Next Level Invite: Five Takeaways


Posted On: 07/17/18 5:15 PM

Last weekend kicked off a three-weekend stretch of July live periods, and Wisconsin was the spot to be for plenty of Iowa action. The Martin Brothers, Iowa Mavericks, Kingdom Hoops, All Iowa Attack and Quad City Elite were all in Milwaukee playing at Homestead High School. In our three days there, we experienced plenty of exciting stuff: here’s five of the biggest takeaways from the weekend. 


Henry Heats Up

We hadn’t been in Milwaukee for more than one hour and Oskaloosa big-man Cole Henry was already putting us to work. The way he was playing during a Martin Brothers 17U shellacking of Wisconsin Playmakers-Stege, we felt compelled to get the message out, so firing off tweet after tweet about the dominant performance seemed necessary. Henry was electrifying in the win while controlling glass and dominating in the paint. He was also showing a much more developed guard skill-set, dropping dimes and bringing the ball up the floor at times. He looked more like a point-forward than anything else. Henry picked up offers from D2 St. Cloud State and later D1 American last weekend. It could be a matter of time before higher level D1s start to get involved.


Sharar Shows Out

Earlier this year we named Iowa Falls-Alden guard Karson Sharar the Prep Hoops Iowa Freshman of the Year, so it should come as little surprise that he’s the first class of 2021 guy to receive a Division I offer (Drake offered Sunday). Nearly every time we’ve seen All Iowa Attack 15U play this season, Sharar goes off, and that was no different last weekend. He was at his very best during a quarterfinal match against Young Lions (WI), when he scored 15 of his team-high 17 points in the second half and overtime. The next game, a semifinal game against Quad City Elite, he scored his team’s first nine points. The dude is a flat-out scoring machine, and even at just 6-foot, Drake thought it best to offer him. And why not? Sharar’s got a little Reed Timmer in him after-all.


All Iowa Attack 15U

There’s a case to be made, and a very strong one, that the All Iowa Attack 2021 guys are the best 15U squad in Iowa. Twice now we’ve covered a tournament where they advanced farther than any other Iowa 15U squad. First, it was Battle at the Lakes in Minneapolis in May; not only did Attack advance to the Platinum Elite 8 of that one, but they got by the Iowa Barnstormers’ 15U squad in the Sweet 16 to get there. Last weekend, even with a very highly regarded Martin Bros 15U unit in the field, Attack made it all the way to the Platinum Final Four. They lost that game to Quad City Elite. So, I guess the real question is if Quad City Elite is an Iowa team (they roster three guys from the Hawkeye State); if so, them maybe they’re the best 15U squad in Iowa.


Mueller’s Big Play

We’ve seen quite a few dramatic plays the last four summers while out and about covering AAU tourneys around the Midwest, and for some reason, it seems like Kingdom Hoops is involved more often than not. Well Kingdom has a very exciting young point guard coming through the ranks by the name of Nathaniel Mueller, and he provided the play of the weekend against H.I.T (IL) 15U. With little time left on the clock and his team down two, Mueller — a steady and dazzling ball-handler — had the ball in his hands. It looked like a play might have been drawn up where he was looking to get it to one of his teammates, but some stout on-ball defense against him didn’t allow it. With seconds left in the game, Mueller’s instincts kicked in at just the right time, and he decided to try and do it himself. That turned out to be the right idea; he was quick enough, skilled enough and savvy enough to shake his man and create enough space to launch 23-footer cleanly. It dropped, and his team escaped with a one point win. What’s more amazing, is Mueller was the smallest guy on the floor. But still utterly dominant.


DJ in the House

No, not DJ Carton, because he was not in the house. One of the primary reasons we planned this trip to Milwaukee was to see Carton play ahead of his senior season at Bettendorf. Instead, he was in Columbus, Ohio, taking his official visit to Ohio State, and eventually throwing some big news in the middle of the weekend by committing.  We’re happy for DJ. But, the DJ we’re referring to here is the one that was blasting awesome tuneage on court five at Homestead High School all weekend. During warm-ups, halftimes and sometimes during timeouts, a NY2LA staff member was assigned to blast music through some jumbo speakers and seemingly bigger sub-woofers into the eardrums of the players, coaches and fans in attendance. This was a quality set-up folks, some high-grade equipment. It was kind of awesome.