Posted On: 07/6/19 12:57 AM

The sounds of squeaking shoes, whistles blowing, and coaches yelling echoed through Illinois Basketball Academy on Friday Night. The deafening sound was a sign of one thing: AAU season is back. The Prep Hoops Circuit took a brief break during June but returned with a bang on Friday night. With four games taking place at the same time, there was top tier talent wherever you turned.  Here are six prospect standouts from night one of the Summer Challenge. 

Jonathan Rankins-James- Gallo Sports Center 

I briefly watched Jonathan Rankins-James during Hard Work Live in April. He was impressive in Madison, but he looked even better on Friday night. In a win over All In Simmons, Rankins-James scored 12 points― 11 coming in the first half. The 6’2″ guard recently took home a state championship in long jumping, and it was pretty obvious. Nearly jumping over other players to get rebounds, Rankins-James showed why he took home the prestigious award in June.  Not only does he have athletic ability, but the guard has the skills to pair with his athleticism. He can make shots and is a solid playmaker at the PG position.

Jashon Lee- Gallo Sports Center

Scoring eight points in a win, Jashon Lee showed tremendous promise. He made two threes, showing his shooting touch.  The forward can make difficult shots, pass, and rebound well. Standing at 6’4″, Lee has a very strong build. He is able to clash with bigger players on the block, yet also float outside of the paint and compete with guards. 

Tyler Johnson Tyler Johnson 6'4" | SF Romeoville | 2021 State IL – All In Athletics Adidas Gold

SW IL Jets hung around for most of the second half, but they were unable to gain traction. The Jets were not able to make the final comeback push because of Tyler Johnson Tyler Johnson 6'4" | SF Romeoville | 2021 State IL ’s playmaking. Johnson scored nine points, leading AIA to a 79-69 victory. The 6’2″ PG has a quick first step and is a great passer. Johnson was the straw that stirred the drink for All In Athletics. 

Amar Augillard Amar Augillard 6'5" | SF Zion Benton | 2021 State IL – All In Athletics Adidas Gold

Amar Augillard Amar Augillard 6'5" | SF Zion Benton | 2021 State IL was the most powerful player that competed at Illinois Basketball Academy on Friday. Looking like he would find success on a football field, Augillard used his superior strength to drive past his defenders en route to multiple easy layups. Augillard’s innate strength and leaping ability made him a player that was tough for defenders to slow down. 

Norvell Meadows Norvell Meadows 6'0" | PG Orr | 2021 State IL – Chicago Grinders 

Norvell Meadows Norvell Meadows 6'0" | PG Orr | 2021 State IL had the most impressive individual performance on the opening night of the Summer Challenge: leading his otherwise rudderless Chicago Grind team to a near victory.  Although Meadows and his team fell short of the desired goal, he can be content with his individual performance.  Everything on the offensive end ran through the PG; when Meadows set up the offense, it often led to buckets. He has zero fear throughout the entirety of the matchup. It didn’t matter if defenders were hanging on his jersey, or he was being double teamed, Meadows still scored. 

John Lovelace John Lovelace 6'4" | SF Brown Deer | 2021 State WI Jr.- ABC Young Lions

Now a veteran of multiple great weekends on the Prep Hoops Circuit, John Lovelace John Lovelace 6'4" | SF Brown Deer | 2021 State WI continued to prove himself as a regular top performer. A smooth scoring guard, Lovelace can make open jump shots or score at the basket on a common basis. He can also use his long arms to disrupt opponents on defense, but that is more of an embellishment. Lovelace has secured his spots as one of the better prospects in the 2021 class. 

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