Junior Elite 75 The Swingmen
Ramon Gibbons and Timmance McKinney were men among boys on Saturday afternoon. Both are blessed with tremendous strength and athleticism that simply puts them at another level when compared to kids in their own age bracket. But beyond their physical assets, both players showed some of the tools necessary to become stars down the road.
The thing that stood out the most for Gibbons was his unselfishness. He was perfectly capable of creating his own shot every time down the floor if he so desired, but he showed an understanding of how to share the ball, and in so doing, made those around him better. He also showed signs of a solid skill set as he had no problem handling on the perimeter and in the open floor and finished inside not just with strength, but with good touch in both hands.
Meanwhile McKinney stole the show at times on Saturday with his tremendous athleticism. He delighting the crowd on more than one occasion with his numerous dunks during games and simply has the athleticism to play above the rim like few others can.
The Best of the Rest
Riyadh Asad – The 8th grader from West Springfield still has some work to do but he shows a lot of potential for the future. Right now he does his best work slashing to the bucket and utilizing his athleticism, but down the road he’s got the handle and floor vision to develop into a big point guard.
Andre Chappuis – A wing player who combines nice size with a well developed skill set, Chappuis showed a well-rounded and versatile game. He is also incredibly smooth on the offensive end for such a young player.
Idris Taqqee – He reminded many of the coaches in the gym of a young Kyle Casey with his size on the perimeter, great length, grace under pressure, and ability to make shots. He also impressed with a couple of nice passes.
Trevon Jones – Only a 7th grader, Jones is the rare youngster who already possesses the maturity to play multiple positions. He can serve as a scorer on the wing and even has the skills and feel for the game to play the point as well.
Ben Engvall – He has two things going for him that really can’t be taught; he’s got very long harms and a great work ethic. Consequently we believe him to have a very bright future.
Skill Development Stars
The most important aspect of the game for any young player is a commitment to getting better. That’s why the coaches at Saturday’s showcase were more interested in how players performed during the skill development sessions then the games. Benjamin Andrews from Exeter-West Greenwich Junior High School, Nolan Durkee from Overlook Middle School, Tito Wiltsie from William J. Johnson Middle School, Jared Rosenblatt from Avon Middle School, and Kyle Ryder from Barnstable were just a few of the guys who really impressed the coaches with their work ethic and concentration during those skill development sessions.
Others Who Impressed
Zavia Williams – A super savvy swingman who scores in different ways in the lane including with his running hook shot ala current New York Knick Jared Jeffries.
Timothy Meares – Coaches at every level value toughness and competitiveness and this guy certainly has it as he showed by playing through a dislocated shoulder. He’s normally a big time shot maker as well.
Michael Lambert – He has a quick first step and is capable of both finishing at the rim against contact and passing effectively off the dribble.
Amari Brown – A strong guard who goes hard to the rim, Brown is extremely difficult to stop once he gets a head of steam.
Jordan Ambroise – He did a little bit of everything: scoring in some different ways; showing a solid handle; and playing some good defense.
Tommy Mobley – Has a terrific understanding of the game that shows by the way he moves off the ball and scores off various cuts.
Christian LaRoche – The 7th grader from Gardner Middle School has a good sense for how to get into the lane whether by attacking a close-out or utilizing a quick first step.
Ian Marx – A fundamental base is the key for any young player and Marx certainly has that as he’s very sound offensively with a nice release to his shot.
Kameron Nobles – He stood out during the games because of his strong slashing ability going to the rim, not to mention his ability to finish plays on the move.
Justin Mount – He runs the court diligently at every available opportunity and is also a good shooter, particularly when pulling up off the dribble.
Nick Simonetti – Lots of guys are able to score around the rim given enough time and space but Simonetti is the rare player who has a knack for scoring against bigger players.
Gregory Sykes – He does all the “little things” that make such a big difference. He’s super scrappy, plays great defense, and is also a good passer.
Kyle Rodriguez – He was able to score the ball both inside and out showing a nice stroke from the perimeter and also finding ways to convert inside.