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Posted On: 06/30/18 10:46 PM
Fairfax Summer Classic: Biggest Standouts
LOS ANGELES, CA—It was a bit of a tease, but for a small portion of time there was air conditioning in the Fairfax High School gymnasium. Those of us that have made that trek north to Fairfax, have endured the suffocating sauna-like conditions because the hoops were so worthy of our attention.
Despite some air conditioning malfunctions, the “hoops” action rivaled that of the heat in the gym as Ziaire Williams and Sierra Canyon backed up their reputations as the Best Prospect (Williams) and Best Team (Sierra Canyon) in the event. The first installment of “Francisco’s Finest” will feature those “Biggest Standouts”.
Ziaire Williams (Sherman Oaks/Notre Dame)
2020 WF, 6-foot-7, 180 pounds
Joel’s Take: Williams is the No. 2 prospect behind Evan Mobley in the loaded 2020 Class out West. He is a menace in the open court where he uses his length, ball skills, and bounce to get to the rim. He can nail the 3-point shot, but his shot needs to be more consistent. However, the biggest adjustment Williams needs to make is not settling for the jump shot. Being more assertive in the half court set—utilizing the triple threat—to make the game easier and more efficient for him.
KJ Martin Jr (Sierra Canyon)
2019, PF/WF, 6-foot-6, 190 pounds
Joel’s Take: When speaking about the quickest leapers in Southern California—and the country for that matter—has to include Martin Jr. The ambidextrous finisher gets to the rim twice before most get their once. Despite being 6-foot-6ish his rim protection and rebounding prowess is astounding. His ball skills have improved as well and once his jump shot becomes a weapon, his stock will go to a whole new level.
Christian Moore (Brentwood)
2022, WF, 6-foot-6, 185 pounds
Joel’s Take: There are a few freshman that are standing out early on this summer, but Moore is setting himself apart. The talented wing-type has impressive ball skills, and innate passing ability, and he can knock in jump shots. Despite his youth his competitive spirit is contagious as well as his poise.
Cassius Stanley (Sierra Canyon)
2019, SG, 6-foot-5, 190 pounds
Joel’s Take: Slowly, but assuredly, Stanley is finding his way as an impactful basketball player. His athleticism has never been the issue, but now his mid-range pull-up is a weapon. In addition, he advanced the ball well and showed a better feel for the game. His 3-point shot still needs more consistency, but overall it’s showing improvement.
Ryan Evans (Mater Dei)
2020, SG, 6-foot-3, 185 pounds
Joel’s Take: Santa Margarita’s loss is Mater Dei’s gain. Evans is a knock down shooter and was on-point with his shot, especially off the catch. The other aspect of Evans’ game that you could always count on, is his moxie.
Robert McRae (Fairfax)
2019, SG, 6-foot-3, 180 pounds
Joel’s Take: One of Southern California’s better all-around competitors is McRae. He impacts the game with his defense, passing, and an ability to score—especially in the mid-range area. He possesses natural leadership skills and projects well to the Division 1 level as a glue-type.
Terren Frank (Sierra Canyon)
2020, PF, 6-foot-7, 220 pounds
Joel’s Take: Frank is a skilled 4-man who has a knack to score. He can convert jump shots from the mid-range to the 3-point stripe. He is a solid athlete, but he doesn’t have great bounce. He takes advantage of his would-be defenders with savvy and skill.
Benny Gealer (Rolling Hills Prep)
2022, PG, 5-foot-11, 155 pounds
Joel’s Take: Gealer is right there with Brentwood’s Christian Moore when it comes to discussing the most productive freshman. He is chock full of confidence, skill, and savvy. Whether it’s creating his own shot in the paint via the floater or knocking in a deep 3, Gealer is the real deal.
Wilhelm Breidenbach (Mater Dei)
2021, PF, 6-foot-8, 220 pounds
Joel’s Take: There are not too many young “bigs” as polished as Breidenbach. The skilled pick-and-pop 4-man can shoot the 3-ball, snap passes with either hand, and is an ambidextrous finisher. Toss in a heavy dose of moxie and that describes him to a tee.