Hazelton Basketball Camp - Event Recap
Andover, MA – The Scott Hazelton Basketball Camp wrapped up on Thursday after another year of hosting top players, both past and present, from the greater Merrimack Valley area and beyond.
The list of alums that came back to play with the current high school stars this year included the likes of Jalen Adams, Wenyen Gabriel, Kaleb Joseph, and Makai Ashton-Langford among a host of others.
That created a unique opportunity to watch some teacher vs. pupil type of moments. For example, Akok Akok has been consistently compared to Gabriel over the course of the last year, but on Wednesday, we got to watch them go head to head. The verdict? The young fella is talented but he still has a ways to go before he catches up with the Kentucky forward.
Duke, who starred for the Rivals this summer, got to go head-to-head with his three-predecessors in Joseph (Creighton), Adams (UConn), and Ashton-Langford (Providence). While Duke isn’t quite on that same level just yet, there were moments were you could see flashes of an exceptionally bright future as he continues to develop and harness his unique combination of tools.
While Duke and Akok were the stars of the camp, there were a number of other college prospects in attendance as well. Here’s a rundown:
Keigan Kerby – One of the most welcome sights of the camp was seeing the Brooks forward back in action and playing at a high level following a nagging foot injury that cost him his final grassroots season. Kerby was making threes, and tough ones at that, and even getting up to play above the rim.
Tyler Burton – Speaking of playing above the rim, nobody did that with more ease than Burton whose length and athleticism were on full display. The Marianapolis Prep forward has been ascending steadily since May and he continued to impress with his slashing and finishing abilities here.
Wildens Leveque – Another guy who missed the spring with an injury (wrist), Leveque started to make a name for himself in July but looks poised to really make his mark on New England this winter. He’s all of 6-foot-9, physical inside, a rim protector, and hard finisher with developing offensive touch.
DeMarr Langford – When it comes to upside, there weren’t too many guys with more than Langford. The 6-foot-4 rising sophomore is ahead of where his older brother was at a similar stage as he is long and athletic with a great body. As his ball skills and playmaking instincts continue to emerge, he’s bound to be a future riser.
Jordan Minor – An active forward with a high motor, Minor is coming off a strong grassroots season and is now preparing to star alongside A.J. Reeves at Brimmer & May. His most immediate impact may be on the glass as he pursues balls both in and out of his area with truly unique vigor.
Rakesh Tibby – A versatile and skilled forward, Tibby has consistently improved his conditioning and footspeed in recent years and in so doing allowed himself to compete at the highest levels. His game has expanded along the way as he can both play off the dribble and knock down mid-range jumpers.
Dallion Johnson – The Phillips Academy rising sophomore was arguably the most skilled young prospect in the gym and an already polished scorer. He got buckets at all three levels, was nearly automatic when his feet were set from behind the three-point line, and able to attack off the bounce when run off the arc.
Aaron Cooley – He’s an intriguing young prospect because he’s a got good perimeter size at 6-foot-4, is a long lefty, has a natural feel for the game, and can handle the ball. Whereas most kids his age hunt their shots, he stands out with his passing ability, and he has a bright future once his frame and shooting stroke catch up.
Tyler Whitney-Sidney – The rising 10th grader from Somerville is another one who has an instinctive I.Q. for how to play. He plays with good pace, is a very good distributor at a young age, and was showing off some newfound athleticism as he got up to finish above the rim.
Eye on the Underclassmen
While Johnson, Cooley, and Whitney-Sidney were all names we already knew, there were several other underclassmen that caught our eye for the first time.
• Dasonte Bowen is a rising 9th grader who scores easily and can really change speeds off the bounce
• Gianni Thompson is a 6’4 wing who is just growing into his body but has some very clear upside
• Carlos Nunez is rising sophomore guard who shoots it well from three and finishes through contact
• Jhamyl Fricas is intriguing with his combination of bouncy athleticism and developing shooting range
• Kevin Newton-Delgado was most effective around the rim with his finishing and rebounding abilities