From the Sidelines
Queen City Middle School Showcase
Team Charlotte 2022
The inaugural Queen City Middle School Showcase was absolutely loaded with some of the best 14U teams in the state and we may add the country too! We had the likes of Team Loaded, Team United, NC Red Storm and eventual champion Team Charlotte. Team Charlotte has built an impressive resume nationally and the impeccable reputation filters down to the middle school teams. Coached by Derius McInnis, Team Charlotte plays an aggressive game and an attacking man to man defense. In addition, we were impressed with the ball moment and unselfish play. It was a total team effort and Team Charlotte walked away with bragging rights and the championship trophy.
Team Charlotte went 4-0 for the weekend and beat a very talented Team United team for the championship. In the championship game, like the three previous games, it was a well balanced offensive attack. Three Team Charlotte players scored in double digits with 6’0 Sam Cogan leading the way with a team-high 13 points while 6’2 Bralen Hamrick and 6’4 Jalen Hood -Schifino both tallied 10 points apiece.
Now, let’s take a closer look at the impact players from this past weekend.
6’4 ’22 Jalen Hood-Schifino
Remember the name! Jalen Hood-Schifino is as good as advertised. We’re talking about a physically gifted young player with an advanced skill set, basketball IQ and unbelievable feel for the game. We have stated many times, Jalen Hood-Schifino has a chance to be a special player and a name that will be in the national conversation as being one of the elite level players in his class. More importantly, he is one of the humblest young men on and off the court. He is well grounded and is the perfect team player. For Jalen, it’s not about himself, but it’s about being the best team player he can be. We were impressed with his “team first” approach and his ability to get his teammates involved and make them better.
6’0 ’22 Sam Cogan
Sam Cogan is the consummate competitor. He is crafty, cagey, and highly skilled. He can score from all three levels, but he simply has a nose for the ball. Sam is an exceptional rebounder for his size/position and is constantly making winning plays. He’s a low risk, high return player and earned the game MVP award in the championship game. While Sam has been a lofty reputation for being an excellent shooter, he is a gifted ball handler and has outstanding court vision. Offensively, Sam shot off the catch, off the bounce and was creative in his dribble drive moves. As the old saying goes, “this young man got game!” Sam finished with a game-high 13 points in the championship game.
6’2 ’22 Bralen Hamrick
Standing a thick and solid 6’2, Bralen Hamrick is without question, the team’s blue-collar workhorse. As we stated in our team preview, Bralen is the team’s glue guy and rightfully so. He’s active, aggressive and will battle you for every rebound and loose ball. In speaking with coach McInnis, Bralen’s father is 7’0 and his mom is 6’3; so, it stands to reason that Bralen has some future growth. What’s important to note is Bralen already possesses an advanced skill set which will only enhance his stock as he grows older and taller. He is definitely one to watch, a few years from now we may just be talking about a 6’8 young man.
5’8 ’22 Jordan Crawford
It was a really solid all-around performance for Jordan Crawford. Jordan is a nice combo guard that can easily transition into either position as he grows older. That being said, Crawford can score from all three levels. He has a smooth and fluid jump shot and is quite effective off the dribble/bounce. We were also impressed with his unique blend of athleticism and advanced skill set for his age/grade. He is a good decision maker and is one of the tougher on ball defenders in the tournament.