by Randy Miller / @R_Miller12
The 7th Annual Sneaker VILLA Classic was held at the historic Ben Franklin High School in Philadelphia, PA last Sunday. The showcase is meant to match the top teams from New York City against those from Philadelphia with bragging rights on the line. Below are some of the op players from last weekend.
Kimar Williams, 6-0, PG, Constitution High School (PA) 2015: As Kimar Williams goes, so does the Constitution Generals. A true extension of a coach on the court, Williams helped lead his team to a 68-66 overtime victory against Wings Academy. Whether excelling in transition, or in a half court setting, the point guard used his excellent court vision to create easy scoring opportunities for his teammates. Williams displayed exceptional ball-handling skills that allowed him to separate from defenders and attack the basket. Although he has a slight frame, Kimar consistently got into the lane and finished through contact or over taller defenders using his floater. In order to fully blossom, Williams must develop a consistent mid-range jump shot. Williams has the ability to play in the NEC, or MAAC conferences.
Ahmad Gilbert, 6-6, F, Constitution High School (PA) 2015: The versatile forward scored 20 points and grabbed 12 rebounds en-route to earning the MVP trophy for the winning team. The athletic forward excels in transition displaying the ability break full court pressure by either passing to an open teammate or “Euro”-stepping his way to the basket. Defensively, Gilbert’s long frame allowed him to be extremely active and disruptive, as he was able to deflect passes or shoot passing lanes for steals. Being Constitution’s primary offensive threat, Gilbert can enhance his arsenal by tightening his ball handling skills, and being a more consistent long-distance shooter.
Desure Buie, 6-1, G, Wings Academy (NY) 2015: Desure Buie put on a scoring display unrivaled by any other at the Sneaker Villa Classic that earned the MVP for his team. Desure led his team back after being down 10 points at the start of the fourth quarter, scoring a game-high 27 points and handing out 10 assists in the losing effort. Most impressively, Buie scored in a variety of ways. Able to play either guard position, Buie is most dangerous when he is attacking the basket. The NYC native is very comfortable operating out of screen and roll sets, hitting step-back three-pointers, or making plays for his teammates. In transition is where Buie’s ability to get to the basket was on full display, exhibiting a classic New York City handle that caused opponents to “touch Earth”. He showed the ability to constantly nail mid-range jump shots, and finish through contact. It’s scary to think how good he will be next season after a summer of strength training. Buie will fit well in a mid-major program.
Chris Atkinson, 5-9, PG, Long Island Lutheran (NY) 2015: What this kid lacks in height, he makes up for with speed and quickness. Chris Atkinson scored 18 points while bringing it every second he was on the court. A classic New York City point guard, Atkinson is an excellent ball-handler with decent passing ability. Besides getting to the basket, Atkinson displayed good elevation on his jumpers- whether they were mid-range or from behind the arc. On the defensive end, the sparkplug guard can be a tenacious on-ball defender. Atkinson boasts offers from Iona and Manhattan College.
Devonte Green, 6’2, G, Long Island Lutheran (NY) 2016: This sophomore guard showed an extremely polished offensive arsenal making him one of the top sophomores in the country. Green exhibited great footwork when separating from his defender off the dribble. He also has great elevation on his jump shot, burying mid and long-range attempts. Remember his name and game, as he’ll be a player to watch over the next two years.
Ernest Aflakpui, 6-9, PF, Archbishop Carroll (PA) 2015: The words, strong and athletic, are under-statements when describing this player. Ernest finished with 14 points and 7 rebounds, as his team cruised to victory over Bishop Loughlin (NY). A forward in the throwback sense, Aflakpui makes his living in the paint. His athleticism was on full display, continuously sprinting the floor and using his long arms to alter or block shots. Aflakpui also displayed the ability to command his position on the block, seal his defender, and make himself an available target for the passer. These qualities enabled him to finish around the basket consistently. Although raw offensively, Aflakpui showed hints of offensive development by converting a half-hook shot with his right hand. If he can add go-to moves in the post with either hand, and develop a consistent 15-foot jump shot, Aflakpui could possibly end up at a high major program.
Derrick Jones, 6-6, SF, Archbishop Carroll (PA) 2015: Derrick Jones was named his team’s MVP after defeating Bishop Loughlin, finishing with 28 points, 12 rebounds and four blocks. The scary part is that this feat was done in three quarters. After sitting out the first quarter for being late to the game, Jones entered in the second quarter and played with fire in his belly. Offensively, the junior forward operated in the high post area, demonstrating good footwork while attacking the basket. Jones’ quickness and leaping ability helped him battle on the offensive glass and second chance points. This human pogo-stick also excels in transition, converting baskets while being fouled or being on the receiving end of several alley-oops. The junior forward was also able to impact game on the defensive end by blocking several jump shots, or by disrupting the passing lanes. While oozing with potential, Jones could add to his offensive repertoire by improving his ball-handling skills and becoming a consistent shooter. Jones has elite athleticism that has earned him several high major offers.
Khadeen Carrington, 6-3, G, Bishop Loughlin (NY) 2014: The Seton Hall commit possesses an extremely polished offensive skill set. Carrington plays at a good pace, and displays good change of direction/speed moves. His crafty ball-handling created space from his defenders and got him into the lane to finish. The senior combo guard demonstrated good elevation and shooting form as he converted mid-range and long range jumper. With his ability to create plays for himself and others, Carrington should fit in perfectly with the Pirates’ style of play.
Devyn Wilson, 6-3, G, South Shore (NY) 2014: Devyn Wilson poured in 21 points en route to a win over Philadelphia power, Math, Civics, & Sciences. The classic New York guard was at his best when he was scoring the basketball. Wilson possesses good ball handling skills and an explosive first step that allows him to get to the basket at will. In transition, the senior combo guard demonstrated sound decision making by either finishing or dishing off to open teammates for easy buckets. Wilson also has quick release on his jump shot, knocking down two three pointers when he faced zone defense.
Doudmy Saint Hilaire, 6-2, G, South Shore (NY) 2014: Saint Hilaire was part of South Shore’s vaunted three guard attack. Saint Hilaire notched 18 points in a victory over M.C.S. Hilaire is great at attacking the basket whether it is in transition or a half-court setting. He also is capable of hitting shots from behind the arc. Saint Hilare is more than capable of manning both guard positions. His knack for getting his teammates involved was evidenced by his 6 assists. Currently receiving offers from Boston University, Stetson, and Long Island University.
Ryan Preston, 6-7, F, South Shore (NY) 2015: Ryan Preston was impressive in the fourth game, scoring 19 points and snatching 18 rebounds — stealing the show and earning MVP honors. The junior forward has a strong frame and athleticism that allows him to be relentless on the boards. He consistentl finished around the around the basket by using half-hook shots with both hands. Preston’s footwork was impressive away from the basket as he scored mid-range jumpers or floaters in the paint. Preston played above the rim converting several alley-oops. If Preston can develop his range and ball-handling, he can contribute at either forward position at the next level.
Louis Myers, 6-3, G, Math, Civics, & Sciences (PA) 2014: Lou Myers scores…in bunches. The Norfolk State commit’s relentless attacks to the basket spurred his teams’ comeback after being down by as much as 15 points. Myers is great at slashing and has a decent handle allowing him to make counter moves if his defender cuts him off while heading to the hoop. Myers was able to convert from downtown as well. The Philadelphia native found a perfect fit at Norfolk St, and should contribute immediately if he develops a consistent mid-range jumper, and becomes more efficient from three-point land.