Scary prospects for the future.
by Aggrey Sam
While y’all were costumed up and partying last Saturday, I was in Richmond, VA, for my man Antwain Fletcher’s showcase camp at the nearby Virginia Sports Complex, Halloween Havoc. ‘Twain is a coach with longtime AAU power Richmond Squires and is one of the good guys in the biz. Anyway, although the unseasonably warm weather made for a humid gym and slippery floor, leading to the event being shut down early, there was a lot of talent in attendance. By the way, while I’m not a big fan of evaluating kids who aren’t in high school yet, if they’re playing in an event with older comp, I’m not gonna ignore them if they play well. Here are a dozen prospects (check out my recap on ESPN for more; hope you have Insider) who stood out to me in VA:
Will Adams | 6-4 |Post-grad | Wing | Imhotep Charter (PA)
Adams, a Philly kid who I’ve known since he was a youngster, wasn’t at his best here, but more importantly, just being able to fit in at the event means the Towson signee (a 2009 high school grad, his scholarship is being deferred for a year) is well on his way back to his previous form on the court and recovering well from his illness.
Braeden Anderson | 6-8 | Junior | Post | Christian Faith (NC)
A native of Calgary, Alberta, one of Ro Russell’s latest finds (the renowned Canadian AAU coach is now the head man at a North Carolina prep school, too) is a raw, physical, strong and highly athletic big man with a good motor.
Octavious Booker | 6-6 | Senior | Post | Oakhaven (TN)
Booker, a Philly product who recently moved to Memphis, is an athletic undersized warrior who does damage on the boards, finishes well, defends on the inside and perimeter and knock down open mid-range jumpers.
Hendrix Emu | 6-5 | Junior | Wing | Evangel Christian (VA)
An extremely athletic swingman, Emu makes plays all over the court, slashes to the rack in the halfcourt, is a terror in transition and is a big-time finisher.
Michael Gbinije | 6-6 | Junior | Wing | Benedictine (VA)
Gbinije, the most highly touted prospect at the event, lived up to his billing by displaying his typical smooth all-around game, as his sweet outside stroke was in effect, he proved to be a solid playmaker, penetrated to the bucket with ease and helped out on the glass.
Matt Gorski | 6-10 | Junior | Post | Cosby (VA)
A true back-to-the-basket player, Gorski wasn’t flashy, but stood out with his work on the glass, tough finishing ability, solid post moves, physical play and presence on the defensive end.
LeVon Harper | 6-8 | Junior | Post | Fuqua (VA)
Harper’s build and athleticism certainly look the part of a top prospect, and when focused and committed to doing work on the interior, he shows flashes of his potential, but his effort and shot selection detracted from his production.
Andre Horne | 6-3 | Sophomore | Wing | Hodgson (DE)
A versatile slasher with a high basketball IQ, Horne played hard on both ends, finished strong on drives and showed adequate playmaking ability.
Eric Johnson | 5-11 | 8th grade | Point guard | Kenstrell (NC)
Johnson, one of a handful of middle-school standouts at the event, showed great quickness, playmaking ability and understanding of the game beyond his years.
Kejuan Johnson | 6-5 | 7th grade | Post | Sandtown (GA)
Another youngster, this Johnson looks nothing like a 13-year-old on the court, as his physique and athleticism allow him to hang with the big boys.
Abdulwali Kasim | 6-7 | Sophomore | Post | Mount Zion (NC)
Kasim, a blue-collar type, made the most of his limited touches by finishing well around the rim, but his intensity, rebounding on both sides of the court and overall hustle maximized his opportunities.
Andrew Wiggins | 6-6 | 8th grade | Combo forward | Christian Faith (NC)
Regarded by some as the best player in his class nationally, Wiggins (the son of a former NBA player and an Olympic sprinter), another Canadian import, has excellent athleticism, is a force on the boards and has a tremendous ceiling.