Basketball Spotlight traveled to Cleveland, Ohio for the Neo Youth Elite National Showcase. The talent was thick as we got a chance to see some stars of the future. Here’s Part 1 of our top performers for the rising 7th Grade Class.
NEO National Showcase Class Of 2022 Top Performers Part 1
Emoni Bates (Forward)- It was clear early on the Bates was on a different level than his peers. The 6’4 fluid wing has a point guard handle and a serious ratchet from deep. That’s right 6’4! When you add in a natural feel for the game, motor and court vision you might know where I’m heading. On defense he’s an active shot blocker but will also head out to guard the perimeter. We will have a special feature on him later.
Sonny Johnson Jr. (Guard)- Johnson jumped into the national spotlight after destroying the Basketball Spotlight Future Phenom Camp last summer. Now he entered the NEO National Showcase with a huge target on his back. Every other top guard wanted a piece of Johnson and he battled them all. His shot wasn’t falling as much as it did at Future Phenom Camp but he still was able to make plays and get where he wanted on the floor. He still has a sharp handle and good court vision. He’s now learning how it is to be the hunted.
Turner Buttry (Guard)- Buttry shoots it from deep with accuracy. He found his range in the game of was watching. He likes spotting up and letting it go from beyond the arc. Shooting from the perimeter has become the new thing in today’s game so he seems ahead of the curve.
Jayden Pierre (Guard)- This was Jayden’s first appearance in his new class which is 2022 and he was very impressive. He prefers substance instead of flash and will attack any guard that stands in his way. When his outside shot is hitting his game goes to another level.
Zaden Abuhamdeh (Guard)- The stocky guard is more light on his feet than expected. He has crafty ball handling and can score from various spots on the floor. He’s not the quickest but finds a way to get around defenders.
Khalil Luster (Guard)- The Ohio floor general stole the show during the All Star Game with his ball handling, scoring and play making. Luster is a pint size bullet with a crisp handle and the heart of a lion. He can dribble through a key hole and finds a way to convert in the land of giants or hit the jumper. He also sees the floor like a natural pg. He reminds me of a young Chris Lykes.
Jalen Brown (Guard)- The lefty has a unique scoop shot at the rim that allows him to score in traffic. He uses quickness to zip through the lane before scoring. His motor also translates on the other end of the floor as he pressures ball handlers and plays the passing lanes.
Drevaughn Batey (Guard)- Batey looks for spots on the floor to let his shot go. When he sets his feet he’s very confident and usually has good results. Confidence plays a major role in his game.
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