Grassroots Update: The Hoop Salem 17U

High School

Posted On: 05/13/18 5:00 AM

The Hoop Salem has put together some solid AAU squads in recent years and this year’s team has been getting the job done. Coach James Johnson has assembled a number of talented rising seniors and the team has racked up a 6-2 record so far this spring. Many of the players are starting to get looks from colleges at all levels.

Here’s a quick recap of the team so far this grassroots season.

Jaden Nielsen-Skinner (2019 South Salem HS) “Skinny” has been the team’s unquestioned best player and leader. The Portland State commit has been playing freely without the pressure of trying to earn scholarship offers and has been pretty much doing it all on the court. Johnson feels that Nielsen-Skinner is the best player in the state and that he will join up with Seattle Rotary on the EYBL circuit in select tournaments to “have fun”.

RJ Veliz (2019 Blanchet Catholic HS) The high-scoring point guard has been doing much of the same this spring but Johnson notes that his shooting has really improved. A real competitor and sterling student, Veliz has been getting attention from various levels of NCAA and NAIA schools.

Brian Warinner (2019 Bend HS) After playing a stretch four for his high school, Warrier is playing more on the wing this spring. A number of schools at different levels have liked his ability to shoot the ball and Portland State has called.

Drayton Caoile (2019 West Linn HS) The all-around guard has been fitting in at both backcourt spots with his steady play.

Jonathon Nchekwube (2019 Churchill HS) An emerging big man who continues to develop offensively while focusing on rebounding and defense.

Grant Webster (2019 Marshfield HS) Big body (6-foot-7) has shown the ability to step out and hit shots to stretch the floor.

Gabe Reichle (2019 Wilsonville HS) The younger brother of Oregon State guard Zach Reichle has provided depth in the backcourt.

Also, Spencer Hoffman (2018 Link Year Prep/2017 Churchill HS) played with the team during the spring and is currently looking into some Division II options. Kaleb Anundi (2019 Stayton HS) sat out the spring to focus on individual work but will rejoin the team in the summer, perhaps as early as Memorial Day Weekend.