Phenom’s Winter Classic Enters Year 2
A Look Back and a Look to Next Week
It seems like the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic regions have the best holiday tournaments around the country, that is probably because it is a known fact they do. Numerous events around the region bring the top talent from around the country together. Phenom Hoops is excited to be talked about in the same breath when, last year, we added another national level event to the region. In this article, we want to go through the incredible level of talent in Phenom’s Inaugural Winter Classic and then go over the talent in this year’s event.
Looking back at Last year’s Phenom’s Joe Miller Winter Classic and you see that event had as much talent as any Holiday event throughout the region, and it did. There were some unbelievable games that paired well with elite level talent and great individual performances.
In last year’s event alone we had 24 players who are already committed to play (or playing) at Division 1 programs. In fact, in looking at 2018 NBA mock drafts, Nickiel Alexander Walker (Hamilton Heights/Virginia Tech) is being looked at as a possible first-round selection. Over 20 players were ranked among the nation’s Top 150 prospects while over 50 players in that event have picked up Division 1 offers.
While the 2016 version of Phenom’s Winter Classic took place in Wilmington, North Carolina, the event made quite the splash and now has a tradition of excellence. A tradition which we are excited to uphold again this year in Columbia, South Carolina.
This season will be no different. We built an expectation of excellence for this event and we are just as excited about that the field we were able to put together. Three of the teams in the field made it to their respective state championship game (Blythewood, Christian Academy of MB and Village Christian) with Village Christian winning a state title.
Already six players are committed to play ball (make that seven with Conway’s Darren Grainger committed to play football at Furman). There are thirty other players who already carry Division 1 basketball offers and numerous others who carry either D2 offers or are being actively recruited by scholarship level schools.
This year we are excited about very competitive matchups. You have unsigned seniors such as KC Hankton (United Faith Christian), Robert Braswell (Blythewood) and Jamarius Burton (Independence) who are some of the hottest names around on the recruiting trail. Each player carries multiple mid to high major offers and between them the likes of Oklahoma State, Georgia Tech, South Carolina, Oregon State, UMass and others have been in to watch in the last week. They’re each playing for scholarships and many college coaches eyes will be on them.
All in all, teams in this event are playing for state championships while the players in this event are playing for national recognition. Yet again, it will be an unbelievably high caliber event, one of the most talked about events in the region.
2016 Phenom’s Winter Classic D1 Commitments
Coby White (Greenfield/UNC), Joey Baker (Trinity Christian/Duke), Blake Harris (Word of God/Missouri), Brandon Huffman (Word of God/UNC), Bryce Golden (St James/Pittsburgh), Isiah Mucius (St James/Wake Forest), Omar Habwe (St James/Mount St Mary’s), Aamir Sims (Blue Ridge/Clemson), Darius McGhee (Blue Ridge/Liberty), Elijah Weaver (Oldsmar Christian/Southern Cal), Michael Durr (Oldsmar Christian/South Florida), Stefon Fisher (Oldsmar Christian/Stephen F Austin), Ejike Obinna (Virginia Academy/Vanderbilt), Jahlil Jenkins (Virginia Academy/Fairleigh Dickinson), Parker Stewart (Union City/Pittsburgh), Kody Shubert (Lincoln Charter/Presbyterian), Tray Hollowell (University Heights/Wofford), Ibrahim Doumbia (Miami Christian/South Carolina), Elijah McCadden (Greenfield/Georgia Southern), Deshaun Wade (Miller School/East Carolina), Tionne Rollins (Hamilton Heights/Fort Wayne), Therron Shelton Schmidt (Hamilton Heights/Middle Tennessee St), Nickiel Alexander Walker (Hamilton Heights/Virginia Tech), Shai Gilgeous Alexander (Hamilton Heights/Kentucky)
2017 Phenom’s Winter Classic Commitments
Jimmy Nichols (Conway/Providence), Nate Springs (United Faith Christian/Ohio U), Jaylen Sims (United Faith Christian/UNC-Wilmington), Deshaun Wade (Miller School/East Carolina), Teemu Temonof (Miller School/Charleston), Zack Foulks (AC Flora/Lees McRae), Darren Grainger (Conway/Furman) – football