Saturday, December 28, 2019

Something Big is Happening in Akron

Anna Hurst, Hadley Hadju & Isabella Callaway
The state of Ohio has birthed some of the best lady hooper’s to ever play the game. As an example, Cincinnati has Kelsey Mitchel; Cleveland has Jantel Lavander; and Columbus has Jordan Horston. Yet the question still remains, “What about Akron?” Well I’ve got the perfect answer for you but it’s not just one player, it’s 3. 

All three of these young ladies are on track to put the city of Akron on the map like never before. First up we’ve got Anna Hurst. A 2024 guard who carries the nickname “Blonde Mamba.” Anna who is currently ranked #25 on the Middle School Girls Elite website and #51 on the Naismith National all American Youth Report. Anna currently attends Stow Middle School in Akron, Ohio. Be on the look out for this young lady as she is fierce and ready to take on anyone in her way. 

Hadley Hadju who is teammates with Anna Hurst on the 2024 SMAC Akron is another dominate player straight out of the city of Akron. Hadju comes ranked #35 on the middle school girl’s elite ranking and attends Revere Middle School in Akron, Ohio. Hadley is a dominant offensive and defensive guard. She can keep up with the best of them and getting sharper and sharper every time she plays. 

To finish up the roster for the Fab 3 we’ve got Isabella Callaway an absolute floor general that can run the entire show. Callaway currently attends Copley Middle School where she helped lead her team to a 2018-19 suburban league middle school Championship. Isabella is currently ranked #11 on the Naismith National All-American Youth Report. If she continues doing what she’s doing I’m sure she will excel at the next level. AAU season is almost amongst us and SMAC Akron 2024 team is ready to go. 

Every team has had a combination of players that are the heartbeat of the entire organization. For example Miami heat had Lebron, D. Wade and Chris Bosh.  The 2008 Celtics had Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen. Lastly, Golden State had the Splash Brothers and Draymond Green.  With that being said, these three young ladies are that “heartbeat” for SMAC Akron’s AAU team. This organization had an unbelievable 40-5 record last season and is projected to do even better this upcoming season. 

SMAC Akron is led by John “JC” Callaway who’s track record speaks for itself.  John has over 15 years coaching experience and is in the process of coaching his daughter Isabella Callaway and his son’s 6th grade SMAC Akron team. John played at Kent State University under coach Gary Water who won a MAC championship and went onto the NCAA tournament for the first time in school history. We expect big things out of this team in 2020.  We will keep you updated.

Story by T. Franklin

Friday, December 27, 2019

Holt Already Doing Big Things

Terry Holt III 4'1" PG Dayton 2031
Although we rarely spotlight players so young, the things Terry Holt III (4’1”/PG/Dayton/2031) is doing as only a 1st grader beg to be recognized.  If you’re wondering what Holt is doing; he has already established a national reputation as one of the top players in the nation in his class based on his Coast2Coast and Top25Scouts ranking, and the list of power house teams he runs with is quite impressive.  Specifically, he has played for such brand names as All-Ohio Red, Bates Fundamental, Ohio Kings, Team TJ Ford and the All Indy Gym Rats. 

Because Holt is so highly skilled, he is able to compete against teams and players 2 years older. From the mix tape below, it’s clear Holt has elite ball skills, is aggressive and can really score the rock.  Although Holt is averaging about 16 points per game, his on ball defense and ability to force turnovers is quite impressive as well. You can check out more of Holt’s accomplishments by hitting him up on Instagram @terry_t3.  We intend to keep an eye on Holt’s development.

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Hamrick Displays Mature Game

Maurice Hamrick Jr. 5'1" PG Columbus 2028
Although he’s still very young, Maurice Hamrick Jr.’s (5'1"/PG/Columbus/2028) mature game allows him to compete against kids 2-3 years older than himself. With the amount of time Hamrick logs in the gym (just check his social media account), it’s little wonder why he already plays the game at such a high level. 

We’ve seen Hamrick compete at our Buckeye Prep events on several occasions, so it’s clear to us that his skill set is elite.  More specifically, Hamrick’s ball skills set him part from his peers, as does his feel for the game, IQ, pace of play and ability to score from all 3 levels.   We also like Hamrick’s ability to shoot from range and create space for a shot or drive.  Thanks to the video below from our guy @T3TV, you don’t have to take our word for it; you can see for yourself!

Although Hamrick is offensively gifted, we’ve seen him excel as a playmaker and make everybody around him shine.  Case in point, at our elite showcase last spring, Hamrick could have easily dominated our all-star game offensively, but he decided to put on a clinic by using his court vision and passing skills to feed the rock to his teammates, resulting in him just missing out on MVP honors.

Based on his talent, Hamrick is not only ranked among the top 4th graders in Ohio, his game has garnered national attention as well.  This the spring and summer, Hamrick will be running with a 6th grade All-Ohio Red team as well as a 5th grade Wildcat Select team based out of Pennsylvania. This winter, Hamrick is playing in a couple of local basketball leagues, one of which is with 7th & 8th graders.  You can check out more videos by following us on instagram at @robt1, and you can also catch Hamrick and his All-Ohio Red squad in action at our Buckeye Prep Invitational Tournament in March.

Friday, December 6, 2019

Blanton Stars at Trotwood

Delmarr Blanton 6'0" CG 2024 Dayton
We’ve been following his career since he was in the 4th grade, and from what we’ve seen and heard recently; Delmarr Blanton’s (6’0”/CG/Dayton/2024) talent has carried over to the middle school level.  As the starting shooting guard at Trotwood Middle School, Blanton is proving to be a problem for opposing players.  In fact, so far this season, Blanton's scoring average is 22 points including 26 point game high.  According to Coach Render, an assistant coach with the team, Blanton " the best player and makes everybody better."

Blessed with a strong frame, athleticism and an aggressive approach to the game, Blanton is at his best when he is powering his way to the cup.  He’s not just about driving and finishing, as Blanton is more than capable of knocking down treys if left open. Check out the video below from our guy Terry Holt (T3TV) and you too will come to appreciate Blanton’s talent.

Blanton has always been one of the best players in Ohio in his class as evidenced by his multiple MVP nods at our elite showcases and tournaments; but his dominance at the middle school level confirms what we’ve always seen in him; this kid has game. In 2020, Blanton run with a  Bates Fundamental team which will be based out of Cincinnati. You can catch Blanton and Bates Fundamental in action at the Buckeye Prep Invitational Tournament scheduled for March 27th-29th.

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Clevenger Showing Early Promise

Colton Clevenger 4'3" PG Lewisburg 2029
Thanks to T3TV’s Terry Holt, one of our newly added staff members, we have fresh new video footage of Colton Clevenger (4’3”/PG/Lewisburg/2029), who is absolutely tearing it up in gyms all around the Gem City. Clevenger's rep goes well beyond the Dayton area, as he has logged in standout performances at elite events such as McDavid All-American Camp in South Carolina and the KBC Midwest Spotlight Camp in Lexington, KY.  In addition, he went for 25 points at the Dru Joyce Classic and lead his team to a championship appearance last season

Since kindergarten, Clevenger has been running with the nationally ranked (pre-season # 19th) Ohio Kings, where he has been a consistent standout performer. In fact, Clevenger lead his 33-5 Ohio Kings squad in scoring last season, averaging of 19 points per game.  According to his coach, Clevenger “…Does what it ever it takes for this team to get a win; rather that involves scoring 30 points or dropping 15 dimes.”  Clevenger is also known for his work ethic and is often described as a gym rat.

As the highlight video below clearly reflects, Clevenger is a highly skilled PG with loads of talent, confidence and swag.  Not only is Clevenger’s ball skills elite, he has a great feel for the game and he has a high basketball IQ.  We also recognize his ability to finish with either hand, shoot from deep off the bounce, and knock down shots from mid-range.  Oh yea, Clevenger has a killer crossover that allows him to get to the rim at a high clip. Moreover, he’s not just a scorer, as his court vision and willingness to share the rock allows him to find and feed open teammates.  We also noticed his willingness to sit down and defend.

From what we’ve seen so far, Clevenger in not only one of Ohio’s top young players, he has to be one of the top players in the country.  In fact, we’re not alone in our respect for his game, as Top 25 Scouts has Clevenger ranked as the 9th best player in the nation in the class of 2029.  You can catch Clevenger and his Ohio Kings squad in action at our Buckeye Prep Invitational Tournament scheduled for March 27th-29th here in Columbus.  We intend to keep an eye on this kid!

Buckeye Prep Invitational Tournament Returns

Monday, September 16, 2019

All-Ohio Girls Fall League Standouts

Alexia Smith, Arianna Smith, Kennedy Harris, Eden Battle & Makiya Miller
Yesterday Travecia “T” Franklin, our brand new Director of Girls Basketball, spent some time at Africentric High School covering Jerry Watson Girls Fall League.  Based on her extensive report, there was a ton of talent in the gym.  Below is a list of standout performers on the day.

Alexia Smith (Africentric HS) is a strong body defender with the ability to affect the game in multiple area’s. She stands about 5 foot 9 and is very quick. She jumps out the gym for sky high rebounds. She is a silent killer. Alexia has natural strength that allows her to control the game on the offensive and defensive ends. Alexia hasn’t committed to any schools yet but going into her junior year at Africentric High School where she is expected to receive multiple offers from several D1 schools. 

Arianna Smith (Africentric HS) is the next big thing to come out of Columbus, Oh. With her shear strength she dominates underneath the rim. She is expected to make a big impact this year for the Africentric Lady Nubians. Arianna Smith stands about 6’2 and in extremely aggressive underneath the basket. Her touch underneath the rim is almost perfect. Arianna Smith is the younger sister of Lady Nubians Alexia Smith. This duo will be extremely hard to stop this upcoming season. I’m sure just like her sister we will capture the attention of several college coaches. 

Ohio State Commit Gabby Hutchinson (Westerville South HS) is the perfect mixture of Kevin Durant and Giannis Antetokounmpo. She has the skill of a guard and the size of a 4 man. What makes Gabby so dangerous is the fact that you can move her around to any position. She stands about 6’3 and guards can’t guard her and big men can keep up with her. This year at Westerville south she is expected lead the wildcats to a championship after falling short her previous 2018-19 season. Keep an eye out for her throughout the 2019-20 girls basketball season. 

Kennedy Harris (Gahanna HS) will be entering into her senior season with the Gahanna Lincoln Lions who are expected to make some noise in the Ohio Capital conference. She has mastered the title point “God.” She handles the ball very well. The 5’7 guard is interested in several Division schools such as Miami of Ohio, Old Dominion and LIU. She dominates the court on the offensive and defensive side. Don’t let the height fool you though and is extremely quick and explosive. 

Ohio State commit Anyssa Jones (Westerville South HS) stands at about 5’9 and is a force to be reckoned with. She is a sharp shooter who has unlimited range. She also has really good size and moving her to a bigger guard spot is definitely a possibility. While she has to ability to light it up from the three she can also get to the rim. Another returning starter for the Westerville south wildcats she is expected to lead them to a chip. 
Morgan Darnell, Alyssa Jones, Gabby Hutchenson, Nyam Thorton, & Sakima Walker

Eden Battle is the true definition of her last name. She goes toe to toe with anyone in her way. She plays with so much enthusiasm and passion. She is definitely a problem from behind the arch. Leave her open for more than a second and she will make you pay. She so aggressive off the ball as well. She has committed to play for Miami of Ohio in fall of 2020.

Morgan Darnell is probably the most underrated player coming out of Columbus. She’s a vocal leader who controls the floor and is an all around great player. She has a little bit of everything. She can score at will and she can also change the game on the defensive end. Morgan stretches the floor on the offensive end because she has mastered the 3 point shot. Entering her senior season with Gahanna Lincoln she is in search of some potential collegiate interest. I definitely believe she has what it takes to go to the next level. 

Trinity Ramos is a sophomore PG for Olentangy Liberty High School. She plays with a lot of passion. Trinity passes the ball extremely well and isn’t afraid to get on the floor. With her being just a sophomore she has the potential to play at the next level. 

Makiya Miller will be entering her sophomore season at Reynoldsburg High school. She stands about 5’7 and is an overall great player. Makiya definitely has a lot of growing to do but she is in a great position to make some noise this year for the raiders. She has a very high basketball IQ and it shows on the court. 

Sakima Walker (Africentric HS senior 6’3 Ohio State, Cincinnati, Virginia, Auburn)
is entering her senior season with the Africentric lady Nubians and will hopefully help them bring in another state title. She stands about 6’3 and guards the rim like no other. She is thin but she has so much height it only helps her rebound the basketball. If she receives the ball in the paint it’s pretty much over after that. She has several D1 offers such as Ohio State, Auburn, Virginia, Cincinnati and several more. She will soon make the decision where she decides to play in college. 

Senior guard Nyam Thorton is so explosive and aggressive it’s almost impossible to stop her once she gets past half court. Her handle is sort of like Kylie Irving she just happens to be from Columbus, OH. She has stellar talent and will definitely make some serious noise this year for the Africentric Lady Nubians who are on track to win their 8thstate title, the most ever in school history. Nyam has committed to play for Texas Tech this upcoming fall.

Franklin Joins Buckeye Prep As Director of Girl's Basketball

Travecia "T" Franklin-Dir Girls Basketball
In an effort to provide more coverage of girl’s basketball, the Buckeye Prep Report has added Travecia “T” Franklin to the staff as Director of Girls Basketball. T will be providing the bulk of our girl’s coverage going forward. T is not new to the Buckeye Prep Report as she joined our staff earlier this year as a scout and coach. T will be spending a majority of her time and efforts attending and covering girls events.  She will also take a lead role in developing and managing Buckeye Prep vents on the girls side.

In terms of her background, T was a standout for Brookhaven HS where she graduated in 2011 before heading to Indiana State University to play Collegiately.  While at Brookhaven, T was ranked 114thin her position by ESPN, was selected as Honorable Mention All-State in 2010 and was described as follows: “Lean athletic guard who, like all of Reggie Lee's players, will get after it on defense. Offensively she has the ability to slash but will have to demonstrate an effective perimeter shot as she progresses.” Help us welcome T to our staff!

Buckeye Prep Elite Showcase Final Results

Sean Martin, Sharon Barnes, Chris McLavish Jr., Jaylen Rigdon & Michael Maldanado
By most accounts, the 2019 fall Buckeye Prep Elite Showcase was a success!  With a slate of very competitive inter and intrastate rivalry games on Saturday morning, followed by very competitive showcase games later in the day, the storied event delivered on its promise of “Elite Competition & Maximum Exposure!”  In terms of the early morning all-star games, the class of 2026 was well represented, as the event hosted many of the classes’ top players.  Some of those players included TJ Crumble, Brayden Fogle, Khani Thomas, Darek Whitfield, Malsi Pearson, Cole Albers, JR Bates, Drake Ahrens, Dantrell Hughes and Amari Addy.

As a recap, in the 2026 North vs South All-star game, the South All-Stars defeated the North by a score of 53-44. MVPs for the game were Khani Thomas,who scored a team-high 14 points for the South and Brayden Fogal,who knocked down a game-high 15 points for the North.  In the 2025 Ohio vs Michigan contest, Team Michigan notched an impressive 67-54 win over Team Ohio.  Michigan was led in scoring by John “Trey” McKenny III, who went for a game-high 26 points on his way to MVP honors.  Team Ohio was led in scoring by Arness Lawson who grabbed MVP honors on the strength of a team-high 17 points. In the 2026 Ohio vs Michigan game, Team Michigan pulled a first-ever sweep of Ohio with a 41-35 victory.  MVPs for the game were TJ Crumble, who poured in a team-high 13 points for Ohio and Keyshawn Summerville, who dropped a game-high 16 points for Team Michigan.  

At the conclusion of the event, two additional all-star games were held featuring the day’s top middle school and 4th/5th& 6thgrade players. The top performers in each of the games were presented “Top 5 Awards.”  In the Middle School game those awards went to Sean Martin, Sharod Barnes, Chris McLavish Jr., Michael Maldanado and Kentucky’sJalan Rigdan.  In the 4th/5th/6thGrade game, the Top 5 Awards were presented to Damere McClellan, Malsi Pearson, Taveon Vaughn, Drake AhrensandDarek Whitfield.

Damere McClellan, Malsi Pearson, Taveon Vaughn, Drake Ahrens & Darek Whitfield
 During the course of the showcase games each player was evaluated and ranked, with the top 2-3 players being selected for the final all-star games.  According to the coaches’ evaluation sheets, the following players were ranked as the #1 player on their respective teams: (Middle School Division) Sharod Barnes, Michael Maldanado (2025), Christian Wilkins, Chris McLavish Jr., Sean Martin and Peter Penrod. (4th/5th/6thGrade Division): Mario Murray, Keyshawn Summerville, Khani Thomas, Demere McClellan, Brandon Mercer and Drake Ahrens. 

Below is a complete list of players who were selected to the all-star games.  Also below are the final showcase rankings. Those rankings were based on the all-star game results coupled with where players were ranked by their respective coaches. As an example, the MVPs of the early all-star games and the Top 5 Award winners were ranked in the top 10, then the #1 ranked players, the #2 ranked players and so on were added.

 All-in all, it was a great day of competitive basketball!  Shout out to the class of 2026 who came strong and represented their loaded class.  Finally, big props to the Michigan players who supported the event and represented their state very well!  See you in February!

Saturday, September 7, 2019

Michigan Pulls Sweep with 2026 Win

Keyshawn Summerville & T.J. cCumble-MVPs
With a 41-35 win over Team Ohio, Team Michigan secures a first-ever sweep of Team Ohio at the Buckeye Prep Elite Showcase. Led by Keyshawn Summerville who dropped a game-high 16 points, Team Michigan was able to pull away late in the 2nd half to lock down Michigan’s second win of the morning. Team Ohio was led in scoring by big T.J. Crumble who poured in a game-high 13 points for the Buckeyes. As was the case in the earlier game, Michigan’s full court pressure proved problematic for Coach Mike Daniel’s Ohio squad.  Next up is the elite showcase were many of these elite players will go head to head again in hopes of making the final all-star game later tonight.

Team Michigan Downs Team Ohio in 2025 Game

John "Trey" McKinney III & Arness Lawson-2025 MVPs
In the 2nd all-star game of the day at the Buckeye Prep Elite Showcase, a very talented Michigan squad used a team-oriented approach and an effective full-court press to take home a 67-54 win.  Although it was nip and tuck for most of the game, and Team Ohio was ahead during the course of the game, by the time the horn sounded, the “Team Up North” had secured bragging right for another year over the Buckeyes.

MVPs for the game were  Michigan's John “Trey" McKennny III, who finished with a game-high points 26 points and Columbus’ Arness Lawson, who knocked down a team-high 17 points.  Also playing well were Michigan’s Jayden Savoury who added 18 points and Cincinnati’s Michael Maldanado who poured in 12 points.

All-in all, it was a very competitive game. Next up is the 2026 Ohio vs Michigan game, which will feature Ohio’s best against many of Michigan’s top guys.

Ohio South Downs the North in Opening Game

Khani Thomas & Brayden Fogle
In the opening game of the 2019 fall Buckeye Prep Elite Showcase; the Ohio South team fought back a comeback from the North to notch a 53-44 win.  Down 32-10 at halftime, the Brayden Fogle led (15 points) North came roaring back to cut the lead to within 8 points late in the 2nd period.  However, paced by Khani Thomas’ team-high 14 points, the South was able to hold on for the win.  Both Fogle and Thomas were named MVPS.  Next up is the 2025 Ohio vs Michigan all-star games, which promises to be as equally competitive!

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Buckeye Prep Elite Showcase Schedule & Rosters

Below is an initial draft of this weekend's Buckeye Prep Elite Showcase schedule, rosters and event rules.  Also below is an email that went out to parents who have registered their son for the event. Regardless of payment arrangements, every player MUST register for the event. Once again, this should be a very competitive event!  If you have any questions, please contact us at 614-502-9359 or

Showcase Schedule & Rosters (last Update 9-6-19 @ 11:12am)
Registration Link


I hope you and your son are excited about this weekend's event! Please find attached the initial draft of the showcase schedule, rosters, event rules & format.  Please make note of the fact that this will be a 1-day event only (Saturday).  Also note that based on the participant numbers in each grade division, the devisions had to be combined.  This could not be avoided. Also, please review the complete document very carefully to confirm you son/player's name is spelled correctly, is listed in the correct grade division, is not duplicated on a second team, and that his team has all of their games accounted for. Also, if you see a kid's name on the roster and you know he does not plan to attend please contact us ASAP! If you see any mistakes please respond to this email with the need corrections.  If your son's name is listed and you have decided not to attend this event, please let us know ASAP so we can make adjustments. 

At this point, if your child is unable to attend, we will extend a full credit for are March event. We will be posting and needed update on our website at: up until the day of the event. For those players who are participating in the event, you will need to arrive at least 45 minutes before the first game.  For everyone else, you will not need to arrive until 1:30pm to complete the registration process. We look forward to seeing you on Saturday!

Rob Taylor

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Superfriends Take USBA Nationals

2025 Superfriends-2019 USBA Nationals Champions
Already boasting of a fantastic 2019 AAU season, the 2025 Superfriends put a cherry on top of their 2019 campaign with another title at the USBA Nationals last month in Raleigh, NC.  The Superfriends’ run to the championship included wins over TM Elite (69-23) and BBA White (77-10) in pool play, followed by bracket wins over the JR Ballers (61-23), Knightdale Hustle Blue (70-41), UPlay Collective (55-53) and Blacktops NY (67-66).  

We had the opportunity to catch the Superfriends in action at our Buckeye Prep Invitational Tournament in March and could not have been more impressed with what we saw. Congrats to the Superfriends’ coaching staff and players for an awesome season!

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Ohio vs Michigan All-Star Games Rosters Released

As has become custom over the past several years, the fall edition of the Buckeye Prep Elite Showcase (September 7th & 8th) will once again feature the very popular Ohio vs Michigan all-star games. These games represent a platform where the top players from Ohio and Michigan compete in an effort to represent their respective states. Not only is state pride and bragging rights on the line, the players who were fortunate enough to receive the coveted invitations will follow in the foot steps of the some of the most elite players from the past.  Below are complete rosters for both games.  A review of the rosters will reflect the elite talent level amassed for theses games.  You don’t want to miss the action!  Also check out some highlight videos of some of the past Ohio vs Michigan games: (Video #1) (Video #2). To register for the elite showcase, click on the following link (Registration) (Information Page).  

2025 Ohio vs Michigan All-Star Game Rosters

Michigan All-Stars
Ohio All-Stars
Ahijah Eichelberger
Jerry Easter Jr.
Zyon Wimberly
Darrryn Peterson
Chris Mclavish
Arness Lawson
De’Querius Mayfield
Mykell Murphy
John “Trey” McKenny III
Kent Hairston
Torrey Burton
Trey Perry
Trey Dilliard
Mike Wright
Greg Lawson
Reed Simms
Jayden Savoury
Jessie Eubanks
Jase Becher
Christian Wilkins
Michael Maldanado
James Burnett
Coach: Al Eichelberger
Coach: Darryl Peterson
Coach: Greg Mcmath
Coach: Carlos Davis

2026 Ohio vs Michigan All-Star Game Rosters

Michigan All-Stars
Ohio All-Stars
Josiah Nash
Marcus Johnson
Brandon Mercer
T.J. Crumble
Taveon Vaughn
Cole Albers
Kae’Vion Wilson
Darek Whitfield
Cameron Ryans
Malsi Pearson
Cayden Ali
Dantrell Hughes
Markese Murray
Khani Thomas
Maurese Murray
Jaylen Mercer
Brayden Mack
Latrell Hughes
Mario Murray
Drake Ahrens
Mario Murray
Brycen Johnson
JR Bates
Coach Maurice Summerville
Coach: Mike Daniels