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Posted On: 07/25/18 6:00 AM
This past weekend, the Premier Summer Championships tournament took place in Salem, Oregon. The tournament featured some of the top players from Washington and Oregon, and this article will point out the top bigs from Washington in the 17U Division.
Jaden McDaniels – 6’9 – Seattle Rotary 17U – Federal Way High School – Class of 2019
The #10 ranked player in the nation (see rankings here) showed up and showed out in Salem. While perhaps not the strongest tournament he’s ever had, McDaniels displayed all of the reasons that college coaches across the country are falling in love with him. The shooting ability, ball handling ability, and competitive fire are all there, coupled with his impressive length. McDaniels is a bonafide star rising in Washington.
Abdul Mohamed – 6’8 – Northwest Coastal Elite – West Seattle High School – Class of 2019
Mohamed, who also recently appeared on the Prep Hoops National Rankings, was one of the most impressive players in Salem this weekend. While he has the length, athleticism, and tenacity that coaches want from their big men, Mohamed displays post moves, knowledge of positioning, and communication on defense that most high school players don’t. A highlight from his weekend, which opened eyes wide, came on a play in which he was double-teamed on a post-up. Playing with poise, he split the double-team with a pivot and high rip-through, elevated, and dunked the ball with two hands, letting out a roar for good reason. Mohamed looks poised for a huge senior year.
Willie Thomas III – 6’6 – Washington Supreme Cagle – Class of 2018
Thomas was very effective for Washington Supreme this weekend. His quick first step and overall speed helped him to get to the rack, both in the half-court and pushing the ball on the break. Perhaps most impressive was his consistency with his midrange jumper, which he knocked down efficiently against man and zone defenses. He flashed all of these skills in an 18 point outing in the semifinals against SFD Elite, going up against 7-footer Zane Foster (who appears below).
Zane Foster – 7’0 – SFD Elite – Puyallup High School – Class of 2019
Foster, one of the tallest players in the state of Washington, flashed some skills that most big men haven’t figured out yet while playing in Salem. Not only was he nearly 100% from the free throw line on the weekend, but he carried that touch over to jumpshots out of the post. On one memorable play from the tournament, Foster caught the ball on the block with his back to the basket. He proceeded to spin baseline and hit the turnaround jumper with nothing but net. While he needs to bulk up, the big man has real upside, both with his size and his skill.
Maar Rambang – 6’7 – Northwest Coastal Elite – West Seattle High School – Class of 2019
Northwest Coastal Elite and West Seattle High School both have luck on their side, rolling out teams with Rambang and Abdul Mohamed in the post. Rambang, like Mohamed, is long and understands positioning. What makes him stand out is his relentlessness on the offensive boards. It seems like he cleans up every miss that his team has. Additionally, Rambang was great at passing out of the post, both to cutters and to open shooters in the opposite corner.
Paolo Banchero – 6’8 – Seattle Rotary 17U – O’Dea High School – Class of 2021
That’s right, a rising sophomore made the list for best big men in the 17U division. But he didn’t just make the list, he might have been the best one. A favorite for MVP of the tournament before Seattle Rotary removed itself from the tournament on Sunday morning, Banchero is a legitimate terror on the court. He can score in the post, he can score with midrange jumpers, and he can take his man off the bounce. Add in the very good shot-blocking instincts, and you have the two-way force that is Paolo Banchero. Look for him to make a name for himself in his sophomore year at O’Dea.