The Proving Grounds 16u event kicks off Friday night and will include some of the best teams from Minnesota, Wisconsin, South Dakota, and others areas.
The Who: It’s 42 teams coming to proving themselves against some of the better teams in the upper Midwest. The following areas are represented: Kansas (2), Minnesota (21), North Dakota (3), Illinois (3), Iowa (2), Nebraska (1), Canada (2), South Dakota (1), and Wisconsin (7). Familiar names like Omaha Crusaders, Minnesota Heat, Minnesota Fury, Minnesota Select, Wisconsin Playmakers, Iowa Prep, Wisconsin Academy, and others.
The What. As far as the locals go this event will have 11 of the top 25 ranked teams in the state of Minnesota. The event favorite is Fury Zurn who is 9-1 after two events with a championship to their name. They are ranked second in Minnesota. The top local contenders will be 7th ranked Heat Moberg and 8th ranked Fury Kline. This will be the top 16s Heat team and you know the talented second Fury squad would like a shot at Fury Zurn. Also 12th ranked Heat Presbi, 14th ranked Crossfire Pederson, 16th ranked WC United, 21st ranked Select Kich, and 19th ranked Select Okafor are all competing in this event. Add in#22 D1 Rise, #23 Grassroots, and #24 TC Finest and you have a very healthy local group. Out of North Dakota the event has the 3rd ranked team in the PHD area (that’s North Dakota and South Dakota) in ND Attack plus 5th ranked DTA Gold.
The When. Everything starts this Friday night as games initially tip-off at 6:30.
The Where. Bloomington Kennedy and Bloomington Jefferson will be the weekend hosts to the Proving Grounds.
The Why. Come see good teams and talent. Here is some of the best local Minnesota talent that will be in Bloomington.
- 6-3 Carter Anderson of Heat Presbi. Carter had a huge year at Centennial and as a strong, skilled, agile guard, this is certainly a scholarship level player.
- 6-5 Max Bilcik of Crossfire Pederson. Max scored 18 a game this winter with good size.
- 6-8 Cole Chapman of Heat Moberg. Cole will be one of the stronger posts in the event and he’s coming off a really nice year for a strong Class AAA team (Mahtomedi).
- 6-0 Deijuan Dodd of TC Finest. Things are starting to turn some at SSP and Dodd is a reason. He’s lead the Finest in scoring a few times already.
- 6-0 Ben Ellingworth of Select Koch. Ben scored 14 a game for Loyola this winter and is now a scorer for Select.
- 6-1 Miles Harrell of Select Okafor. Miles is the other Edina sophomore who was up with the JV/varsity squad this winter and he helped them win a lot last weekend.
- 6-4 PJ Hayes of Fury Zurn. Hayes is a skilled veteran already with two years of service already played against one of Minnesota’s toughest schedules (Waconia).
- 6-5 John Henry of Fury Kline. One of the sweeter strokes in the event with good size and a better defender than credited for.
- 6-4 Caleb Hoilien of Crossfire Pederson. Caleb scored 20 a game this winter and is ready to make a name for himself.
- 6-9 Jacob Hutson of Fury Kline. Hutson is a mid-major scholarship guy at least and is coming off a strong season in the low post at Edina.
- 6-3 Moses Idris of Heat West. Moses has physical gifts that few guys do and he’s developed well at Austin playing JV.
- 6-0 Jaylen James of Fury Zurn. The son of a college coach James plays with court intelligence and led his team in scoring as a sophomore.
- 6-0 Grant Jensen of West Central United. Helped get his team to the state tournament supporting a senior dominated squad as a young starter.
- 6-6 Charlie Katona of Fury Zurn. Our feel is that sometime soon Katona will have mid-major programs calling on him. Katona is that good.
- 6-3 Bruce Lockwood of Select Koch. Bruce was on the floor for Shakopee this winter because he’s tough and physical ready to compete.
- 5-9 Tait Nelson of Heat Moberg. Tait will be one of the most competitive players out there the way he defends and attacks.
- 6-2 Agwa Nywesh of Heat West. Nywesh is the brother of D1 guard AJ Nywesh and he had a solid start to the year for Austin.
- 6-0 Daniel Savague of West Central United. Daniel put up 22 a game this winter which is more than anyone on this list.
- 6-8 Cameron Steele of Fury Zurn. Skilled and aggressive with good size, scored numbers in the state’s best league.
- 6-2 Dan Swedin of Comets Koch. Dan is one of those Eastview sophomores that the program is excited about for the future.
- 6-6 Brady Williams of Fury Zurn. This is an agile player that looks to be flirting with the D1 level. Skills are much improved.
- 6-5 Jon Zinniel of D1 Rise. Jon was a Class A =All State player in Minnesota this winter at New Ulm Cathedral leading a ranked team in scoring.