Posted On: 04/30/18 12:48 PM
Anaheim, Ca. — With most of SoCal’s big name club teams playing out of state for the second live viewing period of the spring, it was a little more difficult to navigate which games to watch at the Double Pump Spring Hoop Fest at American Sports Center.
Fortunately for me, and my colleagues Aaron Burgin and Joel Francisco, a handful of 16s and 15s EYBL teams didn’t make the trip to Indianapolis for the second session of the EYBL Circuit, providing us with some viewing pleasure on Friday and Saturday.
Here is the first set of top freshmen performers from Anaheim this weekend:
Obinna Anyanwu, Las Vegas Prospects 16
There was no one player or team who could match Anyanwu’s size, skill and physicality as the Prospects coasted to the 16U Silver championship. The 6-foot-7 forward scored at-will in the paint with both power and finesse finishes. Defensively, Anyanwu proved as a capable rim protector and cleaned the defensive class at a high rate.
Devin Askew, Las Vegas Prospects 16
Like his teammate listed above, Askew physically overpowered most guards who tried to check him. The 6-foot-3 guard out of Santa Ana Mater Dei was able to get defenders on his hip in the open court and keep them there as he got into the paint for easy buckets. Askew showed an increased basketball IQ off of high ball screen action, waiting for the screener to get set before attacking, then getting downhill quickly after turning the corner.
Jaren Harris, Cal Supreme 16
Harris’ team fell to eventual-champion BTI in the semifinals of the 16U Gold Division, but the Windward High point guard continued his impressive spring. The part of Harris’ game that stands out the most is the poise and patience in which he plays. The 6-foot-1 prospect never gets sped up and picks his scoring spots well while getting his teammates involved in the process.
Keith Higgins, BTI Prospects
Higgins helped lead BTI to the 16U Gold Division title with some knockdown 3-point shooting throughout the event. The 6-foot-1 Chaminade High-product is nearly automatic off the catch, possessing tight shooting mechanics and a quick release. Higgins also displayed the ability to attack a hard close-out and create off the bounce for himself or others.
Christian Johnson, Cal Supreme 16
Johnson is the second half of the talented 2021 Cal Supreme guard tandem to go along with the above-mentioned Harris. The 6-foot guard, who won a Division 4 state title with View Park in March, continued his strong play into the spring. Johnson knows how to use his strength to fend off defenders and get into the paint where he can score with a crafty finishing package or hit an open teammate with a kick-out pass.
Jahmai Mashack, Prodigy 17
Mashack was one of few freshmen playing the highest level of the 17U Division, playing a huge role off the bench and helping Prodigy to a 2-2 record on the weekend. Mashack has the ideal early frame for a wing at 6-feet-3 with good length. As of now, the Etiwanda-product makes his mark on the defensive end and in all the hustle categories that don’t show up on the stat sheet. His athleticism and 3-point shooting ability bode well for his offensive future.