Sunday, August 24, 2014

Future Phenom Camp Load with Talent

M. Mitchell, J. Francis, C. Evans, J. Moore, T. Ingraham, C. Depollao & M. Mitchell
It may only be a first year event, but Mike Melton and Bill Francis exceeded expectations with the amount of talent they attracted to Washington DC for their inaugural Basketball Spotlight Future Phenom Camp.  Held at the New 24 facility, the first year event attracted about 260 campers in grades 3rd-8th. Day one of the event kicked off with a skills and drills sessions, followed by a series of games and skills contests.

I spent most of the day checking out the 8th grade action, and one of the best players I saw all day was Makhel Mitchell  (6’7 PF MD).  Mitchell has a great combination of size skill, and is already proficient on both ends of the court.  Mitchell is not an extreme athlete, but he protects the rim and can score consistently on the low block.  His twin brother Makhi Mitchell (6’6 PF MD) is no slouch, and is also productive offensively and defensively.  Both bothers are elite level talents and excellent long-term prospects.  Arguably the top 2019 guard at the event was Jeremiah Francis (5’11 PG Ohio). Francis solidified his status in the NYBL, and he upheld his rep at this event.  Much too strong for most guards, Francis is a stat stuffer, putting up big scoring, assist and rebounding numbers. Although he does most of his damage slashing to the cup, he can shoot it to if he gets any space.

The Mitchel twins weren’t the only quality bigs in the building, as Tariq Engrahm (6’6 PF/C DE) logged in an excellent first day performance. Engrahm has great hands, a soft touch, and unlike most kids with size theses days, he embraces low post post play rather than fading out to the wing for a jump shop.  Engrahm is another great prospect going forward. I had a chance to see Donte Scott (6’4 WF PA) and Che Evans (6’3 WF MD) for the first time and was impressed with both! Evans and Scott are blessed with size and athleticism, are skilled, and should be able to contribute early to a high school program in another year. Justin Moore (6’0 SG MD) was extremely productive on the opening day.  Like he did in the NYBL, Moore relentlessly attacked the cup and finished. Aggressive, strong and athletic best describes this elite shooting guard. 

Add Isaiah Mosely (5’10 SG CN) to the list ballers at the event.  Mosley made his name in the NYBL this year playing with Canada’s Northern Kings. He’s continuing to build on his rep with his performance this weekend.  What’s most impressive is his unselfish and team-oriented play.  Oh, he can get you buckets, but he always seems to make the right play, rather that’s scoring himself or making a play for a teammate.  I just like the kid’s game.

J. Springer, J. Toles, C. Beyers & RJ Davis
I did not get a chance to watch many of the younger kids, but I did catch a glimpse of a handful of outstanding performances.  Both Jaden Springer (5’9 WF NC) and Jordon Toles (6’0 SG MD) are extreme competitors who have the ability to put their teams on their backs in order to get a win.  Both players put up gaudy numbers on day one while solidifying their places among the best in their class. Cameron Beyers (6’4 PF MD) is new to the class of 2020, having run with the 2019  6th Man Warriors in the NYBL last season.  Beyers was good then, but he will be dominant in this class, as evidenced by his strong play yesterday. Also new to the class is Tyler Brelsford (5’8 PG MD), who ran with Team Takeover in the NYBL this past season. Brelsford put up big numbers in at least one of the games I watched and his high basketball IQ is already serving him well in the class of 2020. Finally, keep an eye out for RJ Davis (5’3 PG NY).  I only caught a glimpse of him, but what I did see, I liked. A smart PG with poise and skill is what caught my eye.

Standout Performers:

(2019): Makhel Mitchell (6’7 PF MD), Jeremiah Francis (5’11 PG Ohio), Che Evans (6’3 WF MD), Justin Moore (6’0 SG MD), Tariq Engrahm (6’6 PF/C DE), Donte Scott (6’4 WF PA), Makhi Mitchell (6’6 PF MD), Christian Depollao (6’4 WF MD), Isaiah Mosely (5’10 SG CN), Anthony Byrd (5’10 PG PA), Anthony Johnson (6’4 P/SG PA), Korbin Spencer (6’0 SG KY), James Bishop (6’0 PG MD), Liam Ball (6’4 WF PA), Rob Higgins (5’8 PG NJ). (2020): Jaden Springer (5’9 WF NC), Jordon Toles (6’0 SG MD), Cameron Beyers (6’4 PF MD), RJ Davis (5’3 PG NY) & Tyler Brelsford (5’8 PG MD).

Other Players to Watch:

Carston Kogelnk (2019MD), Marquise Walker (2019 IL), Matt Crowley (2019 NJ), Segfried Reid (2019 MD), Michael Etuaful (2019 MD), Dale Hewitt (2019 CN), Jaheim Tanksley (2019 NJ), Allen Powell (2019 PA), Christian Lngs (2019 PA), & Eric Dixon (2019 PA).