By Robert Alfonso Jr.
BREWSTER, NY – Scoutfocus’ Elite Showcase camps rolled into the Empire State looking to help propel them into the national spotlight. The New York stop did not disappoint as players came from all the Tri-State area, New Hampshire, Canada and as far as North Dakota to show off their skills.
We decided to empty out our notebook and see which names stood out.
2016 Shaimir Joe (The Preparatory Charter) is a big size guard who plays at a quick pace. The Philadelphia native is long, strong and shifty with the ball in his hand. He is a natural scorer but makes some strong decision making plays at critical moments.
2016 Rhythm Ajanku (Silver Creek High) lived up to his name. The Colorado native shined on the East Coast with his ability to use angles and keep defenders off balance. He also attacks the rim leaving defenders gasping for air in the process. His poise in handling pressure and ability to change speed will makes him someone coaches need to track. He has a consistent jumper, which makes him a defensive problem.
2017 Khalief Crawford (Linden High) has a strong performance on both ends of the floor. He is an athletic guard who is unselfish in the open court. His shiftiness in traffic makes him hard to guard. He has a nice jumper from all over the floor. His relentless desire to play makes him a prospect college coaches to recruit.
2017 Isaiah Miller (Valley Central) is an explosive floor general. The lefty is aggressive at getting to the rim, while applying the same intensity on the defensive end of the floor. His basketball acumen is beyond his years.
2018 Thomas Carver (Ridgewood High) does not catch anyone’s eye on the sideline. However, when he steps on the floor it is easy to see he is has instinctive skills that are hard to teach. The floor general has a high IQ and feel for the game. He puts teammates in the best scoring position as possible, while also knocking down open jumpers whenever possible.
2018 Robert Heath (Abington High) has an international flare about his game. The Australian native is poised in handling the ball. He uses angles on the floor to keep defenders at bay. He has a good looking stroke from beyond the three-point line.
2018 Max Milton (Ithaca High) is a lefty floor general who can change direction from zero to 60 in one fell swoop. He is solid in the open floor in getting teammates the ball in simple scoring opportunities.
2016 Jack McKeever (Pearl River High) is a fundamentally sound player. Everything he did was with precision. He lets the game come to him. However, his most valuable asset is shooting the ball. He can nail jumpers from anywhere on the floor. If he gets any minimal space to get a shot off it is going down. High IQ plus high character leads to a leader for any program.
2016 Brandon Kennedy Gray (East Hampton High) is a silky smooth shooter. The Long Island native fills it up from all over the floor. He moves well without the basketball and has a quick release. The rarity about his skill is taking quality shots. Any college program looking for a sniper may want to look at this sharpshooter.
2018 Jordanny Cuevas Marte (Ithaca High) continues to develop on both ends of the floor. The lefty is knocking down jumpers from all over the floor. He can get to the rim and tends to finish with contact. Defensively, he moves his feet well and rebounds well out of area for a guard.
2017 Tyler Martin (Pioneer Regional High) is a poised knockdown shooter. His shiftiness allows him to use angles well when handling the ball.
2018 Kemari Persol (Woodbridge High) has a lions mentality. The New Jersey native is a big body guard that uses his body to protect the basketball and absorb contact like a sponge. Despite his size, he is shifty in getting to the basket. He also has a fluid jumper. His instant offense approach to scoring makes him hard to defend.
2017 Khalil Rhodes (Xaverian High) is fleet footed guard that changes speed to set the tempo of the offense. The lefty has a solid mid-range jumper. He is a solid floor leader on both ends of the floor.
2016 William Keith Williams (St. Joseph Prep) is an interesting prospect. The 6-foot-5 Philadelphia native can play any of three positions. He handles the ball well on the perimeter and attacks the rim with purpose. When he gets out into the open floor he finishes above the rim.
2016 Osasuyi Obadiaru (St. Mary’s High) has the three S’s for a wing player: size, strength and skills. The Long Island native runs the floor like a gazelle. He handles the ball well while still being able to post smaller players on the interior. His size – despite only being 6-foot-4, which would seem undersized at the Division I level – is enhanced by his strength. He takes contact like a running back diving into a defense and finishes well. His motor is non-stop. Some schools have expressed some interest in this athletic gem.
2017 Craig Phillips Jr. (Our Saviour Lutheran) was an impressive post player. His shoulders are built like they were tailored made for a player with a desire to bang inside. He did that all weekend on both ends of the floor. The lefty showed a lot of mobility and tough on the perimeter. Look for him to be a matchup problem with time as he is quicker than a lot of centers and stronger than many forwards.
2017 Peter Obertan (John F. Kennedy Memorial High) showed an excellent touch from the perimeter. He can hit jumpers with consistency from 10 to 12 feet. His range can extend to the three-point line.
2018 Brandon Allen (High School for Language and Diplomacy Washington Irving) was by far the most athletic forward in the gym. He can run the floor, jump out the gym and clean up rebounds outside of his area. The 6-foot-5 youngster showed off his athleticism by winning the dunk contest and making a poster of several players in some of the scrimmages. Once some other parts of his game comes together, look for Allen shoot up the recruiting chart.
2016 Brandon Leftwich (Xaverian HS) was one of the more explosive players in the showcase. He gets out on the wing and is hard to guard when he is cutting defenders off. His quickness is sneaky along with his athleticism.
2018 Brendan Emond (Pioneer Valley Regional High) has a bright future in front of him. He is a long, wiry player who knows how to score. The Massachuesets native runs the floor and gets into seams on the offensive end of the floor finding easy scoring opportunities. His development is essential toward his future.
2018 Quintel Clements (Newfield Jr/Sr High) is an active rebounder on both ends of the floor. He has strong understanding on how to fill the lane and get position inside for scoring opportunities.
2016 Christopher Luke (Cortland High) is an imposing figure inside. At 6-foot-10, he anchors the middle on the defensive end to alter shots while also grabbing a slew of rebounds. He blocked a number of shots throughout the weekend. Luke fits a need every school is looking for size.
2016 Kevin Buron (Kennedy Catholic) plays with a relentless motor. The Argentinian born prospect is a 6-foot-8 energizer player, who is quick to grab rebounds on both ends of the floor. He is also not afraid to mix it up inside.
2017 Steven Vatchev (Morris County School of Technology) has the best hands one would like for post player. His mittens are soft with a nice smooth release for jumpers around the perimeter. He is a nimble big fella as well.
2017 Jordan Jones (Mepham High) was a load to handle the entire weekend. The two-sport athlete barreled through defenders like he was looking to score a touchdown like the fullback he is on the gridiron. However, while his physic is imposing, Jones is a nimble player with a soft touch around the basket.
2017 Logan O’Donnell (John Jay East Fishkill) is a post player that has plenty of intrigue. At 6-foot-10, he understands how to keep the ball high whether rebounding or on the offensive end of the floor. He plays hard on every possession and does not allow opposing players to get position on the interior. Look for his stock to continue ascending.