Prep Hoops Series Los Angeles: Youth Movement

Grassroots
Southern California

Posted On: 04/16/18 2:00 PM

THOUSAND OAKS, Ca. — Sports Academy HQ played host to the inaugural Prep Hoops club event in the state of California, the Prep Hoops Series Session 1.

The three-day event drew a handful of the top programs to the conejo valley, including The Truth, Team Eleate, Pump-N-Run, Los Angeles Elite and a mix of the Las Vegas Prospects and California United.

Below are a handful of up-and-comers to monitor throughout their high school careers.

Reese Dixon, 2021, LA Orangemen

Dixon is one of the talented freshmen leading the resurgence of the L.A. Dorsey high school basketball program. The 6-foot-4 wing has a well-rounded offensive game complete with perimeter ball skills, ability to use the bounce to attack the rim and finish with power or finesse, and he can also knock down and open 3-point shot.

Freshman wing Reese Dixon showed the ability to create his own shot off the dribble.

Damion McDowell, 2021, LA Orangemen

McDowell is another talented Dorsey High freshman who is more of the interior scoring and physical presence mold. At 6-feet-5 and 170 pounds with good length, McDowell plays with good energy and effort on both ends of the floor. He’s a solid rim protector defensively and is mobile enough to pick up guards on perimeter switches. McDowell gets out and sprints the floor in transition, resulting in easy paint finishes.

Jaren Harris, 2021, Cal Supreme

Harris had a successful freshman campaign as a starting guard at Windward due to his high basketball IQ and showed a lot of the same over the weekend. Harris is still at the “combo” guard level in his development because he leans a tiny bit more toward scoring than he does to distributing, but make no mistake, he does both very well. Harris was hitting the corner 3-point shot with consistency and getting into the paint at-will for floaters or kick-outs to open shooters.

Christian Johnson, 2021, Cal Supreme

Johnson is fresh off of leading View Park to a CIF Division 4 state championship and that experience is clearly paying dividends in the spring club season. Johnson is as high IQ as it comes, has a strong frame, and plays with good speed and pace at the point guard spot. The 6-foot-1 Johnson showed a lot of grit and intensity as an on-ball defender with improved lateral foot-speed.

Barry Wilds, 2021, Pump-N-Run

Wilds put up huge scoring numbers on the Fairfax junior varsity team and that’s due to his explosive first step, ability to stay on balance through contact and shiftiness in space. Wilds is always in attack mode in transition and in the half-court setting and is a consistent 3-point shooter off of the catch which makes him a tough cover.

Duke Gibson, 2022, LA Orangemen

Gibson, just an eighth grader, showed a lot of promise as a traditional big man. He has soft hands, good footwork, and understands his role as a paint presence which are all things that are difficult to teach young players these days. The 6-foot-6 prospect is mobile in transition and has a good defensive instincts and timing.

Jeremy Dent-Smith, 2022, Cal Supreme

Dent-Smith drew a lot of eyes due to his feel on the ball, basketball IQ, and advanced game for his grade. The 5-foot-9 prospect is trending as a true point guard at the high school level because of his court vision and willingness to get off the ball to set teammates up and promote ball movement. Dent-Smith can score with the best of them, however, especially when getting downhill into the paint out of high ball-screen situations where he can finish around length with his crafty layup package.