Coaches, Scouts and basketball junkies are eager to determine who will be that next Top Prospect that will make an impact at the next level. There’s always those question we hope to see answered at showcase events amongst players and parents; things like: Will there be competition?, Is there talent?, or Who will stand out? I’d answer that with “There will always will be talent…either visible or a future expectation, players will compete and there may be players who stand out and catch my eye. The 2nd annual Best of the Best Elite Florida Middle School Showcase maybe the first of its kind in this area to put forth a display of high caliber middle school talent in both boys and girls.
The Best of the Best Elite Florida Middle School Showcase which is brought to you by Marcus McGee and powered by Team M.O.A.M, had guest speaker and IMG Academy Director Coach Kenny Natt to give some key points on development and education. Basketball growth in middle school basketball can be very tricky to gauge, there is a wide range of ages, sizes and skill sets. Players can excel early and dim out later or you can find a player who can eventually grow in size, IQ and further develop fundamentals. .
Considering those factors Coach Marcus McGee, Kenneth Stephens and Therion Joseph of Team M.O.A.M directed strenuous workouts (sprints, long distant laps, rebounding drills, extensive dribbling concepts, shooting and closeout situations) in an effort to see what Florida had to offer. Hoop Brothers Basketball Mixtapes attended the event and filmed all of the games.
McGee noted ” This year’s event was very successful. It was our largest turnout, with 130+ middle school student athletes. The IMG staff was exceptional, working and teaching the kids new skills. The showcase games were intense and very competitive. The State of Florida has a very elite level of talent in the middle school age group. Twenty kids alone were recognized and are already ready to play varsity next season.”
We evaluated approximately 130+ athletes and just under 10 percent were girls. This is what we saw:
Keyara Bromley of Mango Elementary is a 4th grader who’s talents are off the charts. She plays in a higher division with the Florida Future. Bromley’s ball handling is excellent, good mid range jump shot for her age and a very high basketball IQ. She took on defensive pressure without a problem and was still able to find open teammates. Bromley will be one to watch.
Nabaweeyah McGill of Cambridge Christian School was a dominant force in the paint, ran the floor and was very patient. McGill also plays for Florida Future. With more footwork development, McGill will grow and be a major player.
O’Mariah Gordon a 6th grader at Sarasota School of Art and Science was able to run in transition and move without the ball. Played good defense and showed her ability to shoot the ball.
Janay Outten a 6th grader at Saint Michael’s Lutheran School played with a high IQ and demonstrated how to be a leader at all times. Solid player.
Shannon Lise of Burnett MS is a 8th grader with lots of potential. Fast and quick. Played both ends of the floor. A player that can start transition with ease.
Top 5 Boys:
6’5” SF Blake Hinson of Warner Christian Academy is a highly regarded as one of the top players in the Class of 2019. Offensively Hinson can be dominant. He has the capabilities to be a force in the post or the threat from the outside. Hinson moved well around the paint and uses the pick and roles good for his age. As he continues to work on post positioning and his mid range jumper, he’s going to cause problems.
Class of 2019 Jaren Johnson of Margat MS started quiet and then quickly came to life. Just around 6’2” his length is deceptive to unfortunate defenders who he preyed on most of the showcase. Johnson was effective running in transition with or without the ball. Best when creating off the dribble and off the rebound. He’s an unselfish player, once his game is polished and he perfects a consistent long ball watch out for Mr.Johnson!
With a very mild demeanor 6’5” Kaleb Coleman of Howard MS was one of the most gifted athletes in the gym. Coleman’s foot work is much more advanced then the average 8th grader. His use of his size was relevant in the post and as he slashed to the basket. Didn’t see many long shots or pull up jumpers for his size but that will come as he gets older. Coleman looks to be a magnet for basketball knowledge as we watched his focus in drill demonstrations. Can’t wait to see him in the future.
Frost Proof’s 2020 PF Gevon Dexter at 6’5” is a definition of a Man Child. Dexter definitely passes the eye test just from his athletic frame which distinguishes himself from all others. Runs the floor and calls for the ball; he’s an explosive dunker. I’d like to see progression in his shot and improved ball handling. With these skills added to his game he could be unstoppable.
Isiah Kirby of Sagemont is a high energy player, very confident in his offensive game and not scared of any shot. Creates offense when nothing is available. Showed he could attack the paint with fearlessness. Kirby at 6’2” is a very skilled ball handler plus shoots the ball well from various distances. I’d like to see more patience in offensive sets from this 2019 SG.
TOP 2019 Players:
- Michael Tador 2019 SF Somerset Academy Pines
- Wylie Howard III 2019 C Millennium MS
- Jelani Moreno 2019 PG Cornerstone Charter School
- Richard Maldonado 2019 PG Woodland MS
- Todd Johnson II 2019 SG Millennium MS
- John Williams II 2019 SF Eisenhower MS
- Cort Green 2019 SG Hoover MS
- Chosen Levarity 2019 PF Sun Coast
- Nisshanth Perumalsamy 2019 PG Hunters Creek MS
- Saeme Ennis 2019 PG Millennium MS
- Reginald Mesidor 2019 PG Poinciana Christian Prep
- Anthony Reyes 2019 SF Imagine Kissimmee Charter Academy
- Derek Marnio 2019 PG Haile MS
- Anthony Marnio 2019 PG Haile MS
- Tristan Anderson 2019 PG Millennium MS
- LJ Hewitt 2019 PG Milwee MS
- Patrick Ottey 2019 PG Millennium MS
- Mathew Akuchie 2019 SF St. Gregory MS
- Frantz Blaise 2019 PG Westpine MS
- Yakeem Grant 2019 C Bair MS
- Zack Foster 2019 SF Bair MS
- Joshua Scott 2019 PF Pompana Beach MS
- Leonito Macapaga 2019 SF Nova MS
Top 7th Graders:
- Keion Smith 2020 PG Millennium MS
- Kobe Bennett 2020 PG Forrest Glenn MS
- Bryce Brown 2020 PG Thurgood Fundamental MS
- Kobe Knox 2020 PG Mullrennen MS
- Jalen Ortiz 2020 PG Oldsmar Christian
Top 6th Graders:
- Cameron Hickmon Jr. 2021 SG South Creek MS
- Mario Evans 2021 SF
- Jermaih Wicks 2020 PG
- Victor Perez 2020 PG
- Samuel Griffin 2019 PG
- Andrew Dansoh 2019 PF
- Varun Ajjarapu 2020 PG
- Jordan Michael Daugi 2019 PG
- Jacob Channer 2020 PG
- Jadrian Tracey 2020 SG
- Esdras David Camacho 2019 PG