As far as NBA players are concerned, there aren’t many more involved with grassroots basketball than Chris Paul. He runs his own program that dons his namesake (The CP3 All-Stars) and is constantly a fixture at games, practices, and team workouts throughout the offseason.
Given his love for the AAU game, it was only fitting that he established The 8.
Held annually in the midst of the chaos that is AAU season in Las Vegas, The 8 brings NBA guys back to their roots to support the programs that they played for. With a ridiculously dope Jordan Brand floor, this year’s version of the tourney focused more on Jordan Brand athletes. Guys like CP3, Carmelo Anthony, and Victor Oladipo came out to support their former programs and were right there on the bench coaching them up.
Ultimately, it was CP3’s team who took home the crown and a fired up Paul was front and center going at the refs throughout the weekend.
Here are a few of the guys who showed out at The 8:
Wendell Carter, 6’10, PF/C, CP3 All-Stars, 2017
One of the truly elite big men in the class of 2017, Wendell Carter showed how dominant he can be when all of the pieces are put together. At every bit of 6-10 and 250 pounds, Carter has the prototypical frame for an NBA big. His crazy footwork, great hands, and ability to control the glass give him the total package.
Having recently narrowed his list to eight schools, Carter appears to be taking his time and enjoying all of the love that the nation’s top programs are showing him.
Darryl Morsell, 6’5, SG/SF, Team Melo, 2017
One of the hottest names of the summer, Darryl Morsell straight blew up over the last few months and lived up to the hype at The 8. The power wing locked up multiple positions on defense, was a beast attacking the rim, and had no problem finishing over or through defenders at the rack. Toss in the fact that he will drill the open three and it’s easy to see why the BMore product is such a hot commodity. The class of ’17 forward picked up an offer from Villanova while out in Sin City.
Lavar Batts, 6’2, PG, CP3 All-Stars, 2017
A pass first point guard, Lavar Batts was outstanding getting the rock to his scorers in all of the right places. He made pinpoint passes with both hands, finished at the rim with the right or left, and used his super quick hands to create a ton of steals on the defensive end. North Carolina’s best senior has no shortage of ACC offers and will be landing at a bigtime program when it’s all said and done.
Kevin Knox, 6’9, SF, E1T1, 2017
While his squad got bounced early by a gritty Team Melo squad, Kevin Knox left no doubt in anyone’s mind why he is widely considered one of the best wings in the rising senior class. He posted up smaller defenders, went to work off of the bounce, and showed range extending out to the NBA three-point line.
At just 16-years-old, Kevin is one of the younger players in the senior class, but that hasn’t stopped the Kevin Durant comparisons or every major college in the country from offering him a scholarship.
Javonte Smart, 6’4, PG, Elfrid Payton Elite, 2018
Perhaps the best lead guard in the junior class, Javonte made his return to EP Elite after running on the Under Armour Association. He showed off a more consistent jumper from deep, had his head on a swivel to find the open man, and had no problem finishing at the rim through contact against his older foes.
The Baton Rouge, LA product keeps getting better, making it no coincidence why just about every program in the nation is recruiting him.
Michael Hueitt, 6’3, SG, CP3 All-Stars, 2017
One of the most electric shooters in the country, Hueitt showed at The 8 that he can hit you with a 20 piece in a hurry. His quick release, effortless range, and ability to shoot off of the bounce has made him the top shooter in North Carolina. Owning countless mid-major offers, high majors are quickly knocking on the door.