After an eleven year hiatus, Slam Dunk to the Beach, one of the country’s premier high school basketball showcases, is back. The event was founded by the Delaware Sports Commission, a non-profit organization whose purpose is to draw various sporting activities to the First State’s sports community and bolster the local economy. Some of the events most notable alumni include Lebron James, Carmelo Anthony, Dwight Howard, and J.J. Reddick. The event was held at the beautiful campus of Cape Henlopen High School in Lewes, Delaware. It was well organized and provided access to players, coaches, and media information. Here are the outstanding performers from the showcase.
Top Performing Upperclassmen
Isaiah Briscoe, 6-3, PG, Roselle Catholic (NJ) 2015
Mr. Must See TV. The top rated point guard in the country gave spectators plenty of highlights while he scored 23 points in a decisive win over Haverford School (PA) and 17 in a double overtime thriller against Gonzaga (DC). Briscoe’s combination of strength, craftiness, and his propensity for making others around him better are qualities he flashed throughout the weekend. Ever the competitor, Briscoe scored whenever his team needed a bucket. Look for Briscoe to compete for minutes when he gets to Lexington next season.
Bryant Crawford, 6-3, G, Gonzaga College HS (DC) 2015
Crawford’s weekend began with tough shooting night against Christ the King (NY). By the end of the showcase, there wasn’t a doubt in spectators’ minds as to why he was one of the most highly recruited guards in the nation. He flirted with a triple double by posting 9 points, 9rebounds, and 9 assists, against Gil St. Bernard (NJ), and dropped 17 against national power, Roselle Catholic. Crawford is a guard in every sense of the word. His sharp handle allowed him to operate in tight spaces, while his court vision helped him deliver passes to his teammates with pinpoint accuracy. He did most of his damage by attacking & finishing at the cup. On the defensive end, Bryant is an athletic defender who gives maximum effort. While Crawford has shown to range to knock down triples, he would help himself by elevating more on his jump shot. Wake Forest Head Coach Danny Manning surely found a gem in this young man.
Cheick Diallo, 6-9, F Our Savior New American (NY) 2015
“Energy can’t be destroyed” is a quote that appropriately describes what this young man provides for his team, because he plays with insane amounts of it. In his team’s only game at Slam Dunk to the Beach, Diallo posted 13 points, 13 rebounds and 4 blocks against Haverford
School. The majority of his impact came on the defensive end, where he protected the interior by swatting and alternating shot attempts. Sequences such as Diallo blocking a shot on the defensive end, making an outlet pass then beating his man down the court for a dunk are only a foretaste of his athleticism. Offensively, Diallo makes his living around the basket- completing alley-oops or converting put backs. Once he develops offensively, Diallo will bolster any major Division I frontcourt.
Sam Miller, 6-8, F, Gonzaga College HS (DC) 2015
Although his team dropped two games, Miller lead his team in scoring, and displayed why he will be an immediate contributor next year at the University of Dayton. Miller is a multipurpose forward who can either bang inside with posts or step outside and knock it down from behind the arc. He finished around the basket either off of post moves or drop off passes from guards. Miller also has the ball skills to put it on the deck and blow by a defender if need be. The rugged forward also hit the glass, and made good outlet passes to help start his team’s break. Defensively, Miller defended the post well and even showed glimpses of decent footwork while guarding the perimeter.
Josh Williams, 6-2, G St. Vincent-St. Mary’s (OH) 2015
Williams was remarkable in both of his performances against Salesianum School (DE) and Sunrise Christian (KS). What captivated me most about Williams was how polished a scorer he was. Owning great form and elevation on his jumper, Williams shot the ball the ball efficiently from the field. While attacking the basket, he used a great hesitation move along the baseline to lose the defender, and then kissed the ball off of the glass as the secondary defender approached. Williams showed great basketball I.Q. by being able to read his defender when using screens, and moving well without the ball. The Akron Zips should get plenty of scoring punch from Williams next season.
Top Performing Underclassmen
Rawle Alkins, 6-4, G, Christ the King (NY) 2016
Alkins was arguably the most outstanding performer at the event. No other player meant more to his team than he. Alkins is being recruited as a guard, but had the task of guarding the opposing team’s tallest post player in each of his games. The kid from Brooklyn more than held own, averaging 12 rebounds through three games. Rawle also played great help defense, rejecting shots either in transition, or when the perimeter defense broke down. Offensively, he was able to get his team immediately into transition by pushing the ball after a rebound, emphatically finishing the break at the tin, or finding open teammates. Alkins also got his shot off at will by lulling his defender to sleep and then exploding into a move before shooting his feathery jumper. Given his skill set, it’s no surprise he’s being courted by high major programs in the ACC, Big East, Big Ten, and SEC.
Mikey Dixon, 6-1, G, Sanford (DE) 2016
With Slam Dunk to the Beach’s return, Mikey Dixon definitely made First State hoop heads proud of his performance. A combo guard, Dixon showed he could play both guard spots, but is more adept at scoring. He did plenty of it. Dixon poured in 19 points in a route of in-state rival, Salesianum, chipped in 20 in a loss against Philly power Neumman-Goretti, and went for 17 points & 8 rebounds against nationally-ranked Christ the King. Dixon used his speed and handle to get by his defenders, and complete plays despite being fouled. He also nailed his shots from deep at a decent rate. What I loved most about watching Dixon play was that he with a tremendous passion. He kept competing even when the lead was insurmountable. If Dixon adds strength, and continues to improve his defensive focus, he could have a nice career in a low to mid-major program.
Cameron Reddish, 6-5, G, Haverford School (PA) 2018
This kid is special. I often have to remind myself that he’s only a freshman. Although he & his teammates took Ls to two nationally-ranked opponents, there were positives to be drawn from these experiences. Cameron Reddish scored 25 points, and kept his team within striking distance against Roselle Catholic (NJ) until the game was blown open in the middle of the 3rd quarter. Reddish reigned 3’s from the wing, slashed to the basket, and finished amongst the trees. Reddish is best at scoring, but proved he could handle running the team also. Against Our Savior New American (NY), Reddish helped his team to a 3 point lead until he was carried off of the court due to injury. On the defensive end, the fabulous freshman used his black widow-like arms to intercept passes and pluck defenders. If he continues to develop his mid-range game and adds strength, the end result could be disastrous for his opponents.
Quade Green, 6-0, G, Neumann-Goretti (PA) 2017
Quade was in beast mode the entire weekend. He went for 27 and 22 respectively against Sanford (DE), and Gill St. Bernard (NJ). What was most impressive about Green’s scoring production was that he was highly efficient in both contests. Dude only missed six shots from the field the entire showcase. That’s right. Six. The sophomore guard used his strong frame to relentlessly drive to the cup and finish. He was also deadly from 3 point land whether in half court or transition. Green excelled on the defensive end by also providing great ball pressure and even guarding taller offensive players. Like most classic Philly guards, Green plays with a chip on his shoulder-as if the sight of his opponent actually offends him. If Green’s work ethic stays the same, and he continues to mature on the court, he’ll have his pick of high major offers.
Players of Intrigue
Jose Alvarado, 5-11, G, Christ the King (NY) 2017
Solid, defensive-minded guard who runs the team, but can score.
Chris Lykes, 5-7, G, Gonzaga College HS (DC) 2017
Incredible handle, court vison, and can fill it up.
Jalen Smith, 6-7, F, Mount St. Mary’s (MD) 2018
Long, athletic forward, showed some face-up ability, plenty of upside.
Kassoum Yakwe, 6-7, F, Our Savior New American (NY) 2016
Raw offensively, runs the floor well, rebounds and blocks shots.
Nigel Jackson, 6-5, G, Mount St. Mary’s (MD) 2017
Scored the ball well from the perimeter.
Matt Bullock, 6’4, G/F Roselle Catholic (NJ) 2016
Scores and rebounds. The kid is an assassin.
Kyson Rawls, 6-0, G St. George’s Tech (DE)
Combo guard gets to the rack, finds teammates, and can shoot it.
C.J. Keyser, 6-4, G, Sunrise Christian (KS)
Explosive athlete who can hurt you from inside or out.