After the first session of the prestigious Nike Elite Youth Basketball League last weekend, only six teams left Minneapolis, Minn., with unblemished records. Houston Hoops, Oakland Soldiers (Calif.), CIA Bounce (Can.), E1T1 (Fla.), California Supreme and Albany City Rocks (N.Y.) all went 4-0, and will head to Hampton, Va., this weekend for session two.
“To come out 4-0 is big time,” CIA Bounce coach Mike George said. “Guys picked up right where they left off. Our goal for this year is just to take it one game and one play at a time.”
Rams Run Vegas
The Florida Rams took home the adidas VIP Exclusive Run 17U title in Las Vegas on April 22 with a 77-64 win over the Garner Road Bulldogs (N.C.). Kasey Hill, a point guard at Montverde (Montverde, Fla.), was named MVP after dropping 16 points and dishing out eight assists in the win. Chris Walker, a forward at Holmes County (Bonifay, Fla.), scored 12 points and grabbed 12 rebounds and Brannen Greene, a shooting guard at Mary Persons (Forsyth, Ga.), added 17 points for the Rams.
Walker won the highly-anticipated individual matchup with North Carolina bound forward Isaiah Hicks of J.F Webb (Oxford, N.C.) by beating him on the glass, creating space in the paint and making an impact the entire contest. Hicks finished with eight points in the championship game. Anton Gill, a junior shooting guard at Ravenscroft (Raleigh, N.C.), led Garner Road with 17 points.
The Florida Rams also captured the 16U title with a 64-56 victory over Indiana Elite. MVP Lance Tejada of Miramar (Miramar, Fla.) finished with 16 points. The victors also got a 17-point performance from 6-foot-4 Adonys Henriquez of Orlando Christian Prep (Orlando, Fla.).
Edwards Shines in 15s
One of the players who made the biggest impression on scouts and college coaches last weekend in Vegas was Hyron Edwards of Central (East Chicago, Ind.). He led the Indiana Elite to a 86-76 victory over Dream Vision (Calif.) in the adidas VIP Exclusive Run 15U title game. The 5-foot-10 freshman impressed with his feel for the game, ability as a passer and knack for making the correct play after driving the lane. Edwards, who reportedly holds offers from Indiana and Purdue, finished with a game-high 30 points.
Leading the way for Dream Vision with 22 points was 6-foot-2 freshman Stephen Thompson Jr. of Bishop Montgomery (Torrance, Calif.). He's the son of former NBA player, Syracuse star, and Crenshaw (Los Angeles) standout Stephen Thompson, who Slam Magazine named one of the 50 best dunkers of all-time in 1999. Son doesn't quite have the bounce of his father, but his shooting stroke is much more promising.
Another freshman (2015) who impressed was Tyler Dorsey, a 6-foot-4 combo guard at Ribet Academy (Los Angeles). Dorsey played up with Belmont Shore (Calif.) in the 17U Invitational Division at the Pangos Spring Spectacular. Belmont Shore was one of the favorites to capture the 17U title, but they were beaten by Play Hard Play Smart Elite (Calif.) in the semifinals, 84-78. That team went on to defeat the Danny Granger D1 Ambassadors Elite (N.M.) in the championship game, 94-76.
Dorsey told ESPNHS he'll likely head to another school for his sophomore season. His coach at Ribet Academy last season, William Middlebrooks, is now the coach at Cathedral (Los Angeles).
Harrell Leads U.S. to Win
Hargrave Military Academy (Chatham, Va.) forward Montrezl Harrell scored 24 points and snatched 12 rebounds to lead the U.S. All-Stars past the Capital All-Stars 105-93 in the Capital Classic April 21 at T.C. Williams (Alexandria, Va.).
Montrose Christian (Rockville, Md.) swingman Justin Anderson scored 17 points for the Capital All-Stars.
“It was a great honor for me to win MVP in that game,” Harrell said. “There was a lot of talent in that game, but I had a lot of fun just playing. It was a great honor to even have been in the game.”
Next year Bob Geoghan, founder of the Capital Classic, will hold the long-running all-star game for the 40th consecutive year.