In one of the more hyped games of the event, Arlington Country Day and Prime Prep squared up. Despite playing in Florida and California respectively, you’d never be able to tell based on how hyped the crowd was. Josh Jackson, Malik Hicks, Tulio de Silva, and Mario Kegler were all a big part of that. Check out four of the dunks that sent the crowd into a frenzy at the 2014 Bluegrass Showcase.
To watch the full ACD vs Prolific Prep game, click here.
The Joe B. Hall and Denny Crum Bluegrass Showcase was unquestionably the most loaded event of the holiday weekend and with being held in Lexington, it should come as no surprise that Kentucky coach John Calipari was a fixture courtside. All four of the players that we featured received offers from Kentucky and here is a brief look of each of their performances.
Thon Maker- In a hyped matchup against Prime Prep, Maker showed the inside/out game that makes him such a unique prospect. He was outstanding running the floor, provided a shot blocking threat in the paint, and stepped out to hit jumpers to the three point line. Thon finished with 23 points, 13 rebounds, and 6 blocks were enough to earn him MVP of the game.
Josh Jackson- Credited with 18 points, 10 rebounds, 4 assists, and 7 turnovers, Jackson surely would ha ve hit a triple double if his teammates converted on some of the easy buckets that he set them up for. He showed off an improved jumper and handle, sparking the debate as to who the top player in the class of 2016 will be after this weekend.
Caleb Swanigan- After simply dominating the first half, Swanigan was double teamed with or without the ball throughout the entire second half as his team fell to Chicago Curie. He showed off much improved body, deadly footwork on the blocks, and the ability to control the glass en route to his double double.
Thomas Bryant- Though stats weren’t available for the final contest, Bryant did enough to earn an offer from Kentucky coach John Calipari after the game. He was outstanding running the floor, made tough finishes in transition, and provided the type of energy that every college coach dreams of having in a big man throughout Huntington Prep’s victory over Life Center Academy.
Mark Vital has been shocking the world with his athleticism dating back to his middle school days when he made headlines at Yahoo!. Making the move to Prime Prep, the junior is up to the same antics, as we saw at the Joe B. Hall and Denny Crum Bluegrass Showcase.
A few minutes into their hyped game against Orangeville Prep, the Baylor recruit got the ball in transition and took off for what appeared to be a sensational dunk. Ultimately clearing his defender, Vital was fouled and missed the dunk, but it was still enough to send the crowd into quite the frenzy. Though the 6-foot-6 Vital didn’t have any other big dunks throughout the game, he used his athleticism to put outstanding pressure on the ball and defended multiple positions throughout the squad’s loss to Orangeville Prep.
Keep checking CityLeagueHoops for more Bluegrass Showcase highlights.
The guys at VICE Sports have been putting up a ton of creative content for a while now, but as far as basketball is concerned, this is one of the very best pieces that they’ve done so far. Steve Nash sat down with Kevin Durant to talk about what drives him and the Thunder star couldn’t have been more open about what pushes him on a daily basis. Definitely a must watch for players of any age.
Every year there are players who emerge at the National Prep Showcase and this year was no different. There were countless players spending post-graduate years at prep schools in hopes of earning that elusive D-1 scholarship. Marquise Jackson is one of those guys. Though the name may not sound familiar, he is the son of Curtis Jackson, better known as 50 Cent.
Posting averages of 19 points, 4 rebounds, and 4 assists per game last year at King’s Ridge Christian Academy outside of Atlanta, Jackson showed that he could hold his own with the area’s best. He was first team all region and despite his solid play, didn’t receive much love from college coaches. The 5-foot-9 point guard then headed to the midwest for a PG year at St. John’s Northwestern Military Academy and given the opportunity, showed that he could play with just about anyone.
Marquise scored 20 points against the nation’s top prep team in Brewster Academy on 6-8 shooting, only to show that it was not a fluke by having 17 points on 7-11 from the field versus Bridgton Academy. He is a big time shooter who lets the game come to him. Despite his diminutive stature, he still showed no problem finishing amongst the trees when he got in the paint. Additionally, the post-grad had the look of a great teammate, always hyping up the bench and keeping the intensity up throughout St. John’s Northwestern’s two games in New Haven. While he’s fighting an uphill battle because of his size, there wasn’t a whole lot more that Jackson could have done to help his case in New Haven.
Check back for more updates on Marquise as the season goes on.
After putting on an aerial attack yesterday in warmups, Donovan Mitchell was at it again at the National Prep Showcase. The super competitive guard showed off his complete game in the opener on Sunday morning, but really captivated those in attendance with these back to back dunks. Louisville got themselves a good one who only keeps to be getting better and better.
Keep checking CityLeagueHoops for more videos of Donovan.
Donovan Mitchell has been drawing praises for his aerial attacks for quite some time now, and he did not disappoint at the 2014 National Prep Showcase. Before Brewster’s blowout win over St. John’s NW Military Academy, he gave the fans of New Haven a treat with a variety of sick dunks, including this Blake Griffin-esque throw. The Louisville-bound guard definitely knew how to get the crowd hyped and this was just one of many dunks that did so.
Keep checking CityLeagueHoops for more videos of Donovan in the coming weeks.
Hamidou Diallo is a name that we had heard quite a bit about, but got our first glimpse of last night at the National Prep Showcase. Standing 6-foot-4, the explosive two-guard definitely lived up to his reputation with his play against IMG.
Starting the game off with an explosive tip-dunk, Diallo continued to put on a show with a flurry of pull-up jumpers and explosive takes to the rack. His combination of length and athleticism will allow him to defend multiple positions at the college level, and while he’s still a ways away, even played point guard at spurts for Putnam. Not coincidentally, college coaches have been paying attention.
Diallo told CityLeagueHoops colleague Corey Evans that his lone offers were from Temple and Minnesota. After his stellar showing last night, Iowa State offered him a scholarship.
Be sure to keep checking CityLeagueHoops for more updates on the NYC Jayhawks product.
Tyger Campbell is a name that is known within the youth basketball community, but soon enough, he”ll be known amongst the high school circuit as well. Starting on the varsity level for Nashville based Christ Presbyterian Academy as an 8th grader, he is already showing the state of Tennessee what his game is about.
Campbell drew quite a bit of attention after a dominant 44 point fall league outing and has averaged 19 points and close to 9 assists per game early on for CPA. The 6’0 point guard is a big time finisher in the lane, is an elite shot creator at this age group, and has always played up to the level of his competition. His jumpshot still needs a bit of work, but his consistent productivity at every level and basketball IQ set him apart from the pack.
“Tyger Campbell is the one who has really been blowing up right now,” We All Can Go All-Stars coach Carlos Williams said with confidence. “He’s dunking the ball cleanly now. I guarantee you that he is going to be the next one.”
Though still nearly a year away from entering high school, Campbell has received no shortage of early attention from college coaches.
“Western Kentucky offered him as a 7th grader,” Williams explained. “North Carolina, Florida, and Cal have all been showing interest.”
Be sure to keep checking CityLeagueHoops for more updates on Tyger throughout the season.
John Calipari has been the talk of the town this past week with his huge win over Kansas. His “platoon” system has caught the attention of fans and players alike, proving that the truly can play a rotation of ten players on the hardwood. Given the expected success of the squad this year, there will be a number of roster spots to fill for the 2015-16 campaign. Three have already committed to do so.
Skal Labissiere, Isaiah Briscoe, and Charles Matthews have already pledged to play next year in Lexington. With a number of the nation’s top-10 prospects still left on the board, many more could join. Here is a detailed breakdown of UK’s three recruits for the class of 2015:
Skal Labissiere, 6’11, PF/C, Reach your Dream Prep (TN)- Arguably the best big man in the class of 2015, Skal Labissiere will provide a ridiculous boost to a UK front line that is expected to lose a number of guys to the NBA. With a 7’4 wingspan, he has the potential to be an absolutely dominant defender. On the offensive end, he has a reliable jump hook, can shoot it facing the basket out to the college three point line, and glimpses of developing a game attacking from the elbows.
Isaiah Briscoe, 6’2, PG, Roselle Catholic (NJ)- A player who has constantly developed throughout his career, Isaiah Briscoe is in the best shape of his life and has fully made the transition to point guard. In the Deron Williams mold, Briscoe is a physically strong guard who can defend either position and is incredibly shifty. More athletic than people give him credit for, he is able to blow by people off of the dribble and finish creatively at the rack. Coach Cal’s system will fit him perfectly.
Charles Matthews, 6’5, SG, St. Rita’s (IL)- While he didn’t receive as much acclaim as Labissiere and Briscoe, Charles Matthews is a serious prospect in his own right. The first to commit to UK is a guard with ideal size who could even be pushing 6-foot-6 now. He can play point guard for spurts, is a legit athlete, and can impact the game in a variety of ways. Additionally, Matthews physical prowess will allow him to defend all three perimeter positions, making him especially valuable at the collegiate level.