Posted On: 05/22/18 8:47 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 two of the 17U standouts I saw.
Mike Christmas | 6’5” WF | Team Loaded VA 17U
A late addition to the Team Loaded VA team, Christmas is starting to find his groove with this group as an athletic shooter. He has good size on the wing as a shooter, and he can knock down shots off the catch with consistency. He isn’t limited to just that however, as he’s athletic enough to play in transition, attack in straight lines and finish at and above the rim.
Jaden Frazier | 6’8” PF | Team Loaded 804 17U
Another guy who’s stock is soaring with Loaded 804, Frazier has developed over the years and has found his ways of being productive while remaining a mismatch. Because of his skill set, he’s able to score both on the block with his back to the basket and he can face up or step out to shoot the midrange. He has some toughness to him, as he’ll bang on the block and battle on the glass, and he’s learning to play through mistakes and keep his high motor rolling. He’ll continue to pick up offers and when July hits he’ll have mid major coaches all over him.
Mack Burgett | 6’6” F | Team Loaded 804 17U
Burgett has continued to improve his game and become more confident, and it showed so much in their win over District Basketball Club. After making some mistakes in the middle of the second half, he continued to play through it even though 804 blew a double digit lead. Burgett didn’t lose confidence though, as he hit two big time threes in the last couple of minutes, including the game winner that you can see below. It was a big time showing for a prospect that is on the verge of breaking out to coaches.
Zach Hatter | 6’2” WG | Virginia Blaze 17U
A knock down shooter from deep, Hatter was key in helping Blaze to the 17U Platinum Championship game where they fell just short. He was consistent from deep, and was clutch down the stretch as he took and made big shots throughout the event. A high IQ guard who can play on and off the basketball, Hatter moves well without the basketball and can create space and knock down shots with the ball in his hands.
Antwan Epps | 6’1” PG | Team Loaded 757 17U
The way he played this past weekend, it looks like Hampton got a steal as Epps can flat out score the basketball. He’s a guy who can create his own shot and score the basketball at all three levels, and the way he scores it when he gets hot is a nightmare for opposing teams. He can make threes off the catch and the bounce, and he’s a supremely confident scorer that can fill it up against the best of them.
Ashley James | 6’2” PG | Team Loaded 757 17U
An athletic two way guard that can always plays best against the top competition, James showed the ability to defend the top player on the other team while also being an impact player on the offensive end. He’s what I call a “slippery guard,” because when he slashes to the basket you think you have him bottled up until he changes his body midair or shows some wiggle to get to the cup. He has good size and playmaking ability on both ends too.
Kenny Anderson Jr. | 6’3” PG | Kenny Anderson Elite 17U
The son of former NBA point guard Kenny Anderson (who was coaching this group), Anderson Jr. had an impressive showing in their game against Team Loaded 757. He showed creative abilities with the ball in his hand, as he was able to create space for his own shot and make plays for others. He showed that he can score from all three levels and get to the free throw line, as he scored 20 points on a variety of different moves and shots from all over the floor.