Posted On: 08/21/15 4:00 PM

Stephen Aikin 6’3 G/F – Ponderosa

“Stephen earned the name of the “Junk Yard Dog” from our coaching staff this spring/summer. What an unselfish player that does all the little things well, playing much bigger than his size as we often called on him to play the 4 spot when he is a natural 3. Stephen is fundamentally sound using the lost art of the “mid-range” game on the offensive end, with the ability to guard the opponents’ best scorers on defense.”
Sekou Cisse 6’4 PG – Montbello (Warriors)
“Many college coaches learned the name Sekou over the month of July as the strong guard displayed defensive effort, along with a much improved outside touch to accompany his already developed “bully-ball” game taking smaller defenders in the paint as a big guard. He was the “motor” of our 17U squad and we followed his lead. He let top squads in Chicago/Vegas know early that we wouldn’t back down without having to say a word. As physically imposing as he can be on the court is equal to his coachable personality. Sekou is figuring out that strong initial defense can lead to easy “O” where he can attack with both hands. He just turned 17 last week so the growth, maturity, and potential are off the charts.”
Dominic Coleman 6’2 PG – Chaparral
“‘Break out” is term heard a lot in the hoops world, but if there ever was a young man primed to do just that it’s Dominic. He is a smooth PG with a vicious pull up jump-shot and perimeter game. We encourage Dom to be more aggressive to the hoop as he shot in the high 80’s at the FT line this spring/summer. An ankle injury hindered him May/June but he returned to form in July showing his ability to be a distributor when he first returned, but then accepting that lead PG role when we needed him to attack. His wing-span and deceptive length leads to defensive turnovers and transition play where he excels.”
Samba Dioum 6’6 F – Denver East
“First, simply one of the most appreciative and genuine kids you will ever meet! Samba is quick to let you know, “coach, I’m a guard trapped in big man body”! As a “Colorado big” it’s tempting to put Samba on the block and/or put him in pick-n-roll situations but we quickly found out that he does have perimeter game, ball-handling, and a first step that takes advantage of most big men. The formula became easy:  guard Samba with a “big” and he took them off the dribble in isolation…as soon as the switch was made to a smaller defender Samba took them into the post. Late July, he was getting comfortable pulling defensive rebounds and pushing the ball himself, a skill he will need to build on to play the 3-spot in college, which coaches are certainly eye balling him for.”
Jake Ellis 6’2 CG – Castle View
“Will certainly miss cracking high-level jokes with Jake on the sideline and during free throws. No doubt his basketball IQ and 28 ACT score led to some of our “inside jokes” and coach/player relationship. Jake is an offensive coordinator on the court quickly analyzing defenses and making suggestions to the staff. The RMAC and programs such as the Naval Academy took quick notice of his smooth stroke, confident handle, and mid-range pull up game. Jake is realizing he can contribute in so many other ways than scoring and as he makes the extra pass, defends, plays inside/out ball his strengths will shine even more. He’s a true student of the game, a joy to coach.”
Jalaughn Jackson 5’11 – Eaglecrest
“Need a game changer? A motor? Insert Jalaughn Jackson! Jalaughn single-handedly changed the complexion of numerous games for us when we may have looked for our offense for answers and he quickly reminded us that pressure defense was our calling card resulting in easier offensive opportunities. “Ol skool” slap the floor defense that energized the entire squad was Jalaughn’s calling card. Many post-game speeches giving him accolades and reminding the squad that when a young man plays with this kind of effort/energy he is “hard to take off the court”. Don’t know if we’ve ever had a guard who pulls so many rebounds with his athletic ability and then pushing the floor. He has a sweet floater with increasing confidence in his outside shot.”