Thursday, June 26, 2014

Basketball Spotlight Grand Finale 8th Grade Top Performers

Nazi Reid (Team IZOD)

The Class of 2018 capped off their Basketball Spotlight tournament careers at the Grand Finale. Here’s a look at who make our list of top performers in their final appearance. 

Basketball Spotlight Grand Finale 8th Grade Top Performers 

Nazi Reid Forward (Team IZOD)- The top prospect in the region once again turned in an impressive outing. He showed dominance on the defense end by blocking shots and snatching near double figures in rebounds. On the other end of the floor he ran the floor well and finished off a couple of plays above the rim. I also see he has become more comfortable pushing the rock up the floor and trying to make decisions. His stock should only continue to rise as he enters the high school ranks.

Jahvon Quinerly Guard (Team IZOD)- Quinerly changes gears depending on the time and importance of the game. When his team has the game under control he will kill you with the pull up or step back jumper. But when his squad needs a push that’s when he attacks the rim and scores in traffic while absorbing contact. He turned things up in the second half of the finals finishing with 12 points. He has put together a spectacular season and should be a name to know once he reaches the high school level.
Luther Muhammad Guard (Team IZOD)- Muhammad finished the Grand Finale off with a dunk. Yes he threw it down. Once known as purely a defensive stopper, Luther has put in the work and improved his offensive game. His shot is now falling from the perimeter and he’s showing some decision making skills at the point. It will be interesting to see how he develops.

Luis King Forward (Team IZOD)- Another intriguing prospect with this bunch. He has stepped up his rebounding ability and actually looks good playing on the weak side of Reid. I think he’s still a few years away from a finished product but I know colleges are going to be intrigues by his size and perimeter potential.

Ja’Quaye James Guard (Playaz)- James did work in the semifinals and championship game. The NY product runs the show like a true veteran and gets into the lane at the drop of a hat. Once he drives past the defense he usually makes good decisions in terms of dishing the rock and scoring with the floater. He’s one of a few 8th Grade point guards in the region that is ready to run someone's varsity team next year.

Armoni Sexton Forward (Playaz)- Sexton was in attack mode on Sunday. He’s one of the quickest leapers in the region and was relentless on the glass. As he gets ready for high school he needs to work on tightened up his ball handling and playing under control. But all and all he will be a good prospect for anyone to snatch up. 

Markquis Nowell Guard (Playaz)- Nowell teamed with James to give the crowd a real treat. In the semifinals he got hot from deep even nailing treys off the dribble. I like the explosiveness he shows when attacking the cup and he’s showing some point guard instincts that were in question before. He has been a very exciting player throughout his Spotlight career.

Tavon Jones Guard (Playaz)- Jones is a born scorer and he showed this during the semi-finals. While some of his teammates froze up against IZOD’s zone Jones tried his best to keep things close. He finds a way the slide through defenders and stretch out for buckets. He’s the type of guard that can let the floater go from any angle or spot on the floor. He also doesn’t back down against any competition thrown his way.

Antwan Butler Guard (WE R 1)- Word of him being the next great point guard from Philadelphia is confirmed by this writer. The Playaz threw all types of defenses at Butler but couldn’t stop him from doing damage. He combines ball handling, size, speed and power when attacking. His play making ability stood out in their semifinals loss. He also finished with 16 markers versus the Playaz.

Chris Cropper Forward (WE R 1)- As Big Jamal battled foul trouble Cropper stepped up to help the Delaware boys climb out of a big hole early. He operated from the foul line area and the baseline. His athleticism and touch were his best weapons. He’s a little undersized for a big forward but he still gets it done. Sort of a Quentin Richardson type of player. He finished with a game high 24 points.

Rashard Staten Forward (New Heights)- At first glance Staten is difficult to figure out. He has the build of a combo guard but gets things done along the blocks and baseline. He used some nice moves and power to disrupt IZOD’s potential shot blockers. He was surprising fresh face to see Sunday. He tallied 14 points in the loss.

Omar Silverio Guard (New Heights)- Silverio led NH in scoring with 16 points in their semifinals loss. He’s a smooth guard that plays within the team’s system. He has breakdown and finish at the cup ability. I also like his size for the position he plays. 

Idan Tretout Guard (New Heights)- Tretout is another big guard on this New Heights roster. He can score in a variety of ways including from deep. Idan seems to be comfortable playing with guard spot and contributing.