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!