Apoka, Fl – As we headed for Apoka, Florida to check out some 5th-8th grade basketball from the 5th Annual Best Of The Best Middle School Showcase, It was certain that a prospect would catch our attention. Director and Coordinator Marcus McGee does a great job of bringing talent to this annual event.
Sasser made you look:
There, 2023 6’5″ SG Nathaniel Sasser showed that he his making the steps to be elite in the State of Florida. At 6’5″ with off the charts skills and athleticism, he was a force throughout the day. Making the BOTBFL All-Star Game and putting himself on display in front of multiple Scouts to see. The lefty made things look simple at times, slashing through traffic and attacking the rim with both hands. Sasser didn’t take many long range shots when available and movement without the ball was limited. Already dunking either off one or two feet, he’s very advanced for an 7th grader. He is growing at a good pace from out last viewing a year ago, so he’s taking this 7th grade season in stride at Sacred Heart (FL). Sasser will be a name to remember this summer as he plays with the Nightrydas Elite travel team.
A well deserving Standout:
The day wouldn’t have been complete without a player with some sort of story line. Joseph Depryor, a 2022 6’4″ Forward of Blanker Middle School (FL) is raising eyebrows running with the Orlando Chaos. Depryor’s successes may be coming from his drive and dedication off the court. After talking with Coach Anthony Santos he stated “I saw Joseph last year at Blankner middle school, I noticed Joey’s abilities however he was a raw talent. He had never played organized basketball until i met him. I gave him the information to my practice and he would show up alone wearing a practice uniforms (volleyball or track). He would walk to school, go to school practice then walk to our gym for our practice. He was always tired but always gave 100% effort. He never complained or asked for help.”
Coach Anthony Santos also mentioned “When I asked for his report card he was embarrassed to show me his grades. I thought they were going to be bad and to my supprised his embarrassment was due to a 78% C he had in one class and all other grades were A’s and one B.” Depryor is a class act and guide for young athletes to push forward.
- 5’10” SG JaCari Henderson, Sanford MS – Shows athleticism on both ends and finishes in the open floor.
- 5’10” SG Demari Henderson, Sanford MS – Very similar to his brother in athleticism but Demari is a bit smoother
- 6’1″ SG Fletcher Charles, Home Schooled – Strong and his always in the right spot to make plays.
- 5’11” SG/SF Fabio Basili, Socrates Prep – leading his team to multiple quality wins during the showcase. Plays with a high motor along with a very high IQ. Great passer well as finishing at the rim
- 5’10” G Bryce Sensabaugh, Lawton Chiles MS – Sizeable guard with a quick first step. Sensabough showed use of his frame to get in the paint and make plays.
- 5’10” Riley Kugel, Robinswood – Pass first PG with a nice 1st step. Made a few eye opening passes.
- 5’6″ PG Joel Harrison, Oldsmar Christian – Can easily play with a defender by using his dribbling skills plus creates his own shots.
- 5’2″ PG Jalen Smith, Ocoee MS – A very effective PG. Can shot the long ball and breakdown opponents.
- 5’3″ PG Jordan Lanier, Burns MS – Active and productive. Plays at a up beat pace.
- 5’3″ PG Kelvin Reed, Robinswood MS – Plays with energy and effort. Reed can make plays on both ends.
- 5’0″ PG Reece Randolph, Slam Academy – Pressured defenders full court and plays both ends.
- 5’1″ PG Jalen Reece, Apoka MS – A heads up guard that can impact games. Reece uses his ball handling skills to his advantage.
- 5’10” Garrett Watterson, Bolles – Got up and down the floor in transition and played within his game.
- Nolan Cassidy, Kanawha MS
- Emanuel Sharp, Bell Creek Academy
- Nicholas Rodriduez, Legacy
- Van-Allen Lubin, Meadow Woods MS
- Juwan Dawes, Sacred Heart School
- Rasheed Baldin, Avalon MS
- Lewis Jones, Carver
- Malik Raines, Sanford MS
- Jhalen Phang, Lyons Creek MS
- Tynan Becker, Woodland MS
- Determine Russell, Sunland
- Amare Ferrell, Lake City MS
- Tristan Gross, Skycrest MS
- Aiden Fletcher, Montverde Academy
- Chris Brown, Timber Springs
- Brandon Nunez, The Swain School
- Zion Mitchell, The Masters Academy
- Elijah Perry, King MS
- Justin Smith, Prairie Lake Elementary (5th)
Watch the Recap Video below: