Frosh/Soph Flashback 2009
The second annual New England Elite 75 Showcase – Frosh/Soph Edition lived up to the expectations created by the inaugural 2008 event.
The hype going into the event surrounded the debut of two highly touted freshmen, Kuran Iverson and Goodluck Okonoboh. Both players had well established reputations coming out of the middle school ranks. Iverson had already attended UConn’s Elite Camp a month earlier and Okonoboh was known as much for his physical upside as he was for being Alex Oriakhi’s first cousin.
When the freshmen took the court in the morning session, both players lived up to their early reputations, standing out as the two clear cut talents in the field. Iverson handled and passed the ball so well for his size that there was some hope that he could potentially evolve into a big point guard. Okonoboh had similar size but a different approach, content to dominate the paint and show off his athleticism with a variety of explosive dunks and blocks.
Another highly talented freshman in attendance that day was Wayne Selden. At the time, Selden was a six-foot-one forward who had already played two years at the high school level at O’Bryant. Already carrying a powerful build, Selden would bully his peers to attack the basket. Despite his dominance, few could have predicted that he would grow another four inches and expand his offensive arsenal to become one of the most dangerous scorers in the entire country.
Other future stars to stand out during the freshman session included: future Fordham commit Jake Fay; future USC commit Kahlil Dukes; future ESPN 60 guard Kaleb Joseph; future high-major prospect Jacquil Taylor; and other future prospects including Cane Broome, Dimitri Floras, Kamari Robinson, Colin Richey, Nate Anderson, Danny Upchurch, Bobby Ahearn, Aaron Calixte, Cornelius Tyson, Tom Hunt, Earl Coleman, Tanner Hyland, Edson Dascy, Will Cartwright and Tanner Hyland.
The theme of the sophomore session was breakout performances as a number of prospects played their way into the NERR database. Of all the players who showed early signs of upside that day, no one did a better job of realizing their potential than Akosa Maduegbunam.
Maduegbunam was in his first season at Charlestown High School after failing to make an impact during his freshman season at Cushing Academy, and the showcase setting providing the first flashes of the player who would become one of New England’s best swingmen and ultimately sign with Penn State.
Another player who showed flashes of talent during the sophomore session was New London guard Kris Dunn. While expectations were already high for Dunn coming off an all-state freshman season, the reality is that few could have predicted that he would ultimately develop into one of the top lead guards in the country and a McDonald’s All-American.
Dunn and Maduegbunam weren’t the only future top prospects in attendance at the sophomore session. Future ESPN 100 prospect and Iowa State signee Georges Niang was in attendance along with future Butler commit Andrew Chrabascz, future Vermont commit Harrison Taggart, and highly sought after swingman Chris Braley among a variety of others.
The 5th annual Elite 75 - Frosh/Soph Edition will take place on Saturday, September 15th. Player nominations can be e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.