively for Buckeye Prep Report readers. Enjoy!

Overuse Injuries in Adolescent Elite Basketball Players-not just “Growing Pains”

The Buckeye Prep Elite Showcase this year promises to be the biggest ever.  Only the best youth basketball players will be coming to compete with each other.  In order to achieve this level of performance, most of these kids are committed to playing basketball year-round.  Specialization in one sport has become common in elite youth sports today and often begins in middle school.  The benefits of this dedication will be evident over the weekend of September 21-22 in Columbus, Ohio where the basketball will be nothing short of amazing.

However, there may be potential problems associated with prolonged intense training in a single sport.  Doctors are seeing an increase in overuse injuries in athletes that are focusing on just one sport and are training year-round. Adolescent athletes are especially at risk for injury because their bodies are still growing. The bones grow first, pulling and tightening the muscles and tendons. Growth plates in developing bones are weaker than the ligaments and tendons and are consequently more susceptible to injury from repeated stress and continuous use by the same muscle groups.  Combined with overtraining and inadequate periods of rest, adolescents can be at serious risk for overuse injuries.

Overuse injuries in young basketball players occur most often the lower leg.   In the knee area, growth-related disorders include: Osgood-Schlatter disease (OS) and Sinding-Larsen-Johansson disease (SLJ).  Both of these injuries are caused by stress induced inflammation of the bone at the sites of the patellar tendon attachments.  The patellar tendon goes from the knee cap where SLJ can occur to the top on the tibia (tubercle) where OS occurs. Sever’s disease is a similar problem at the heel where the Achilles tendon (heel cord) attaches. These sites can become very painful with activity and are usually associated with a hard, tender “lump.” The pain may even get better with continued play but ultimately a period of rest is necessary for the pain to resolve.  It is very important to avoid repeated stress on the injured growth plate so as not to cause permanent damage and possible growth disturbances.  Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication can be given after activity, but never before.  Masking pain from an injury with anti-inflammatory drugs during activity may worsen the severity of injury to the growth plate.  Stretching exercises and wearing shoes with heel pads and arch support will help reduce recurrences. The player may have to struggle with these injuries with repeated periods of rest but they seldom amount to more than a nuisance if treated properly and these “growing pains” will completely subside after the growth plates have closed.

More serious overuse injuries in the legs can result from actual micro-trauma to the tendons.   “Jumpers Knee” is a tendonitis of the patellar tendon itself.  Also Achilles tendonitis can occur with inflammation and possible injury to this very important structure. These are more serious injuries than the growth plate inflammatory problems (OS, SLJ, and Sever’s) and require a longer healing time. Tendons can become so damaged that reconstructive surgery may be necessary.  It is important to consult a physician experienced in sports injuries if pain does not improve with a sufficient periods of rest.  Professional evaluation should also be obtained if there is an associated joint effusion or instability. There are number of serious soft tissue injuries of the knee and ankle area that generally result from an instantaneous traumatic event but can occasionally be more insidious in their presentation.

Another serious overuse injury seen in basketball players are stress fractures.  Stress fractures occur when muscles become fatigued and transfer the overload of stress to bones.  Especially in adolescents, where growing bones need adequate time to repair otherwise it can eventually fail and a small crack (stress fracture) can develop.  Most stress fractures in basketball players occur along the medial edge of the tibia. These injuries can take up to 8 weeks to heal and if activity is resumed too quickly a larger, harder-to-heal stress fracture can develop. Stress fractures can ultimately develop into a chronic pain problem if not treated properly.  In contrast, the “shin splint,” which is also a common cause of medial tibia pain, but is a result of inflammation of the bone and is not a fracture.  This is much less serious than a stress fracture and, as with other inflammatory problems, subsides in about a week with rest and anti-inflammatory agents. Shoes with good arch support and heal padding may help prevent shin sprints from occurring.

The best way to manage overuse injuries is to prevent them.  The National Athletic Trainers Association reports that more than half of all overuse injuries may be preventable.  They speculate that these injuries are caused by training errors and improper technique, excessive sports training, inadequate rest and early specialization.  Players dedicated to in a single sport should participate in a general fitness or cross-training program during the off season in order to stretch and strengthen their core and other muscles groups.  

Adolescent athletes need plenty of sleep and rest including at least 1 to 2 days off per week from competitive practices, competitions and sport-specific training.  And finally, a reminder that growing bones and soft tissues need a good sports diet with plenty of protein, carbohydrates, calcium and Vitamin D to be strong and healthy.

By Dr. Kenneth Ransom

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Top 20 West All-Stars

As we have pointed out on numerous occasions, besides a high level of competition, the National Youth Basketball League (NYBL) is all about providing our players with a high level of exposure! As we get closer to the inaugural NYBL All-Star game, the league will be releasing individual player profiles of each of the 40 players who will be participating in the games. We will start with the Top 20 Game’s East All-Stars and work our way through the Top 40 game’s West All-Stars. Below is a link to the West All-Stars and East All-stars player profiles. Enjoy!

Top 20 Game West All-Stars

NYBL West Top 20 Game All-Star Game Player Profiles Released

As we have pointed out on numerous occasions, besides a high level of competition, the National Youth Basketball League (NYBL) is all about providing our players with a high level of exposure! As we get closer to the inaugural NYBL All-Star game, the league will be releasing individual player profiles of each of the 40 players who will be participating in the games. We will start with the Top 20 Game’s East All-Stars and work our way through the Top 40 game’s West All-Stars. Below is a link to the West All-Stars and East All-stars player profiles. Enjoy!

Top 20 Game West All-Stars

Sunday, September 1, 2013

NYBL Alums Make National Top 50 List

Jeremiah Francis Represents Ohio in Top 50

Recently, Jeff Meadows and dropped their list of the top 50 players in the class of 2019 (7th grade), and as expected, almost 30 of the 50 players listed participated in the inaugural season of the National Youth Basketball League (NYBL). As was the case at the 6th grade AAU Nationals a few weeks ago, the NYBL was well represented on the national scene. North Carolina Prep’s Wendell Moore was ranked as the number 1 player in the country and is projected as a “pro” by the Hoops Report.

In addition, of the top 10 players on the list, 6 of them are NYBL alums. Also, the Buckeye State was well represented on the list, as 2 of our own were listed among the top 10 seventh graders in the nation. Jeremiah Francis (#4) Jordan Mitchell (#9) both reside in central Ohio and are among the best the class has to offer.

Jordan Mitchell Ranked 9th

If you want to see these kids in actions, more than half the players on Hoop Reports’ list will be participating in the Buckeye Prep Elite Showcase on September 21st and 22nd. By most accounts, the exposure offered by the NYBL undoubtedly led to the aforementioned players receiving national attention! Congratulations to all of the NYBL players for this most significant accomplishment!

Hoops Report Top 50 List