Skal Labissiere and Thon Maker have long been two of the most intriguing big men in their respective classes. At the Nike Hoop Summit, they teamed up during the game for the International squad, but absolutely went to war against each other at the practices.
Labissiere simply blew away NBA scouts throughout the week. Having played in very limited events that NBA personnel was actually allowed to attend, not many had got a look at the Haitian in the flesh. At the Hoop Summit, they were able to see Skal’s silky smooth jumper, outstanding jump hook, and immense potential on the defensive end. Some even went as far as to compare him to Anthony Davis, leaving you to truly understand how impressive of a week Labissiere had.
On the other hand, Thon Maker showed why he’s likely to jump a year of high school to start his pro career earlier too. He displayed his range extending out to the NBA three point line, exceptional ball-handling for a 7-footer, and ability to go to work from the mid post. The immensely talented Australian prospect showed off his perimeter and inside game, putting forth a concerted effort to show NBA personnel why he will be ready to make the jump to the league for the 2016 NBA Draft.
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Zhou Qi has taken the Chinese Basketball Association by storm and after his stellar campaign, showed his talented to NBA personnel at the Nike Hoop Summit. While he didn’t post a huge stat line in the game, he did enough in his limited practice time to draw enough intrigue to likely make him China’s next player in the NBA.
Standing 7-foot-2 with nearly a 7’7 wingspan, Qi has the type of insane length that scouts dream of out of a center. He is quite mobile for a player his size, as scene with his ability to run the floor and get out on ball screens. The aforementioned length that he owns has allowed him to be a solid shot-blocking threat, even though he isn’t the most explosive vertically. On the offensive side, his biggest weapon was absolutely his jumpshot. With range extending close to the NBA three point line, his potential as a pick and pop guy is immediately evident. Blessed with a strong basketball IQ, he has also shown the ability to be an above average passer from the post who is actually able to put the ball on the floor a couple of times.
His 209 pound frame will certainly have to be improved upon, especially guarding the post. While he will need to get tougher, but there is no denying that Qi has the size and talent that will get him no shortage of NBA attention.
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The We All Can Go All-Stars are always one of the most talented youth teams in the country, and the class of 2019 is no different. 6-foot-5 swingman Antavion Collum is one of the super talents that joined the squad, and the Memphis wing did not disappoint. Already owning ideal size for a college swingman, he showed off his intriguing skills throughout the weekend in Nashville, including on this nasty tip-pass.
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Skal Labissiere has long been one of the most intriguing players in the class of 2015 and while we realized it a long time ago, NBA scouts are finally beginning to come around. He has been simply sensational at the 2015 Nike Hoop Summit practices, showing off his unique blend of offensive skills that he has developed ever since we went to watch him work out nearly four years ago. The 7-footer has shown off an effortless stroke, intriguing moves from the post, and has the potential to be an outstanding defender. He also showed off his athleticism on this particular drive to the rack, which he finished with a powerful left hand dunk.
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It’s the late signing period and with teams scrambling to find replacements for those who bounced to the league and/or transferred, unsigned seniors are a premium. Even more of a rarity this late in the game are big men, especially elite ones. Caleb Swanigan is one of the guys.
Having narrowed his list to Kentucky, Michigan State, Cal, Duke, Chicago State, Arizona, and Purdue, “Biggie” will announce his decision this Saturday at the Nike Hoop Summit. The 6-foot-9 post has been losing weight rapidly and maintained the same strength that allows him to score through most opposing defenders. Not merely a brute, Swanigan has incredibly nimble footwork, great hands, and range that now extends out to the collegiate three point line. Despite the fact that he reclassified up to ’15, the potential is there for him to step in immediately and average a double double due to his innate ability to control his area on the glass. Needless to say, someone is going to be getting an immediate impact player this Saturday.
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Zhou Qi has been making headlines in The Far East for quite some time now. The 7-foot-2 center played alongside Sebastian Telfair and Andray Blatche in the CBA this year and while most know him for his presence as a shot-blocker, he showed off his range to NBA personnel at the opening day of Nike Hoop Summit practices.
Zhou displayed his incredibly soft touch throughout the initial session both in the drills and the scrimmages. He routinely hit mid-range jumpers with his feet set, showing off range to the collegiate three point line. The intrigue that he offers as a shooting center should allow him to drag opposing centers away from the basket, making him that much more valuable for the next level.
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You won’t find many players in the class of 2019 that are more explosive than Scottie Lewis, and he showed that at the 2015 Basketbal Spotlight Atlantic City Showcase. Running with Team Rio National, Lewis showed off the ridiculous athleticism that has made him one of the very best rising freshmen in the country. The 6-foot-5 wing had a number of ridiculous dunk in transition, capping things off with a 360 dunk on the break. As his skill level continues to catch up with his athletic prowess, the potential is there for Scottie to remain amongst the very best in the class of 2019.
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Malik Newman has been the most deadly scorer in high school basketball for a number of years, but that hasn’t stopped his grind one bit. After winning his fourth straight state title at Callaway high school, he showed NBA scouts the serious progress that he’s made in his offensive arsenal, namely as a combo guard.
Newman looked completely comfortable running the pick and roll throughout the practice sessions that we saw in Chicago. Not only did he show off improved explosiveness, but he displayed the IQ and ability to make proper reads coming off of the screens. There were a number of times in which he snaked, rejected, or dragged out the screen, only to then make the proper decision with the ball in his hands. While he struggled in the game itself scoring just 1 point and not making a shot from the field, he still managed to help himself in the eyes of NBA executives with his improved play from the lead guard position.
Malik Newman‘s legendary high school career has come to an end. The best unsigned senior in the country surpassed the 3,000 point mark at Callaway, living up to the rep that he was given as a middle schooler when he was billed the next Tyreke Evans. Posted 29.8 points, 5.7 boards, and 4.2 dimes a night, Newman led Callaway to an unprecedented fourth straight state title and showed some serious improvements in his game in the process.
As you can see in this CityLeagueHoops mixtape, “The Machine” showed off his infinite range throughout the year, not even looking down when he was beyond the NBA three point arc. His added explosiveness allowed him to not only get by defenders with ease, but finish over the top with a few devastating dunks. The best scorer in high school basketball has instincts to put the ball in the hole that simply cannot be taught and with his improved ability to run the pick and roll, Malik should be a simply deadly combo guard at the college level.
It has been an amazing senior year for Dwayne Bacon. The Florida State recruit led Oak Hill Academy to a 45-0 record, earning a selection to the McDonald’s All-American Game in the process. A scoring machine, Bacon made huge strides in his game and athleticism throughout the year, which was apparent to everyone on hand Monday night in Chicago.
Going up against PJ Dozier, Carlton Bragg, and Stephen Zimmerman, Bacon took home the crown at the Powerade Jam Fest. He busted out a pump reverse, reverse windmill, and a sick one-handed dunk off of the side of the backboard. With no shortage of showmanship, Bacon sealed the deal with clearing Jalen Rose to win the Powerade am Fest.
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