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Posted On: 06/28/18 2:47 PM
Over the past ten days I have was able to witness some outstanding scrimmage sessions. Being able to attend two Deer Park Shootouts and a session at Clark gave me the opportunity to see some very good summer action and performances. Here are some names to keep in mind for the July live period and going into the season. The upperclassmen are up first.
Ibrahima Athie/Deer Park (2019 PHO #85)- Fresh off helping the Wildcats win their first state title, Athie looks like a player ready for his first offer. The first thing I noticed was that he looked to have good bounce, which means he has no ill effects from the knee injury he had before his junior year. Always known for his ball-handling and play-making ability, Ibrahima has shown a much better shooting stroke from three and has been a walking bucket from the free-throw line extended.
Sean Ealy/Clark Montessori (Class of 2020)- While he did not shoot the ball well from three, the Clark junior was tough to contain off the dribble against Purcell. Sean was able to use his crafty ball-handling and strength to get to his spots and finish with a mixture of pull-up jumpers and floaters. Ealy also showed good strength finishing at the rim while taking contact.
Brice Hill/Seven Hills (2019 PHO #92)- We have known for the past few years that this young man can score the ball, and at the Deer Park Shootout on Saturday he showed that and more. Hill has one of the smoothest strokes in the city and while that was on full display, he showed the ability to score off the dribble and create for others. If he can continue to improve his handle, with his size (6’5), he is going to be a nightmare for defenders trying to guard him.
Julian Newman/Western Hills (Class of 2020)- The cupboard is not totally bare for Coach Mark Mitchell, as this young man can flat out shoot the ball. Off the dribble, off the catch, from the parking lot and with a hand in his face it did not matter. Julian continued to knock down shots from behind the arch. And this was at two different Deer Park Shootouts. You will hear more from this young man.
Nekhi Smith/Taft (2020 PHO #15)- This rising junior can flat out score the basketball, and he is starting to do it in a variety of ways. Smith can already score in pick and pop situations and in the paint, but showed a much, much improved handle on Saturday. He regularly used both ball fakes and dribble moves to get good shots in the paint. What an addition for Coach Bradley and the Senators.
Bryan Warah/Purcell Marian (2019 PHO #170)- Warah gave Clark all types of fits in the post in their scrimmage last week. It was old-school post play from the senior as he scored over, around and under the Cougar defenders. Bryan combines good foot work with good usage of head and shoulder fakes to get the job done around the rim. He put on maybe the best performance of the week offensively.
Demetrius Watkins/Western Hills (Class of 2020)- Another player that will be a key piece for the Mustangs in what is a transition period. While Demetrius can shoot the ball, he is at his best off the bounce and in transition where he can use his athleticism. Watkins also has the make-up to be an outstanding defender as well and has at times shown that ability.
Mark Wise/Deer Park (2020 PHO #14)- Bully ball was in full effect during the DP Shootout on Saturday. As always Wise routinely got to the rim off dribble penetration but he also showed a willingness to post-up smaller defenders and put them in the bucket. Mark is also getting better at finishing through contact and with his left hand in traffic.