This group of players might have been the strongest at the VA Top 80 in Norfolk.

Virginia Top 80 Standouts

Top Power Forwards

The Virginia Top 80 brings together the 80 best players in the state, regardless of class, regardless of position. It allows the big name guys to jostle for ranking and even scholarships. It also allows the over looked guys to go right at the highest ranked kids to find their place.

This event was no different, however the common thread between all of them is they all competed. Every player touched the ball consistently, plays were made in the half court, and guys took pride in defense.

Today I am going to cover the Power Forward position. Here are the guys who showed out during the day:

6’9” Junior Mamadi Diakite – Blue Ridge School

Not sure any player put their stamp on the Virginia Top 80 more than Diakite. His wing span is around 7’4” and his vertical is around 40”. Diakite’s run and jump game is very strong.

Diakite’s face up skills are coming along rapidly, as he was able to consistently attack the rim off the bounce. Diakite has a current final four of Georgetown, Virginia, Washington, and Southern Cal with visits set up with each in the next month.

6’10” Junior Sacha Killeya-Jones (Virginia) – Virginia Episcopal – Team Felton

Each time Killeya-Jones steps on the floor you can see improvement in his game and confidence. Over the past year, the naturally slender Killeya-Jones has been hitting the weights hard as it is apparent he has added 20 or so good pounds to his frame.

Along with the added muscle his ball skills are translating onto the floor too. He knocked down numerous jump shots from 15’ extended. He also put the ball on the floor to attack the rim and create space.

Killeya-Jones has good timing as a weak side shot blocker and his length allows for a lot of deflections. His best basketball is ahead of him.

6’8” Sophomore Aamir Sims – Blue Ridge School – Team Loaded

Sims, is another who simply gets better each time out. Blessed with a great natural frame and good muscle tone, Sims ball skills are advanced.

At this point he is a face up 4 man who creates an instant mismatch. He is able to defend in the post with his quick feet and strength. He can also stretch the floor out to the arc or use good footwork and loose hips in the post.

Like the upside here, as he is tracking as a high level player.

6’6” Sophomore Greg Jones – John Marshall – Team Loaded

While others playing may be taller, there are none out there with more heart or a bigger motor. Jones is a walking mismatch on the floor, because of his strength and his skill.

I have seen him, multiple times, face a bigger, prettier opponent and put up 30 Points and 20 Boards on them. In this setting, Jones shot the 3-ball, finished at the rim, and rebounded his rear off.

As a sophomore, he already had Richmond and Longwood offers, but as more see him excel in the play test, the offer list will rise.


Other Standouts

Motor Prevails
6’6” Junior Andrew Corum – Middleburg Academy – Hoop Hill
Corum is a high motor in-between type player. He has good ball skills on the perimeter and attacks the rim with no fear. He gets to the basket to rebound and defends very well.

Corum is a high rate production kid, whose work ethic and skill set translates to the next level. It may not always be the prettiest, but the production speaks for itself. Corum led his team to a state title this year and picked a Longwood offer, the week leading up to camp.

Out of No Where
6’6” Sophomore Zach Jacobs – Maggie Walker – River City Reign
Jacobs was perhaps the most talked about player of the camp, outside of Mamadi Diakite. He had little to no fanfare coming in, but that should change. He attends the Governer’s School in Richmond so academics are a priority to him.

Jacobs finished the ball at 3 levels with a great variety of touch, confidence, and power. He rebounded the ball well and really showed to be a highly productive player. Look for his recruitment to sky rocket quickly as he could be one of the big gainers from the VA Top 80.

Gimme That Skill Set
6’10” Junior Maceij Bender – Mountain Mission – West Virginia Wildcats
Bender is skilled, there is no doubt about that. He has touch to 15’ extended and handle to get into comfortable spots against other bigs. When he turns his motor on, he is tough to beat. Bender carries offers from Marshall and Davidson, but look for that number to rise as he is seen more. A lot to like with this one.

Share to...