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NBPA TOP 100 HIGH SCHOOL CAMP NOTES (THURSDAY)
By Ron Bailey
The National Basketball Association Players Association Top 100 High School Basketball Camp commenced today, with over a hundred of the best high school players in the classes of 2013 and 2014 convening at the University of Virginia’s John Paul Jones arena. If you can’t get hyped for this, you don’t like hoops.
Following are notes from a jam-packed first full day of action at the camp…
Standout Performer – In a camp with as much talent as is present here, singling an individual best player is a difficult task; heck, doing so is so subjective anyway, if you polled 10 attendees, you might get close to 10 different answers.
Though statistically rising senior Dominic Woodson leads the camp in scoring with a 17 point per game average, Class of 2014 performer Kavon Looney made a lasting impression as he stood out. A 6-foot-8 forward out of Hamilton HS in Milwaukee (WI), Looney does a little bit of everything – he scored, rebounded and dropped assists, averaging 11 points, 2 dimes and 6.5 caroms over a pair of games.
When asked to describe his game, Looney simply said “I do whatever I need to, to win”.
Sleeper Performer – At the NBAPA Top 100 High School Camp, labeling a player ‘sleeper’ is something of a stretch, as most in attendance are stars in their own right. That said, Parker Cartwright, a 5-foot-9 point guard turned many heads with his play. Cartwright routinely got to the rim, where he dropped off for teammates or scored. Given his skinny build (he likely weighs 140 lbs), doing so illustrated a measure of heart many don’t have.
His numbers of 6.5 points, 2.5 assists and 1.5 boards over two games may not be eye popping, but Cartwright, another Class of 2014 prospect that hails from Los Angeles (CA), clearly showed he belonged.
Random Observations – Injuries seemed to be prevalent in the second set of games, with the likes of Nigel Williams-Goss (right hand), Jabari Parker (ankle), Kris Jenkins (left pinky) and Junior Etou (left ankle) all missing all or parts of their evening games.
Jenkins’ injury seemed the most severe – his left pinky finger was totally immobilized/padded. He is expected to leave the camp Friday, in search of more extensive medical analysis. Unfortunately he injured the same digit earlier this spring.
Etou, a 6’7” rising senior forward was injured in the evening, but before that put in major work in an extra session with Kermit Washington, informally held after dinner. Over the course of about 20 minutes, Washington taught Etou a series of post moves that if mastered, would make him virtually unstoppable.
The former collegiate star and professional player first demonstrated correct inside pivots, then built upon that with ball fakes, spins and shots. A patient teacher, Washington imparted significant knowledge to Etou, who was clearly improving as they went on.
Recruiting Notes – Class of 2013 forward/guard Kuran Iverson is listening to overtures from: “Indiana is interested in me. Seton Hall, Oklahoma, Florida State, Arizona sends me letters all the time. Florida sends me letters all the time”.
He went on to reveal recently talking to a Gator assistant, and that school was in fact leading now.
Kennedy Meeks, the 6’8”, Class of 2013 big man noted he has offers/is getting love from “North Carolina, G’Town, Louisville, Syracuse, Florida” and many ACC schools. In terms of deciding upon a school, the one affectionately known as ‘Baby’ indicated “Making a college decision is very important, so I’m taking my time”. He did indicate pressure is being received to stay in-state, but he’s not letting it rule his decision.