Derek Funderburk has been showing his massive potential for a while now locally, but is now beginning to gain attention on the national level. The Lakewood St. Edward’s power forward is outstanding running the floor and is really coming to his own athletically, as seen by the above dunks from the Nike Memorial Day Classic.
As Derek’s skill level has grown, his recruitment has followed suit. Indiana, Ohio State, Xavier, Iowa, and Penn State have put scholarships on the table. With a much larger role throughout this upcoming high school season for St. Ed’s, expect an abundance of other big time programs to take notice.
As the trend of recruiting players before they reach high school continues to reach an all time high, things are continually growing for Damon Harge Jr. The YouTube sensation just finished up helping lead Orlando Christian Prep to a state title in Florida as an eighth grader, making that his third season of varsity hoops before actually starting high school.
Naturally, college coaches have taken attention, including the state’s top program.
“Damon loved the visit. He got to see Kasey Hill and the other guards work out,” Damon’s father Damon Sr. told CityLeagueHoops. “We were able to meet Coach Donovan and the whole staff, view the campus, and check out a football game.”
The weekend visit seemed to spark the Gators interest even more, too.
“This past Wednesday, the UF staff came to see him work out at 6am,” the elder Harge admitted. “They were really impressed and want to watch him more in the season.”
Now standing around 5-foot-9, he’s no longer the pint-sized playmaker that drew so much acclaim early on. Harge showed a much improved ability to finish in the paint at the CP3 Rising Stars Camp and while he is still quite slender, is able to absorb contact much better than in the past. He still has the deep three point range, outstanding court vision, and elite IQ that allowed him to run high school teams as a middle schoolers.
Florida is the latest program to jump in the picture to recruit the E1T1 product. He has already received scholarship offers from North Carolina Central and Depaul, while Stanford, Washington, Central Florida, Virginia, North Florida, and Detroit have also been showing him early recruiting attention.
Ever since emerging as a freshman at Garfield Heights, Willie Jackson has been one of the more well known players in the Cleveland area. The 6-foot-5 swingman has been starting on the varsity level ever since entering high school and the progress that he’s made in his game has established him one of Ohio’s better prospects in the class of 2016.
“Willie is an unbelievable rebounder,” his coach Sonny Johnson confidently said. “He is a really good slasher who can go inside and out. He also has a college body right now.”
To go along with Jackson’s explosive first step, he has the potential to defend multiple positions on the hardwood with his length and athleticism. He owns elite ability finishing in the paint and is a tenacious rebounder on both ends of the hardwood. His outside shooting and ball handling are still works in progress, but that hasn’t stopped high major programs from offering scholarships.
“Penn State, SMU, Iowa State, Wisconsin, Kent State, LaSalle, Toledo, Bowling Green, and Cleveland State have offered,” rattled off his high school coach.
“Iowa, Xavier, Dayton, Michigan State, and Saint Joseph’s are all showing interest too,” he added.
While that is already a very impressive list of schools, continued development on the perimeter will only enable that list to continue to grow. He dominated last week’s Ohio’s Finest Showcase with his relentless takes to the rim and under the tutelage of Ohio’s former Mr. Basketball, appears to be heading in the right direction towards reaching his potential.
Montell McRae has been one of the more intriguing players in Cleveland for a while now and though his frame still needs to fill out, he showed why at the Ohio’s Finest Showcase. Held at Garfield Heights this past Thursday, McRae used his length and athleticism to take over both ends of the floor. His dominance in the paint on the offensive end was seen above with these three big dunks.
We will have plenty more on Montell as the season goes on at CityLeagueHoops.
Jordan Clarkson really caught the eye of NBA scouts when he dominated the CP3 Elite Guard Camp, but the grind hasn’t stopped there. Drafted in the second round by the Lakers in June’s NBA Draft, Clarkson flourished in summer league. He posted averages of 16 points and 5 rebounds per game while playing both guard slots. The Missouri product also shot 42 percent from the NBA three point line, enabling him to land a guaranteed contract for this upcoming season.
Watch some of the moves that he has worked on in the off-season with respected trainer KP of Reps on Reps. Be sure to check out his website for free workouts and videos of other NBA players training.
Edrice Adebayo has always had one of the most imposing physical makeups of anyone in the class of 2016 and it showed at the Nike Global Challenge. From a baseline out of bounds play, one of “Bam”‘s East teammates lofted the ball towards the rim, only to have the 6-foot-9 junior crush it down for a legit dunk.
We will have plenty more of Bam throughout the high school season on CityLeagueHoops.
Ludaday weekend has been drawing people to ATL from all genres of life for quite some time now. Whether it be celebrities, basketball players, or musicians, it seems as if everyone from the ATL makes the journey back home for some of the weekend’s festivities, culminating with the basketball game at Georgia State. One of which was the league’s best center, Dwight Howard.
Scoring 33 points in the game, D12 wound up being the game’s leading scorer via a flurry of powerful dunks, oops in transition, and even a three pointer. While it was definitely a laissez-faire game, the sold out crowd at Georgia State was definitely hyped to see superman come out and put on a show.
Balsa Koprivica has yet to enter high school, but is already establishing himself as a well known name within the basketball community. Already standing 6-foot-10, he has the size of an NBA big man, but is only in the 8th grade. He shows exceptional coordination for a young player of his stature and is improving athletically, as seen by these three impressive dunks that he threw down at the Buckeye Prep Elite Showcase.
Be on the lookout for many more videos of this skilled Serbian in the future.
Kicking off the fall event season is one that gives everyone a peek at the future. In conjecture with the CP3 Rising Stars Camp, the DunkDog All-American Game brings some of the nation’s finest freshman to Winston-Salem for an outstanding weekend of hoops that even draws CP3 himself to the gym.
Lead guards Damon Harge and Elijah Hardy did the bulk of the duty handling the ball throughout the game. 6-foot-5 wing Robert Woodard was the game’s top scorer, showing off an inside out game that will make him one of the very best in Mississippi’s stacked class of 2018. Naz Reid and Canadian Simi Shittu stand 6-foot-7 already, but created mismatches all over the court with their ability to handle the ball in the open floor, yet also established themselves as shot-blocking presences in the paint. Emmitt Williams and DeShang “DJ” Weaver showed off their crazy athleticism, dunking virtually everything they touched around the rack.
All in all, it was an outstanding preview of what the future has to hold and is a must see event for anyone who hopes to get a jump start on the freshman class.
Edward Morrow has always been known for having one of the best motors in high school basketball. From the time that he started getting significant minutes as a sophomore at Simeon alongside Jabari Parker, he established himself as a beast on the glass and high level finisher in the paint. Now a senior, he is ready to carry the load at Simeon.
Playing for USA South at the Nike Global Challenge, Morrow was the type of glue guy that every team needs in a loaded tournament of this nature. He rebounded the ball outside of his area, played great positional defense, and showed off his great hands around the rack. The 6-foot-7 power forward also displayed a developing game facing the rack, namely with his explosive first step on straight line drives to the basket. While you aren’t going to see Ed playing point forward any time soon, the strides that he made in his offensive game was obvious to onlookers.
With official visits already set for Nebraska and Iowa, Morrow also owns offers from Arkansas, Cal, Iowa State, Oklahoma State, Minnesota, and West Virginia. No decision appears to be imminent, but expect many more schools to attempt to jump in the picture if this relentless forward decides to hold off until the late signing period.