Monday, September 7, 2015

Top National Stars Make Huge Statement at Basketball Spotlight Future Phenom Camp

The class of 2024 is young and they are restless; top level guard talent headlines this class and ensures that America will have an exciting and competitive future ahead. The younger age groups at the Basketball Spotlight Future Phenom Camp is quickly establishing itself as the proving groups for producing the next batch of national talents – as the top performers dominate ranking boards nationwide.

This year wasn’t any different; in fact it may have been even more impressive. To truly understand the collective impact of this talented group - let’s meet some of the top perimeter players in the class of 2024.

Jerry Easter (Ohio) - His game is easy like Sunday morning; cerebral and tough Easter is a smooth combination of elite level lead guard and prolific scorer. Relentless in his pursuit of greatness Easters impact can be felt on every possession on both ends. Easter is a complete solution with the rock in his hand as he led his camp team to the championship and is a finalist for both the Camp Most Outstanding Player and Camp Most Valuable Player.

Easter is versatile enough to be considered a combo-guard; he is physically and mentally ahead of his peers in his style and approach to the game. Already sleek and powerful, he can absorb contact on his way to the paint while also having a special ability to make tough shots through contact or from the perimeter. While his primary value is that of a scorer his ball skills and feel for the game are sound enough that he can be considered potentially the top PG in the class. He also won't hesitate to use his brain to bring smaller defenders to the low post or put bigger ones in space – he is actually patient enough and smart enough to use pace, screens, and pick/roll situations to set up these type of mismatches and then go to work exploiting them, this shows great versatility at such a young age and will lead to a very bright future for the kid from the Buckeye state.  Easter carries himself like a 10 year vet personality wise and you will notice a different maturation level when you meet him – Easter is next level special and he has the guidance and work ethic to be a factor all the way through.  

Tariq Robinson (New Jersey) -  Robinson is an attacking point guard that is best at getting in the lane with his explosiveness and he is unselfish along the way looking to get his teammates involved regardless of what the defense throws at him. He has all the physical tools to run a team and score as needed. Tariq is an elite prospect and has tremendous upside.

Tariq impressed the entire weekend playing both ends of the court where his strength, athleticism and the knack to score in crowded spaces separated him from the competition; Robinson used move-on-moves combined with exceptional body control. He keeps the ball on a string and got to wherever he wanted on the floor regardless of who was defending him. Robinson so talented with the rock in his hand improved each game as he become used to playing with 4 other elite players around him at getting the ball up the floor to his teammates on the break.  In the half-court offense and when he needs to make a play Robinson got into the lane at will, showed a nice floater with touch and a solid jumper when his feet are set and he is in rhythm.  The kid has a swagger, a will to win, and toughness that will carry him for many years; he brings his game and now its time for the country to remember his name.

Travis Upchurch (Connecticut) - A budding scoring guard with a lot of raw talent and ability, Upchurch has the type of long and athletic frame that makes his upside easy to see. He's very rangy with a good nose for the ball. He can cover the court, be a major factor in transition, and a excellent weak-side shot-blocker as he learning to make the reads as a help defender. He has a solid foundation on his jumper and works off the catch and shoot and out of the triple threat position; his shooting is what sets him apart initially and his reads are predicated on how he works out of the triple threat and combines it with high level skill and work. 

Long-term, he could be the type of versatile scorer who not only thrives in transition but also from various spots in a half-court game. Long athletic attacking wing scorer that rebounds on both ends and plays with great energy and urgency he is nowhere close to his ceiling.  The times that we see him compete against the nation’s best he is better on Sunday than Saturday.  If Upchurch competed on this level consistently he could push for the best in class.  Through hard work he still will be in that conversation in the short and long term.

John Mobley Jr. (Ohio) – The current #1 player in the class as always put on a basketball clinic and did so with a target on his back making his exploits even more impressive.  Mobley is a true point guard that can make high level plays for others and himself. He is a skill based player who doesn’t rely on athleticism to dominate, we love his competitive as he plays every game like its his last  - Mobley’s upside is tremendous. Both parents played college basketball  and each have size, the genetics in place and the work ethic already instilled we are talking without a doubt a high major point guard that plays with swagger.

As a point guard prospect he plays with poise, advances the ball well in transition, and converts buckets efficiently in the paint area with either hand. He has very good vision while locating open teammates as well. His middle game is impressive also using the rhythm dribble pull up jumper as an excellent resource. He also has the ability to break down his defender at will with his handle and quick first step. Defensively, he has the potential to be a lock-down defender at the next level due to his ability to think the game and force players to their weaknesses.  Defensive try to be physical with the young guard and beat him up as he gains strength he will be able to dish it and deal with the wear and tear that defenses geared to stop him provide.

Brandon Gibson Jr. (California) – Gibson Jr. is an athletic and skilled wing with excellent size. He can finish on the break with his length and athleticism. Brandon really does his damage by shooting the ball like many of his west coast counterparts he gets it done on an advanced level in this aspect.   He runs the floor and can spot up for deep threes. He comes off screens and does a terrific job of reading dribble penetration and getting to the vision of the passer for deep catch and shoot and mid- level jumpers. 

Love how Gibson makes reads to shoot over smaller defenders with ease and his big-game ability to knockdown some back breaking shots at any given time during game play. We see Brandon as a great pick and pop shooter as well in a small line-up.  His size and shooting ability open up  the floor. He is a shot maker and will be a player that rates highly in the class and one that coaches will run plays for putting him in situations to get open looks because shooting the ball is Gibson Jr. does.

Jaden Colzie (New Jersey) – Colzie is only just scratching the surface of his potential and absolutely full of upside. He's got great size and even better length on the perimeter, is a fluid and smooth athlete who covers the court on both sides of the ball, and has budding explosiveness in the paint. There is also a solid foundation of skill to build on. He handles the ball well for a player his size, passes the ball well, and has a sound release on his jumper with room and rhythm. He's a disruptive defender who uses his length well and has a seemingly good nose for the ball coming on the offensive glass.   

Great attitude and a killer smile, he is the consummate teammate and one of the most respectful kids you will ever meet.  A better kids than player and that’s saying a lot.  Everyone we have every spoke to regarding Colzie simply love him and we do too!  His critics will site his productivity relative to his obvious talent, but all signs indicate a potential wing with smooth athleticism that is bound to continue to get better and ultimately blossom into a higher level national prospect than he already is.

 Marcus Blackwell (Michigan) – Blackwell is an athletic guard that can slash and knock down the open three. He is smooth and productive and has tremendous upside. Blackwell is a shooting guard that has excellent quickness and is very good in the open court where he a very good finisher. In the half court Marcus get it done off of penetration and slashes in-between defenders. 

He is a good three point shooter off the catch when his feet are set as well. Marcus can handle the ball and is a solid passer on the move.  Like his brother Marcus is also an active defender that has the size and athletic ability to defend both wing positions and he puts on tremendous pressure as a on ball guy.

Moses Blackwell (Michigan) – Blackwell is a tremendous guard prospect. It's almost staggering the level of polish in Blackwells game as he is truly a baby in the basketball world. He's is so quick and uses angles so well to get where he wants on the court, combine that with his ability to make shots and it will take him a long way. 

Best of all, while every part of his game screams "superstar" he's willing to do the little things to help his team win like making extra passes and defending his man 94-feet.

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