By most accounts, the NYBL All-Star Weekend & Buckeye Prep Elite Showcase were a tremendous success! With over 530 elite level players crammed inside the beutiful 8-court facility at Otterbein University in Westerville, Ohio, the atmosphere was electric and the competition was next level. With that amount talent assembled in the gym the national media had to be in the house to document the action. Day one of the event was multi-dimensional, consisting of a series of 6 all-star games featuring the best players from the ultracompetitive National Youth Basketball League (NYBL); a riveting presentation by former Ohio State standout Sconnie Penn, and the traditional Buckeye Prep Elite showcase.
In terms of the NYBL games, the 2019 NYBL Top 40 Game tipped off first, and a Keyshaun Langley led West squad got the first win of the day with a 85-55 victory over the East. Butler Elite’s Matthew Brown paced the East with a game-high 22 points, while Cleveland’s Alfonse Hale led the West with 20 points. Although Langley was the second leading scorer on his squad with 15 points, he was the driving force in the win. Other standouts in the game included Quinn Cafferty (13), Larry Canady (9), Michael Moreno (13), Simon Banks (11), Amari Davis (9) and Cartier Jernigan (7). For their efforts, both Langley and Brown were named MVP.
The 2019 Top 60 Game was a nail biter, with the East team edging the West 75-74. All-Ohio Red’s Andre Gordon had a monster game to the tune of a gaudy 30 points in route to MVP honors. According to one observer, Gordon dominated the contest and was virtually unguardable. The DMV’s Cameron Byers (2020) took home the MVP for the West with 15 points. The Lexington Hustle’s Jalen Burbage was the leading score for the West with 17 points. Other standouts included Charlie Large (15) and Jalen Gaffney (11).
There wasn’t must drama in the 2020 Top 20 Game, as the East ran away with an easy 88-64 victory over the West squad. Chuck Harris led all scorers with a game-high 16 points, while Paris Dawson paced the West with 15. Other standouts included Zion Harmon (12), Chance Mott (12), Jeremy Roach (10) and Jordan Toles (8). Both Harris and Dawson grabbed MVP honors. The 2019 Top 20 Game was another close contest, with the West taking down the East 73-69. The West was led in scoring by Terrance Williams and Isaiah Moseley, both of whom finished with 12 points. The East was led by Dexter Shouse who finished with a game-high15 points. Other standouts included Chris Harris (10), Bryan Antoine (11), Sydney Curry (11) and Chris’Sean Stringer (8).
The two feature games of the day pitted the top kids from the NYBL against a team nationally ranked players from outside the league. Billed as the “NYBL vs the Nation” games; both contests were chucked full of talent and proved to be as competitive as anticipated. The class of 2020 was first to tip off and was highly contested until the final seconds ticked off the clock. In the end, Bill Francis’ elite squad had secured bragging rights with a 37-34 victory. Although Hunter Jackson’s outburst in the later minutes of the game were key to the win, Donovan Billings’ game-high 14 points were the difference, and garnered him MVP accolades. Hunter Jackson finished with 10 points. Terrence Williams led the NYBL with 12 points, while Jordan McPhatter added 8. The NYBL roster included: Jordan Toles, Zion Harmon, Jeremy Roach, Tyler Brelsford, Jordan McPhatter, Charles Harris, Terrence Williams, Justin Powell, Isaiah LeBlanc, Latrelle Gonzales, Paris Dawson and Cameron Byers, while the Nation roster included: Tarik Booker, Nimori Burnette, Jaden Springer, Ryan Conway, Mike Saunders, Hunter Jackson, Donovan Billings, Reece Beekman, Raymond Terry and Dylan Branson.
The 2019 NYBL vs the Nation game was equally as impressive, but the NYBL squad would jump out to an early lead and hold it for much of the game, until finally notching a 36-32 win. Kobe Langley and Wendell Moore both paced the NYBL with 7 and 6 points respectively, while Marquise Walker was the high man for the Nation with 11 points. The NYBL roster included: Myles Pierre, Bryan Sanders, Chris’Sean Stringer, Balsa Koprivicia, BJ Mack, Kobe Langley, Wendell Moore, Jeremiah Francis, Isaiah Moseley, Nobal Days and Chris Harris, while the the Nation rosters boasted: Marquise Walker, Sheriff Kenny, Tristan Miller, Makhi Mitchell, Makel Mitchell, Korbin Spencer, Daniel Rodriguez, Christian Depollar, Marvin Price and Makani Whiteside.
|Brooks, Kenny, Moseley, Moore, Shouse, Sanders, Langley, Banks & Days|
As competitive as the slate of NYBL all-star games proved to be, the Buckeye Prep Elite Showcase segment of the weekend was equally as competitive. In addition to the Saturday all-star games, players had another opportunity to play themselves into final all-star games on Sunday, based on how their were ranked by their coaches over the course of 4 games. During the showcase games several players logged in standout performances. We’re not sure anybody’s stock raised more the Indiana’s Keion Brooks, who arrived in Columbus on a mission. Brooks has always been considered an elite player for quite some time, but his play at the showcase put him in top 10 discussions. Brooks played hard, demonstrated a nice skill set and displayed his length and athleticism. Oh yea, Brooks tried to dunk everything in sight. His George Hill teammate, Dexter Shouse, also had a big weekend, and proved that his game his perimeter skills are evolving and that he can prosper further away from the bucket. Shouse is big, strong and aggressive and can get to the cup on a regular basis.
North Carolina’s Kobe Langley was impressive all weekend. Although he did not hang around for the final all-star game, he put in work during the NYBL all-star games and the showcase games. Langley has a high basketball IQ, knows how to run a team and can score the rock of needed. In addition, Langley is a good defender who rarely turns the ball over. Moore really impacted the NYBL vs the nation game on both ends of the floor.Wendell Moore’s performance was impressive and his play solidified his place among the top 10 players in the class. Chicago’s Marquise Walker had another big weekend. Walker’s handle is elite as are his play making skills. In addition, he can get you buckets or find teammates for easy scores. Fun to watch; Walker is quietly moving up the rankings and has staked claim to top 10 status.
Maryland’s Sharif Kenny did nothing to hurt his stock, in fact, Kenny was all that was advertised. At times, Kenny was simply too big and to strong to be guarded, while and dominating games. From what we saw, Kenny has the skill set to do damage on the wing; he is a great looking prospect, and is clearly a top 5 player in the class. Canada’s Isaiah Moseley continues to display an elite level game, and his play in Columbus was consist with what we saw during the NYBL season and a few weeks ago and the Future Phenom Camp. Very skilled, athletic and a playmaker best describes Moseley’s game. Indiana’s Simon Banks was impressive this weekend and he re-emerged as one of the top guards in the class. Team Florida’s Balsa Koprivcia and Bryan Sanders both had standout performance during the weekend. Sanders’ size, strength and ability to handle the rock sets him apart from many in his class. Koprivcia was much more aggressive this past weekend and his production reflected that. In terms of upside, Koprivcia has high major potential. Wisconsin’s Nobal Days drew the attention of several scouts over the weekend and what’s most impressive about Days’ game right now is his defense and shot blocking ability. As he gets stronger and more offensively gifted, look for Day’s stock to rise significantly. Already, days’ long-term potential is high major!
|Jeremiah Francis, Alphonse Hale & Andre Gordon|
Columbus’ Jeremiah Francis has consistently excelled in NYBL play and on the national camp circuit, and his performance this past weekend was just as impressive. Widely considered one of the top 1 or 2 floor generals in the country, Francis’ play supported those claims. With good size for his position, Francis goes strong to the cup and either finishes with contact or kicks the rock to a spot up shooter for a jumper. Francis clearly understands the game and often makes the right decision. He’s a hard-nosed defender who can also rebound the ball at a high rate. Francis is a stat sheet stuffer. His All-Ohio Red teammate, Andre Gordon, had a coming out party of sorts. Francis, Mitchell and Stringer got most of the love on that team, but Gordon’s 30-point outburst in the NYBL Top 60 all-star game announced his arrival. Gordon is a strong guard who understands how to use his strength and body to get into the paint and score. In terms of guards in Ohio, Gordon is in the top 2-3 range, but deserves more national attention We have to give some props to Cleveland’s Alfonse Hale. He does not get a lot of ink on that Ohio Basketball squad, but he is as productive as many of the more heralded players in the class. Nationally, he is a virtual unknown, but at some point, that’s going to change. Easily top 5 in Ohio.
|Harmon, Jackson, Dawson, Toles, Billings, Williams, S. Johnson, M. Johnson & Wilson|
We have spent most of this recap talking about the class of 2019, but the showcase was jammed packed with talent at every age division. Guys like Cory Davis (2018), Kristian Pechac (2018), Justin Johnson, Shawn Christian, John Kirinick, Jeremiah Keene (2019), Zerek Thomas (2019), Tariq Aman (2019), Daniel Rodriguez (2019), JC Tharrington (2019), Hunter Jackson (2020), Zion Harmon (2021), Donovan Billings (2020), Jordan Toles (2020), Isaiah Kennedy (2020), Parris Dawson (2020), Cameron Byers (2020), Chance Mott (2020), Jordan McPhatter (2020) Christopher Ford (2020), Tyler Brelsford (2020), Cameron Byers (2020), Meechie Johnson (2021), Seth Wilson (2021), Noah Peoples (2021), Legend Greeter (2021), Khalil Brantley (2021), Sonny Johnson Jr. (2022), Aaron Davis (2021), Mike Saunders Jr. (2020), Andre Irvin (2021), Collin Albert (2021), Jackson Holt (2021), Paul McMillan Jr. (2022), Sean Jones (2022), KK Bradford (2022) and Khalil Luster (2022) all logged in standout performances.
With over 530 players in the gym it’s near impossible to see all of the players and to identify all of the standout performers who deserve some recognition. With this in mind, we brought in several scouting service to help cover the event and evaluate players. Hopefully, between all of the scouts present in the gym, players deserving of recognition will receive it. Below are link to several articles and recaps featuring standout out performances during the event.