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Posted On: 09/10/18 4:03 PM
Prep Hoops 250 expo came and went and was a successful event with a great turnout of student athletes that came out and competed from start to finish. There were great shooters, defenders, rebounds, distributors and glue guys but the best of the best came out and were on display – here’s who stood out most with our Prep Hoops Awards.
TJ Bamba – Lincoln
Lincoln will be scary good this year as they have multiple players that really stood out at the expo, but the player that stood out most was TJ. TJ literally does it all, he showed off an improved jump-shot, he stayed aggressive on the board and showed that he was unarguably the most athletic player there. He had a flurry of dunks, scored when he wanted to at the rim, defended well and went out of his way to find the open man. He led one of the less stacked teams to multiple victories and was the best player on the court at all times. TJ is a player that will surely turn heads for the next two years as one of the best players in the state and it will be interesting to see how the Lancers mesh when it all comes together. I know one thing’s for certain, there’s not many players in the state that will be able to guard Bamba.
Peyton Westfall – Pine Creek
For Peyton, he affects the game in so many ways that when he gets the ball you’d expect him to be a player that doesn’t try and score. Think again. He was attacking the rim aggressively and on multiple occasions heated up and went on fire. He’s a player that shoots the ball confidently and can create for himself. He moves well without the ball and also has a mid-range jumps shot. He has a smooth shooting stroke and can knock down shots with a defender in front of him as well. He’s a leader and dynamic as he can be used to play multiple positions.
Hezekiah Swanson – Overland
Hezekiah is a true point guard that can do it all. He creates, he scores and can run the offense smoothly, but his bread and butter is on the defensive end. He’s a tenacious defender that stays in front of his man and makes it hard on the opposing guard. He can guard from 90-feet in and has quick hands. He’s a high IQ defensive player as he forces the player to the off hand, plays the passing lane and can switch on to a bigger defender. Hezekiah is also one of the most improved players in the state so having him have a good showing at the expo only validates my point.
Graham Ike – Overland
Graham is a force down low and a player that takes up so much space with his length and movement, not to mention he’s 6’6 and still growing. He’s a player that gets down in the block where he’s comfortable and really makes the defender pay. He has a full back to the basket game and very soft touch around the rim as he can throw up the sky hook or put his body on the player for the easy basket. He knows how to use his body well, defends the paint and runs the floor well for such a big guy. He’s a player I expect to be used in the pick and roll a ton for the upcoming season and with more work can put his bid in as one of the top big men in the state. He’s raw with a high ceiling that you can’t find everywhere.
Sebastian Cole – Cherry Creek
Sebastian is a proven guard with big game experience and you can tell by the way that he carries himself on the court. He is a speedy guard with above average passing skills and a high basketball IQ. Sebastian pushes the pace offensively and defensively and is not afraid to challenge his opponents. Sebastian shocked me with how athletic he is for a smaller guard as he got to the lane multiple times and finished over traffic, but then there was a finish where he dunked the ball with two hands. His speed mixed with his athleticism separates him from most guards and he will be asked to do a lot for Creek this upcoming season. He is showing great signs of being on the right track to take over.