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Posted On: 07/9/18 12:40 PM
Orange, Ca. — Orange Lutheran high school played host to the annual Ballislife Jr. All-American Camp, drawing 180-plus youth basketball players ranging from third graders up to incoming ninth graders.
We don’t venture into the lower grade levels in coverage or evaluation, so this top performers piece will strictly deal with the classes of 2022 and 2023.
Here are some of the standouts from the class of 2023.
Carter Bryant, 2023
Bryant was one of the younger rising eighth graders in the camp, and while he still has to add strength to his wiry 5-foot-8, 130-pound frame, Bryant’s skill and basketball IQ making him an intriguing long-term prospect. Bryant was one of few players to continuously talk on defense, letting teammates know which side a screen was coming from and communicating when to switch and when to fight through.
Jalen Constantino, 2023
Constantino is a quick and shifty point guard a 5-feet-2. The Cerritos-native caught fire from deep on Saturday, draining a handful of 3-pointers off the bounce with impressive range and confidence. Constantino has a tight handle on the basketball and impressive blow-by speed both in transition and in the half-court setting.
Jontue Cooper-Davis, 2023
Cooper-Davis was another guard on the smaller-side, as far as height goes, who consistent from deep on the weekend. The 5-foot-5 guard was left open far too often and made defenses pay with his ability to hit the catch-and-shoot 3-pointers with regularity.
Bryson Everett, 2023
Everett, a rangy 5-foot-7 wing, showed smooth attacking ability off the bounce. He used his long strides to get by defenders and into the paint where he used his length to finish around the basket. Everett has good early scoring instincts off the wing.
Jackson Gray, 2023
Gray has nice floor spreading ability at 5-feet-10. He prefers to spot-up in either of the short corners and allow guards to penetrate and kick to him when his defender sags off in help-side defense. Gray showed no hesitation when letting it fly from deep.
Jalani Liva, 2023
Liva was one of the best post players in the camp. At 6-feet-3, 215 pounds, he had the size and strength to simply resort to bully-ball tactics if he wanted to, but Liva had the footwork and feel with his back to the basket to out-skill any defender in his way. Liva had all the tricks of the trade down pat — quick baseline spins, drop-steps, up-and-unders and the ability to finish with either hand around the basket.
Aaron McBride, 2023
At 6-feet-3 and 180 pounds, McBride used his overwhelming combination of size, length and athleticism to clean the offensive and defensive glass both in and out of his space. He embodies the “high motor” terminology, playing hard on both ends of the floor and never missing an opportunity to race out to a transition layup or dunk.