July for a high school ballers means one thing, NCAA Live Period. This is the time of year when colleges file into gyms to get a look at the top talent available and often times leads to offers. Summer Havoc kicks off July with a bang as only Phenom Hoops can do it. Over the next few days I will share some of the standout players and performances on display. Day 1’s standouts are as follows:
Clarence Jackson, 6’5 2018 F at Wilkinson County HS – This young man helped set the tone for the day when he went for 17p/14 rebounds to get us started in game 1 of this event. He showed a good motor, tenacity on the glass, and a glimpse of the type of athlete that he can become on the floor. His shot needs to add range as most all of his damage was done in close but he is a young player and has tome to grow his game. He has a good hoops body and can compete with most athletically he will face. The more he grows his range on his offense and his comfort on the ball the more his stock will rise.
Nicolas Claxton, 6’8 2017 F at Legacy Charter – Long and skinny this kid shows all the tools needed to be considered a special player in the class of 2017. Georgetown is already on this kid which is funny to me as when I saw him play the first thing I thought of was how much he reminded me of Hoya forward Isaac Copeland when I saw him in HS. He is comfortable with the ball in his hands, shows a nice jumper with some range, runs the floor very well, and is a big factor on D and on the glass. HA no brainer high major type talent with upside here as he will get stronger over time.
Caleb Hodnett, 6’6 2017 G at Aaron Academy – Kids this long are not supposed to be able to knock down shots from deep the way this slender shooter can. I counted 5 3’s in his first game here often made with defenders rushing out on him to stop him from getting off. You can tell this kid has been well coached, knows a good shot from a bad one and understands how to play fundamental ball. Though being more slender than others on the floor he was still able to be a force on the glass by using his length smart and by boxing out, something a lot of young bigs don’t do enough of. His handles need work as at times he can get a bit out of control and he needs to bulk up some as well. You add strength to his skill, he could be a beast.
Isaiah Palermo, 6’5 2019 W at Osceola HS – I flat out love this kids game. The energy and hustle he brings to the floor is infectious and I could not help but just sit and be a fan of what he was showing me. He attacked every phase of the game on his way to a 17p/12r (from what I got) performance. He reminded me a lot of ECU star freshman Kentrel Barkley the way he played. All over the floor, in the mix on everything, making stuff look easy, with little to Barkley was able to improve his shot over time and I am hoping that will be the case for Isaiah as well. Even if it doesn’t with his combination of length, motor, and athletic ability he will find his way onto a D1 roster once HS is through.
Josh Hopkins, 6’4 2017 G at Dudley HS – I was already a fan of this kid based on what I saw on the floor. The easy jumper, range for days, and a college ready body for the 2 spot. The good shot selection, the ability to defend when needed and the ability t help on the glass. All that was hard not to like. Then his coach tells me that even though some of the shoe circuit teams came after him and wanted him to come on line he decided to stay with his team and show love and commitment to his team and coach. That shows you the heart and the maturity this kid can bring to a team and it sold me on him even more. Very nice player who gets it. The type of kid I’d want on my team.
Lots of great action going on all weekend long. Be on the lookout for news and notes. Until next time, see you in the gym!
Jason Porter is the owner of Allstar Preps. See more from Jason atwww.alstarpreps.com.