Tuesday, November 24, 2015

6-foot-10 Charles Bassey P2Ball.com #2 Prospect 2019 - Shows the Middle School World What the Next Level Looks Like with MVP Performance

Charles Bassey continues to impress claiming MVP honors in 1st HS Tournament

Many players come through the middle school ranks with aspirations of excelling at the next level, earning a high major scholarship, and a very select few have the dream and the requisite talent to make it to the professional level.
We are not talking about a 6’6 center who plays bully ball who doesn’t translate, we are not talking about a athletic wing with point guard size; we are talking about a 6’10 talent with a real shot at future stardom.  He hails from San Antonio, Texas by way of Nigeria – he has been in the states less than 6-months to date but has already made a name for himself on the national circuit by those in the know.
He is Charles “Big Ticket” Bassey; former coach and current basketball analyst Fran Fraschilla after viewing Bassey stated that “He takes your breath away”.  So one might think that with the influence of sneaker companies and the pull of powerful AAU club programs such a talent would be playing at a national power – to the contrary Bassey’s path St. Anthony Catholic High School in Texas, NOT the NY/NJ power one might first think when hearing the name.

Why does it sound crazy that such a talent be given time to adjust to a new country and a new culture before having to deal with the pressures of being a basketball star or the “next big thing”? The answer is rhetorical in nature – at 6’10, with a skill set, functional talent that transitions, a frame that is built for the game and begs to be further chiseled. Players like this who make sense can allow the 6-foot, 3-men and the 6’6 power forwards who have maxed out their size and keep adding to their youtube highlights opposed to their games to have all of the lights, cameras, and action their days are close to over and his is simply just beginning.

Charles was still playing soccer when he was 12-years old standing 6’5 and had never heard of youtube, camps, AAU, and had never touched a basketball for that matter. Now having had the opportunity to see him in person and understanding the circle, training, and group that he handling his development his time is clearly on the horizon. He will be a secret no more – as will be the case as the years go on at every level, new talent will emerge seemingly out of nowhere as grade school stars who believe they have already made it disappear into oblivion. Bassey calmly made his high school debut less than a week ago dropping a triple double of 20-points, 10-rebounds, 10-blocks in front of unnamed NBA scouts.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Lighting Strikes Twice - Meet The Show Runner 2020 PG Ahron Ulis; He's Up Right Now

Ahron Ulis, the younger brother of Kentucky’s PG Tyler Ulis; is a solid lead guard in his own right.  We like the size and length as well as his ability to score off the catch or dribble with three point range. We saw his ability to create his own shot especially when making decisions working off on ball screens.  He was verbal, communicated on both ends, and ran the team - even in a camp setting he got  teammates involved. 

Ulis has a tight handle with a variety of dribble moves that includes change of pace and directions on a dime – his continued work on a high level where he can constantly test himself and hone his skills will make Ahron one of the nation’s elite guards as well. Ulis has an excellent basketball IQ to go with his speed and quickness which is still developing and the ceiling remains high in this department as well – you see the wheels turning while he thinks through situations and makes plays. 

He competes at a high level and was consistent in every game when it came to production and taking care of the ball. Ulis can make a play at end of clock situations for him or others and hits free throws in clutch situations. He is a solid shooter mechanically and percentage wise; with range to 20 feet to go along with his sweet mid-range pull-up package. 

But just like big brother, Ulis passes the ball on time and on target, he get the ball to teammates where all they have to do is step in to their shot. We also loved the use of the shot fake to get the defender out of position before or after he picks up his dribble. He has the feel and style of a young Johnny Dawkins when you watch him operate. 

In transition he can be a one man fast break with his ability to push the ball at high speeds where he is always a threat to score the ball or drop off for an easy basket – the array of finishes will only be enhanced with added size and athleticism, the frame already has some intriguing length to work with in the future. Defensively he is quick enough to be disruptive on the ball with his active hands and quick feet.

So often the lineage of star siblings create pressure and unfair expectations – in this case Ashton is a star in his own right and has a certain set of tools that will impress scouts, entice colleges and universities, and a pedigree to achieve on the highest level.  After seeing Ulis this weekend anything less would be uncivilized.