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Zion Williamson Gets The Bag At Hoophall

During the Martin Luther King weekend, I make an annual pilgrimage to Springfield, Massachusetts, basketball’s birthplace, for the Spalding Hoophall Classic, which is now in its 16th year. The event provides some one-stop shopping when it comes to checking out an incredible array of future college hoops and NBA stars while they’re still in high school. 

Over the past few years, guys like Mo Bamba, DeAndre Ayton, Karl-Anthony Towns, Ben Simmons, Kevin Durant, DeMarcus Cousins, Lance Stephenson, Lonzo Ball, Jayson Tatum, Markelle Fultz and a host of others have given basketball lovers a taste of what the future holds at the place where Dr. James Naismith invented the game back in 1891. In the 2014 NBA Draft alone, 12 Hoophall Classic Alumni were selected in the first round, including Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker, Aaron Gordon, Julius Randle and Kyle Anderson, among others.

And this year’s collection of talent was no exception. Saturday’s action alone included five teams ranked in the Super 25 Expert Rankings with No. 1 Montverde Academy out of Florida, No. 8 Gonzaga from Washington, D.C, No. 11 Simeon from Chicago, No. 18 Imhotep Charter from Philadelphia, and No. 23 Oakridge from Orlando.

Here are some of the individuals that made a sparkling impression this year – 

Terrance Williams: 6-foot-7 sophomore forward, Gonzaga College High School, Washington, DC

The young fella scored 26 points in 27 minutes on 10-for-16 shooting (2-for-3 from deep) while also snagging 12 rebounds in Gonzaga’s 86-51 beat-down of Connecticuts Sacred Heart. Williams already has scholarship offers from Georgetown, North Carolina State, DePaul and George Mason. 

Terrance Williams, 4-star PF with Georgetown offer, drives strong at 2018 Hoophall Classic

Terrance Williams, 4-star PF with Georgetown offer, drives strong at 2018 Hoophall Classic.

He has also visited with Maryland and Villanova while also receiving interest from Michigan State, Stanford and South Carolina. 

Robin Perry: 6-foot-3 senior guard, Oak Ridge High School, Orlando, Florida

Perry’s teammate Emmitt Williams is an athletic force of nature that gets most of the headlines. He’s a special player that will make an immediate impact on the college level and showed why he garners such high acclaim with his 16-point, 11-rebound performance against a talented Roselle Catholic squad out of Jersey led by big man Naz Reid. But Perry stole the show from Reid and Williams with his dazzling 27- point outburst, showing off a sneaky arsenal that was impressive.

R.J. Barrett: 6-foot-6 senior guard, Montverde Academy, Montverde, Florida

If you’re not yet familiar with him, you will be once he suits up for Duke next year. Barrett, considered the nation’s top prospect, showed why in victories over Chicago’s Simeon and California’s Mater Dei. 

RJ Barrett’s EPIC Mixtape – Best Highlights at FIBA U19 Basketball World Cup

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He finished with 23 points on 10-of-15 shooting while also deftly orchestrating Montverde’s offense while matched up with Simeons scoring dynamo Talen Horton-Tucker in one of Hoophall’s most exciting games this year. On Monday, Barrett scored 22 points and and snagged 10 rebounds in a 74-48 win over Mater Dei.  The 17-year-old lefty wing is projected to be the No.1 overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft.

Xavier Pinson: 6-foot-3 senior point guard, Simeon Career Academy, Chicago, Illinois

Simeon’s Talen Horton-Tucker is the Wolverines’ top gun, and the 6-foot-5 guard who’ll suit up for Iowa State next year put on a spectacular performance against R.J. Barrett and Montverde, the nation’s top-ranked team, in a 62-60 loss. Horton-Tucker make a huge national statement in scoring 24 points and snagging nine rebounds against a bigger and more athletic team. His teammate Xavier Pinson doesn’t receive much national acclaim, but his name is definitely bubbling after the performance he put on, including the most talked-about dunk of the weekend. 

Xavier Pinson is ON A MISSION! Has IMPRESSIVE JULY at NY2LA Summer Jam!

Xavier Pinson has been on a mission ever since he set foot on a basketball court. He’s wanted to make it to the next level just as bad as the person next to him. He’s had the work ethic, drive, and dedication, it was only a matter of time before the results showed.

Patrick Ewing was obviously impressed, as he offered Pinson a scholarship after the Montverde game. The slim guard is smooth with the rock in his hands, can bang it from deep and has hops that only a rare few possess. 

Onyeka Okongwu: 6-foot-9 junior forward, Chino Hills High Scool, Chino Hills, California

When Chino Hills was scheduled to play in this year’s Hoophall Classic, it was because of the star power of LaMelo Ball. Ball is now playing pro ball in Lithuania, but Okongwu is taking advantage of his absence to prove that Melo was not the team’s sole big baller. 

Onyeka Okongwu is BETTER THAN LAMELO BALL!!! 35 POINTS & 14 REB vs Spartanburg Day / CHINO HILLS

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In the Huskies’ 70-64 win over Spartanburg Day and their manchild in the promised land Zion Williamson, Okongwu led the way with 35 points and 14 rebounds.

Tyler Bertram: 6-foot-3 sophomore shooting guard, Vermont Academy, Saxtons River, Vermont

Most folks who traveled from far and wide to see Vermont Academy take on the IMG Post Grad National team did so in anticipation of seeing IMG’s 6-foot-4 point guard Anfernee Simons. 

Vermont Academy guard Tyler Bertram was on FIRE at the 2018 Hoophall Classic: 31 points and 8 threes

Vermont Academy guard Tyler Bertram dropped 31 points at the 2018 Hoophall Classic, playing against IMG Academy and future NBA guard Anfernee Simons.

Simons was exceptional as usual, scoring 29 points in IMG’s 81-78 win and looking every bit like an NBA prospect. But after the game, the most talked about name was Tyler Bertram, who put on a long-range scoring exhibition en route to his 31-point explosion. 

Scottie Lewis and Bryan Antoine: 6-foot-5 junior shooting guards, The Ranney School, Tinton Falls, New Jersey

The Panthers were missing their starting point guard in their 71-48 loss to a rugged and disciplined Mount Saint Joseph squad out of Baltimore, but Lewis and Antoine comprise one the most delicious guard combos in the entire country. 

BBN Him?? Scottie Lewis FLEXES In Front of Coach Calipari @ Hoop Hall

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Both of their skill sets are leaking with explosiveness, raw athleticism, court vision and an all-around scoring arsenal. Despite being out-manned and the focal point of the Gaels defense, the Ranney guards combined for 41 of their team’s 48 points, with Lewis scorching for 27. 

Bol Bol: 7-foot-2 senior forward, Findlay College Prep, Henderson Nevada

Bol Bol drops 31 points at the Hoophall Classic

Oregon commit Bol Bol had 31 points in a win for Findley Prep at the 2018 Hoophall Classic. Bol gave the fans a show and made everything look easy around the rim. The son of Manute Bol is a top 5 player in the 2018 class.

Manute’s son and an Oregon signee, Bol scored 32 points, on 14-for-17 shooting in just 21 minutes in Findlay’s 91-47 win over Montclair, New Jersey’s Immaculate Conception High School.

Courtney Ramey: 6-foot-4 senior point guard, Webster Groves High School, Webster Groves, Missouri

Ramey missed the early part of the season after breaking his right wrist in the his teams opener, but showed that he’s back in full effect after putting up 26 points, nine rebounds and seven assists in Monday’s 90-75 win over No. 24 Mount Vernon, N.Y.

BEST DUO in Missouri is BACK! Courtney Ramey Plays His First Game of the Season!

After an injury that sidelined him for the the first half of the season, Courtney Ramey returns to garner a double-double while playing alongside Carte’Are Gordon in Webster’s first game of 2018. Follow us on Twitter! @LobCityProd Follow Us on Instagram! @LobCityProductions Be Sure to Like and Subscribe! Lob City: No dimes.

His teammate, 6-foot-8 senior center Carteare Gordon, had 31 points, 11 rebounds and seven blocks. Ramey is considering offers from the likes of UCLA, Villanova, Oklahoma State and Texas, among many others.

Louis King: 6-foot-8 senior forward, Hudson Catholic High School, Jersey City, New Jersey

The future Oregon Duck scored  32 points on 12-for-17 shooting, including 4-for-6 from deep in Hudson Catholics 71-58 win over Maryland’s John Carroll School. 

Louis King ( Oregon Commit ) 32 Pts vs John Carroll | Hoophall Classic | 1.15.18

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King also snagged seven rebounds, dished out four assists and collected three steals. The versatile big man elevates with power. He can put in work down low and on the perimeter. John Carroll’s star point guard Immanuel Quickly, who’ll play next year for John Calipari at Kentucky as an explosive facilitator with vision who can shoot from deep and attacks the lane with ease, finished with 19 points and six boards in the loss.

Vernon Carey: 6-foot-10 junior forward, University School, Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Vernon Carey drops 29 points: Dominant performance at 2018 Hoophall Classic by 5-star big

Carey had 29 points in a loss to Oak Hill. (MARK CHIARELLI)

In their 83-69 loss to a much deeper Oak Hill Academy squad that features top 2018 prospects Will Richardson, David McCormack and Keldon Johnson, a Kentucky signee, Carey showed why he’s one of the top overall players in the class of 2019 with his 29 points, nine rebounds and four assists.

Cam Reddish: 6-foot-8 senior guard, Westtown School, West Chester, Pennsylvania

Reddish and J.T. Barrett are considered the top two players in the class of 2018, so Duke fans are in for a treat when the two of them team up for the Coach K and the Blue Devils next year. 

Cam Reddish ( Duke Commit ) 25 Pts vs IMG | 1.15.18 | Top 10 Player

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Reddish, a big ball-handling scorer, scored 25 points in Westtown’s 75-71 loss to IMG’s national varsity squad.

***

As good as those guys were, nothing topped the show that Zion Williamson, the Youtube sensation and massive 6-foot-7 forward from South Carolina’s Spartanburg Day School, put on. Folks that just watch the mixtapes are enamored with his vicious and otherworldly dunking arsenal, but watching him in person gives you a better appreciation for his overall skill set. 

Zion is powerful and explosive, with some calling him the best dunker that’s ever graced a high school court. But he’s also got plenty of smooth moves and a sweet touch around the glass. His agility and body control in flight is surprising, considering that he’s built like an NFL defensive end.

He has great feet, moves around the court with an athletic fluidity and is impossible to stop if he gets up a head of steam in the open court. His first step is devastatingly explosive. When double and triple-teams appear, he’s a deft passer and decision maker with the ball.

Zion Williamson Drops 36 vs. Chino Hills! SOLD OUT at Hoophall Classic!

Subscribe here for daily https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCIiO15uxI0JXp8vLFmwZt3w Zion Williamson is back from injury and last night he put on a show in front of a sold out crowd at the Spalding Hoophall Classic! He finished with 36 points in their loss to Chino Hills.

Zion’s rebounding instincts are superb. When he can’t simply out-muscle opponents, he gets to the ball with quickness and agility and he’s especially a monster on the offensive glass. He attacks with an aggression that you can’t teach and can play in the post and on the perimeter.

He can play multiple positions and surprisingly has some pretty funky handles as well. He can also guard multiple positions as well.

I’ve seen some dope players at Hoophall over the years, but I’ve never seen anyone quite like Williamson. When he stepped onto the court for warmups, he received a raucous standing ovation. The rumor is that he’s the only player in the history of the event that required his own individual police escort. The reception from the fans was unlike anything I’ve witnessed before, in terms of the energy and hype in the game before the opening tip.

He is expected to announce his college decision next Saturday, choosing between Clemson, South Carolina, Kansas, Kentucky, Duke and North Carolina.

16 Year Old Zion Williamson is THE GOAT! Best Player Since Lebron??

Zion Williamson is a 6’8 power forward at Spartanburg Day School (SC). He is ranked #2 in the Class of 2018 by ESPN. Marvin Bagley is the only player ranked ahead of him. Zion led SDS to winning the 2016-17 SCISA 2a State Championship. Spartanburg Day finished the season with a record of 29-6.

Im very excited for that day because its my moms birthday, he said after dropping 36 points in the Griffins loss to Chino Hills. Thats just a big thank you to her because of all the sacrifices shes had to make for me.

He had 20 points in the first half, making 9-of-14 shots from the floor with four rebounds, but none of his teammates had more than five points. 

On numerous occasions, he had New Edition and BBD’s Mike Bivins, who made the trip out to Springfield to peep Zion up close and personal alongside his mentor Brook Payne, shaking his head in disbelief.  

Make sure to catch the young fella in person if you can in the near future. The young man is freakishly unique, with style, flavor, grace and a whole lotta ridiculous techniques. 

He’ll be a ratings bonanza that will sell out every college arena next year before becoming a very rich man once the 2019 NBA Draft rolls around.

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