Reebok Breakout Challenge Recap
John Wall and Co. continue the search for the next breakout player.
by Mia Hall / @Mia_HallDaily
Some of the top high school basketball players traveled from all over the country to Philadelphia to grow and show college coaches what they were made of.
With signage that would not let you forget that “your game makes your name,” the 135 campers eagerly anticipated being able to showcase their skills on the coveted Philadelphia University courts, also known as “the Breakout Stage” during the week of July 13.
Continuing the camp’s goal to find the next breakout player, as John Wall was back in 2007, Reebok held tryouts throughout the country to choose half of this year’s participants, opposed to last year when all of the campers tried out. The other half was hand picked by a national committee. Brian Lee, Global Director of Reebok Basketball, says this year, the new format was a way for the camp to evolve and allow the players to see how they fare against those players who are already nationally recognized.
John Wall came back again, staying at the camp with the high schoolers for multiple days letting the campers know he was there to help them and offer any advice they needed. Jason Terry and Jameer Nelson also stopped through again to interact with the campers and concurrently shoot promotions for the new Sublite Pro Rise, their new lightweight basketball shoe that is set to hit stores in September.
Along with tons of swag, each player was given the new Reebok Sublites. Lee says there are no better testers than the players themselves. He received good feedback from over 100 high school students who were competing in the shoe for several days. The campers also were able to see the third edition of the John Walls to be released later this year as well. With a brand new look, these shoes are sure to fly off the shelves.
As for the competition, it was stiff. Ending with an all-star showcase, featuring some of the top high school athletes in the country, college coaches, including newly appointed coach at SMU and Hall of Famer Larry Brown, and spectators alike got a show from many soon-to-be pros.
As for the other players, here are a few who stood out, in no particular order:
Seeing “Ike” come up and down the court can be best described as watching firecrackers go off on the Fourth of July. The 6-2 guard from California, currently playing at Oak Hill Academy, certainly came on the court each game giving all he had and leaving it on the floor every time. A playmaker who knows how to cut through the defense and to the basket, you can tell he is not far behind some former Oak Hill students who have become NBA superstars. Schools such as Oklahoma State, USC and Washington are all interested in adding Iroegbu to their roster for the fall of 2013.
Hailing from Northfield Mount Herman High School in California, Edosomwan knows how to use his body on offense. Though already committed to Harvard, the center said he wanted to keep improving his game and was happy to attend the camp in order to do so. He was a force on the boards and brought a positive defensive presence. Though he believes he could’ve played harder, he stood out as humble and hungry and is sure to represent in the Ivy League.
RaShawn “Pookie” Powell
During the week, Pookie showed why he is considered among the top high school athletes in the country. With athleticism that makes him seem as though he could play at 100 percent all game long, the 5-11 prospect from Orlando, FL, is an easily identifiable leader. A rising Senior at Dr. Phillips High School, Powell is being looked at by several top schools but has not committed yet. He says he learned a lot at the camp and also participated in the Reebok Showdown Series, which took place at Philadelphia University directly after the Reebok Breakout Challenge.
Coming out of Caldwell Academy, Kobani showcased his skills with an impeccable display of tenacity and grit. A 6-8 power forward and rising senior at National Christian (NC) Academy, he has the stamina and body strength necessary to make an impact at the college level.
Morgan has the mindset that defense wins games. Grabbing loose balls, going for boards and pressing on D, this St. Frances Academy rising junior also possesses a jab step that will have most defenders wishing they would have played back.
Aaron and Andrew Harrison
A dynamic duo that has been dominating the AAU circuit for a while now—the Harrison twins out of Ft. Bend Travis (TX) High showed what they were about, going undefeated in the Challenge. Aaron’s crossover shook many a player while he scored from behind the arc, and Andrew locked down opponents on the other end with his glove-tight defense. Though both competed in the All-Star game, Aaron stood out as he went up against Brandon Austin, another top player. Villanova alum and former NBA star Kerry Kittles even came out, as ‘Nova is one of the twins’ top-five schools.
One who knows how to use his body to go up on his opponents, Jermaine is a ferocious defender certainly one of the most powerful players at the camp. With a 6-11 frame, this rising senior at Pope John XXIII (NY) High set the tone with some monster dunks and blocks. The power forward is being looked at by Rutgers, Cincinnati and Syracuse to name a few.
Anyone who follows high school hoops knows this 5-6 Seton Hall recruit with speed similar to Sonic the Hedgehog. Affectionately known as the “Crime Stopper” in his native city of Baltimore, MD, since all of the drug dealers come to see his games, Carr certainly gave those players the competition they needed to see how they matched up to the top ranks. If you ask anyone at the camp, they all knew he put on a show. Lighting up the All-Star game with his quick moves and accurate jumper, Carr will be sure to be a helpful asset to the New Jersey squad.
Roddy Peters Jr
Peters was one of the best point guards at the camp and one could easily see why he was pointed out as one to watch. Another evident leader on the court, it is no wonder teams such as UCLA, Georgetown, Maryland and Memphis have made him offers after participating in the camp. His game is more strategic than energetic—he’s more of a smooth operator as opposed to a ticking time bomb. Wherever he goes after leaving Suitland High School in 2013, he is sure to make major contributions to a DI powerhouse.
Ranked No. 30 in the ESPN 100 at press time, Austin showed his nationally ranked reputation was not all talk. The 6-8 power forward from Tennessee had one of the best hustles of any player, which is what coaches like to see. Going after loose balls crashing the boards, and powerful penetration are all standard fare in Nichols’ world. The Class of 2013 prospect is being scouted by the likes of Kentucky, Duke, Ohio State and several other major DI entities.