Hoop Group Future All American Camp (Part 1)
By Chick Gillespie

The first week in August the Hoop Group brings together some of the top incoming Frosh/Soph players to Albright College in Reading, PA for the Future All American camp. While most of these young men hail from the Mid Atlantic and Northeast region the camp did attract some fine talent from states such as Georgia, Florida, Texas and California to name a few. Here are some of the many standout players that I observed over the 3 days I attended the camp:

Jalen Green 6’6” 2020 SF
San Joaquin Memorial HS (Irvine, CA)
– Green was by far the highest ranked player here and his play left no doubt that those rankings were well deserved. Offensively he’s quite polished with a smooth jump shot and range to the arc. He also displayed a tight handle as he slashed to the basket for acrobatic finishes in traffic. On the defensive side of the ball he moves well to keep his opponents in front of him and with a long reach he can force turnovers with good positioning on the court. Unlike some highly ranked players who show up at these camps and try to hog the ball Green played as if this was a team camp deal, getting his and also dishing the rock to his teammates, throughout the week. He possesses good court vision and he can laser the ball to a cutter in the blink of an eye. This young man was on top of his game all week long and clearly was one of the best players in attendance.

Elijah Taylor 6’8” 2020 PF
Imhotep Charter (Phila., PA)
– One of the best things about the camp was the plethora of capable bigs in attendance this year and Taylor was among the best. His low post footwork is improving daily and his ball skills are following along nicely as well. He scored it on the block with consistency and he was one of the top rebounders in camp with good box outs to aggressively pursue wayward shots. Defensively he banged with other big guys and more than held his own getting some blocks along with a number of stops in the paint. I’m expecting big things from Taylor this season and if his play at this camp is any indication then Imhotep Charter will be set in the middle.

Richard Springs 6’9” 2020 C
Bishop Loughlin HS (Brooklyn, NY)
– Springs was a beast on the glass in the two games I watched him getting rebounds and starting the break with quick outlet passes then following the play to boot. On the offensive end he had nice explosive leaps to soar over unsuspecting opponents for offensive rebound slams with authority I might add. He sets a nice target down low to receive entry passes with good hands to catch them and nice footwork to get to the bucket as well. He has most definitely improved from my last viewing of him especially on defense where he held his ground on quite a few occasions and made plays. As he fills out physically he’ll be even harder to move off the block where he did much of his damage this week and he’ll be a real headache for teams to contend with. Serious riser is written all over him.

Justin Lewis 6’7” 2020 SF
Calvert Hall College HS (Baltimore, MD)
– For Lewis this camp was kind of weird as he is a wing player who’s not afraid to go into the paint but when you’re the tallest guy on the squad well lets just say he spent a lot of time juggling his SF role with helping his team down low. Lewis can shoot the rock from distance but can also slice up opponents from the midrange as well. His shot is sound and he gets good elevation to get it off and he did it with finesse. On the flip side he battled on the block getting boards as well as defending the interior. He runs the floor well and gets to the cup with fluid motion to finish thru contact. Despite playing out of position he didn’t complain and probably learned a few new tricks to add to the arsenal.

Noah Farrakahn 6’2” 2020 PG
St. Benedict’s Prep (Newark, NJ)
– When you’re the starting PG on a nationally known high school squad like Farrakahn is you’ve already been exposed to a high level of basketball so it should come as no surprise that he would be challenged in every game he played. Challenge or not Farrakahn met them head on and excelled even in the game I viewed where he didn’t play all that well by his standards. This young man is a wizard with the ball handling it like it’s on a string while slicing thru defenses then whipping no look passes past people for scores like it’s a walk in the park. He keeps you guessing with a nice change of direction dribble then crosses you over to get to the rack for the deuce all the while making it look simple. In the one game he seemingly struggled he didn’t shoot it well but played really good defense and still distributed his share of scoring passes. The one thing I saw in this camp was his propensity to make things happen when nothing much existed which turned into a 50/50 proposition with some turnovers mixed with some sensational plays. This of course will benefit him greatly in the future as he will refine these plays and figure out a way to make them smart instead of reckless. This is what makes him the player he his and his ceiling is quite high.

Lance Ware 6’8” 2020 SF
Big Picture Learning Academy (Camden, NJ)
– Ware will suit up for Camden HS this winter as the Charter school he attends is connected to “The High” as it’s known throughout South Jersey. Ware is a high level athlete who can run the floor and get to the rack with both power and grace. He’s a phenomenal high post passer who you can run your offense thru and despite a subpar distance jumper he does hit his fair share from about 12 feet and in. He uses his strong frame in the paint to rebound at a high level on both ends and his defense is credible with room to grow. As with young bigs he tends to rush his jumper from 15 feet and beyond but being the elite athlete that he is I believe this facet of his game will improve with hard work and patience. When all is said and done he should be a steady presence as a wing who doubles as a low post threat at the high school level for the next three years.

This wraps up Part 1 from the Hoop Group Future All American camp.

Share to...