Left Coast Love
Punks put in work at BallIsLife All-American Game.
Who has the better ballers, East Coast or West Coast?
The debate has been going on for years and years now, seemingly forever, regardless of the level. High school, college, professional, it doesn’t really matter. Chances are, the heated conversations will continue taking place in the foreseeable future.
Speaking of such arguments regarding hoops at the prep level, some of the premier players on the West Coast recently assembled in Los Angeles for the inaugural BallisLife All-American Game with the hopes of stating their case as the nation’s best.
By most accounts, this dude stole the show. For starters, Garrett won the slam dunk contest during the opening day of festivities. For an encore, he was named the MVP of the Navy Team despite a 107-106 loss. The talented wing scored 22 points, on 10-17 shooting from the field, and added 9 rebounds in the setback. Next stop for Garrett is St. John’s. He’s heading there to play for Steve Lavin so those on the East Coast will get a chance to see him in action.
Jahii Carson | 5-11 | G | Mesa (AZ) | 2011
Everyone talks about his stature, or lack thereof. But make no mistake, Carson plays much bigger than his listed height. He ran the show for the White Team from his point guard position and made good decisions throughout, especially in the transition game. Carson finished with 10 points and 3 assists. Equally important, he gave Garrett a run for his money in the dunk contest. And then some.
Nick Johnson | 6-3 | G | Findlay Prep (NV) | 2011
Kid has sick hops, off the charts. He’s a highlight waiting to happen. Johnson might not have had the most eye-opening stat line for the White Team: 13 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists. He did, however, have fans on the edge of their seats throughout. Johnson, a shooting guard, figures to fit in rather well at Arizona next year, due in large part to his sheer athleticism.
Cezar Guerrero | 6-0 | G | St. John Bosco (CA) | 2011
When talking about the crowd favorite, Guerrero’s name must be mentioned. Prior to the All-American game, he had established quite a reputation in and around Southern California. The flashy floor general for the Navy Team did little, or nothing, to disappoint. Bound for Oklahoma State, Guerrero had 6 points, 7 assists, 4 rebounds and 3 steals when all was said and done.
Angelo Chol | 6-9 | C | Hoover (CA) | 2011
At first glance, he’s the total package, fully equipped with a great basketball frame. Other times, Chol appears to be a bit on the awkward side. Bottom line is, he produced for the White Team and finished with 10 points and 8 rebounds. It’s also worth mentioning that Chol, an Arizona commit, was one of the few post players who actually attempted to play some defense.
Byron Wesley | 6-5 | F | Etiwanda (CA) | 2011
He didn’t do anything particularly spectacular. Nevertheless, Wesley did plenty of things well for the Navy Team, better than most. Doing the dirty work that no one else wanted to do, he finished with 12 points, 7 rebounds and 3 assists. Wesley has received his share of recruiting attention in the past, but ultimately, he decided to stay close to home at nearby USC.
What can Brown do for you? Plenty. The White Team can attest to that fact after he scored 16 points, most if which came above the rim. Rest assured, when the opportunity presented itself, Brown proved adept at stepping out on the perimeter and knocking down the open jumper. He is one of the nation’s top shooting guards and should make an immediate impact at Oregon.
Juan Anderson | 6-6 | F | Castro Valley (CA) | 2011
The Northern California talent pool is currently a little thin, which has essentially forced Anderson to carry the torch. Good thing is, he’s been up to the task. He didn’t put up the best numbers for the White Team, but each of his 8 points were memorable. In fact, a couple of dunks by the Marquette-bound Anderson brought the crowd to its feet.
Keaton Miles | 6-7 | F | Lincoln (TX) | 2011
He was as efficient as they come, scoring 18 points on 8-11 shooting from the field. Suppose that’s a bi-product of Miles, a West Virginia commit, having an uncanny nose for the basket. His length gave him a decisive advantage against his peers and that was apparent from start to finish at the All-American Game. For his efforts, Miles was named MVP for the White Team.
Jalen Jones | 6-6 | F | Kimball (TX) | 2011
This gunslinger from the Lone Star State could have been awarded the MVP of the Navy Team, if not for the presence of Garrett. When the final seconds ticked off the clock, Jones had scored a game-high 26 points. Southern Methodist University (SMU) scored when the landed him and all signs point to Jones playing a significant role once he arrives on the Dallas campus.
Shoutout to Nick Koza and Scott Kurtz for the photos.