The Basketball Spotlight Spring Invitational 8th Grade division had some of the best talent in the region. Here’s a first look at our top performers.
Basketball Spotlight Spring Invitational 8th Grade Top Performers Part 1
Jarrett Dingle Guard (NY Rivals/ECE) – Dingle is a long combo guard that can get end to end on the court very quickly. He is always putting pressure on the defense attacking the paint. Jarrett is at his best going downhill and attacking the rim and is very good in transition finishing with either hand. Especially during their championship win, he lived at the free throw line converting at a high percentage.
Korbyn Samuels Guard (NY Rivals/ECE) – Samuels is a tall combo guard that looks comfortable handling the primary ball handling duties for his team. He is a very fluid prospect that has a nice stroke behind the 3 point line. Korbyn uses a nice hesitation dribble to attack the rim in the half court finishing at a high percentage. With his physical stature and skill level he is very hard to guard on the offensive end and he can guard multiple positions on the defensive end.
Darrien Grady Guard (NY Rivals/ECE) – Every team needs a shooter that can consistently knock down a jump shot behind the three point line. Grady is that guy for his team and we didn’t see him miss very much when we were watching. He also had a nice mid-range jumper and if you tried to guard him close he would blow by you and attack the rim. Grady along with Dingle and Samuels made up the best perimeter trio in the 8th grade division and it showed as they brought home the championship.
Precise Clarke Forward (NY Rivals/ECE) – Clarke is a load in the paint and with his strength and size he is tough to stop when he gets position on the low block. He has huge feet so it looks like he will continue to grow making him a very intriguing prospect. He is a very good rebounder on both ends of the floor and finishes at a high percentage around the rim. He looked to be a little bit hobbled this past weekend but he was still very productive.
Jalen O’Brian Forward (NY Rivals/ECE) – Jalen has nice size and good athleticism playing the power forward position for his squad. Paired up with Clarke he did a good job rebounding and defending his man making it tough for the other team to score around the basket. Not asked to score a lot on the offensive end he finished around the basket when called upon. With continued skill development we see him moving more out to the perimeter as a wing forward.
Jahlijah Grant Guard (NY Lightning/Dragons) – This big wing guard possibly could have been the best overall player in the 8th grade division this past weekend. He could shoot, pass, and dribble and had a high basketball IQ and feel for the game. With his skill, size and strength Grant could get anywhere on the floor that he wanted. If you tried to crowd him he would blow right by you and if you laid off of him he could knock down the 3 ball with nice arc, follow through and rotation.
Kalik Sharpe Guard (NY Lightning/ Dragons) – Sharpe is a true point guard that had a killer crossover like Tim Hardaway. He is very shifty, plays fast and has a strong build allowing him not to get knocked off his spot as he is navigating the defense getting into the paint. He is at his best facilitating for his teammates getting them easy buckets. Probably the best passer we saw last weekend, Kalik excels at attacking the rim when he is in scoring mode.
Cornelius Robinson Forward (NY Lightning/ Dragons) – Robinson is a big strong body power forward that has good hands and can finish around the basket at a high percentage. He has good ball skills as we saw him attack the basket off the bounce when he got catches on the perimeter and if you leave him alone he can knock down the long range shot behind the arc.
Tarik Watson Forward (NY Lightning/Dragons) – Watson usually doesn’t get enough credit of how dominate he really is because he is always playing up a division. This 7th grader is a dominant force in the paint rebounding the ball and finishing at the rim. With good height, potential, and an untapped ceiling just think if Tarik played his own grade division how scary it would be. He was very productive last weekend helping his team get to the championship game.