by Franklyn Calle
Bringing the live recruiting period to a culmination this past weekend was the 2nd annual NYC Summer Classic presented by New Heights. Taking place at Fordham University, this day-long event attracted assistant coaches from many high major Division I schools to the stands, and even high profile head coaches like Louisville’s Rick Pitino and Cincinnati’s Mick Cronin were in the building. New Heights, a highly touted AAU program based out of the Bronx, NY, hosted a first-class event and showcased many under-the-radar prospects in the New York/New Jersey area.
The one-day showcased featured four to fives games being played simultaneously for much of the day, with two 17U and 16U brackets, and a 15U bracket. The host took home championships for both of the 16U brackets, gold and platinum, with the gold one being played by their 15U squad. The 17U brackets saw East Coast Elite and Kingdom Elite All-Stars come away with the crown. Here were the results:
Platinum Bracket: East Coast Elite def. Expressions Elite 85-73
Gold Bracket: Kingdom def. Elite All Stars 80-71
Platinum Bracket: New Heights (Blue) def. Long Island Lightning (Blue) 63-45
Gold Bracket: New Heights (2013) def. Long Island Lightning (2013) 52-47
The following were some of the standouts I got chance to evaluate.
Maurice Harkless, 6-6 forward, Forest Hills (NY), Class of 2011: Harkless (right) is no longer a sleeper. I’m truly happy to see him getting all the national attention he’s gotten this summer. I’ll have an exclusive piece on him next week. He decide to reopen his recruitment earlier this summer when he de-committed from UConn after giving them a verbal last fall. Harkless can get to the basket and finish in all type of ways. The lanky rising senior has good ball-handling skills and can score off the dribble either by finishing at the basket or through his polished mid-range jumper; not that he can’t knock it down off the catch as well. Maurice is very slick in the lane and uses his athleticism to the best of his advantage. He has decided to leave the city and transfer to South Kent Prep in Connecticut for his senior campaign. Expect to continue to see his name being mentioned in the upcoming months.
Michael Taylor, 6-3 guard, Boys & Girls (NY), Class of 2011: This combo guard is one the best young prospects New York City has to offer. Taylor can score in every way there is. His quickness and agility allows him to get to the basket at ease. If the lane is not open then he can just simply let it fly from right about anywhere. From shooting off the pick, to shooting off the dribble, to shooting off the catch, Taylor can knock down jumpers in any position and in whatever situation. You can’t even give him too much room behind the arc as he has little trouble drilling one after another.
Jermaine Sanders, 6-4 Wing, Rice (NY), Class of 2011: He will be the face of the nationally renowned HS program in Harlem, Rice. Sanders can get to the basket whenever he wants. This lefty can get to the basket at will due to his aggressiveness, agility, and also seemed to be doing a good job reading his defenders. He is always on attack mode and gets to the free throw line often. He plays with the same aggressive effort on defense and does a great job staying in front of his man. His perimeter game has sharpen and has become a more reliable and important asset of his game, making him that much more difficult to be contained.
Angel Nunez, 6-7 Forward, Notre Dame Prep (Mass.), Class of 2011: His potential is limitless. I continue to hear the Francisco Garcia comparison. He has the size, athleticism, and skill set to play for any high major program. Nunez (below) has tremendous upside. He can hit from the perimeter as well as finish in the paint, demonstrating an impressive inside and out game. Having already received scholarships offers from major Big East schools, Nunez will be transferring to Notre Dame Prep this fall after attending Winchendon Prep last season; both schools are located in Massachusetts. This lanky wing player also demonstrated his ability to handle and distribute the ball. With so much promising talent, Nunez must now prove that he can perform at this high level consistently.
Tyquan Goodlett, 6-3 Guard, Thomas Jefferson (NY), Class of 2011: What continues to standout to me every time I see him play is the amount of confident he shows on the floor. Goodlet is a streaky shooter. He showed the ability to put the ball on the floor and get to the rim at will. He has a killer quick first step to go along with a variety of ravishing moves to the basket. An expert slasher, Goodlett will be transferring to Thomas Jefferson HS in Brooklyn from St. Anthony in New Jersey for his senior year.
Darrel Lucky, 5-9 Guard, Robeson (NY), Class of 2011: Very entertaining to watch, Lucky can put points up in a hurry. Once he catches a rhythm, he can do some serious damage. In this particular weekend, he demonstrated his shooting ability as he was draining them from all over the place. Lucky can score in bunches and was impressive in his ability to make plays and get others involved. His slick ball handling skills allow for him to beat his defenders off the dribble and sneak to the basket.
Kareem Canty, 6-0 Guard, Wilbraham & Monson Academy (Mass.), Class of 2011: He had a very productive summer which was highlighted by him picking up some offers after starting out the summer with none. Rutgers, George Mason, Houston, Iowa State and Hofstra are a few of the programs interested in his services. The 6-0 is a very streaky shooter that can catch fire and stir damage. He also does a good job in handling the ball and creating shots for himself. His ability get by his defenders has made him a tough guard to contend. Canty shows lots of confidence in what his and no fear in finishing on bigger guys. He will be leaving Bishop Loughlin HS and finish out his high school career at Wilbraham & Monson Academy in Massachusetts.
Terrance Samuel, 6-3 G South Shore (NY), Class of 2013: I usually don’t like writing too much about freshmen or sophomores since they are still young and developing their games but Samuel showed lots of upside. Only a rising sophomore, Samuel seemed to be all over the floor doing a little bit of everything. He was very active in the defensive end, as well as on the boards. He can handle the ball and takes what the defensive gives him. He led his team to the 16U Gold bracket championship, a bracket usually filled with Juniors, after his 16 points earned him MVP honors. The talent and skills are there already, now is just a matter of him putting it all together in the next three years.
(Photo courtesy Big Apple Basketball, nydailynews.com)