Posted On: 12/7/16 11:16 PM
Photo Credit: Daily Herald
In Orem- The FreeTaxUSA.com Shootout has become one of the best and most nationally recognized tournaments in the West. Tournament director Golden Holt puts on a great show for the fans from all over the state of Utah to watch every December for nearly a decade. The tournament pulls in talent from all across the United States and is very competitive every year. Here are our top 5 Utah prospects playing in the FreeTaxUSA.com Shootout.
1. Hunter Erickson (Timpview) The 6’3 junior standout is currently ranked as the #2 prospect for the class of 2018 by PrepHoops.com. Hunter is potent scorer, with deep range well past the 3 point line and deceptive athletic ability, he truly is a big time prospect. Hunter is a high to mid-major D1 prospect with all the tools to be a great college player.
2. Adam Santiago (Timpview) The second part to arguably the best back court in the state, Adam and Hunter are Utah’s “Splash Brother’s” and they both have very deep range from behind the ark and can score in a variety of ways. When both guards are on, they can combine for 60 points on any given night. The 6′ junior guard is D1 prospect, but could end up being the best player in a respected conference at the D2 level.
3. Puka Nacua (Orem) The 6’2 sophomore point guard could be the best overall athlete in the tournament. He has the speed, strength, and size to be a matchup nightmare for opposing teams. Orem is a very young team this year, but they have Nacua and he is the lone returning starter and looking to get their season off to a great start against some top flight opponents. Puka is D1 prospect, but may choose to play football instead of basketball at the next level. His brother, Kai, is currently the starting strong safety on the BYU football team and is future NFL draft pick.
4. Nate Harkness (Lone Peak) Lone Peak always participates in the shootout, and they usually have one of the top prospects in the tournament, if not the top prospect. This year is no different, and Nate and the Knights are looking for another great performance this year. The 6’4 senior forward knows this tournament well, as this will be his fourth time suiting up for the Knights at the FreeTaxUSA.com Shootout. Nate is a D2 prospect.
5. Josh Elison (Springville) The 5’10 senior guard has been a handful for opposing teams. Josh has great quickness and shooting ability, but also great hands on the defensive end of the floor. Elison is a D2 or possibly JUCO prospect.