Posted On: 05/8/18 12:21 PM

It’s a pretty general term: exciting. In a basketball sense, exciting could mean a little something different for everyone. Some consider draining 30-foot Steph Curry 3s is exciting, others prefer Russell Westbrook’s rim-rattling jams, still others might insist that Chris Paul’s dimes are the most exciting part of the game.  In this article, we’ll look at eight guys in Iowa that are just plain fun to watch; dime-droppers, rim-rattlers and bomb-droppers included. 


Issa Samake, 6’7 F (Grand View Christian) — 2019

Twice in the span of one month we saw this Mali-born athletic marvel throw down almost identical reverse alley-oop jams. The first was at the state tournament in Des Moines, the other in Ames at the Super 16 last month. The Ames one was with two seconds left on the clock, and sent the 17U title game into overtime. So, ya, Samake — with his immense length and freakish athleticism — is certainly electrifying.


Tyreke Locure, 5’10 PG (Des Moines North) — 2019

When your posting numbers as prolific as Locure has across the board for three straight years, chances are, you’re an exciting guy to watch. Locure has the most innate basketball instincts in the state. And that means he’ll drop a dime, or swipe a steal at any given moment. He keeps the fans in the stands on their toes, always; and with his athleticism continuing to surge, he could be a guy to get up and throw ’em down by his senior season with the Polar Bears.


Jake Hilmer, 5’10 PG (North Linn) — 2019

Hilmer is the Class 1A version of Locure. He’s got an unbelievably high basketball IQ, and an innate feel for the game. Those things paired with his elite speed and ability, equal big, big numbers. Hilmer has already re-written the Iowa high school record books, and will continue to do so while stimulating crowds for one more season at North Linn.


Xavier Foster, 6’10 F (Oskaloosa) — 2020

The high major schools have seen Foster’s exciting brand of play, and they like what they see; Iowa, Iowa State, Creighton, Illinois, Texas A&M, Missouri, Baylor have all offered, and he’s still got a ways to go before his high school career is complete. It’s his immense length that makes him special, and he’s able to block anything even remotely close to him. He can also get up and jam very-very easily. A recent development, though, is his butter stroke from a deep. A 6’10 guy with that length that could develop into a sharpshooter before too long, scary.


Bowen Born, 5’10 PG (Norwalk) — 2020

Born is exciting to watch because he’s exceedingly crafty and savvy with every move he makes. He’s a well-trained hoopster with a pure jumper and a tight handle, and despite his stature, dominates bigger competition more often than not. He’ll have at least a few slick passes or ball-handling tricks each time we see him; a smooth operator who can make it rain from deep, it’s always a treat to watch this Norwalk and Iowa Barnstormers product play.


DJ Carton, BettendorfDJ Carton, 6’2 PG (Bettendorf) — 2019

North Dakota, IUPUI, Wisconsin, Northern Iowa, Marquette, Nebraska, Iowa, Creighton, Minnesota, Missouri, Illinois, Iowa State, Indiana, Michigan, USC, St. John’s: that’s the schools that have offered Carton up to now. The list is likely to expand by the end of July. He’s strong, has great lift, some of the tightest handles in the Midwest, and will blow by his guy on dunk on another guy at any opportunity. Carton is one of the hottest prospects in the country right now, and that makes him very exciting.


Trayvon Williams, 6’3 G (Valley) — 2019

Some of the more rousing dunks we’ve seen the past two summer have come from this extremely athletic combo-guard. And he knows exactly how much lift he’s got; Williams is not shy about getting up and going for the monster slams, even if it’s just a little bit our of his range. That’s the thing with him, though, even when he misses dunks, or comes up a little short, it’s fun to watch, because of of how high he gets off the ground. This Kingdom Hoops and Valley product certainly has one of the best verticals in Iowa.


Angelo Winkel, 6’7 PF (Bishop Garrigan) — 2021

We’re going to give the 2021 class a little love here, and from what we’ve seen so far, Winkel is the most exciting freshman in the state. He dominates the glass on both ends of the floor, and what’s most fun to watch, is when he gets free for jam opportunity. He’s not got elite leaping ability, but he gets up really well for a big-man, especially for a freshman big-man. We’re looking forward to seeing his athleticism and skill-set develop over the next three seasons.