Reebok Headliner Try-Out - Event Recap
On Saturday, June 4th, over 60 prospects gathered at the Salvation Army Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center in Boston to participate in the 2011 Reebok Headliner Try-Out. Designed to provide an opportunity for a select group of kids to earn an invitation to the upcoming Reebok Headliner camp in Philadelphia, players participated in a series of drills in the morning session, followed by five-on-five play in the afternoon. Here’s a look at who stood out with their play throughout the day on Saturday.
Jared Terrell- The consensus elite prospect at the event among coaches and evaluators alike, Terrell showcased his dominate athletic ability as a strong, powerful combo-guard with the skill and will to attack the rim off the bounce, elevate in traffic in front of help, and finish at the rim through contact from a variety of angles. With a developing mid-range jumper that could make him nearly impossible to guard, he showed commitment as a dynamic two-way player capable of guarding multiple spots on the perimeter and possessing the unique ability to force turnovers and transition from defense to offense with superior speed and creativity in transition.
Jacquil Taylor- A long, bouncy, highly-skilled young big at six-foot-eight, Taylor catches and finishes through traffic, is an effective passer out of double-teams on the low-block, and showcased ability to step out and stretch the defense with a smooth stroke out to 15-feet. With solid ball skills and a perimeter-type skill set to go with his elite size and length, he projects as an intriguing, hybrid-forward prospect with the potential to do damage offensively in a variety of ways and be an imposing presence defensively as a volume shot-blocker and out-of-area rebounder.
Jake Fay- The Brimmer & May-product and early Fordham commit was hitting shots in bunches throughout the day on Saturday with his quick, textbook release from three, rising up over an outstretched hand with his terrific length to connect on multiple shots from distance. A capable finisher in transition with the size and bounce to elevate and score at the rim, Fay possesses a developing offensive skill-set with the will to attack close-outs with a space-creating dribble in either direction to get room for a balanced mid-range jumper.
Harry Rafferty- A rock solid lead guard with tremendous feel and high basketball I.Q., the Maine-native combines a heady approach to the game with the ability to knock down shots off reversal with a pure lefty stroke from three. While Rafferty doesn’t possess blow-by quickness to consistently beat his defender and make plays in the lane, he demonstrates a crafty understanding of how to attack close-outs, draw a second defender at the second level, and make sound decisions locating open teammates for high-percentage offense.
Rony Fernandez- One of the premiere lead guards at the event, Fernandez features a smooth, throwback type game with unorthodox craft and creativity as a lefty playmaker, consistently breaking people down off the bounce and threading the ball through tight space to teammates for open looks at the rim. A capable shooter from distance, he throws the ball ahead in transition, shows impressive feel turning the corner off high ball-screen action, and possesses a rare ability to convert difficult plays against bigger, more athletic players fooled by his quiet, calm demeanor.
Kachi Nzerem- A flat-out scorer with a knock-down stroke from three, the New Mission-product scored the ball in bunches in a variety of ways on Saturday, catching and shooting off a multitude of screen action and attacking close-outs with his supreme length and quickness off the dribble to attack the rim and finish through contact. Dynamite in transition, Nzerem will catch people sleeping with the bounce to finish above the rim off a quick leap in tight space, and, while still a work in progress with a developing handle and ball-skills, his overall athleticism and scoring ability will make him a welcome addition to head coach Andrew Vitale at Marianapolis Prep this fall.
Akosa Madveg Bvnann- The Charlestown-product was a man among boys for extended stretches on Saturday, bullying past defenders with his elite physicality and creativity off the bounce and scoring the ball at will in the lane through contact. More than just an athlete, Madveg Bvnann showed a pure stroke from the perimeter that he uses to force hard close-outs and assault the paint with an explosive first burst from the wing.
Jesse Chuku- The England-native and Kimball Union Academy-product continues to impress every time out with his terrific size and quick leaping ability in tight space that makes him a force defensively as an outstanding athlete with natural shot-blocking instincts. Chukwu runs hard rim-to-rim, catches the ball well on the move, and showed ability to rise up in traffic and finish above the rim through contact over defenders unable to deal with his superior length and bounce.
Aaron Falzon- A knock-down shooter with the ability to hit shots in bunches from behind the line, the six-foot-six, hybrid forward can flat-out spread the floor with his feathery touch from the perimeter, stretching defenders out past the line to set them up for his offense driving the ball into the lane with one or two hard bounces in either direction. While more of a shooter than a scorer at this point in his development, Falzon has potential to progress into a severe match-up problem with added muscle and toughness to take advantage of his size and length on the low-block.
Alec Brennan- One of the more impressive young bigs at the event, Brennan possesses terrific length and mobility to go along with a developing face-up skill-set that makes him a match-up nightmare for players unable to match his size and versatility scoring the ball from all over the floor. With a pure stroke out to the arc, he can knock down shots when given too much space on the perimeter, and, while his long, lean frame is in need of some added weight and muscle, he showed a willingness to mix it up on the interior and rebound and score the ball with both hands through traffic.