Throughout live period, I will be sending out a recap of what I saw each day. On Thursday, I was at GASO and The Main Floor in Dallas, where I saw many local teams in action. With so many games going on simultaneously this weekend, this column will look a bit different than last week, as in most instances I am unable to watch entire games. I will do my best to get notes on as many teams/players as possible, and share them accordingly based on who stands out.
Shooting Stars Red - Kristian Sjolund had an impressive showing against All Arkansas Red, making plays at both ends of the floor that had the coaches who stuck around for the late 9pm tip buzzing. Sjolund is a modern stretch 4 who can also make a significant impact on the defensive end. In one first half sequence, he had a dunk, a block, and made a 3 in succession to showcase what he is capable of on the court. Teammates Emmanuel White and CJ Washington proved to be worthy sidekicks, each putting up double figures as Shooting Stars picked up a 69-64 win. White and Washington are both deserving of looks at the D1 level, and figure to be playing in front of plenty of them for the rest of the weekend.
Sanni Hoops - Despite losing to a superior RM5 side, Riley Abercrombie was the talk of the gym during a spectacular first half where he scored from all three levels, including a few deep threes and dunks. This truly was the definition of a breakout performance, and it could not have come at a better time, as it was a standing room only crowd with possibly 100 coaches in attendance. I am looking forward to see if Abercrombie can back up this performance with some solid efforts on Friday. Abercrombie finished with 27 points, and Ajare Sanni added 13 as the team fought hard the entire way in an 84-65 defeat.
BMM Black 15U - I have seen this Dallas-based squad on several occasions throughout the summer, and every time I come away impressed with the play of Caleb Lohner, who torched Basketball University 15U to the tune of 30 points yesterday. In what was a fantastic 15U game, Lohner was unstoppable in the second half, nailing 3s and getting to the rim while scoring 22 points to lead BMM to a narrow 81-76 victory. Several coaches who were courtside raved about his game, and later in the evening, Lohner picked up his first offer from BYU. BMM has a loaded roster that includes Quevian Adger and 2021s Duncan Powell and Manny Obaseki, but Lohner is their most productive piece and should garner a lot of attention off of this effort.
Basketball University 16U - This crew pulled away late to beat Urban ASAK Gold (this is the ASAK 17U second team) 89-72 in a game that was close most of the way. LJ Cryer and Quante Julien did an excellent job of pushing the pace throughout the contest, as BU gradually wore down ASAK in the second half. Cryer finished with 27 points and Julien added 23, and 50 points will surely be among the highest totals for a backcourt at the GASO. BU also received big contributions on both ends from Javonne Lowery, Calvin Solomon, and new addition RJ Orebo.
Others who stood out on the day include:
Elijah Parquet (Team Stage) - Parquet has been rounding into form after missing extended time due to injury, and this was his best performance to date, knocking down three 3s in the first half on his way to 19 points as Team Stage beat Basketball University 17U Silver 74-48. Parquet can score but also impacts the game defensively, and is an under-the-radar prospect with plenty of upside who is certain to have many coaches following him over the next two weeks.
Nigel Hawkins (Yes II Success) - After delivering a sterling performance in the adidas Gauntlet Finale title game on Saturday, Hawkins backed it up with a solid 18-point effort as Yes II Success cruised past Dallas Showtyme 72-52. This game took place at The Main Floor, a showcase event located just down the street from the GASO, and there were perhaps 50-60 coaches in attendance including a ton of high majors. I spoke with Hawkins after the game, and he stressed the importance of building off of his big effort in South Carolina. Hawkins continues to add to his tremendous profile, and I expect more big games from him in the next ten days.
Uche Dibiamaka (Team Stackz) - The UT-Rio Grande Valley commit had a dominant performance as Team Stackz easily dispatched Elevation Skills Sports 70-49. Dibiamaka is a glue guy who plays with a high motor end-to-end and constantly makes an impact without the ball. Dibiamaka finished with 21 points, many of them in transition or on the offensive glass. Overall, this is still a raw prospect with room for improvement, but he showed in this contest the qualities that are going to make him an asset at UTRGV.