The inaugural United Legacy Top 25 girls showcase camp is in the books. All of the young ladies learned from some of the best basketball minds during station work and individual work before game play. The campers listened intently and followed instructions from Debbie Miller Palmore and Tony Green just to name a few.
Station work at camps are a given and sometimes you can look at players and how they respond to the instruction and given. The instruction and how it was digested sometimes does not get fully shown until there is gameplay.
The game play was very competitive and several players stood out. Here is a look at the top five “Names To Know” from the United Legacy Top 25 showcase.
Karlee Law (2027, Jefferson Middle School/ EOTO). Law, a lefty, was the most electric player at the camp. Law showed off an array of crafty ball handling skills, vision, aggressive nature offensively and defensively and communicated effectively with her teammates throughout the games. Law was always around the ball, looked for teammates especially in the open floor when leading the break and had a couple of very good defensive plays that were whistled as very questionable fouls. The most impressive thing from Law was after a couple of buckets she was asked to show what she could do with her right hand and promptly went and score back-to-back buckets on right-handed dribble drives and right-handed finishes. Improvement in the perimeter shooting and finishing around the rim in traffic are things to watch for as she develops. In the final 5-on-5 game of the day Law racked up and impressive 7 points, 3 rebounds, 4 assists and 1 turnover in a victory in the 16-minute running clock game.
Charmaine Owens (2027- Champion Middle School/ TKO). Owens has the makings to be a very good player. Owens showed she could knock down the open shot in the mid-range and from beyond the arc, good control on drives to the rim and finished. Owens moves her feet well on defense and collected a number of steals in the gameplay portion of the camp. In the final 5-on-5 game Owens numbers were not large with 2 points 1 rebound, 1 assist and 2 turnovers, but her impact defensively was noted as she forced several bad shots and caused multiple turnovers with her defensive activity. Improvement will need to be made in injecting herself into the game more offensively, not passing up the open shot and communicating more. Very good upside for sure with Owens.
Jasmine Lopez (2027- Eagle’s Landing Christian Academy/ TKO). Lopez saved her best for last in the final 5-on-5 game of the camp Lopez broke out to finish with a game-high 11 points, 2 rebounds, 2 steals and 2 turnovers in the 16-minute running clock game. Six of her points were directly off of Karlee Law assists as the two of them got in a flow and both of her steals led to points on the other end. Lopez ran the floor well, cut to the basket, always made herself available and when she got it she scored. Lopez showed some signs of having a pretty good jump shot with more work and was crafty in the defensive passing lanes. Lopez is the type of player that once you look at the box score, had more impact on the game than you may have thought. Very sound teammate who communicates well
Grace McCloud (2027- Wesleyan/ Atlanta Cagers). McCloud showed good upside being around the rim and hitting the glass. A sound screen setter that once she continues to develop and learn the art of rolling to the basket, will score in bunches in the paint. Aggressive on defense and there were few shots she did not contest. McCloud scored multiple times on offensive rebounds in the paint and almost never put the ball on the floor in the paint off offensive rebounds during game play. In the final 5-on-5 game she tallied 2 rebounds 1 block and 1 turnover in a loss in the 16-minute running clock game.
Kyndal Hardaway (2028 Chamblee Middle School/ Atlanta Celtics). The youngster of the bunch has some very good upside. Nice height and length for a 7th grader and she does not even know how long she is now nor will be in the future. Active hands on defense, always around the rim offensively and defensively. She was matched-up against Karlee Law during a good portion of the game play session including the final 5-on-5 game where she showed good perimeter skills and movement defensively. A slasher on offense right now- did very well scoring below the foul line on slashes and cuts, as she continues to grow look for improvement in her perimeter shooting game and finishing around the rim in traffic and through contact. She tallied 2 points 3 rebounds 2 steals 1 turnover in a loss in the 16-minute running clock final 5-on-5 session.
The first one is the hardest one and camp director Tommie Peoples has the first one under his belt and looks to grow it from here. All of the young ladies enjoyed the atmosphere and competitive nature especially in games. How they use this to continue grow and develop will be fun to watch. The girls and women’s game of basketball is in good hands and has a bright future.
As the inaugural United Legacy Girls Showcase camp approaches, we have learned of some of the talent that will be on display this weekend at South Gwinnett High School in Snellville, GA.
Tommie Peoples is excited to venture into the land of girls basketball while targeting a different age group he feels has lacked in exposure in the girls game and that can continue to grow it. .
The camp will feature as many as 100 players from the 8th grade (2027) to the 10th grade (2025) featuring players who have been successful in AAU travel ball and the early stages of high school ball however still lack the attention which attracts college coaches and college opportunities. There have even been a couple of 7th graders (2028) that have been added to the event. The showcase camp will feature intensive training, station work by position and camp gameplay. Registration for the United Legacy Showcase Camp is still open for interested players and you can register on the official website UnitedTop25.net.
We have learned of some of the talent that will be at the showcase camp. Alyssa Green (Buford), Kalyce Williams (Peachtree Ridge), Asja Howell (Lanier) and Camera Reed (Walnut Grove) all of whom played with Team Huncho Future this past travel season will attend. Class of 2027 future names to know in London Smith, Sha’nya Heath and Charmaine Owens whom played this past travel season with the very well respected Totality TKO this past travel season.
Other names to be on the look out for are Janai Wilder (2027), Sophia Louis-Pierre (EOTO), Karlee Lee (2027), Tracy Wakefield (2028), Cayden Cornish (2026), Nyla Chivers (2028), LaTavia Scott (2026), Grace Landeck (2026) and Kyndai Hardaway (2028).
All of these young ladies and more will be working under the tutelage of an experienced staff of camp coaches. Camp counselors and coaches will include, former 1980 U.S. Olympic team member and former Boston University all-time leading scorer Debbie Miller Palmore. Former Georgia Lady Bulldog star and 1996 Naismith College Player of the Year Saudia Roundtree. Former Virginia Cavalier Brandi Teamer, who was the 2001-02 National Freshman of the Year and ACC Rookie of the Year and former 1996 U.S. Olympic gold medalist and former Tennessee Lady Volunteer Carla McGhee will be camp coaches and provide direction and instruction to the campers.
We will be on the scene all day from South Gwinnett this Saturday and will follow up with all of the action and notable names and their performances. Who is going to standout? Who wants to standout?
Women’s and girls basketball continues to grow at a high rate, however it seems there is never enough attention given to it despite its rapid growth. The WNBA is nearing the end of its 26th season and many of its current stars are nearing the end of their storied careers. Sue Bird is retiring at the end of this season, Candace Parker and Diana Taurasi are multiple WNBA champions nearing the end of their careers. The future of the WNBA is bright with younger stars such as Ajah Wilson, Kahleah Copper, Sabrina Ionescu, Rhyne Howard, Alyssa Thomas, Jewell Lloyd and Jonquel Jones now in the fold and ready to continue to grow the game however that pipeline begins at the younger ages.
Tommie Peoples is the founder and owner of United Legacy. Peoples has noticed the growth of the girls game but also the lack of exposure for girls when it comes to the middle to high school levels. Peoples, a decorated camp and event director for over 30 years, decided it was time to give girls in these age ranges more exposure. Peoples and United Legacy will host their first girls showcase camp on Saturday September 17th at South Gwinnett high school.
Registration for the United Legacy Showcase Camp is still open and interested players can register on the official website UnitedTop25.net.
The camp will feature as many as 100 players from the 8th grade (2027) to the 10th grade (2025) featuring players who have been successful in AAU travel ball and the early stages of high school ball however still lack the attention which attracts college coaches and college opportunities. The showcase camp will feature intensive training, station work by position and camp gameplay.
“Since Title IX it’s time to give our younger kids an opportunity, our younger girls an opportunity for exposure to give them a chance to be on the bigger stage and they’re able to control their environment,” Peoples said. “I’ve been doing tournaments for over 30 years but this will be the first camp for girls with the people there to help them with the exposure and together we have over 500 years of experience that will be in that gym that each girl can tap into to get better and get them to the next level.”
Peoples has assembled an experienced staff of camp coaches. The list includes, former 1980 U.S. Olympic team member and former Boston University all-time leading scorer Debbie Miller Palmore. Joining Miller Palmore will be former Georgia Lady Bulldog star and 1996 Naismith College Player of the Year Saudia Roundtree. Former Virginia Cavalier Brandi Teamer, who was the 2001-02 National Freshman of the Year and ACC Rookie of the Year and former 1996 U.S. Olympic gold medalist and former Tennessee Lady Volunteer Carla McGhee will also be camp coaches.
All of these women are well respected in the game of basketball overall and in women’s basketball. This was important to Peoples.
“It all comes from being involved with kids early some of them have had the opportunity to coach their kids and some of them I had the opportunity to be involved with their national experience and with their coaching experiences a couple of them we have friendships and working relationships over 25 plus years,” Peoples said about assembling the showcase camp coaching staff.
This showcase camp and the coaching experience that will be involved is an example of the opportunity for those girls that want to play basketball and continue to grow the game can start here. As the excitement builds we will update you on the players you will attend that you may want to know for the future.
Time flies when you are having fun and the month of June and high school basketball will come to a close this week. This is the final Hillsman Heavy for June Basketball so let’s jump right into.
This past week another one of the highlights of the summer was the NHSBCA Southeast Regional Live period event which features teams from Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina and Alabama.
There were a number of college coaches from all levels in the gym all weekend and a number of players picked up offers from schools after solid performances or showing things to coaches who were looking for talent.
There were a number of teams that had very good showings and a number of teams that didn’t rack up a lot of wins but showed well in competitive games and players that showed well in competitive games.
NHSBCA Team Standouts: Myers Park (NC) left the event with four impressive wins including one over Grovetown (GA) in a game that was not previously scheduled. Sir Mohammed, Sadiq White Jr, Bishop Boswell and Elijah Strong form a core group for Myers Park that will have them in the conversation as the best public school team in North Carolina come the regular season. This core received plenty of attention from college coaches however their core group is very serious and had a lot of colleges paying keen attention.
Grovetown: Grovetown continued to be the talk of the summer despite a loss to Myers Park (NC). Derrion Reid against stood out to with the college coaches with his overall game on display. Frankquon Sherman, Vashon Ferguson and Markell Freeman also showed well. Grovetown’s overall team play offensively and defensively was on full display and is the reason why Grovetown is a heavy contender in Georgia’s 6A come the regular season.
Orlando Christian Prep (FL): The 2A powerhouse out of Florida has reloaded. Isaiah Brown, Isaiah Sutherland, Jayden Hastings and Ameer Ramadan showed why OCP will again be a threat. Hastings and his defensive presence led to him receiving offers. Brown can flat out play and Sutherland is a great change of pace player that does a little bit of everything well. OCP had wins over McDonough (Ga), OCP seems ready to make a run at a fourth straight state title come the regular season.
Gray Collegiate (SC): The defending 2A SC State Champs have reloaded and showed well in three of four games this weekend. Montravious White shot the ball better and showed he can engineer offense. Avantae Parker has major upside with his frontcourt presence and lefty picked up an offer over the weekend. Mychael Mitchell and Treyvon Mattox add to the firepower along with Jalen Jefferson.
Hoover (AL): All four of their games were decided by a total of 13 points including a two-point win over Greenforest. Dewayne Brown was the standout for a Hoover team that showed very well. Brown is a force in the paint and has good footwork to go with a soft touch and continuing development of his overall game. One of the highlights with Brown was when things were not going well he played through it and still found ways to impact the game. Hoover showed they can shoot the ball from distance and connected on 10-three-pointers in a loss to Grovetown. Jonathan Caicedo, Noah McAfee and Elijah Thomas shot it well all weekend. Good things are coming for this squad.
Oak Ridge (FL): Close wins in June with a failry new team is a good sign. Oak Ridge has the pieces again to make a serious run in 7A this season. There is solid core group in Tyler Johnson, Tyler Davis, Jordan Tilery, Cameron Simpson and Jalen Reece that all mesh well together and each seem to know their role and what they can bring to the team. On any given night Oak Ridge can have any of these guys go off. How they along with Elijah Elliott, Amari Davis and Alex Kuminga continue to develop will be fun to watch.
Greenforest (GA): You know about the height in DK Manyiel and Gai Chol. What really made Greenforest so good this weekend despite a two-point loss to Hoover was the play of Isaiah Lloyd at the guard spot. Lloyd made it seem as though he picked his spots but he really ran the offense in a way that allowed him to do his work in the second half. In the games against Providence (FL) and Kell (Ga), Lloyd scored 30 total points, 25 of those in the second half. Caleb Kawela showed his improvement by having solid efforts that featured multiple offensive rebounds and put-backs in key situations. DK Manyiel continued to show off his improving jumper and Chol showed he has improved on his perimeter game both offensively and defensively.
Windermere (FL): Windermere showed their depth playing without Sean Stewart. Their only loss was to Wheeler in sudden death overtime on a free throw. Cole White picked up t he slack in the middle while Jalen DuBose showed his improving jumper and sound defense. Ta’Veon Jones engineered the offense very well and Zachiah Clark seems ready to make his mark for this team. With Stewart in the fold Windermere is going to be a very tough out in 7A.
North Mecklenburg (NC): Isaiah Evans is the real deal. The upside for Evans is through the roof. Evans can score, defend, shoot, slash, rebound and when you need a bucket he’ll get you that as well. North Meck split their four games with a close loss to Westlake (Ga) and another loss to Sandy Creek (Ga) . They have plenty of youth that ha the continue to mesh and develop will have them in the conversation as one of the better public school teams in North Carolina come the regular season. Seniors Tayvion Roach and TJ Hardy will provide the experience as Trey Maxwell, Christian Foy and Greg Murray develop and get accustom to their roles.
Grissom (AL): A very solid showing for this team that feature DJ Thompson, RJ Johnson and Izzy Miles. Johnson was the name coming in but Thompson made his impact on the game felt with his hustle and fearless play. The only set back for Grissom was a three-point loss to Jonesboro. This team will be worth keeping an eye on as the regular season nears because there could be something brewing on low boil in Huntsville.
That’s just 10 of the 140 teams in attendance that stood out, not saying they were the best 10 but just the 10 that we mentioned because they stood out.
Here are some other notable players we saw or heard college coaching chatter about over the weekend (in no order).
Bryson Tiller (Pace Academy-GA), Jauin Simon (Pebblebrook-GA), Blake Wilson (Dwyer-FL),Devon Rainey (Jonesboro-GA), Dylan James (Winter Haven-FL), Kjei Parker (Winter Haven-FL), Arrinten Page (Wheeler-GA), Josh Hill (Wheeler-GA), Kota Suttle (Wheeler-GA), Jamie Phillips Jr (Winter Haven-FL), Eddrin Bronson (Tampa Catholic-FL), Kevin White (Newton-GA), Tay Jefferies (Newton-GA), Samarion Bond (Norcross-GA), Malachi Brown (Buford-GA), Terrell Wright (Columbia-GA), Cassidy Golden (Columbia-GA), Rashad Headges (Columbia-GA), Chad Moodie (Grayson-GA), LeBarron Phlion (Baker-AL), Gicarri Harris (Grayson-GA), Jeremy Innocent (Lake Worth-FL), Aiden Weaver (Etowah), Rodrecas Rouse (Westlake-GA), Dominick Scott (Riverside-Jacksonville-FL), Da’Avion Thomas (McDonough-GA), Amon McDowell (McDonough-GA), Chris Arias (Providence School-FL), Jaydon Cole (Kings Ridge-GA), Jamichael Davis (McEachern-GA), Keishawn Hampton (Collins Hill-GA) Jaylen Robinson (Providence School-FL), Josh Dixon (Milton-GA), Peyton Marshall (Kell-GA), PJ Johnson (Kell-GA), Cannon Richards (Kell-GA), Mier Panoam (Norcross-GA), Akai Fleming (Osborne-Ga), Caleb Holt (Buckhorn-AL), Tristian Gross (St. Petersburg-FL), Labaron Philon (Baker-AL), Maurio Hanson (Chambers-Vance-NC), Antonie Lorick (Cross Creek-GA), Kelvin Hunter (Chapel Hill-GA), Noah Melson (Alexander-GA),
Shot Clock Violations: In the 24 games played on Court 5 there were a total of 13 shot clock violations. Of the state with teams participating, Georgia is the only state where the shot clock will be mandatory beginning this upcoming 2022-23 season.
Minus a couple of play dates June basketball for high school teams is complete. As we mentioned in the first Hillsman Heavy June Basketball edition, June is different for every team. Schools have multiple teams, longer benches, have JV teams play in varsity leagues and play in team camps are colleges and universities in and around the state.
Player development will still the foundation of June basketball. What you do in the summer shows in the regular season. Continue to stay in the lab, build that sweat equity and hone your overall game. Before you know it Fall Leagues will be going on and then you will look up and the first official day of practice on October 25th will be here.
June is for building and developing. Learning how to win, learning how to bounce back from a bad game, learning to play through adversity learning how to take it to another level against equal and/or greater competition with game competition. June is excellent for high school coaches and players as it gives them the chance to get ready for the upcoming season and put their players and teams in front of college coaches. Wins and losses don’t count and still are to be taken with a grain of salt but programs are built through winning and losing and growing from both. The Live Period hits a little different as it should and there were some games that had regular season feels to them. There were some player matchups that many wanted to see so yes it hit a little different but once October 25th hits, everyone is 0-0. Learn from the wins and the losses, grow from the experience and keep developing your game.
As we roll along in June the next major Live Period event is upon us this weekend with the NHSBCA Southeast Regionals at Lake Point in Emerson, GA Friday June 24th to Sunday June 26th. This event will feature each team playing four games in a showcase style format in front of a college coaches from all levels.
140 high school teams from Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, Alabama and North Carolina will be participating. The Hillsman Heavy for the most part is leans more to Georgia however tracks out-of-state programs especially when it comes to playing Georgia teams in the regular season or in Live Period events. Total Sports Coverage, the home of the Hillsman Heavy, has covered and broadcast events in its history in all of the participating states since its establishment in 2010.
We will preview the non-Georgia schools and players to look for this weekend in addition to looking at a few matchups on the overall schedule.
Let’s begin in Florida.
FLORIDA: 42 teams from Florida will be participating, second most behind Georgia (73). There are a number of teams from Florida that are no stranger to playing Georgia teams whether in the regular season or in previous Live Period events, national schedules, have national recruits and have successful programs. Some of the teams that pop out from Florida are but not limited to; Oak Ridge, Lake Worth Community, Windermere, Orlando Christian Prep, Winter Haven, Dr. Phillips, St. Petersburg, Bartow, Westminster and Sagemont. Let’s look a little closer at some of these teams.
-Oak Ridge: Head Coach Steve Reese is no stranger to big time events with big time talent and big time scheduling. Tyler Johnson is the returning leading scorer and rebounder at 15.7ppg and 7rpg. Jalen Reece at the guard spot returns after a freshman season where he made strides all season and finished at 12ppg and 6.7apg. Look for a strong weekend from Reece. Tyler Davis look to cement his case in the rotation and improve his frontcourt presence. The scariest thing about Oak Ridge, they walk in with only one senior (2023) in the fold. Oak Ridge will play Georgia schools Mount Vernon, Kell, Norcross and Tucker.
-Lake Worth Community: Lake Worth jump started their season a year ago with a 50-49 upset win over Potter’s House in the Florida Get Down. Calvin Sirmans and Marvin Golf return for a team that loss in the 7A semifinals finals to eventual state champion Miami-Columbus. Sirmans enters the event with offers and led Lake Worth in scoring last season at 17.1ppg to go with 5.4apg. Golf was the second leader scorer and leading rebounder with season averages of 14.5ppg and 7.8rpg. Anthony Coby returns and Ryan Coby will be back after being limited last season. Lake Worth will tangle with Georgia opponents Grovetown, Pace Academy and McEachern while also taking on Charles Henderson (AL).
-Windermere: The highlight name for Windermere will not be in the event. Sean Stewart will be away as he was selected to the USAU17 Junior National team-which is head coached by Sharman White of Pace Academy (Ga). Stewart averaged a solid double-double last season at around 20 points and 16 rebounds. Jalen DuBose returns at the guard spot and is primed to show his continued development this weekend? Cole White and Kennedy Day-both are 6’7 and play in the frontcourt, will look to step in and make their mark and replace the size lost with Stewart out. Windermere has a solid schedule this weekend with all Georgia opponent in Greenforest, Norcross, Wheeler and McDonough so it will be interesting to see who else will emerge for Windermere
-Orlando Christian Prep: OCP has racked up 10 state title since 2008 and have 105 wins since the 2018-2019 season. They just completed their second three-peat by defeating Sagemont in the 2A finals this past season. Look for a number of players on this team to shine over the weekend including lefty Isaiah Brown (scorer), Isaiah Sutherland (shooter) and guards Ameer Ramadan and Mikel Brown. Marc Angueki and Hasani Rivera are noted defenders and rebounders in the front court and Angueki can stretch the defense with his three-point shooting. OCP will take on Georgia opponents Sandy Creek, McDonough and Wheeler along with a matchup against Riverside-Jacksonville (FL).
SOUTH CAROLINA: There are 10 teams from South Carolina that will be participating. Gray Collegiate, Keenan, Dorman and Ridge View stand out from the Palmetto State.
-Gray Collegiate: Head Coach Dion Bethea is excited to be in the event again and he comes to town with a team ready for any and all comers. Gray Collegiate has won four 2A state titles in the last five years in South Carolina. There are toys in the toybox. Montravious White is the leading returning scorer with Avante Parker right behind him. Beneath the surface Gray Collegiate adds shot blocker an sound defender Ellis Graham to the frontcourt and the backcourt additions are serious with Treyvon Maddox and Mychael Mitchell in the fold. Gray Collegiate will take on Georgia opponents Grayson, Tucker, Newton and Kings Ridge.
-Keenan: Keenan has nine state title in program history with the last one coming in 2020. They will walk in to the event with a lot of young talent that is brimming to continue it’s development. Chrisean Oree is the returning veteran that averaged 12ppg last season. Anthony King and Brian Sumpter will look to emerge the remainder of the summer and into the regular season. Keenan will face Canterbury (FL), WD Mohammad (GA), Greatetr Atlanta Christian (GA) and Cherokee (GA) this weekend.
-Ridge View: It’s Ridge View two-words. Ok that’s an inside joke with a some of our South Carolina contacts. Ridge View is coming off of a 5A state championship winning season a year ago. Joshua Smith will be the name to track over the weekend and into the regular season. Bishop Ukata, Donovan Rivets and Myles Squirewell all played solid minutes last season and look to build on over the weekend and into the summer. Ridge View will face Collins Hill (GA), Parkview (GA), Windermere Prep (FL) and Butler (GA) this weekend.
-Other South Carolina Notables to watch: Dorman- 4-time 5A SC state champ (Terry Leonard/ Christian Andrews). Byrnes (Kobe Staggs/Will Fowler). Goose Creek (Justin Britt/Ja’Quell Brown)
ALABAMA: There are 10 teams from Alabama that will be participating and there are a few players you need to know about entering the weekend. Buckhorn (Caleb Holt), Ramsay (Kerrington Kiel), Baker (LaBaron Philon) and Hoover (Salim London/Dewayne Brown). Sparkan, Grisson, Haleyville, Huntsville, Westminster and Dothan are the other Alabama teams.
NORTH CAROLINA: North Carolina is the least represented stated with only five teams, all of which are public schools from the NCHSAA and four of the five are from the Charlotte-area with the exception of Holly Springs (just southwest of the Raleigh, NC). Here is a look at a few of the teams.
-Myers Park: Yes Sir, ok that was too easy. Sir Mohammed has basketball all in his blood. Mohammed has a number of offers already and shines in the 4A state playoffs last year averaging 25.5p 4r in four state playoff games. Sadiq White Jr in the front court has offers and plenty of interest while Bishop Boswell will hold thing down in the backcourt while continuing to build on what has been a solid summer. Myers Park will face Georgia opponents Buford, Pebblebrook, Jonesboro and Milton.
-North Mecklenburg: A very youthful yet talented North Meck squad rolls in with multi-sport athlete Demoris Jenkins anchoring the middle as the veteran. Isaiah Evans may be the name to know as he can do damage around the rim as well as with the jumper from almost anywhere on the floor. The backcourt has a bright future with Ashton Pierce, Greg Murray, Carson Evans, Christian Foy and don’t leave out Kyce Matthews who knows how to get in on the act as well. North Mecklenburg will face Georgia opponents Wheeler, Kings Ridge, Sandy Creek and Westlake this weekend.
-West Charlotte: West Charlotte has won six state titles in program history. The reigning 3A state champions return Donovan Raymond who averaged 10ppg 7rpg last season. Chadlyn Trayor is back in the backcourt to follow up on an impressive freshman season which saw him average 9.5ppg and 4apg. Look for Both Raymond and Traylor to have solid weekends.
Notable/Intriguing Matchups: Just a few matchups worth checking the final score and overall play of the games.
Greenforest/Kell (Sun 10am Ct7), North Mecklenburg (NC)/Wheeler (Fri 3pm Ct5), Buford/Myers Park (NC) (Fri 8pm Ct5), Grayson/Gray Collegiate (SC) (Fri 1pm Ct5), Grovetown/Lake Worth Community (Fri 2pm Ct5), Kell/Oak Ridge (FL) (Sat 4pm Ct5), Milton/Myers Park (NC) (Sun 12pm Ct8), Buckhorn (AL)/Westside-August (Sat 8pm Ct4), Cross Creek/St. Petersburg (FL) (Fri 3pm Ct.4), Eagle’s Landing/Dorman (SC) (Sat 11am Ct9), Tri-Cities/Lake Highland Prep (FL) (Sat 7pm Ct3), Winter Haven (FL)/Wheeler (Sun 12pm Ct5), Etowah/Baker (FL) (Sat 8pm Ct9), Pebblebrook/Myers Park (NC) (Sat 2pm Ct4), Orlando Christian Prep (FL)/McDonough (Fri 6pm Ct5), Alexander/Miami-Norland (FL) (Fri 7pm Ct9), Sequoyah/Miami-Southridge (FL) (Fri 1pm Ct11), WD Mohammad/Keenan (SC) (Fri 3pm Ct3), Westminster (FL)/Mt. Vernon (Fri 6pm Ct4) and there are more but we can’t list them all.
The NHSBCA Southeast Regionals again will feature live streaming from SUVTV, the leader in high school basketball and grassroots basketball SUVTV will again have live streaming of all games on Court 5 and Court 8 and these games will also be available On-Demand.
Two more weeks remain in June for high school basketball in the summer. This past week one of the highlights of the summer was the GBCALive Team Camp at Lake Point with plenty of college coaches in and out of the building all weekend.
Let’s jump right into it. This year there was bracket style play with 16 teams in 10 brackets. Here are the top four teams from each bracket listed in order of finish 1st,2nd, 3rd and 4th
PURPLE (Loan Depot Bracket): Kell, Milton, McDonough, Eagle’s Landing
So those 40 teams listed all showed well enough to finish in the top 4 of each bracket. However there were some teams that really stood out for multiple reasons. Here are the top four teams overall from the weekend.
Grovetown: Maybe the most impressive team all weekend. Darren Douglas’ has this team in good shape and it’s June. Frankly to see where they can be come the regular season and into the playoffs will be scary. Derrion Reid raked in more offers by showcasing a versatile overall game that was highlighted by some outstanding passing, Frankquon Sherman picked up some offers as well and made big impactful plays over the course of the weekend. DJ Douglas showed he can stretch the defense with his timely perimeter shooting, Aaron Nomel rebounded and defended well which adds quality depth as he continues to develop, Vashon Ferguson picked up some offers as well and showed he can score when called upon to add to the array of weapons for Grovetown while Markell Freeman continues to settle into his role offensively and defensively and again will be a key piece for Grovetown. The overall team defense from Grovetown is at an elite level and with that it allowed them to win games against other defensively sound teams even when the offense went cold for stretches. Kevin Curtis, a rising freshman, left the event with an offer and despite limited time he showed flashes of how bright the future came be for himself and Grovetown.
Kell: June for everyone is a work in progress and Kell seems to be moving right along just fine with the recent additions of CJ Brown and Cannon Richards. Kell just seemed to always have an answer for everything in a timely manner when something was thrown at them. Peyton Marshall again showed that when he touches the ball on every possession good things happen. Despite double and sometimes triple teams, Marshall passed well out of them, scored in the paint through contact, shot free throws at a good clip and showed his defensive presence with a litany of blocks and shot alterations. No matter what was thrown at Kell they responded accordingly whether it was with defensive stops, timely shooting or flat out hustle plays. Aaron Smith showed his improved jumper, PJ Johnson did not back down from any defensive assignment while Brown and Richards continue to adjust to the scheme. Jaylen Colon their sniper shooter was out however they received big minutes from Connor Staphylaris and Josh Langefels among others when needed off the bench and throughout the weekend Kell displayed a total team effort.
Greenforest: Outside of a long scoring drought in the Purple bracket championship game against Grovetown that including multiple missed shots in the paint and around the rim, Greenforest pretty much showed they will again be a heavy favorite to repeat as state champions. It’s not always flashy and pretty but Greenforest never lays down and will just work and work to wear you down over the course of a game with their intensity and determination. The height returns with Gai Chol and DK Manyiel and the replacing of the lost offensive production in the backcourt is an open competition. Manyiel showed his improving jumper and a more aggressive approach to scoring while Chol showed improved ball handling and increased defensive awareness. Isaiah Lloyd and Elijah Lewis got the bulk of the minutes in the backcourt over the weekend along with Mike Robinson showcasing his shooting threat off the bench that will make for good competition amongst the group the remainder of the summer and into the regular season. Caleb Kawela and Daniel Daramola will continue to battle for the the starting three spot.
Milton: Kanaan Carlyle is ready to lead Milton. Carlyle showed off an improved overall game in which he filled the box score across the board all weekend while also showing improvement in areas of concern from previous seasons with shot selection and turnovers-both were almost an after thought this weekend to be frank. It begins and ends with Carlyle but he has help in a major way from Josh Dixon. Quite frankly Dixon stole the show all weekend with his fearlessness. The bigger the moment got the bigger Dixon came up with driving baskets, timely three balls and when he got to his spot along the elbows, lookout as it’s almost automatic the 16-17 footer was falling to go with sound defense. Dixon just makes plays no other way to put it. Seth Fitzgerald has long thought to be the glue and he showed it again this weekend but increased his scoring and rebounding and defending as well. Devean Rush, Avery White and Roman Atlow also played key roles for Milton.
Other Teams To Note:
Wheeler- playing with a lot of youth Wheeler is getting the chops up now for the young crop. Playing without Isaiah Collier and Arriten Page obviously makes them a different team however June is providing for players like Josh Hill, Ricky McKenzie, Julian Ormond and Cameron Brown valuable time to mesh along with the youth movement in the backcourt with Kota Suttle, Nathan Earl, Amare James and Damion Mitchell
Jones County- Buck Harris just walked in the gym with what he had and left winning his bracket. Jaylen Sanford’s play generated a lot of conversation and interest amongst coaches by the time Jones County was done. Daethan Harris, Kaden Douglas and newcomer Judd Anderson will be pivotal for Jones County’s resurgence this season.
Pace Academy- So without head coach Sharman White and top player Bryson Tillery, Pace Academy still commanded attention under acting head coach Mason Ambler. KJ Greene and LJ Moore held it down and with Eric Chatfield and Jackson Ferry in the mix Pace Academy is priming the engine for the regular season which features a new region to go with an already loaded schedule.
Paulding County: We have been able to see this team back-to-back weekends and they have gotten better each time. Frantzyr Chardavione and Javonne Williams are really bright spots for Paulding County. Chardavione is a slashing scorer and wiry defender while Williams is a floor general that can pick his spots and get timely baskets. Paulding County has length with NyTrez Philpot and a developing Kaleb Yates off the bench. Temidayo Odugbemi, Sam Johnson and Tyhler Shields will also be relied upon in multiple ways. Two tough and close wins over Baldwin and North Cobb enroute to winning the NAVY bracket championship stood out. Paulding County will be very interesting to watch going forward and will be in a region that will provide solid competition.
Johnson-Savannah: Antonio Baker made a lot of noise over the weekend for the Atomsmashers. Johnson-Savannah did not win their bracket but coach Campbell has pieces. Baker can score, defend and puts pressure on the defense with his driving ability and taking contact and finishing through it. You have to like what you see from Malachi Robinson with his presence and ability to hit outside shots, handle the ball in space, rebound effectively and play sound defense. Cormari Jones and Josh Quarterman will also be relied upon heavily as well as they continue to settle into their role(s).
Marist: Boy did Marist score some points this weekend in the opening two rounds of bracket play. If you are not careful this team will run you right out of the gym and have you seeing double, seriously. We talk about team chemistry all the time but Marist takes it to another level. There are two Ritgers, two Gaynes and two Ledfords on the roster and all know how to impact the game. Ben Ritger can flat out shoot the basketball, Luke Harping is versatile while Jesse Gaynes has no fear in attacking the basket, playing fast but in control and being a menace defensively. Top to bottom Marist roster is very balanced as Garrett Ledford and Davis Ledford provide a change of pace. Grant Erickson, Luke Waugh and Jackson Harkness do work in the frontcourt while Owen Ritger and Trace Gaynes come off the bench for spot duty as they continue to develop. Marist withstood a punch from Osborne and then fell to Sequoyah in the finals of the BLUE bracket however how Marist continues to develop and with solid scheduling will be worth keeping eyes on.
Sequoyah: Speaking of Sequoyah, the BLUE bracket winner…the ball is still moving. The ball does not stick at all on this team and movement is what this team lives by. Player and ball movement, screening, rolling, pinching and communicating all were on all on full display from Sequoyah over the weekend. Preston Parker can flat out play, PERIOD. Parker showed he may become one of the top scorers around as he scored from all over the court all weekend and came away with multiple offers from that display. Parker is the name and there is Brendan Tousignaut and Tyson Darby also that will play vital roles for this Sequoyah team that could be primed to have another solid season.
Osborne: We were interested to see what Osborne would look like in the post-Zocko Littleton Jr. era. They have pieces in Akai Fleming, Justin McCarter and lefty Nehemiah Stowers conducting the offense. They could have good support from Donovan Herron, Kevin Hicks Jr, Farrell Suber and the big body of Keshawn McPherson. What stood out the most was going down 14-0 to Marist in the BLUE semifinals and then going on a 22-7 run to take the lead 22-21. They were unable to go back in front but they displayed the ability to in-game adjust and fight through adversity and all three of their wins were nitty gritty grimy wins against team of that same fold. Fleming may be the main guy especially with his ability to shoot the long ball and use his length to his advantage when slashing and playing below the foul line. There is a mix of youth and experience and how they develop the remainder of the summer into the regular season is worth keeping an eye on.
Grayson: Grayson has what could be one of the more dangerous frontlines with Chad Moodie, Amir Taylor and Jaiden Williams. The backcourt is solid with Gicarri Harris and Anthony Alston. Moodie is the tone-setter with his aggressive play around the rim on both ends, his rebounding ability and his defensive presence whether it’s blocking shots or altering shots. Improvement is needed in his shooting but with everything else he gives you it’s hard not to appreciate what Moodie brings to the table. Harris continues his steady rise by showing off all parts of his game he has improved on from shooting, defense, ball handling and being able to play on and off the ball. How Taylor and Williams continue to develop will be key for another Grayson squad loaded with solid pieces and a schedule that dodges nobody.
McDonough: We’ve watched McDonough back-to-back weekends in June and they seem to have a gear they kick in when it’s time to run away from teams in the second half. Da’Avion Thomas leads the charge and scores in bunches. There are quality pieces in Amon McDowell and Keenan Gray. The uber athletic Avante Nichols makes up for what they lack in height and slowly the emergence of Zion Greene is being seen. Da’Avion Thomas is the automatic and on any given night anybody from the supporting cast can step up. This was seen against Eagle’s Landing in the Purple bracket 3rd place game where McDowell and Gray toted the mail in the victory all while Nigel Thomas has not been playing since we have been in attendance. Nigel Thomas will bring another element to McDonough once he is in the fold. How tough can McDonough be the remainder of the summer and into the regular season with a new region and tougher schedule ahead?
Alexander: Coach Slate is back at it with his Cougar program. Braedan Lue is the centerpiece with his versatility, size and IQ. Noah Melson, Marvin McGhee and Milan Kennedy will be key in the fold as well. Despite a bad loss to Grayson in the ORANGE bracket second round-which featured a long scoring drought that they could never recover from, the upside is there for Alexander as the went on to defeat Tri-Cities and Pace Academy to finish 3rd in that bracket. There is a mix of youth and experience and it leans heavy to the experience however Alexander will be playing in a region that will test them every night and how the continue to grow the remainder of the summer and schedule into the regular season will be monitored.
Pebblebrook: George Washington is back at it. He has been back in the lab and now Jaiun Simon is ready to explode for the Falcons. Simon does it all, great size, soft touch, big motor, sound defensively, physical and has the experience to be the leader this season. Josh ‘Roc” Lee enters the fold and provides another quality body and scoring punch. As with everyone at this time in June, Pebblebrook is far from a finished product and there is no telling what else Washington and their staff will do to make sure other pieces like Xavier Bell and Cameron Smith help Pebblebrook be a factor in the state championship hunt this season.
Walton: Hello Luke Flynn. Flynn, a junior, lit it up all weekend for the Raiders who won the RED bracket and defeated Etowah along the way. Flynn shot the ball at an outstanding clip and if there was a shot chart his would really shine. Flynn dropped in six treyballs in a win over Dutchtown in overtime. Oh speaking of that win, that was an excellent BLOB play called up for the easy layup and win that caught Dutchtown napping. Harrison Morris has the size at 6’7 and showed well for Walton along with JP Wells as those three will form a core for Walton that we will most certainly monitor the remainder of the summer and into the regular season. How will they schedule?
Eagle’s Landing: David Thomas is back and again had an outstanding showing over the weekend for Eagle’s Landing and left with more offers. Thomas has improved his three-point shooting, has put his patent on the mid-range jumper, still attacks with no fear, will be the leader of this team and now has a true point guard in Clark Mastin to play with. Mastin is a tough hard-nosed guard who can defend, engineer the offense, shoot it and drive it all within the flow of the game. As Mastin continues to get accustomed to the system his value will be shown for Eagle’s Landing. Kenny Brayboy and Christopher Morris II will be relied upon to do the work in the paint and around the rim offensively and defensively for a team that lacks size overall but each have the motor to take on the task. There are still tools in the box for Elliott Montgomery on the bench that will be key the remainder of the summer and into the regular season as Eagle’s Landing seeks to get back to the title game for a third straight season. They’ve lined up a pretty solid schedule as well.
AND THEN A FEW MORE:
Cherokee, Newton, Mays, Lanier, McEachern, Tucker, Chapel Hill, Shiloh, North Forsyth, Butler, Cross Creek, Westside-Augusta, North Gwinnett, Lee County, North Cobb, Holy Innocents, Mt. Vernon, Greenbrier, Thomasville, Woodville-Tompkins, Etowah and South Paulding are all other teams from the weekend that we will continue to monitor throughout the remainder of the summer into the regular season.
THE SHOT CLOCK EFFECT:
We directly had 27 games we covered from start to finish and in those games we tracked shot clock violations. In the GBCALive Team Camp the closely guarded rule was axed-as it should be, however in the regular season the closely guarded rule will be in play despite the use of the shot clock (thats an added defender to go along with the shot clock). There were a few times the closely guarded rule was called but after quick discussions and reference to the rules, none were enforced and the team it was called against retained possession of the basketball side-out-of-bounds.
In those 27 games there were a total of 12 shot clock violations and none of those were deliberately taken at the end of the game. Not to bad.
Now overall that is a very small sample size of 27 games out of the 640 played over the weekend yet we wanted to track it. We did not track how many shots (rushed or forced) came in the final five seconds of the shot clock or how many defensive fouls were committed inside of ten seconds on the shot clock or how many offensive turnovers (live or dead ball) were committed inside of ten seconds or how many 2-for-1 (or the extremely rare 3-for-2) situations were attempted. All of these are factors into how the shot clock affects the game and it is a different game with the shot clock.
In close games in the final two minutes (when regulation timing rules were used) there were only two shot clock violations. Also in the final two minutes there were teams that slowed the pace and worked the shot clock and game clock down to there advantage before getting a shot off and of course there was not the late game fouling to stop the clock in close games because of now outdated term of “stall ball” until it was under 35 seconds and the shot clock was no longer in play. There were teams and players you could tell had been under the shot clock in the previous seasons and those teams and players that forgot about it and had to rush at the end but overall the shot clock is great for high school basketball and we suspect that before the end of the season it will not be that hot topic of conversation and just be a normal part of the game as it is at other levels high school players are aspiring to reach.
From how well the GBCA Live Team Camp was ran and operated to the hundreds of college coaches from all levels in attendance to the number of offers that players picked up it has to have been deemed a success.
One of the things that stood out the most was the use of game jerseys and not practice jerseys. Not only does it look better and give the event the official feeling that it is, it makes it easier for players to be identified by coaches and media. Kudos on making this mandatory. Now there were some rosters issues and errors but overall 85 percent of the rosters were intact and matched the player and their game jersey which again makes it easier for college coaches and media to identify players.
Oh and speaking about college coaches, man were there coaches all over the venue on all courts but did anybody make their presence more known than Georgia State? Georgia State’s entire coaching staff was there all day, every day, all weekend front and center all over the venue. That means something.
This is a special edition of the Hillsman Heavy previewing the upcoming GBCALive Team Camp in Georgia this weekend June 17th-19th at Lake Point Sports Champions Center.
June basketball is special. Every basketball player aspires to want to play in the NBA and if you are in the NBA you want to be playing in June, because that means you are playing for a title, in the NBA Finals. Well that road always begins somewhere and sometimes even in June. June basketball is nothing new to the high school basketball world but in recent years it has gained more attention, traction and coverage as states like Georgia have made sure to make the most of the opportunities June provides.
This year the GBCALive Team Camp will feature bracket play, 10 brackets, 16 teams in each bracket and the winners move to the right and the losers move to the left. It’s still summer basketball and the records do not count, but it’s the Live Period where college coaches will be in the gym and see players under the high school umbrella. No there will not be game plans and prepared scouting reports-and if so they will be done on the fly and without the advent of a prepared practice, however other subtle things can be seen or displayed. New coaches in new places with potential talent to help build their program and gain the interest of a college coach or coaches. Coaches looking to find the right mix of young and experience, coaches tinkering with their roster rotations and combinations , coaches that may highlight some in-game adjustments, multiple offensive and defensive sets or situational things such as BLOB or SLOB or ATO plays and we may even see a 2-for-1 or 3-for-2 in certain situations with the use of the 35-second shot clock.
There is an entire checklist of things college coaches look for, including body language both on the floor and on the bench and do you know how to win. The GBCALive Team Camp for all tense and purposes will be almost the best high school basketball under one roof in the month of June you may find (there is something else next week but we’ll address that next week). The 2023 class are entering their senior year and the 2024 class just had their phones rings at midnight the other night and then the 2025 and 2026 classes are up next and you never know what a college coach is looking for or observing, which means the GBCALive Team Camp in June, hits a little different.
Let’s take a moment and look at some interesting an fun tings to watch for in the opening round of bracket play. No we will not be predicting who will win each bracket but just taking a look at some interesting and fun things and matchups or potential matchups.
PURPLE (LOAN DEPOT BRACKET):
Almost every first round matchup in this bracket has something special in it. Kell/Tucker jumps out as it is rematch of the second round state playoff game from last season just back in February. Kell won that game. Kell is highlighted by the 7-foot Peyton Marshall who has continued to make strides overall with his game and physical condition and is not a force and household name in the country. CJ Brown and Cannon Richards are added pieces and veterans Aaron Smith and PJ Johnson return. Tucker has a veteran no nonsense coach in James Hartry who just stays true tot he game. Harty has a state title and just has a direct but loving approach to his players and the high school game of basketball. Josiah Lawson and Chris Whitmore return to lead Tucker and you may get a glimpse of young lefty guard Ja’Kobe Williams. Winner gets Newton/Shiloh winner.
Norcross and Spencer will be a fun war. Norcross, the defending 7A state champ has defensive standouts Samarion Bond and Mier Panoam returning along with the quiet sniper shooter in Michael Zhang to lead Norcross against a nitty gritty grimy Spencer team. Spencer-out of Columbus, the defending 4A state champion has Tony Montgomery controlling the offense along with a returning core from that title team that fight and scrap in every ballgame including Vasean Moody, Dray Duncan and Ryan Mobley. If you like defense this may be the game for you, especially with the shot clock. Winner gets Eagle’s Landing/Mt. Vernon winner.
McDonough and Chapel Hill will be very fun as well. McDonough is coming of of back-to-back final fours and Da’vion Thomas is the known name and leader of this squad. McDonough has solid pieces in Keenan Gray, Amon McDowell and Nigel Thomas that will be key to McDonough the rest of the summer and into the regular season. Chapel Hill named grassroots basketball and player development ace Mike Artis as the new head coach this week to replace Randy Latham. Latham elevated the Chapel Hill program dramatically in his time as the bench boss and Artis takes over a program in very healthy shape. Artis will not coach Chapel Hill this weekend or the remainder of the summer as assistant Brian Dukes will continue coaching the team throughout June and remain on staff as an assistant into the regular season. Post Kevin Hunter continues to improve and with Jaiden Glynn ready to bust on the scene along with other quality pieces in O’ray Towns, KyDen Mays and Khirus Doucet, Chapel Hill has a very bright future in front of them. This game will be very fun to watch because it will border on the intensity of a regular season game. McDonough has earned stripes and so has Chapel Hill but both still are not in “that conversation”, it’s a June game but the winner moves right and the loser moves left, in front of college coaches. Winner gets McEachern/Westlake winner.
ORANGE (LONGHORN STEAKHOUSE BRACKET):
Another bracket that has quality matchups up and down it. Pace Academy and Jonesboro jumps out the most. Pace Academy has Sharman White as the coach and it doesn’t matter if it is summer, spring, fall or winter, advantage to whatever team Sharman White is coaching or anyone on his staff. But Jonesboro has a coach with a couple of rings as well. Both know what they are doing and both have players and both know it’s going to be fun. Pace Academy has KJ Greene who is almost ripe now to go with Bryson Tiller while Jonesboro, well they have people you don’t know but they have hoopers and you may know them after this weekend. Devon Rainey, Jacquez Akins and Montez Redding will lead the charge for Dan Maehlman’s team. In addition Jonesboro has freshman guard Cortez Redding who has the chance to be the starting point guard come the winter. Then there is Amir Abdul-Rahim who can be a quick sniper off the bench. This game is going to be fun and this game is going to pit the known talent against the “soon-to-be-known” talent. Funniest game of the entire bracket.
Grayson with it’s rebuilt front line goes against Westside-Augusta is what could be a “chip on the shoulder we get our shot at an Atlanta-Area 7A school game” for Westside. Tri-Cities and St. Pius will be fun as well as both know exactly what they are getting. Defending 6A champ Grovetown gets a revamped but bought in North Gwinnett. Coaching battle in this game will be fun because of contrasting styles.
The “look-ahead-game” if it happens will be Wheeler/Greenforest…but we are not looking ahead.
BLUE (BLUE COLLAR BASKETBALL BRACKET):
Marist/Cedar Shoals again? Ok It’s not the sexist of matchups but these teams played in the live period last summer and in the state playoffs back in February yet something could be brewing. Both team have players that will be ready to begin to make their mark and this game could be a bit more of foreshadowing than meets the eye. We know the players but we’ll let them decide if we mention their names next week.
Sequoyah/Greater Atlanta Christian and Archer/Woodward Academy are other games to watch in the opening round of this bracket.
OTHER BRACKET GAMES IN FIRST ROUND OF INTEREST:
RED (NELSON MULLENS BRACKET): Etowah/Columbia: Etowah, you know what they have. Columbia will look to rebound a bit but Etowah is primed to be “in all conversations” from June to March. Parkview/Meadowcreek- why are Gwinnett schools playing each other. Centenntial/East Hall is a game that features Joe Dix coming back home. Dix is not a big summer guy but he knows how to build, implement and get a program up to speed. Centenntial has some quality guys you will be able to identify after the weekend.
TEAL (LEADING EDGE FUNDRAISING BRACKET): Lanier as a team stand out. Lanier again has a solid core that come March could be around, but June will determine that. CJ Hyland engineers the offense, Jayce Nathaniel does the above the rim work and Osmar Garcia enters the mix. June for Lanier is simple, build chemistry and sound depth. Lanier opens against Miller Grove, who doesn’t have any names yet but Miller Grove head coach Rasul Chester hasn’t slept well since not making the state tournament last season. Look for this to be a hard work effort against the “so much potential” game.
PINK (KOESTER LEGAL BRACKET): Two-time defending state champion Cross Creek resides in this bracket and could be considered a favorite because of their basketball culture that Lawrence Kelly has built. Cross Creek gets Lowndes in the opening round and it pits an Augusta-Area vs South Georgia team that are of different sides overall of the basketball world, objectively speaking. Lowndes had a good run last year and loss to Norcross in the 7A state tournament at home, Cross Creek has played in three straight title games and won the last two. Antonie Lorick will lead Cross Creek and has help from De’Kel Hobbs with the remainder of the roster playing for identification of roles the remainder of the summer and in to the regular. The All-Savannah matchup of Beach and Windsor Forest, why? Ok that still is an interesting opening round game and maybe Savannah pride of who goes right and who goes left in the bracket in Atlanta so this could be a fiery game. Jones County/Effingham County will be interesting as well.
LIME (SHOOT-AWAY-BRACKET): Thomson and Greenbrier are in this bracket and both have had quality seasons the last few years. Thomson has LaVonte Ivery to keep eyes on. Greenbrier has Jackson Jennings and the emerging Camden Parada will lead Greenbrier. Hezekiah Kent of Brunswick is one to keep an eye on. Brunswick will go through growing pains this season but Kent will be in the conversations and has the opportunity to do special things at Brunswick. Camarion Johnson and Riyon Ranking return with experience for Brunswick, A good matchup for Kent in the opening round is against Thomasville and Anthony Dent Jr.. Thomasville’s state championship coach Ben Tillman has moved on and no replacement has been named but Thomasville has a beefed up schedule and should be in the mix come state tournament time.
YELLOW (CBA SPORTS BRACKET): Interesting matchups abound in this bracket beginning with Therrell/Vidallia . Each has won state titles in recent year and each are starting anew-if you will- this season. Patavious Sorrell takes over as head coach at Therrell and has Tristan Heyward back in the fold as the key to this season. Vidalia will circle the wagons and regroup and there are some players we are interested in seeing over the weekend. Model has Jeremias Heard to keep an eye on as the ceiling could be very high, they face Cambridge in the opening round. North Oconee/Southwest Dekalb along with Woodland-Stockbridge/ Riverwood are other intriguing matchups with contrasting styles.
NAVY (MARIETTA GALLERY SMILE BRACKET): No matchups jump out on the surface but Social Circle is in this bracket. How is the rebuild and rebound going for the Redskins after a heart-breaking result in the semifinals last year? Putnam County, what do they have cooking? Can East Forsyth build off of year one and a playoff appearance and how is Winder-Barrow doing? This bracket is filled with teams still on the uptick, is what they do in June going to convey and show in the winter.
OLIVE (POWERPLUS MOUTHGUARDS BRACKET): No matchups jump out but programs of watch an interest are there. Lovejoy? Does Coach Willie Reese have enough to get back to the playoffs behind Nick Hill and will the summer show signs of that? South Cobb has made additions in the middle, how will that bolster them? Clarke Central enters year three under Dr. Stefan Smith so we’ll get a peek at their summer work and how the progression is going along with seeing how Brookwood and Athens Academy are coming along with with new coaches.
There are plenty of things to watch for and take notes on over the next three days at the GBCALive Team Camp. Honestly we would be here all day if we broke them all down but then again sometimes you just have to see how it goes down between the lines.
The GBCALive Team Camp will be fun but make no mistake a lot of business is at hand. How you play, behave, show respect and compete will be on full display in front of the eyes you want to see it….the college coaches-even when you think they are not watching.
The GBCALive Team Camp will also feature two courts that will be streamed live all weekend on SUVTV. Court 5 and Court 8 will be the streaming courts for the leader in high school basketball and grassroots basketball streaming and will have the championship games for all ten brackets.
A full week and weekend of June basketball has been completed and there was plenty of basketball to see across the state. Summer Leagues held down the week and College Team Camps held down the weekend for the most part.
As we mentioned last week June basketball means different things for every program. Wins and losses are not counted as schools have multiple teams and building reps for all throughout their program and others are getting their core group on the same page in addition the timing and game rules vary from summer league to camp.
We were in multiple gyms last week and over the weekend and while we didn’t keep box scores and track every stat, there was plenty of observations to be made.
Here are some of the observations from the first week plus of June Basketball.
GEORGIA REMAINS DEEP: It’s talked about all of the time that Georgia is loaded with talent. A lot of that was on display over the last week. The representation of Georgia talent on national stages is evident (Milton’s Kanaan Carlyle and Newton’s Stephon Castle were selected to the Team USA Junior National team and picked up a gold medal in the FIBAU18 Americas) and the upcoming class of 2023 is not short on next level talent. Deeper than that and beneath the surface the state flexed its muscle of depth with tons of up and coming talent fighting it out against each other.
The classes of 2024 (Juniors) and 2025 (Sophomores) are coming and don’t be surprised if a couple of 2026 (Freshmen) names pop up here and there (we wanted to name a few Freshmen yet decided to wait until after GBCALive Period-so maybe next week).
Here are just ten names that we either already had in the notebook or added over the first week of June basketball that may have notable impact in the GBCALive Team Camp and/or remainder of June into the regular season. Osmer Garcia (Lanier), Jaiden Glynn (Chapel Hill), Kyrie Dunn (Rockdale), Cam Robinson (St. Francis), Tristan Heyward (Therrell), Albert Wilson (North Cobb Christian), David Culbreath-Martin (Duluth), Clark Mastin (Eagle’s Landing), Nick Hill (Lovejoy) and Julian Walker (North Gwinnett).
NEW COACHES IN NEW PLACES: There are a ton of new coaches at programs and have had only had a short time to get to know who and what they have. Some of these new coaches have jumped right in and even in June basketball you can see they are taking every moment, game and possession to implement their footprint on the program. Some coaches that stood out at their new homes this past week were Gantt Jones (Discovery), Chris Terry (Chamblee), Dwight Callaway (Woodland-Stockbridge), Wallace Coker (Dutchtown) and Patavious Sorrell (Therrell). Not with wins and losses but with how its is clearly seen they are making an impact in the early stages at their new places.
TEAMS TO KEEP EYES ON EVEN IN JUNE: There are no rankings for the June Basketball editions of the Hillsman Heavy. We will share with you each week teams that you may need to keep eyes on. We are not saying that these teams will win a state championship or be nationally ranked or will be invited to national level events or have highly recruited players but they are worth keeping eyes on in June as the prepare for the regular season. Chapel Hill, St. Francis, Walnut Grove, Discovery, Rome, West Forsyth, Benedictine and Carrollton just to name a few for this week.
DEFENDING CHAMPION NOTES: We were able to see defending champions Greenforest, Tri-Cities, Spencer and Grovetown over the last week. Greenforest and Tri-Cites actually played each other in the Miller Grove Shot Clock League.
Greenforest has the 7-footers returning in Gai Chol and DK Manyiel and will be breaking in a guard group that has experience. Elijah Lewis and Isaiah Lloyd look to be the new pieces of the revamped backcourt which triggered a second half surge against Tri-Cities Greenforest trailed by 11 at the half, outscored Tri-Cities 29-9 in the second half behind it’s defense while mixing youth and experienced players during that stretch.
Tri-Cities is regrouping a little bit and continue to follow their normal summer script with use of players and time/score situations. Kory Mincy returns for Tri-Cities and will lead the charge along with Kydon Wilburg in addition to some other role players who are multi-sport players.
Spencer looks ready to make another run despite still not officially naming a new head coach. Spencer’s approach to the summer is making sure their multiple-sport players get in some June basketball and they showed very well in a win over Lanier in the Kennesaw State Team Camp over the weekend. Spencer is again is in good hands at the point guard spot behind Tony Montgomery and they have much of their championship team returning with Vasean Moody, Dray Duncan and Ryan Mobley back.
Grovetown has the attention of those they previously have not had and had a solid weekend from what we saw with much of their core returning. Derrion Reid may be be the headline name you’ve heard the most-especially in the spring and summer so far, however Frankquon Sherman, Markel Freeman and Vashon Fergerson are back to go with other pieces that are using the summer for identification of their roles for the regular season. Pair that and the two-time state title winning coach Darren Douglass with Grovetown’s upcoming absolutely loaded 2022-2023 schedule and Grovetown is setting up to make further noise. All four of these teams will be in action at the GBCALive Event this weekend June 17th-19th.
THE WEEK AHEAD: There are plenty of events and leagues this week leading up to the GBCALive Team Camp. The Relentless Hoops Summer League at Etowah got started this week, Southwest Dekalb, E’ Phenom Summer League at International Sports Arena, McDonough’s Warhawk Summer League, Eagle’s Landing, Morrow, Pace Academy and Miller Grove Shot Clock Leagues continue in addition to a number of play dates throughout the state and college team camps.
The GBCALive Team Camp event is this weekend and for the first time it will feature bracket play. 10 brackets, 16 teams per bracket all on display with college coaches from all levels in and out of the gym all weekend. The bracket play element we absolutely love because coaches not only want to see you play and how you translate to the college game but they also want to see what you do to WIN and everybody loves playing in the winners bracket right? So yes the wins and losses don’t count in June but we also know playing in the GBCALive Team Camps just hits different. Young players, trust us when we say, you never know who is watching. Even when you think one court may have all the attention college coaches float around and checkout things, each coach is looking for something different.
The month of June has arrived and the basketballs are bouncing throughout the gyms across the state of Georgia as high school teams embark on the first step towards the 2022-2023 season. From practices, play dates, summer leagues, college team camps and live period events, the month of June will feature a number of teams, players and coaches looking to use June to get better.
June basketball is always fun and every year of late the state of Georgia has continued to improve on the opportunity that June basketball provides for high school programs. Every team has a different approach and goals for the entire month. There is “no right or wrong way” to do things in June. Every school, team and program are in different spots, June allows for foundations to be laid, momentum to be sustained, coaches to build off of the previous season, new coaches to get their feet wet, new coaches at new schools to begin the process of installing their culture, players looking to improve no matter what the situation is and coaches looking to fill voids from graduation and other roster turnover.
Something different this June will be the use of the shot clock throughout a number of summer leagues and the live period events. The 2022-2023 season will be the first season in Georgia that the GHSA will make the shot clock mandatory and it will be used in the state tournament this upcoming season for the first time ever. June provides teams that have not always used the shot clock a chance to see what it will be like, again June is used differently by every program but for those that have not used the shot at all over the integration period or very little, June provides an excellent firsthand look at it in game competition.
A number of college teams camps will take place in June over the next few weekends and weeks, from the University of Georgia, to Mercer University, to University of West Georgia, to Kennesaw State University to Georgia College & State University to Valdosta State University to Columbus State University just to name a few. All of the camps will provide different things for different teams. It could be from showing players a university campus and the appeal of playing on a university campus, to the different styles and levels of competition teams will see, to maybe playing at a university team camp because there is interest about the team and players on the team and to build relationships with college coaches and give the players something else to aspire to as they continue their development with the game of basketball.
There will be a number of summer leagues held by different schools. The famed Miller Grove Shot Clock League returns, Pace Academy has a Shot Clock league, Eagle’s Landing has a summer league that will conclude with a playoff-style tournament just to name a few (we are aware there are more). Again these leagues gives teams another chance to cash in on the opportunity that June provides.
There are hundreds of play dates in June, where a couple of teams just get together at a school and play games that day against each other and other schools for the sole purpose of just wanting to go against teams and competition they may not always see, or to just have live game action that follows a day or so of practice, in some ways to simulate the regular season.
The live period event that is held by the Georgia Basketball Coaches Association on June 17th-19th provides a number of Georgia teams the chance to play in front of college coaches. This is important and a big nod to the powers to be in the NCAA for allowing this in June for high school programs in states where it is sanctioned. It’s been well known that in previous years the live periods were built around AAU/travel basketball, however now allowing it in June has only enhanced the high school basketball in the state of Georgia and provides players and coaches to show their work and development to college coaches in the high school setting.
In addition player recruiting, high school programs and high school coaching profiles can be enhanced in June. So much can be accomplished in June.
None of the games count in the win-loss record and as fun as June is, wins and losses should be taken with a grain of salt. Timing and game rules will vary across all play dates, summer leagues, college team camps and in live period events but at the end of the day it is about doing the work, being in the gym and getting better.
There will be high-flying dunks, buzzer beaters, blowout wins, close losses, one team may win a game against somebody that nobody thought they would and then get blown out in another game they may should have won and vice versa. Fancy passes, defensive stops, big scoring efforts, impact on winning, great ball movement or a player or coach may shine a bit in June that previously was unknown or followed as closely or with not as much attention. There will be top tier recruits that shine and show why they are highly recruited and there will be others that just run their race and be a solid performer and build their recruiting profile.
So much can be done in June and June can be used for so much, it’s what makes June basketball so fun. The Hillsman Heavy: June Basketball will be published each Tuesday in June with notes and takeaways from the previous week.
There will be not a Hillsman Heavy: June Basketball ranking of teams or players nor will there be a “The Triangle Offense” , however teams, players of interest and other notable observations will be shared as warranted weekly
Have fun in June, get the work in and remember June is about getting better. What you do in June (“the summer”), shows in the winter (regular season) when the games do count.
The Redan Raiders (29-8) fell in Game 3 of the class 3A state championship 5-4 to Pike County. Pike County won games one and three of the best-of-three series at Coolray Park in Lawrenceville, GA to win the 3A state title.
For Pike County (36-6) it was there second state title (2019) in three played seasons. The 202 season was wiped out by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Entering game three, both teams had scored a total of six runs and the final tally was 11-10 for the three-game series, the closest series of any Georgia state championship series this season.
Redan was seeking its second state title in the schools storied baseball history and first since 2013.
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