Academic Experience - Backcourt Standouts
Exposure and education were both at a premium at Sunday’s Elite 75 Academic Experience. With a coaching staff comprised entirely of college coaches from high academic colleges and universities, players got hands on instruction from the very coaches they were hoping to impress. Additional coaches were on hand as well, attending free of charge with a complimentary coaches packet.
When players weren’t on the floor, both they and their families were participating in informational sessions designed to educate them on the college application process, financial aid, life as a student-athlete at a high academic school and much more.
When it came to the work on the floor, there was a deep and talented collection of talent, all of whom are getting it done in the classroom as well. Here’s a look at the players who impressed in the backcourt:
Terion Moss, Portland HS (ME) 2018 – Arguably the quickest kid in the gym, the 5’11 Moss had a big year in Maine this past season and continued to impress again during the showcase. His tight handles and ability to create off the bounce by finding open teammates or scoring himself was extraordinary. He also showed an old-school ability to post up guards and use his strength to finish in the paint. When it was all said and done there were few who helped themselves more during the course of the day.
Nate Hobbs, St. John’s Prep 2018 – A year after making a name for himself at the inaugural Elite 75 Academic Experience, Hobbs returned to the scene of the crime and was even better the second time around. One of the best athletes in the gym, he played above the rim to show body control and thunderous dunks alike throughout the day. He wasn’t just an elite level athlete though, as he also showed tight handles and a sweet shooting stroke.
Calvin Whipple, Northfield Mount Hermon 2018 – After suffering an ankle injury in the midst of his sophomore year, Whipple looks to be on his way back to full strength now as he continues to distinguish himself with his shot-making ability, size and strength at the two-guard spot and very high basketball I.Q. Combine that with some physical drives and even one big alley-oop and it was an impressive outing from start to finish.
Darius Chester, Taft School 2017 – A big guard at six-foot-five, who has a definite creative instinct off the bounce, Chester’s upside stood out as one of the best in the field. He made plays for himself and others off the dribble, used his size to see the whole court and made finds that put his teammates in position to score easily. He even threw in some behind the back ball fakes and finished at the rim.
Javon Taylor, Beaver Country Day 2017 – With reported interest coming from the Big 10, Ivy League and other conferences in between, Taylor was one of the more established names in the field on Sunday. He showed a lot of improvement in his game, not just throwing down some huge dunks but also showing a more dangerous shooting stroke in both the mid-range area as well as beyond the arc. Combine that with his mismatch potential and ability to play multiple positions and he’s a quality prospect for sure.
Brendan Hoban, Millbrook School 2017 – The Massachusetts native returned home after spending the recent seasons in New York competing in the prep ranks. He’s picked up recent interest from Patriot and Ivy League School and hangs his hat on his ability to make shots off both the catch and the dribble. Combine that with his toughness, size in the backcourt and ability to play both positions and he’s an attractive prospect.
Keith Rado, Canterbury 2017 – Typically playing at a fast tempo comes at the consequence of a higher turnover rate, but Rado is the atypical young player who can accomplish the former without sacrificing the latter. He has great pace in his game, can advance the ball off either the pass or the dribble and has a way of thriving amidst a chaotic tempo.
Carter Scott, Darien 2017 – Another coach’s son, Scott has the type of heady, fundamentally sound approach you would expect given his genes. He’s composed with the ball in his hands, showed a nice instinct for playing pick-and-roll during the break-down drills, a shooting threat from downtown and a more than willing distributor.
Shamir Johnson, Taft 2018 – A skilled guard with good size and versatility, Johnson has the tools to impact the game in a number of different ways. He shoots it well from long range, has the ball skills to create off the bounce and the size to see the floor and finish over top of smaller defenders. When he puts it all together with a killer instinct, he’ll be especially hard to stop.
Ben Eke, The Master’s School 2019- One of the youngest players to contribute in NEPSAC AA this season, Eke's ability to create off the bounce and shoot it from all three is unusual for someone his age. With Eke’s extraordinary skill set and grades, we can expect Patriot and Ivy League coaches to be making the trip to Master’s School in the coming seasons. Shot ball well.
Matt Glassman, Lawrence Academy 2017 – He’s developed a strong body and shot the ball well from the perimeter, but what differentiated him the most was his unselfishness and willingness to move the basketball. His assists came not just by finding people off the dribble, but most impressively, but making quick extra passes around the perimeter, which demonstrated a high basketball I.Q. and offensive approach that translates to the next level.
Charlie Clay, Worcester Academy 2017 – He’s everything a coach would want in a floor general – super tough, equally competitive, very smart and unselfish. He saw the floor extremely well, created for both himself and his teammates, was the first player to take a charge on Sunday and the only one to take multiple charges. The improvement of his jump shot was also noteworthy.
Jack Zimmerman, Worcester Academy 2017 – Like his Hilltopper teammate, Zimmerman first caught our attention by virtue of how hard he played. He was all over the court, attacking on both ends and playing a physical brand of basketball. He brings that mentality to the point guard position where he can also be an asset with his shot-making ability from behind the arc.
Alejandro Minota, Instituto Tecnico Industrail San Juan Bosco 2016 – An unsigned senior originally from Columbia who plans to prep in New England next year, Minota was the most notable new name to come out of Sunday’s event. He’s strong and athletic, a legit six-foot-four, and so able to bully opposing guards off the bounce. He also showed outstanding court vision, got after defensively and looked poised to play a number of different positions.
Cameron Shockley, United Nations International School (NY) 2018- Standing at six-foot-four this big guard has a great skill set, the ability to play multiple positions and pulled comparisons to Tayshaun Prince and Jalen Rose. His court vision and ability to create off the bounce, shoot it from all 3 ranges, and use his athleticism and length on both ends of the floor is impressive for a young prospect. With great academics, this prospect should intrigue a lot of academic institutions.
Joey Massa, Master’s School 2017 – He was an important contributor to a Master’s team that made some waves this past season in Class AA of the NEPSAC. He has the ability to stretch defenses with his shooting ability, but at the Academic Elite 7, he impressively revealed aspects of his game we hadn’t see this year, proving his ability to make plays and be creative with the ball.
Andrew Geshickter, Brookline High School 2018 - The younger brother of Bentley bound senior Sam Geshickter, Andrew has the same soft shooting stroke and good skill set. With a growth spurt almost certainly in his future, the younger Geshickter is a prospect we are bound to hear more and more from in the coming years.
Maickel Dejesus, Springfield Central 2018 – An undersized playmaking guard with a lot of spunk and moxy in his game, Dejesus attacked aggressively from start to finish on Sunday and made plenty of plays before it was all said and done. He’s got to learn to slow down at times, but his motor and attacking mentality are attributes that can’t be taught.
Jahkai Pettway, Amistad Academy 2019 – Though only a freshman, Pettway showed the skill set to make an impact on Sunday. He was particularly clever with his dribble and showed a nice shooting touch as well. He’ll fill out as he continues to mature physically, which will be of help when attacking the rim and finishing in traffic.
Elijah Ramos, Wheeler School 2018 – A little guy who can fill it up in a hurry, Ramos just finished his sophomore season and should be on the verge of a big second half of his career at Wheeler. He first distinguished himself in breakdown drills, both with his skill set as well as his ability to turn the corner, and continued to stand out in game play.
Semaj Hunter, Springfield Commerce 2018 – A well-rounded athlete and two sport star at Commerce who thrives on both the hardwood and the gridiron, Hunter’s athleticism was on full display as he was both quick with the ball and able to elevate around the rim. Moving forward, he has the potential to be equally impactful on the defensive end.