Monday, June 24, 2019

Linden Classic/Buckeye Prep All-Star Showcase Standouts

Abdiaziz Mohamad & Melik Allen-Showcase MVPs
This past weekend, the Inaugural Linden Classic/Buckeye Prep All-Star Showcase proved to be a complete success! The event was just one component of the broader Linden Community Festival held at the St. Stephens Community House in Columbus., and for the Buckeye Prep Report, the free event was our way of supporting and giving back to the local Columbus community.

On Saturday, about sixty, 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th graders descended on Maloney Park and balled out outside “Rucker style.”  Fortunately, we were able to attract some of the cities’ top middle school players so the competition was fierce.  In addition to playing 2 regular games, all-stars were selected for a final all-star game.   
Glass, Lawson, Weaver, Patton, Wakeel & Kelly
At the conclusion of the all-star game, MVPs and an All-Showcase Team was selected.  Abdiaziz Mohamad and Melik Allen were selected as All-Star game MVPs, while Tito Glass, Arness Lawson, Zy’aire Weaver, Everret Patton, Jahleel Wakeel and Lloyd Kelly were selected to the All-Showcase Team. Below is a complete list of the all-stars, All-Tournament Teams and MVPS. Based on the feedback we received, the event was very well received.

All-Stars Selections

Abdiaziz Mohamad
Melik Allen
Tito Glass
Arness Lawson
Zy’Aire Weaver
Everret Patton
Jahleel Wakeel
Lloyd Kelly
Jason Bates, Jr. 
Jerome Killebrew
Michael Daniels
Matthew Washington
Jaeshawn Ferryman
Tyren Jones
Anthony Watkins
Khani Thomas
Maceo Harper
Jamar Montgomery
Asion Francis
Derek Whitfield

Superfriends Enjoy Recent Success

2025 Superfriends
Over the last several weeks, the 2025 Superfriends have enjoyed significant success.  Specifically, about 4 weeks ago, the Superfriends went undefeated in rout claiming the championship of the Dru Joyce Classic.  In that event, the Superfriends took down elite teams like R.E.A.C.H., U-Play Canada and Bates Fundamental.

Moreover, 3 week ago, the Superfriends claimed the championship of the NYBL in Atlanta, beating ranked teams such as CP3 and the Dream Chasers. Although the Superfriend’s roster is loaded with talent, as we saw for ourselves when the won our own Buckeye Prep Invitational Tournament back in March, the team is led my nationally ranked Jerry Easter Jr. and Cameron Sparks.  Next up for Superfriends is the USBA Nationals in Raleigh, NC in Mid-July.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Ohio Varsity Wins Local Event

Ohio Varsity White-Tournament Champion
In the final tournament before high school ball starts in June, Ohio Varsity White 15u - Strickland, dominates at the 8th annual Ohio Varsity Classic Memorial Day Weekend finishing undefeated 4-0.  In an inter-family battle championship game vs Ohio Varsity Black 15u - Gibson, it came down to the final 4 seconds, ending with White calling a time out to pull off the win, final score 44-42. Leading scorers:

OV White-Strickland           
Javan Simmons 11pts                                 
Drey Carter 8pts 

OV Black-Gibson
Antwon Moss Jr 17pts
Amani Lyles 13

Monday, June 10, 2019

Rising Stars Tourney off to Great Start

Weaver, Murphy, King, Williams, Odan, & Holt
This past weekend, we had the opportunity to spend some time at Josh Clark’s inaugural Rising Stars tournament in New Albany, OH.  Although this was Clark’s first event, the amount of talent he was able to attract was quite impressive! Not only was the talent impressive but also the quality of the facilities and the organization of this inaugural event were remarkable.

We saw a number of players we had not seen previously, including super skilled and crafty Zyaire Weaver (5’2”/PG/2025/Columbus).  Weaver is a dynamic PG with quickness, who excels at playmaking. His vision and passing skills are superb, as is his feel for the game. Moreover, his poise, pace of play and decision-making were beyond his years. His teammate, Weston Gregg (5’11”/C/2025/Columbus) was no slouch.  Gregg was strong and finished with contact frequently, in fact, he put up big numbers in the game we watched We really liked this kid! Speaking of point guards, Cameron Giesler (5’6”/PG/2024/Cincinnati) logged in an impressive performance for Orlando Gentry’s Ohio Ballstars. Giesler is a slick little PG with good vision and passing skills. On a number of occasions, Geelser broke down his defender  and got into the lane for a drop off pass and score.  Giesler also changes speed and direction well and is aggressive to the cup.

Although we’ve seen him before, we could not have been more impressed with Mikell Murphy (6’0”/C/2025/Whitehall). Murphy not only defends the post well, offensively, he puts up big numbers. Murphy rebounds the rock well and handles it well enough to push the ball in transition.  Murphy could be a good-looking prospect going forward.  While we’re discussing quality bigs, Damaarion Odan (5’9”/PF/2025/Flint, MI) has a chance to be really good in a few years.  Odan has good length, athleticism and plays with a high motor. What was most impressive about Oden was his footwork and nasty spin move to the basket.  This kid played hard and with intensity, and we intend to keep and eye on Odan’s development over the next few years.  We also saw some big things out of Mason King (6’4”/C/2024/Hamilton).  King has good length and finishes well near the basket.

Similar to Odan, Dorain Williams (6’0”/WF/2024/Cincinnati) was a monster in the game we saw. Great size and athleticism best describes Williams’ gifts.  He also plays hard, is quick off his feet and is an effective scorer around the bucket. Williams is another nice looking prospect. Team Xcel’s Jake Reece (6’2”/C/2024/Dublin) is a quality big with good size and ability to finish near the cup at a high rate.  In addition, Reece has a soft touch and already understands how to use his big frame to post up smaller defenders and impose his will.  Reece’s teammate, Jessie Burris (6’0”/PF/2024/Delaware) is a great frontcourt compliment and may be the team’s leading scorer. A scorer with a high basketball IQ would describe what we saw with Burris.

There were several quality floor generals at the tournament including All-Ohio Red’s Jason Bates Jr. (4’10”/PG/2026/Pickerington) and Maurice Hamrick Jr. (4’11”/PG/2027/Columbus), both of whom are highly skilled, smart, quick and can score the rock.  As coach’s kids, both Bates and Hamrick understand how to play the game. We have to give a shootout to Coach Jeff Maslar’s 2026 OBC team who looked great in a win over All-Ohio Red-Hamrick. OBC is powered by Brayden Holt (5’2”/PG/2026/Wooster) and Daron Hill (5’4/PF/2026/Cleveland). Holt holds it down at the point as the team’s floor general while Hill protects the paint and provides low post scoring.
Ward, Pollard, Abbott, Johnson, Reece & Gregg
Keep an eye on T.J. Ward (5’3”WF/2027/Columbus) and Dashaun Harris (4’9”/SG/2027/Dayton) both lead a very talented Ohio Kings squad.  Although we only caught glimpses of them, both players were impressive and could be good going forward.  We also heard some good things about Chandler Jackson (PG/2028/Columbus) who is considered by some to be one of the top point guards in the state.  We’ve written about him before, so it appears he continues to develop.  In terms of young, skilled floor generals, add Intact’s Jahmere Johnson (4’9”/PG/2025/Columbus) to the list. He’s on the small side, but his elite handle and attack mentality makes up for his diminutive stature.  Drive and dish was his game.

We were also impressed with the tenacity of Flint’s Daniel Steele (4’11”/PG/2025/Flint, MI)Steele’s speed and quickness were only matched by his aggression to the cup. Another smaller guard, Steel still managed to score against much bigger player. His teammate, Amariyunn Blythe (5’3”/SG/2025/Flint. MI) was not bad either. Blythe was an athletic slasher who was aggressive determined to finish at the cup. He’s still very young, but Tony Cornett (PG/2029/Columbus) has game to go along with loads of potential.  We’ve seen him shine before, and he’s still getting it done!

One of the best players we saw all weekend was Team Trill’s Damaurian Abbott (SG/2029/Baton Rouge, LA) who powered his Team Trill to a lopsided win over All-Ohio Red.  In that game, Abbott slashed his way to the basket and shot jumpers to the tune of a game-high 28 points.  Abbott was tough as nails, relentless to the cup and he feasted off of transition points.  This kid is going to be good! We also were really impressed with All-Ohio’s Nysuan Pollard (WF/2028/Columbus) who was his team’s primary scorer. When All-Ohio was down early in the its half, he added instant offense when he was inserted into the game. Below is a broader list of standout performers we saw.

Standout Performers

Zyair Weaver-2025
Mykell Murphy-2025
Dorian Weaver-2024
Damarion Odam-2025
Cameron Giesler-2024
Jake Reece-2024
Jessie Burris-2024
Mason King-2024
Jason Bates-2025
Maurice Hamrick-2027
Daron Hill-2026
Braydon Holt-2026
Weston Gregg-2025
Reese Powell-2025
Tony Cornett-2028
Daniel Steele-2025
Devin Wilson-2024
Amaryunn Blythe-2025
Jahmere Johnson-2025
Traee Jallick-2025
Eddy Conners-2026
Chandler Jackson-2028
Dashaun Harris-2027
T.J. Ward-2027
 Dmaurian Abbott-2029
 Nysuan Pollard-2028
Amir Clark-2027
 Arness Lawson-2024

Congratulations to Josh Clark and his staff for putting on an excellent tournament. From what we saw, this event has a lot of growth potential!  Finally, all of the players listed above are formally invited to our next Buckeye Prep Elite Showcase scheduled for September 7th & 8th.  Email us at for details.

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Buckeye Prep Sponsors Local Event

Consistent with our mission to give back to the game of basketball, the Buckeye Prep Report has agreed to collaborate with the local Linden community to present a free all-star showcase in conjunction with their annual Linden Community Pride Festival.  The event is scheduled for Saturday June 22nd and will be held at Maloney Park (behind St. Stephens Community House) located at 1701 Joyce Ave. in Columbus.  

The basketball showcase will host boys in grades 5th-7th (2026, 2025 & 2024) from across the state, is scheduled from 10:00am until 2:00pm and will feature 2 games and a possible all-star game for the top performers.  In addition, awards will be presented standout performers who will be featured on our Buckeye Prep Report Website and may be invited to our next fall elite showcase (September 7th & 8th)!  

Entry is completely free and will include lunch. To register for the event contact Rob Taylor at 614-502-9359 ASAP as spots are very limited.  For additional information visit the event website at (website). Additional information including rosters will be posted on our Buckeye Prep Report website. We look forward to seeing you at this great community event!

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Hoopsters Ready for Regional Event

On Friday, the Ohio Hoopsters will face Michigan’s The Family in their opening game of the Jr. NBA World Global Championships’ Midwest Regional Qualifier.  The event is one of 8 regional tournaments that will host 16 elite boys and girls U-14 teams from the 6-state Midwest Region, which includes Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Kentucky, Illinois and Wisconsin. The Pacer Athletic Canter in Indianapolis, IN. will play host to this exclusive event, which runs through Sunday.  Winners of each regional qualifier will punch their ticket to the finals set for Orlando, FL August 6-11th, where each regional winner will compete against multiple international champions.

The Ohio based teams that will be participating in the event include the Ohio Hoopsters, Northcoast Blue Chips and the VSN Trail Blazers. The other regional teams include: Central Kentucky Storm, Team Stamina (KY), Grand Rapid Storm (MI), The Family (MI), MWA Elite (MI), Team Michigan, R.E.A.C.H. Legends (MI), Hoop Avenue Elite (IL), Illinois Predators, Midwest United-MUA (IL), Grand Park Premier 2023 Black (IN), Indy Heat Red 2023 (IN), Indy Heat 2024 (IN) and Indy Ice (IN). In addition to The Family, the Hoopsters’ other 2 pool games will include Illinois’ Midwest-MUA and Indiana’s Grand Park Premier 2023 Black.

Right now, the Hoopsters’ roster includes 7 players who fit the needs of the team, including Mason Shrout, Sonny Styles, Dailon Swain, Chase Walker, Samaj Council, Grayson Surlee and Isaiah Finch-Campbell. Coaching the team are Lamonte Tillman, Mike Daniels and Jason Dawson. 

It should be noted that this will be the second year the Hoopsters have sent a team to the event.  According to Coach Mike Daniels, “…this is an opportunity to bring together top kids for a 1-time chance to participate in a great event. We’re not trying to recruit kids, and we want to make this an annual opportunity for the kids in our area.”  Daniels went on to describe the strength of this team as “very athletic, scrappy with length.” Stay tuned as we provide weekend updates.

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Dru Joyce Classic-2024 Northeast Results

This past weekend saw a loaded 2024 field descend upon Akron, OH for the 2019 Dru Joyce Classic. Several out of state powers attended as well as many teams ranked in Ohio. The ranked teams from Ohio that participated included the following: OPA, All-Ohio Red, Nova Village-Rice, Marshall Warriors, Much Greater Elite, Team Premiere, Team XCel, Ohio Shockers, TNBA Attack, TAD, Lima Gators, OBC Showstoppers, Miller Factory, and Ohio Hustle.

In regards to the Northeast Ohio teams, the Ohio Shockers went 2-0 in pool play defeating Team Takeoff (Dayton) and defeating a very good Team Delaware 13U squad.  The Ohio Shockers moved into the Gold Bracket and drew a first round matchup against a loaded House of Hoops Bridgwater (Florida) team. The Shockers went into halftime only down by 6 but ended up losing the matchup. While disappointed with the loss, the Ohio Shockers considered it a good weekend after taking into account that the team they lost to (House of Hoops) went onto play in the Gold Bracket team they defeated (Team Delaware 13U) went onto play in the Silver Bracket Final, and the other team they defeated (Team Takeoff) lost by 3 in the Bronze Bracket Semifinals.

TNBA Attack started on a down note. They were up by 16 at half against Miller Factor, but ended up losing by 1. However, they showed resilience in bouncing back to beat a very good Mac Irvin Fire 2024 team.  Moving into the Silver Bracket they defeated Much Greater Elite in the “play in” game and then defeated Down River Elite in the first round. In the second round they ran into a stacked Team Delaware 13U team and were down by 20 points midway through the 2nd half.  While they battled back, they eventually lost by 5. Team Delaware went on to the Silver Bracket Final.

Marshall Warrior also moved into the Gold Bracket, falling to House of Hoops Bridgewater in the Second Round. OPA and Team Premiere both moved into the Gold Bracket and were both victims of the Cincy Cavs, who ended up winning the Gold Bracket.

The Bracket Finals saw the following results: Cincy Cavs defeating House of Hoops in the Gold; TAD defeating Team Delaware in the Silver; Team Xcel defeating OBC Showstoppers in the Bronze; and All-Ohio Cleveland made the Gold Bracket and defeated a nationally ranked ITPS team (Pittsburgh) in the quarterfinals before falling to the Cincy Cavs in the semi finals.

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Rebels fall 1 win Short at Dru Joyce Shooting Stars Classic

Ohio Rebels-Dru Joyce Shooting Stars Classic 5th Grade Runner-ups
Although they fell 1 win short of a 5th grade title at the Dru Joyce Shooting Stars Classic this past weekend, Coach John Brooks’ #1 ranked 2026 Ohio Rebels teams has a lot to be proud of.  Prior to their 40-33 loss to the eventual champions North Coast Blue Chips, the Rebels had notched wins over Detroit Roadhounds 2026 (24-32), Allen Elite (38-9), Meanstreets-Harris (54-44), Toronto City Elite (53-52), and League Bound Elite (48-40).

Standout performers included Brayden Fogle (5’8”/PF/C/2026/Lexington), Diante James (5’3”/PG/2026/Canal Winchester) and Jakyevion Roane (5’5”/SG/WF/2026/Mansfield). Coach John Brooks attributes his team’s run to the championship game to “playing together, locking in defensively and having fun.”  So for this season, the Rebels are an impressive 23-6 heading into the final session of the Midwest Circuit this weekend.  Congratulations to Coach Brooks and his players for a successful weekend.

Monday, April 29, 2019

Blue Chips Take Dru Joyce Classic

2023 North Coast Blue Chips- 2019 Tru Joyce Classic Champions
With their 59-36 win over previously #1 ranked Orangemen Elite at the Dru Joyce Classic this past weekend, Coach Marlon Barnes’ North Coast Blue Chips squad has grabbed the top spot in the Buckeye Prep Power Rankings. The Blue Chips’ 6-0 run included wins over Ohio Phenom Academy (63-25), 716ers Elite (70-22), All-Ohio Turf (62-40), Ohio Basketball Club (55-53), Michigan Heat (59-50) and Orangemen Elite in the championship game.

According to Coach Barnes, his squad “finally came together and played as a unit” over the course of the weekend.  The Blue Chips were down in a couple of games, including a 9 point deficit against the Ohio Basketball Club with 2 minutes left in the game; however, Barnes’ team did not panic and eventually fought back to get the win. Although Barnes describes the win as a total team effort, he went on to point out the standout play of LA Hayes, Cody Head, Tyler Williams and Marlin Barnes, Jr.  Next up for the Blue Chips is a Made Hoops event in 2 weeks. Congratulations to the Blue Chips for their title run.

MYF All-Star Saturday All-Star Game Videos

As we pointed out in an earlier story, the talent level at the 2019Metropolitan Youth Foundation All-Star Saturday middle school game was big time! As evidence, below are 2 links to highlight videos that clearly depict the level of basketball displayed by some of the top players in the state.  What should be remembered is that the players in the videos are only 7th and 8th graders!  Arguably, this may have been the best all-star gamer in the event's 23-year history. Enjoy!

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Stars Shine at All-Star Saturday Event

Middle School Game Champions
The 21stAll-Star Saturday All-Star Games tipped off on Saturday at the Bruce Howard Rec Center in Columbus and proved to be a huge platform for the 8th graders who made the games. In terms of the middle school game; it proved to have lived up to expectations! Not only did the game feature several of Ohio top players in the class of 2023, but also the players came to play and really put on a show. Best among them was Dayton’s Lawrent Rice who put on an impressive performance in the all-star game on his way to MVP honors.  Rice is a silky smooth PG with height, who also has the ability to score the rock and/or make plays for teammates.  Although his final numbers are unclear (scouring errors) we know he had a big game. 

Almost as impressive was Cleveland’s Tyler Williams, who played above the rim and presented a problem for any player trying to finish near the cup. Williams has great length and bounce, which he displayed with numerous in-game dunks.  At halftime, Williams used his explosiveness to wow the crown during the dunk contest, which he won.  College coaches need to be tracking this legitimate post prospect now! The other big on the floor was Columbus’ Chase Walker, who put on an absolute show as well! Not only can Walker score on the low post, he can handle the rock in transition and he can step outside and knock down the 3-ball if left unguarded. We were really impressed with Walker's game!

We had not seen much of Dayton’s Kalerrio Reaves before this game, but what we saw on Saturday was very impressive. Reaves is an explosive athlete who can score at the rim.  We also liked what we saw from Bede Lori, who came on late in the game and and just keeps getting better the more we see him!  Lori had a good game and is a threat to shoot it from beyond the arc or get to and finish near the rim.  

Rice, Williams, Cunningham, Walker, Reaves, Barnes, Shrout & Lori
Although the game was primarily designed for 8th graders, Dayton’s Mason Shrout more than represented for the class of 204.  Shrout is crafty, highly skilled, plays with great energy and is fun to watch.  He can also score at all 3 levels and he just seems to understand the game. From what we’ve seen of Shrout over the past few years, he has D-I potential.  Other players who played well included Majadi CunninghamMarlin Barns Jr., Dre’Sean Roberts and Cody Head.   All-in all, the middle school game was the highlight of the day.

Although not has highly anticipated, the high school game ended up being very competitive.  Although there were several standouts in the game, Columbus’ Josiah Mobley was most impressive. So impressive was Mobley, that as an underclassman, Mobley balled his way to MVP honors.  Mobley’s skill set is impressive, as his ability to create space for his jumper and/or beat his man off the dribble and get to the rim.  This kid has continued to develop his skill set over the past several years and should play college ball at some level in a few years. 

Josiah Mobley & Taylor Cafer
We also have to give a shout out to Whitehall’s Taylon Cofer, who used his impressive hops to win the dunk contest. Other standouts included Wellington’s Dallas Patrick, Briggs’ Quinten Johnson, Harvest Prep’s Sole Hines, Harvest Prep’s Avonti Duncan, Whitehall’s Rshean Bagley, Walnut Ridge’s Meech Coble and Tramon Hairston.  In addition to the Middle and High School games, the event featured games in the 6-8 and 9-11 year olds.  The MVPs of this games were Wynter Ranson and Antonio Shows. Congratulations to all of the players in both games for be selected to this storied event.

Happy Easter

The Buckeye Prep Report would like to wish everybody a very happy Easter!  Enjoy your time with family and friends!

Monday, April 8, 2019

All-Star Saturday Provides Platform

Young Stars Emerge at Buckeye Prep Invitational

We’ve already featured a number of standout players at our Buckeye Prep Invitational Tournament last week, but we wanted to take the opportunity to talk a little bit about some of the youngest players in the event.  Some of the young guys who deserve some mention include: Reece Hamrick (5’2”/2026/Columbus), Amir Clark (5’1”/PG/2027/Columbus), Braylon Fogle 6’0”/WF/2026/Lexington), Dantrell Hughes ( 5’4”/PG/2026/Lexington), Brandon Bell
(5’4”/WF/2026/Columbus), Eli Stumpf (5’6”/WF/2027/Big Walnut), Jeff Reynolds( 5’7”/PF/2027/Columbus), Aayen Snyder (4’9”/PG/2026/Columbus) and Keeran Stokes (4’7”/PG/2027/Toledo).  We’re not completely surprised at these players, as several of them have logged impressive performances at our elite showcases in the past.

Saturday, April 6, 2019

2023 Blue Chips Loaded with Talent

LA Hayes, Marlon Barnes, Jr. & Jayvion Moore
There were a number of very talented teams at the 2019 Buckeye Prep InvitationalTournament last weekend, and included in this long list was the 2019 North Coast Blue Chips.  I’m not kidding, almost the entire roster includes players we’ve ranked among the top 10 players in the state for several years.  Guys like LA Hayes (6’0”/PG/2023/Brookpark), Marlon Barnes, Jr.(6’5”/WF/2023/Cleveland), Jayvion Moore (6’6”/PF/2023/Cleveland), Cody HeadMichael Greenlee, Jr., Tyler Williams and Darius Strafford are all well known to us as they have participated in our elite showcases since they were in the 4th and 5th grades.  We’re not kidding, each of theses players has a chance to play college basketball, and some at the D-I level. 

The Blue Chips did not win the tournament (knocked out by All-Ohio Red in the final four 47-42), but they had the horses to do so.  We expect the Blue Chips to be just fine this season as they play more games and learn how to play with all of that talent!  In fact, according to Coach Marlon Barnes, he's bullish on his team’s chances of having a big season.  “This was our first tournament. We need to work on our chemistry, discipline and unselfishness down the stretch of big games,” said Barnes. Next up for the Blue Chips is the Drew Joyce Classic in 2 weeks.  “I think we can win it,” continued Barnes. From what we saw, by July, this team is going to be a problem!