Elevate Hoops Summer Finals
Day 1 Recap
By Chick Gillespie

The final event of the live periods that I attended was the Elevate Hoops Summer Final held at Competitive Edge Sports in King of Prussia, PA. The standouts on Day one are as follows:

Devon Ferrero
6’5” 2018 PF PYO (Archbishop Carroll HS PA)

In two games on the day Ferrero showed off his ability as a stretch 4 who can hit the 3 ball but also drive it hard to the rack. In a win over East Coast Power he hit for 17pts with 3 treys while piling on 8reb to lead his team to the victory. Ferrero is a tough hard nosed player player who can bang down on the block then step out and knock down a three ball. He defends hard and while limited athletically does a good job keeping his opponent in front of him. In game two, a heartbreaking 2 point loss to HoopDreamz Blue he again led his team in scoring with 18pts 7reb and 4 treys.

Elijah Kiah-El
6’7” 2018 PF Philly Pride (Coastal Academy, NJ)

Kiah-El continued his stellar July with a monster performance in a 4 point afternoon win over L & L Running Rebels- White. He has been a monster on the boards all spring and summer but is now starting to score the ball with regularity becoming a dual threat on the floor on both ends. He defends tenaciously in the paint and he’s relentless on the glass. At the offensive end he gets great position to corral offensive rebounds along with the accompanied putback. In the game I observed he finished with 24pts 15reb and left his mark on several L&L players.

Chris Mann
6’6” 2018 SF L&L Running Rebels-White (Phillipsburg HS NJ)

Mann continues to impress with his savvy and high IQ combined with a sweet shooting stroke. On this occasion he and his mates came up short vs. Philly Pride but Mann kept them in the contest with 20pts 7reb and 3 treys in a 4 point loss. He moves well without the ball and is deadly on catch and shoot jumpers. He sees the floor well and is a very impressive passer as well. Defensively he moves his feet well and is deceptively quick and his long arms and good anticipation allow him to get deflections that turn into turnovers. If he continues to play at the level he’s demonstrating now I can see some low to mid D-1 schools getting involved.

Jerry Kapp
6’3” 2018 SG East Coast Power-Van Zelst (Boyertown Area Sr. HS PA)

Kapp is another guy who has played quite well throughout the spring and summer and is piquing the interest of D-II schools looking for a tough scrappy Combo guard who can shoot it with range to the arc. In their loss to Philly Pride Kapp had 17pts with 3 treys and also mixed in 5reb 2stls and 2asts in a well rounded performance. He plays hard with a good motor and is a better than average athlete who can fool you with his anticipation and deceptive quickness. It will be interesting to see how his recruitment plays out in the coming months as he also plays football and there are some similarities in his transformation as a player with that of another FB/BB player by the name of Justin Jaworski who wound up at Lafayette for hoops this coming season. While Kapp is not quite at the level Jaworski is I still like his work ethic and bulldog mentality while he’s on the floor and those traits alone should entice some college program to take a chance on him.

Naheem McLeod
7’0” 2019 C PYO (Plymouth-Whitemarsh HS PA)

McLeod has played up in the 17u division all season and has acclimated quite well thank you. They say you can’t coach 7 foot but you still have to produce to stay on the court and McLeod does his share to contribute to the PYO squad. While he has battled some minor injuries throughout the summer McLeod looked pretty spry getting up and down the floor in two games today. Despite drawing plenty of attention in his first game he did rebound the ball well and had 3blks to help out in the win. He’s a little inconsistent however around the basket but continues to work hard to clean up these deficiencies and did so in their close loss in game two hitting for 15pts on 7-9 from the field. When he gets a solid seal on his man he’s pretty much unstoppable and he is running the floor much more fluidly causing his teammates to try and get him the ball at the rim for alley oop slams which can ignite the fans into a frenzy while firing up the squad to dig in defensively. His defensive presence in the paint is also important as he can impact the game even without blocking a shot simply by causing shooters to change the angles of their shots. While he still appears raw at times his potential definitely shines through and it’s easy to see why coaches at the D-1 level like his potential down the road.

Dowar Joklow
6’7” 2020 PF DC Blue Devils 15u (Flint Hill Prep VA)

I give the Blue Devils a lot of credit here as they moved up not one but two age classifications to compete in the 17u bracket and behind a nice effort from Joklow defeated Team Yellow Jackets (PA) by nine points. This young man was very active in the paint scoring the ball and getting rebounds as well as bothering shots at the defensive end. He moved well without the ball and possessed good hands to catch tough interior passes while closely guarded. He could use some added strength but that should come as he grows and matures physically. This young squad was very effective with some nice looking talent and they will certainly be on my schedule for Day 2.

This wraps up day 1 of the Summer Final.

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