17 years ago, Adidas made Tracy McGrady one of the highest paying sneaker contracts ever for a rookie. Today, he is still with the brand and gave back to the next wave of future stars at Adidas Nations, where he found himself matched up with Arizona swingman Stanley Johnson.
The were only matched up for a short period of time during the truncated scrimmage, but showed the elite skills that have made them such special players at their respective levels. Both T-Mac and Stanley showed off their outstanding court vision for a wing, getting into the paint at will and then finding the open man. They also showed why you can’t go under them on a ball screen, each hitting pull-up jumpers off of the bounce.
Be sure to check back for more videos from the Adidas Gauntlet and Adidas Nations.
Nazereon “Naz” Reid is the type of prospect that everyone buzzes about how good he can become and everyone monitors closely. Having first caught a glimpse of him on the circuit two years ago on the circuit, he’s done everything to live up to the hype and now that he’s in high school, the nation is starting to take notice.
Approaching 6-foot-9, Reid already has the ideal size for an NBA power forward before ever playing a high school game. He is exceptional running the floor, has great hands, and is an elite finisher in transition. His skill level has improved immensely to the point that he is now a viable threat facing up. The Team Izod/Sports U product has the potential to be deadly from the high post given his outstanding passing ability and intriguing skills facing the basket. There are times in which he can tend to fall in love with his perimeter game a bit too much, but the raw talent is there for him to be one of the truly elite players in the class of 2018.
Already owning an offer from defending national champion UCONN, NC State, Seton Hall, Maryland, and Iowa expect many more to come as Reid will play a loaded high school schedule this year at Roselle Catholic.
An unofficial kick-off to high school basketball, Mike Drum has done an outstanding job of getting the country’s top rising ninth graders under one building to give scouts and fans alike a glimpse of what the future of high school basketball has to hold. With the best assortment of rising ninth graders offered by anyone in the country this year, the two brought together a loaded group of talent that scouts will ultimately beome familiar with when the class of 2018 rankings debut. CP3, Isaiah Thomas, and Elfrid Payton all came out to support the future of the game throughout the weekend, too. The camp culminated with the DunkDog All-American Game, wrapping up an outstanding weekend of basketball that not only brought great competition, but left the campers with some sick Jordan gear to take home as well.
Be on the look out for plenty more videos from the CP3 Rising Stars Camp.
Many felt that there would be a log jam at the point when the Phoenix Suns signed Isaiah Thomas. Already having Goran Dragic and Eric Bledsoe on the roster, many wondered how they’d be able to fit yet another lead guard in the roster. Based on his play throughout the first five games of the season, nobody informed Isaiah of any problem with playing time.
Averaging 18 points and 4 assists per night off of the bench for the Suns, Thomas is proving people wrong yet again. The 5-foot-8 25-year old put on a clinic on how to create space. He showed great change of speed, created massive separation with his step-back, and made himself a threat to score every time he touched the rock. Not just balling, Thomas made himself very open to the campers and had no problem sharing some of his secrets as to how he has become perhaps the league’s elite small scorer. From Tacoma to South Kent to UW and now to the league, Thomas has been proving people wrong…and doesn’t appear to be stopping anytime soon.
Stay tuned to CityLeagueHoops for more CP3 Camp videos in the coming days.
Expectations were high coming into their freshman year at Kentucky. In fact, they were nearly impossible to live up to for the Harrison twins. However, they got things going and by the end of the year, they had let UK to the national championship game. After flirting with the notion of entering the NBA Draft, they opted to return to Lexington and have taken their games to new heights.
Both measuring 6-foot-6 in shoes and around 210 pounds at UK’s combine, they have ideal size for either guard slot in the league. Andrew appeared much more aggressive in the pre-season, showing the confidence to create every single time that he touched the rock. Additionally, he made much better decisions with the ball in his hands and seemed to have drastically improved his shot selection. Aaron, on the other hand, turned heads with his 38-inch vertical jump and improved explosiveness off of the dribble. He still shot the lights out of the ball and will have no problem adjusting to the NBA three point line. Defensively, both Andrew and Aaron lived up to their reputations as elite defenders during pre-season play.
Stay tuned to CityLeagueHoops for more UK pre-season footage.
Marquis “Kezo” Brown may not have the YouTube hits of teammate Chase Adams, but he’s proven that he’s the best freshman that the city of Chicago has to offer. The 6-foot combo guard has made quite the name for himself not only within the city, but on the national level.
Heading to perennial power Simeon for his high school playing career, the lefty is a super versatile prospect who spent considerable time playing both guard positions. He is super smooth, has nice vision, and completely plays the game at his own pace. Kezo has proven to be an elite shot creator amongst his age group and is able to finish from deep, at mid-range, and at the rim with creativity. He doesn’t possess elite size, nor is he an elite athlete at this point. However, he is an elite basketball player as far as the class of 2018 is concerned.
Kezo just picked up an offer from Nebraska and has interest from countless other high-major programs. Receiving no shortage of exposure on the AAU circuit with the Mac Irvin Fire and We All Can Go, expect to hear plenty more on Brown as time goes on.
Starting a new series that we’ll be unveiling on CityLeagueHoops, we have comprised the top plays from across the nation for the month of October. Fresh off of an Ohio State offer, Seth Towns made an appearance, as did fellow Ohioans Jaquan Harrison and Frankie Hughes. Thon Maker, Damon Harge, and Matt Coleman were amongst the players who had big plays from the John Lucas Invitational. Even reaching to the college ranks, Tyler Ulis showed the flash that has already made him a fan favorite at Kentucky.
Rarely will you find a 6-foot-10 big man with grades available in the late signing period that is without issues. Occasionally though, there are a few that slip through the cracks. Nolan Gerrity is one of those guys.
Measuring 6-foot-10 with a 7’2 wingspan at Chet Mason’s Best of The Best Combine, Gerrity has all of the makings of a developmental center. He runs the floor well, has good toughness, and can even finish around the rim with both hands at times. Though he’s not going to put on a post clinic on the blocks or handle the ball like a point forward, Nolan knows what he is and keeps making strides to reach his potential.
While Air Force and NJIT are showing strong interest, no D-1 programs have offered Gerrity a scholarship. Countless D-2 programs have, however.
Given Gerrity’s size, length, and continued development over the years, expect to see him on a division one roster by the time the ’15-16 college season rolls around. You simply don’t see players this late in the recruitment process with his height and potential, so he is a player who has the potential to be an interesting commodity in the late signing period.
Stay tuned to CityLeagueHoops for more updates on Nolan throughout the season.
Even though Elfrid Payton had yet to play an NBA game, Chris Paul knew that he had a chance to be something special. Always known for taking one or two of the league’s top young guards under his wing, CP3 invited the Orlando Magic lead guard of the future to Winston-Salem for a weekend of workouts and he did not disappoint.
Matched up against some of the nation’s best collegiate guards, you could see the way that the 6-foot-4 Payton used his size to impose other playmakers physically. He rebounded the ball at a high rate, converted in traffic, and used his length to put serious pressure on the ball defensively. Working hands on with CP3 himself, it’s clear that the Louisiana-Lafayette product picked up a few things, as seen by the 8 assists per game he is averaging thus far with the Magic.
Keep checking back for plenty more videos from the CP3 Elite Guard Camp on CityLeagueHoops.
Karl Anthony-Towns has been getting it done at a high level ever since the first time that we saw him as an eighth grader. Now a freshman at Kentucky, he has transformed his body and game into that of a potential NBA lottery pick after just one season.
In both Kentucky’s Big Blue Madness and Blue/White scrimmage, Anthony-Towns was clearly the best player on the squad. He made a concerted effort to establish himself as more of a threat on the blocks and showed a vastly improved game in the pivot. His improved physique transcended onto the hardwood, making him considerably more explosive as a shot-blocker and finisher above the rim. Still owning the same elite perimeter skills that made him one of the more unique prospects in the class of 2014, the Jersey product made some great passes from the high post and stepped out to hit a few jumpers. His performances through these two events and the UK pro combine have led many to believe that he is right there in the mix with Jahlil Okafor for top pick in the 2015 NBA Draft.
Stay tuned to CityLeagueHoops for more unreleased video of Karl as the season goes on.