Saturday, August 8, 2015

Middle School Rankings Translate to High Level Tournament Performance on West Coast


By: P2Bball.com -WEST COAST CORESPONDENT 
Las Vegas, Nevada

The trend of identifying basketball players as elite prospects in middle school continues to grow with players coming through the rankings successfully going into high school leading the pack. Team Bibby reestablished there National Power House status in the 2015 Fab48 2019 Super Pool lead by three Top 100 National Ranked Middle School players in there respected classes. Their stories have some similarities but they walked different paths with the same hardwork ethic ingredient that lead to a Fab48 championship run. With the combination of elite point guards Javon Blacksher and Jaelen House of 2019 Team Bibby along with the enlisted help of Top 100 2020 National player Tommy Anderson the team went on a exciting run in the historic Nationally recognized tournament. Javon and Jaelen both Nationally ranked household names since an early age have arguably grown into two of the top 2019 points guards in the country. Tommy who has always had the reputation of consistently dominating players at his age level throughout his career received his first National opportunity just one year ago at the Basketball Spotlight Phenom Camp. Just one year later he teamed up with two of the best in the country playing up one grade level for the Fab48 2019 Super Pool National championship. All three traveled different paths utilizing the same ingredient to accomplish goals are maximizing their potential on the National Stage.


Javon Blackshere
The atmosphere at one of the major power house High Schools (Bishop Gorman) in the country in Las Vegas NV was electrifying. With power house Head Coach and brother of UNLV Coach Grant Rice in the building along with media hoop guru Clark Francis walking the sidelines; talent oozed throughout the gym with the 2019 Super Pool being the main attraction. Team Bibby loaded with National ranked players who has an extensive history of winning big games in the Fab48 was one of the most proven teams in the building. Javon Blacksher was one of the stars on the big stage that did not disappoint. Freshly off a MVP of the Fab Fresh Camp (Top 100 Freshmans-invite only) Blacksher was pure dominance. He is abusive with the ball in his hand battling defenders by assaulting them with his body as they attempt to challenge him with each possession. His ability to squeeze through tight areas with control by using his body dominates opposing guards. With an extensive history in Middle School ranking Blacksher proved he is among the best point guards transitioning to the next level. He showcased his elite ability to get to the basket and finish with a creative unique style of play that proved to be unstoppable in the Fab48. Javons athletic ability along with his quickness makes him a lock down defender on opposing guards. He was consistently a man-child on the defense end picking pockets as easily as taking candy from a kid at the candy store. All of that and he still had the long ball threat when defenders attempted to prevent him from coming into the paint.


Jaelen House
 The Elite point guard Jaelen House stops - take pictures, signs autographs with young fans; before racing to the court and lacing up his one pair of shoes – pre-game ritual. His popularity stems from his long history on the circuit, National Middle School rankin, and his fathers ( NBA Champion Eddie House) talents. Yet Jaelen has his own style and still plays with class and respect for the game. From jump ball House produced as he has always throughout his young career. His savy point guard play dazzled players and whooed the crowd. He dominated opposing players with his unique style of shifty ball handling that allowed him to utilize his shoulders as barriers protecting the ball. The NBA range three ball was wet from anywhere on the court daring opponents to step out so he could blow pass them and finish at the basket. The most exciting new part to his game is commitment to defense. Having reached beyond the 6ft range with an incredible wing -span House created havoc for all guards who came his way proven by a game winning block against his old team I 10 Celtics. J house was also the most vocal leader on the floor directing traffic and establishing the trash talking intimidation factor he stole from his farther. With the addition of an exceptional IQ at the point guard position House is transitioning into high school as one of the best point guards in the country 2019.

Top 100 2020 nationally ranked player Tommy Anderson played up one year immediately established himself as a security blanket for the duo and allowed them to play their game. Blasting onto the National Scene just one year ago at the 2014 Basketball Spotlight Phenom Camp Anderson has experienced one of the most productive years of all middle school players in the entire country. From being invited to inclusive only camps (earning USA MVP, John Lucas MVP runner UP ), winning a championship with USA National Select, becoming a bona-fide star in the NYBL, winning numerous tournaments with votes to All tournament Teams and finishing 2015 season paring with two of the best players in the country for a National title in the FAB48 to include a few memorable moments.





Tommy Anderson
Tommy showed why he is a Nationally ranked player producing major minutes utilizing his bag of lethal weapons to plug up the holes needed to make the championship run. Tommy is no surprise to any team because of his elite level of play on the National Circuit. He quickly showed his presence by launching 3 point torpedoes from down town spreading the floor for the two generals to command there zones. Playing always in attack mode - Andersons elite ball handling ability along with his massive frame baffled the older elite players allowing him to get to the basket with strong finishes. Being active in the paint created open areas for Anderson to display his exceptional passing ability on the elite level and with elite 3 point shooters like Blacksher and House as they directed the team straight to the Championship defeating their old squad I-10 Celtics on the way. Defensively he has always been a problem and he did not disappoint for the Fab48. He was a problem pestering opposing guards in the front court with Jaelen House complicating coaches chess match.

This baller story goes after losing the first game of pool play 67-64 to Georgia Stars Team Bibby dominated the rest of pool play defeating I-10 Celtics on the way. Going into Championship bracket Team Bibby continued dominance while upsetting an undefeated Arkansas Hawks team that include elite players 6’8 Kalin Bennett and PG 5’10 Justice Hill before losing in the final 4 to Takeover who would become the eventual tournament champions.

This is why Middle School ranking matters. As two of the best Nationally ranked players in the class of 2019 move on to the elite echelon of high school players they pass the torch on to a group of rising super stars like rising 8th grader Tommy Anderson to continue the tradition. Anderson’s journey will likely continue as he is a Middle School All American Game candidate and is headed back to compete in the national renown Basketball Spotlight Phenom Camp in Maryland against the very best competition in the country. There the push to transition to the next level continues; many have already predicted that Anderson will make a run at the #1 spot at the camp. 

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