Posted On: 03/10/21 6:00 PM
A well developed AAU team requires some well developed coaching, and that’s what was on display at Geneva High School in Casselberry last Sunday for the Adidas Team Florida 17U tryouts. The tryout featured players from everywhere in Florida, covering a range from Tallahassee to Miami. The players were invited by the coaching staff to come tryout in an event which was labeled “The Workout.” And workout, they did.
The coaching staff ran a group of 30 guys through a series of drills, competitive skill training, and open runs. Coach Ed Hall was the director of the workout. The event was well organized and was perfect for being able to highlight all of these player’s unique skillsets. Bigs and guards alike were able to thrive in a high energy, well-paced environment. Now, here were the standouts at the tryout:
Note: My list of standouts is not indicative of who is and isn’t playing for Adidas Team Florida this AAU Season. These are just players who stood out at the tryout.
Rickey Ballard Rickey Ballard 6'6" | CG Westminster | 2022 State FL , Sagemont, 6’6″, 2022
Ballard is a big, strong guy with a guard skillset and a great feel for the game. He’s a jumper and can finish well around the rim. He’s able to extend his range out past the three point line and score from directly inside the perimeter as well. However, my favorite thing about Ballard is his energy. He’s a composed player who dives for loose balls, hustles for the next possession and gets back on defense. When asked about what he can bring to the team, Ballard reflected these sentiments and answered with “heart and hustle.” That’s what he brings every time he’s on the floor, which makes him an immediate asset to those around him.
Brenen Lorient Brenen Lorient 6'7" | PF Forest | 2022 State FL , Forest, 6’8″, 2022
Lorient is a lanky and freak athlete who serves a purpose on both ends of the floor. On defense, he contests shots at a high level and has the bounce to block shots. On the offensive end, he is a great high flyer who is a lob threat and dangerous in transition. Lorient said that he wants to bring his “high flying athleticism” to the team and knows that he will be able to play with good guards against better competition than he faces in the regular season. He also said he loves the family atmosphere of the team and is excited to establish it this year as it had been in the past. Lorient will be a household name for Florida basketball next season and is someone to definitely keep your eye on.
Jamar Franklin Jamar Franklin 6'1" | CG Rockledge | 2022 State FL , Rockledge, 6’2″, 2022
Franklin is a smooth guard with a killer instinct on the offensive end of the ball. He can score with ease from both outside and inside the perimeter and can set his teammates up as well. Basically, a team with Franklin on the floor is a winning team. In the 5 on 5 runs, Franklin’s team dominated due to his high level playmaking and ability to get a bucket when he needs to. He said that he could add “leadership and hard work.” To any team he’s a part of, something that was definitely evident in his tryout.
Caelum Etheridge and Geoffrey Sprouse Geoffrey Sprouse 5'11" | CG Pines Charter | 2022 State FL , Pembroke Pines Charter, 6’5″/6’, 2022
I’m combining these guys because they were a tough duo to deal with at The Workout. Fresh off a Class 5A State Championship, Etheridge and Sprouse found themselves in Orlando working out with some high level competition. For Etheridge, all eyes were on his shooting prowess. He repeatedly lit up the opposition, at times from way downtown, leading to a good string of wins for his team. Sprouse didn’t show his existent shooting touch, but definitely focused on his ability to finish around the rim and set up teammates. Him and Etheridge had a great connection on the floor and said that playing with each other is definitely something they will consider for their AAU season.
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