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Posted On: 05/22/18 8:29 AM
The Hoop Group Southern JamFest was this past weekend, and being a guy who covers Virginia high school and AAU basketball it is one of the biggest and best tournaments of the year that I cover. With shoe company team and other great programs coming from all over the east coast to compete with teams in our backyard, it is always one of the most entertaining weekends of the summer for us.
We had all five of our Prep Hoops contributors from Virginia and Maryland in attendance, so we’ll have all sorts of coverage from the event this week. With that being said, I will be breaking down some of my standouts from not just Virginia, but all teams. Here’s a look at part one of the 17U standouts I saw.
Caleb Dawkins | 6’2” WG | Team Loaded 757 17U
Dawkins shot the ball well throughout the weekend, but his best game was by far in Loaded 757’s win over Kenny Anderson Elite. The shooting guard started fast by scoring 12 points and hitting four threes in the first half, and he didn’t slow down throughout the game. He finished with 35 points and seven triples, continuing his hot shooting streak throughout the spring and he should see his recruitment pick up here soon.
Cam Thomas | 6’4” WG | Boo Williams 17U
Thomas has been one of the top scorers in the country the past few weeks after averaging 30 points per game in last weekends EYBL session, and he has picked up right where he left off this weekend. He has picked up the slack with star Aundre Hyatt out with injury, and in their cross town rivalry game against Team Loaded 757 he poured in 30 easy points. He has the total package as a scorer both on and off the ball, and his recent growth spurt has helped him get his shots off easier.
Karim Coulibaly | 6’9” PF | New World 17U
Matched up with one of the top bigs in the country, Coliuby not only held his own but he excelled despite New World’s loss to New Heights. A super skilled and long big man, he’s able to score inside and out, and he gives good effort on both ends of the floor. He’s a walking mismatch that can bring shot blockers out of the paint, and he’s able to finish in the paint and above the rim when he gets a head of steam.
Earl Timberlake | 6’5” WG | Team Loaded VA 17U
A two way impact player, Timberlake is really coming into his own for a young Loaded VA team that is finding their stride. He’s a much improved shooter that’s finding confidence in his shot, and he’s able to guard multiple positions at a high level and finish around the basket. His all around game is something that coaches rave about and was on full display at Southern JamFest.
Lester Quinones | 6’5” WG | New Heights 17U
An all around wing with a good shooting stroke and some toughness to him, Quinones was impressive in a number of ways on Saturday of Southern JamFest. He has great size on the wing, and with that he can really shoot the basketball making him very tough to guard. He’s a guy who can attack closeouts and plays well in transition, where he can shoot the deep ball or attack and finish above the rim.
Mamadou Diawara | 6’9” C | Boo Williams 17U
Diawara was impressive in Boo’s win over Team Loaded 757, as he used his size and athleticism to his advantage to dominate in the paint on both ends of the floor. Matched up with a team with no one taller than 6’6” in attendance, he rim ran well, getting one on one matchups in the paint and taking advantage. He finished around the rim with both hands and he finished above the rim with ferocity, and he also was all over the glass on both ends.
Jamon Battle | 6’4” WG | Team Loaded 804 17U
His stock keeps going up, and it it’s going to continue to do so with the way he’s been putting up numbers recently. He had another couple 20+ point games, and that’s only the start to his production as he’s a guy who rebounds, defends and keeps plays alive that don’t show up on the stat sheet. He’s a three level scorer with a great frame and high major athleticism that allows him to finish above the rim, and he’s only scratching the surface with how good he’ll be.