A staple of grassroots hoops in the northeast the Hoop Group runs plenty of events throughout the year and one of their best is the Summer Jam fest at the beautiful Spooky Nook Complex in Manheim, PA. A facility with around 40 courts so vast I’m afraid to explore the whole place as we might get lost and a search party may have to get organized to find me or not! We spent only one day here but it was definitely worth the trip. The following players are some of the standouts on the day:
Yazid Powell 6’4” SG 2018 Philly Hurricanes (Overbrook HS – Phila., PA) – The Hurricanes are made up primarily of Philly Public League players from B or C division teams who seldom get much publicity but are definitely known to D-II programs in the northeast. Powell is one of those players who continually produces solid stats for his team despite the fact they kind of play small. In a ten-point win over I Work (NY) Powell made shots from the midrange to the arc grabbed rebounds and made scoring passes to his teammates on close out situations. A solid D-II player his progress will be monitored moving forward and he should have a nice career at that level.
In a 16u game between East Coast Power (made up of Suburban Philly kids) and Team St8ment from Baltimore it was the Suburban kids who got the win over the more talented and athletic city kids with smart ball movement and deadly 3 point marksmanship. For the Power team 6’2” lefty SG 2019 David Duda (Methacton HS) has good range on his picture perfect jumper with some moxie to drive inside in his arsenal (His father is an Assistant Coach at St. Joseph’s Univ.) so he plays like a coach’s son deliberate and calculating. Joining him in the backcourt is another coach’s son 6’0” CG 2019 Michael Perretta (Bonner-Prendie HS) whose father is Villanova’s woman’s coach. Between the two they probably made 5 treys each while moving without the ball and setting themselves up for wide open attempts that clearly frustrated the young men from Baltimore.
Another thorn in Team St8ment’s side was 6’2” CG 2019 Sean Yoder (Pennridge HS) who constantly got inside for weakside rebounds on both ends and stepped outside to hit a couple treys himself. Yoder is the junkyard dog player on this Power squad but his contributions do not go unnoticed. For Team St8ment two players stood out in their loss one was arguably their most talented player 6’7” SF 2019 (St. Mary’s- Ryken HS) who used his long frame to slice his way inside for buckets at the rim and whose defensive presence caused some problems for the EC Power for a stretch of time in the 2nd half. Long has high major ability for sure as he refines his game his recruitment should take off. Also for St8ment 6’3” SG 2019 Ronell Giles (St. Vincent Pallotti HS) would have felt right at home if he had suited up for the Power as he was by far St8ment’s only deep threat nailing at least 4 treys in the loss. He has great range and a nice balanced stroke and doesn’t lack for confidence either.
Andrew Petcash 6’4” SG 2018 PK Flash (New Hampton Prep, NH) we first saw this young man at the CRC in Wheeling, WV playing for Pine-Richland HS in Western PA and came away impressed in his squads big win. We next saw him at the PIAA 6A state title game vs. Reading HS and while he didn’t play as well as he normally does we was still impressed by his hustle and court demeanor in a tough hard fought contest that ended in defeat. Fast forward to July and he seems to have maintained his level of play putting up 25pts with three treys in a 69-57 loss to the NY Rens. This kid plays all out and battles hard to the final horn and no question he could help a mid-major program right now. We will get a chance to see him a few more times this month and am actually looking forward to it.
In a 17u matchup that apparently wasn’t high on a lot of college coaches radar was the City Rocks – Orange (NY) vs. Alvin Gentry Elite (AZ) tilt. Two kids caught my eye as solid D-II prospects one on each team and it was surprising that only two assistant coaches showed up to watch. City Rocks- Orange came away with a 77-59 win and 6’6” 2018 SG Justyn Lacy (St. Thomas More Academy, CT) was an intriguing piece as he roamed the perimeter knocking in treys or getting some penetration pull up jumpers finishing with 21pts. We had been told he was kind of soft but I didn’t see it in this game as he did go inside and engage on the boards or at the defensive end where he worked hard at getting stops. Maybe the light has come on for this young man. For Alvin Gentry Elite from Phoenix 6’7” SF 2018 (Pinnacle HS) Mason Johnson was solid despite being a below average athlete he relied on smarts and great timing to score 19pts nailing a couple threes and getting inside for crafty put backs or quick drive layups against out of position defenders. Smart player who plays to his limitations.
Precious Achiuwa 6’9” PF 2019 New Heights 16u (St. Benedict’s Prep – Newark, NJ) – Playing up with the 17u group apparently didn’t effect Achiuwa as he was the best player on the floor in their win over CBSA Hoyas (MD). He used his super athleticism to get where he wanted on the floor whether slashing inside for buckets at the rim or nailing a 15 foot jumper he was pretty much unchallenged throughout the contest and he finished with 17pts even though he didn’t shoot it that well. He rebounds in and out of his area and engages on the defensive side of the ball and in our opinion his upside is high and HM should be the destination.
In two viewings of the SBA Elite team from NJ coached by Mergin Sina from Gill St. Bernard’s HS one player stood out as they knocked off the EYBL NY Lightning and the NJ Shoreshots on their way to winning the 17u Summer Jam Fest championship. That player was 6’3”PG 2018 (Arthur L. Johnson HS – Clark, NJ) George Visconti. While he plays PG Visconti is like a secret weapon because this kid can flat out shoot the rock hitting 6 treys in game 1 vs. the Lightning then hitting 4 more in a wild come from behind (17 point deficit in 2nd half) OT win over the Shoreshots. In both contests, he displayed a fine understanding of running a team getting the ball to teammates in scoring positions and in my head he had at least 4-7 assists in each game. When left open however which the Lightning did often he certainly made them pay in a ten point win. His steal and dish ahead pass at the end of regulation allowed SBA to get in position to tie their game with Shoreshots up then steal it in the OT session. While not super athletic he has a great basketball IQ and excellent court vision that would definitely be an asset in a college program at the D-II or D-III level.
Moses Brown 7’1” C 2018 New Heights (Archbishop Molloy HS = Briarwood, NY) – Fresh off his excellent UAA All American camp performance Brown took a backseat to teammate Precious Achiuwa in an earlier game but stepped up big time in this later game a 75-44 win over SJ Hoops Elite. Brown was dominant inside scoring 26pts while in my recollection missed just one FGA. He rebounded the ball well and blocked at least 4 shots as New Heights ran out to a big lead and coasted home. For his efforts, he was given the last 8 minutes off to rest up for the Sunday quarterfinals.
There were a few more nice performances on the day including:
Tyler Bertram 6’3” SG 2019 NY Jayhawks 16u (Cooperstown, NY Central HS) – Bertram knocked down 4 treys in a 73-57 win over Game 7 Sharks Elite (NJ) finishing with 19pts
Alan Griffin 6’5” SG 2018 NY Rens (Archbishop Stepinac HS – White Plains, NY) – Playing on a mixed squad of 17u and 16u players for the Rens Griffin was quite effective with 19pts 3 deep treys in a 69-57 win over PK Flash in the 17u bracket.
Anthony Marshall 5’10” PG 2020 NY Lightning 16u (Brooklyn Democracy Academy, NY) – Playing up in the 17u bracket Marshall put up 19pts with 3 treys in a 10 point loss to SBA Elite (NJ) Ran the show contributing 5asts
Marc Dadika 6’5” SG 2018 NJ Shoreshots – Frauenheim (St. Mary’s HS – Rutherford,NJ) – In the crazy OT loss to SBA Elite Dadika was steady finishing with 19pts 5reb 3asts
This concludes our coverage of Hoop Group’s Summer Jam Fest from Spooky Nook (had to get the name in there one more time because it’s just cool!)
Tag(s): Event/Tourney Coverage