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Posted On: 04/8/18 7:25 PM
On Saturday morning at Calvary Baptist Academy, thirty-eight unsigned seniors showcased their talents in front of coaches from the states of Louisiana, Texas, and Mississippi. These seniors went through shooting and ball handling drills led by the coaches of NL Elite Skills. After the individual skill sessions, each player went through fast break and defensive team drills. Full court games followed with players showing off their talents honed during the morning sessions. As game play progressed, various players gave the coaches in attendance much to review in hopes of a coach speaking with them towards the end of the event.
Guards were in high volume at the showcase. They came from Castor to Denham Springs to show off what they can offer a college the chooses them. Throughout the drills and game play, Justin Holmes (6’2″, Evangel), Malik Cooper (6’3″, Evangel), Jordan Houston (6’1″, Simsboro) , and Letraveon Jones (5’9″, BTW-Shreveport) showed off their skills that helped their respective high school teams during their days of eligibility. Holmes exhibited sheer athleticism during game action, King of Court, and 3 on 2 drills by jumping over other players to finish at the rim. Jones was a marvel with his ball handling and passing during all full court drills. He continued to demonstrate those traits during game play with the addition of his long range jumper. Cooper (picture above) presented his full array of abilities during the whole showcase. He was able to take players one-on-one in King of the Court, showed he could defend 3 on 2, attacked the rim with dunks during game play, and shot the ball with accuracy from deep. Houston, who was a 2017 graduate, was probably the surprise of the day. He showed the ability to defend in one-on-one drills and during game play at a high level as well as shoot the ball well. Houston also showed a quick first step to the rim. These guards were the cream of the crop at the showcase and will definitely be an asset at the next level.
There were not many players who could translate to the college wing position at the showcase. However, the top two that were there can be pretty outstanding at the next level. Letreavin Black (6’4″, Southwood) and Trenton Ivy (6’4″, Airline) revealed the full potential of their games as the showcase went on. During 3 on 2 and 4 on 4 drills they displayed their high basketball IQ and athletic ability. During King of the Court, they showed a bevy of moves that allowed them to score and pretty much any player. During the two scrimmages, they exhibited the ability to do numerous things on the court. Black (pictured above) even tried his hand at bringing the ball up the floor on a smaller guard. His first couple of trips were not successful but he kept at it. Ivy was able to make plays in the open floor with his passing ability showing that he can play the lead guard. Both players were able to guard smaller guards in space and that is an tribute to their athleticism. After see this display, a coach will be happy to plug them in at the next level and watch them go to work.
Big men working
Of the big men that were in attendance at the showcase, Tahji Davis (6’4″, Huntington) and Malachi Fitzwater (6’7″, Calvary Baptist) showed that the post player is still alive and well. Fitzwater exhibited great footwork during the skill work session. He also showed athleticism with different types of dunks after cone drills. During game play, he rebounded well on both ends, changed or block several shots, and effectively scored the ball around the hoop. Tahji was a rebounding machine during game play. He also showed an assortment of moves to get open and score around the basket. Even though he is 6’4″, Tahji has the strength and build to bang with other big men and finish plays. Fitzwater and Davis definitely revealed that the big man can play on a floor with guards and flourish. Schools at the next level will like the activity of these two players.
The North Louisiana Unsigned Senior showcase was a great first time event for the players in northern Louisiana. Coach Vic Morris and Calvary Baptist have given players and avenue to display their abilities in front of coaches on the college level. This event definitely showed players in an environment that showed off their fundamental skills as well as their athletic gifts. Hopefully the signing of seniors from this event will allow more seniors to use this platform to reach college basketball teams in the future.
Other notable seniors:
Maliq Smith (Southwood), Demondre Young (Lakeview), Ladarius Cutright (Zwolle), Troy Davis (Calvary Baptist), Chris Moore (Red River), Jaewon Williams (Richwood)