Grassroots Update: The Hoop Salem 16U


Posted On: 07/3/18 7:00 AM

The Hoop Salem 16U squad represents the future of the program next year at the 17U level but they’ve been able to do some damage this spring. Head coach Nelson Lomax recently helped lead the team to a second place finish in the 16U Open Division at The Hoop Memorial Day Classic and the squad is looking to build on that momentum in the month of July.

Here’s a breakdown of the current roster and how they have performed so far:

Emorej Lynk (2020 Kennedy HS) – Lynk was one of the team’s top players in the spring. An impressive athlete at 6-foot-4 already possessing the body of a grown man, he has been the team’s main man on the boards and has done the job scoring, mainly on drives to the basket. Defensively he has the versatility to guard either on the perimeter or down in the post. His outside shooting is still improving. Lynk is also a football standout.

Mason Lomax (2020 Sprague HS) – Lomax is the coach’s son. The six foot guard started off slowly due to an ankle injury but is now at full strength with his explosiveness back – and was arguably the team’s best player at The Memorial Day Classic in Salem. He shoots the ball well and has good court vision, and his body has developed enough physically where he can take smaller players down in the post.

Kaelin O’Neal (2020 Churchill HS) – O’Neal, at 6-foot-5, has a versatile offensive game where he can step out and shoot the perimeter shot or take the ball to the rim. Nelson feels that O’Neal may be the team’s best two foot jumper. With his size he’s also helped out on the boards and defensively. Lomax estimates that O’Neal has averaged around 15 points per game this spring.

Kobe Withers (2020 Sprague HS) – With the first name of Kobe you’re bound to have some expectations placed on you and Withers has tried to live up to them this spring. The six footer has played a lot of point guard but he’s more of a combo who shoots it OK but is good at getting to the basket. He’s also been a good defender for Hoop Salem.

Nelson Lomax notes that the team will be adding three players from the Tri-Cities area from the Sagebrush AAU club, but that the specific players are to be determined. Payton Richardson (2020 Western Mennonite HS) who played with the team the last couple of tournaments, has left the squad to join Team Fly South 16U.