NBE Basketball Report
Boston University Recruiting

HOOP GROUP SUMMER CLASSIC EAST REPORT

July 18, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

by Alex Schwartz

KING OF PRUSSIA, Pa. – With one Live Period in the books, the second of the month got underway yesterday night. NBE Sports was in the house at the Competitive Edge Sports Complex for The Hoop Group Summer Classic East.

While there, we had the chance to see five games featuring teams from the Northeast and took down some notes on player performances as well as tracked what college coaches were in the gym.

Bryce Aiken checks in at just 5-foot-9, but the class of 2016 prospect is a player. Aiken, who runs with the Team Scan 16s, is pretty quick and can get to the cup off the dribble. He is a crafty player who is capable of shooting it from long range some. Aiken is reportedly transferring to The Patrick School (NJ) for his sophomore year.

Mike Auger of the Mass Rivals is someone who certainly looks the part of a player when he is on the hardwood. The 6-foot-6 forward has a great build and fairly long arms. Auger, a class of 2014 prospect, needs to work on polishing up his overall skill set.
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REEBOK BREAKOUT CLASSIC – DAY I

July 11, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

by Alex Schwartz

PHILADELPHIA – The first of three July Live Periods tipped off last night and NBE Sports was in the City of Brotherly Love for the Reebok Breakout Classic. Over 100 players made their way to Philadelphia University for the camp and the first night featured three sets of games.

NBE Sports focused on the games on court one on the opening night and got to see half the teams in action, allowing us to put together notes on quite a few players.

Eric Carter, a 6-foot-9 power forward from Jackson Memorial (NJ), is surprisingly good in transition for a post player. The class of 2014 recruit has a big frame and is adept at drawing fouls, but does have to do some work on finishing. However, he did have a game-high 16 points.

Noah Blackwell of Woodcreek (CA) may not be a big name on a national level, but the class of 2015 prospect is a nice talent. The 6-foot-1 point guard is a solid all-around player who can help his team in a number of ways and has shooting ability.

Class of 2014 combo guard Jeremiah Jefferson of Triple A Academy (TX) showed some major scoring ability. The 6-foot-2 combo guard had the highest point total on Court One on Wednesday, finishing with 18. He can shoot from beyond the arc and simply finds ways to produce.
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2013 NBPA TOP 100 HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL CAMP — RECRUITING NOTES (PART I)

June 13, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

By Matt Whitfield, Mid-Atlantic Recruiting Analyst

The National Basketball Players Association (NBPA)’s 20th Anniversary of the NBPA Top 100 High School Basketball Camp kicked off Wednesday at the University of Virginia’s John Paul Jones Arena in Charlottesville. Media was allowed to begin attending sessions on Thursday and NBE was back on the road and in attendence.

The NBPA Top 100 High School Basketball Camp was created by the NBPA in 1994 to assist elite high school student-athletes in the development of their basketball and life skills. Throughout the last 20 years, the Camp has grown into one of the most highly touted and renowned camps of its kind and has seen hundreds of its participants go on to successful NBA careers. You can follow the camp on Twitter @Top100Camp and be sure to follow @NBESports for all of our updates as well.

IN our first recruiting notebook we take a look at the latest from

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RECRUITING NOTEBOOK (2/5/2013): CINCINNATI PICKS UP BIG COMMITMENT

February 5, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

by Alex Schwartz

Several high-major programs landed commitments in the past week, including a couple from the Big East. That includes a program from the Midwest coming into the New York metro area to land a top 25 recruit.

Jermaine Lawrence, a New York native who attends Pope John XXIII (NJ), popped to Cincinnati, per his Tumblr account. Lawrence, a 6-foot-9 power forward, is ranked No. 24 in the NBE Sports Class of 2013 Post-July Top 125.

Lawrence selected the Bearcats over St. John’s and UNLV. He is the fifth member of Cincinnati’s 2013 recruiting class and is a significant addition.

RJ Curington of Oak Hill Academy (VA) pledged to DePaul, according to Brian Snow of Scout.com. A 6-foot-5 shooting guard, Curington was among the better available players in the nation in the class of 2013 and is a nice late pickup for the Blue Demons.

Scout.com’s Josh Gershon had the news that Dion Wade of Findlay Prep (NV) came off the board to Auburn. A 6-foot-7 small forward, Wade is the second player from Findlay Prep in the class of 2013 to pick the Tigers. The other is Benas Griciunas, a 6-foot-10 power forward.

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ORLANDO AAU REPORT – SATURDAY

July 30, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

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By Alex Schwartz

KISSIMMEE, Fla. — Saturday was the final full day of the last Live period this month. Coaches will be back in the gym on Sunday, but must leave at 5:00 p.m. There were quite a few players who excelled on Saturday and it looked like one player had the Top Performer spot wrapped up–until one 2013 wing went bonkers from long range in the nightcap. Also, a trio of big men originally from Africa were quite impressive, two top-five players shined again and a top-100 prospect in 2013 listed a favorite.

TOP PERFORMER

Omar Prewitt needs to be in the discussion of the best shooter in the United States at the high school level. A 6’5 shooting guard out of Montgomery (KY) put on an absolute SHOW for The Ville in the final game of the night. In the first half alone, Prewitt had 22 points and knocked in six 3-pointers. The final stats sheet was swooped away before we could take a look at it, but one of The Ville coaches said Prewitt had 33 points and a D1 assistant told us he hd 34. He finished with eight or nine 3-pointers and was simply unstoppable off the catch. Prewitt is not just a one-dimensional shooter, though. He has a smooth game and is more than capable of knifing through a defense and getting to the rim. Prewitt handles the ball pretty well and he can block shots at the defensive end. His Saturday night performance was one of the best that this writer has seen all month.
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B.J. JOHNSON ADDS VILLANOVA OFFER & INTEREST FROM SYRACUSE

July 16, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Team Final wing B.J. Johnson has had an impressive spring on the AAU circuit and the Lower Merion (PA) High School standout has continued his stellar play right into the summer. The 6-foot-7, 175-pounder put his talents on display this past weeked at the Nike Skills U camp at TC Williams High School in Alexandria (VA), impressing onlookers with his smooth scoring ability. Over the weekend, Johnson informed NBE Sports of a new offer that has been extended his way and some new high-major interest, both coming out of the BIG EAST conference.

“Yes that’s true,” replied Johnson when asked about the offer from Villanova. “I really like their program but I really wouldn’t say I have favorites yet. Syracuse recently reached out also.”
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ELITE 75 REVIEW – PART II (MASS RIVALS & BABC EDITION)

July 2, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

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By Brian Bosworth, National Recruiting Analyst

Mass Rivals is another of New England’s dominant AAU programs that was well represented at the Elite 75. Kaleb Joseph (2014 PG), Dmitri Floras (2014 PG), Idris Taqqee (2014 SG), Tyonne Malone (2016 SF) and Josh Sharma (2015 F) all suited up and were joined by injured stars Noah Vonleh (2014 F, ankle) and Jeremy Miller (2015 F, concussion.) Both Vonleh and Miller told me they expect to be healthy and ready to go for the kickoff of the July live period at the Adidas Invitational in Indianapolis. Chris Baldwin (2015 F) was also invited to the event but stayed home to nurse a sore back.

Of the Mass Rivals guys in attendance Kaleb Joseph had the best day attacking the basket in early drills and getting everyone else involved once five-on-five action got going. He caught up with NBE before things started to discuss his expanding recruitment. Read more

JULY IS A BIG OPPORTUNITY FOR KAISON RANDOLPH & MARK WILLIAMS

June 29, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

On the college basketball recruiting trail July is a month unlike any other. Scholarships are earned at all levels of the sport during AAU tournaments and exposure camps as thousands of Division 1-A coaches hit the trail looking for the next generation of players for the programs they head or assist with. Stories of unknown players putting it together at the right time to earn a free college education are numerous. While at NBE Basketball Report we spend most of our time following the high-major world of recruiting, the real grind this month is at the mid-major and lower lever. Assistant coaches are scouring gyms across the country and when they find a player they like tucked away in some event nobody knows about, they hold their breath they do not have the big breakout at AAU Nationals or a bigger event later in the month.

The story of Jeremy Lamb, who was picked in the NBA Lottery portion of the 2012 NBA Draft last night, has been a story retold several times this week. Entering the Peach Jam in July 2009 Lamb was a coveted mid-major recruit. However a big week on a big stage in front of college coaches pushed his recruitment higher, much to the frustration of the mid-major assistants that had been working on him for months prior.

Who will be those stories this July? In just two weeks the stories will begin to be written once more. Two players hoping they find themselves as the main subjects are Kaison Randolph and Mark Williams. NBE caught up with each recently as they prepare to embark on the July recruiting period.

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CLASS OF 2014 INTRO: KYLE WILLIAMS

June 21, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

With college basketball coaches being able to be on the road this April for the first time in several years to evaluate prospects, recruiting at this stage this year seems to be well ahead for the rising senior class than in recent memory. Along with the head start in getting a look at their top 2013 targets, college coaches also had the opportunity to take a glance at 2014 and younger players this past April. That has meant a more meaningful June 15th date for the rising junior class as college coaches got a good look over a two weekend period at prospects and their early phone calls and texts to prospects were likely chosen from what they actuall saw.

One name that is new to many recruitniks that they should begin to learn in the Class of 2013 is Kyle Williams. College coaches definitely know the name and by judging from the list of school making early contact with the 6-foot-9, 225-pound big man out of Freeport (NY), his recruitment could blow up quickly.

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2012 RUMBLE IN THE BRONX RECAP (PART II)

June 11, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

By Brian Bosworth, National Recruiting Analyst

The Rumble in the Bronx got back into swing on Saturday at gyms all over the greater NYC area. I had the opportunity to take in the action at both Baruch College in the morning and John Jay College in the evening. While younger players in the 2014 and 2015 classes stole the show for much of the day it was still a member of the 2013 class who gets top billing for Saturday.

Top Performance of the Day:

Dayshon Smith (NY Lightning 2013) – Affectionately called “Scooch” by just about everybody, Smith is an old school New York City point guard. He uses spins, hesitation moves, crossovers, and herky-jerky head fakes to constantly work his way into the paint and make plays. Once inside he’s equally likely to use a soft floater, explode towards the rim, or whip a pass out to a 3 point shooter at any and all angles. While his physical skills are impressive it’s the mental side of the game where Smith truly separates himself from the competition. He has a unique understanding of when to get others involved and when to look for his own offense. In the first half of a Saturday night victory Scooch ran the show and got everyone else the ball in spots where they could be successful. Then down the stretch of the second half with the outcome still in the balance he took matters into his own hands and seemed to score on every possession down the floor. This is not the first time I’ve seen Smith master the balance of keeping teammates happy for 3.5 quarters and then closing the game out himself in the final moments. It’s unusual for players at the high school level to already understand that just because they can get their own shot any time doesn’t always make it the right decision. Scooch is ahead of the game in this area and it’s a mindset that will continue to serve him well at the next level.
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CLASS OF 2013 STOCK RISER: SAM SINGER

May 24, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Sam Singer, a 6-foot-4, 190-pound guard from Ransom Everglades High School near Miami (FL), has been turning heads on the AAU circuit all spring with Gold Coast AAU. Known most for his ability to score off the ball, NBE saw Singer on Day Two of the Hoop Group’s Pittsburgh Jam Fest where his ability to play on the ball helped spring an upset over Philly Pride in an exciting contest. Singer has very intriguing size for a back court prospect which he uses to get into the line and finish or draw many trips to the free throw line as well as a nice looking shooting stroke that is improving out past the three-point arc. What NBE saw from him in Pittsburgh was what he felt were his greatest strengths are as a player.

“I’m a true combo guard and my ability to make shots and create for others and basketball IQ are my strengths,” he said. “I’m working hard this offseason on my athleticism and defensively.”
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TEAM FINAL G/F B.J. JOHNSON CONTINUES TO PILE UP OFFERS

May 22, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

One of the hgihest stock risers in the Class of 2013 this spring has been B.J. Johnson of Team Final. The 6-foot-6, 170-pound G/F has excelled on the Nike EYBL circuit, putting back-to-back eye-opening weekends together when the EYBL kicked off and college coaches were in the stands.

“It was exciting to get to play in front of a lot of big time coaches,” Johnson told NBE Sports shortly after the April open evaluaiton periods. “I hope they saw what I do well on both the offensive and defensive side of the floor as well as how much effort I put into what I do.”

Through three EYBL sessions Team Final is sitting with an 8-6 ranking and in position to clinch a spot in the EYBL Championship round this July at the Peach Jam with a solid performance in Oakland (CA) this coming weekend.

For his part, Johnson is second on the team in scoring (9.8 ppg) and rebounding (4.8) trailing only Rondae Jefferson in both categories. That type of performance really got the attention of college coaches as he had schools such as Boston College, Rutgers and >Pittsburgh exppress new interest right away. BC followed up with a scholarship offer joining the likes of James Madison and Penn State in the days immediately following the Boo Williams EYBL event.

Johnson has always been high on the Big 5 radar for the local Philadelphia schools as he attends Lower Merion (PA) HS. St. Joseph’s, Temple and La Salle have been in the mix with him previously, as well as Boston University, and they all have company now as the scholarship offers continue to come in.

“New offers from Rutgers, Richmond, Duquesne, Manhattan and UMASS,” Johnson told NBE earlier today.

NBE will be on hand this weekend in Oakland (CA) as Raphielle Johnson will be reporting on the action. So stay tuned for more coverage on B.J. Johnson, Team Final and the Nike EYBL this weekend and through the summer

CLASS OF 2013 SPRING STOCK RISER: B.J. JOHNSON

May 9, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

The Team Final 17U AAU squad that hit the road in April for the first two legs of the Nike EYBL had plenty of names familiar to college coaches and recruiting followers throughout their rister. Rondae Jefferson, Davon Reed, Austin Colbert and newly added Jaren Sina need little introduction to the masses. One player many were not very familiar with was B.J. Johnson, a 6-foot-6 wing from Ardmore (PA) Lower Merion High School.

Through the first two legs of the EYBL Johnson is third on Team Final in scoring in EYBL action as his team is off to a 5-4 start. Johnson is shooting 46% from the field overall and connecting on 40% from three-point range. He is also tied for second on the team in rebounds and leads the team in steals. Getting a chance to showcase his ability in front of college coaches has been a welcomed opportunity for Johnson.

“It was exciting to get to play in front of a lot of big-time coaches like Coach K and many others,” Johnson told NBE. “I hope they saw what I do well on both the offensive and defensive side of the floor as well as how much effort I put into what I do.”
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CHINONSO OBOKOH TURNING HEADS WITH CITY ROCKS ON EYBL CIRCUIT

May 8, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Chinonso Obokoh is still a new name to many fans who follow college basketball recruiting. However college coaches are becoming more and more familiar with Obokoh’s name and his game. The 6-foot-10, 217-pound big man plays his high school ball out of Rochester (NY) Bishop Kearney High School and had a successful two-weekend run on the EYBL circuit with Albany (NY) based City Rocks. It was an opportunity that Obokoh cherished to have the chance to perform in front of college coaches.

“It’s always extra nice to play in front of the coaches,” Obokoh told NBE Basketball Report. “I’m excited to play in that atmosphere. I just want them to recognize how hard I play and that I just want to win.”

Obokoh certainly showed college coaches what he is capable of. Over the two weekends of the EYBL during the April open evaluation period he deomstrated improved skill offensively along with a solid defensive presence and is one of the leaders in blocked shots in the EYBL. He enjoys playing in the City Rocks program because it is a definsive minded team that fits right into his own mentality.
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THE HOOP GROUP’S PITTSBURGH JAMFEST: DAY TWO

April 22, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

By Brian Batko

A full slate of games on Saturday at the Hoop Group Pittsburgh Jam Fest meant a lot more players in action, a lot more eye-opening performances, and a lot more recruiting updates. Below is a rundown of all the players from various classes that NBE caught up with on Saturday at the Jam Fest:

Andrew Harrison (Houston Defenders, 2013, Travis HS) – Regarded as a top five player in 2013, Harrison did nothing to prove otherwise on Saturday. The 6’5” point guard handled the rock, showed off his nasty crossover and great vision, and was able to get his shot off whenever and wherever he wanted. He and his twin brother Harrison listed a top four of Kentucky, Maryland, Villanova, and Baylor but said that doesn’t mean that another school can’t still get into the picture with them.

Aaron Harrison (Houston Defenders, 2013, Travis HS) – Not quite as quick and smooth as his brother, Aaron prefers to play off the ball, spotting up for threes and also attacking the rim. He and Andrew are 100 percent a package deal at the college level, according to them, and whichever school ultimately lands this dynamic duo better have plenty of minutes to go around in the backcourt.
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2012 NATIONAL PREP SCHOOL INVITATIONAL — DAY FOUR

February 7, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

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By Brian Bosworth, National Recruiting Analyst

The first three days of the National Prep School Invitational were dominated by Steven Adams and his Notre Dame Prep squad. The 2012 big man from New Zealand erased any concerns after his foul-plagued showing at the Hoop Hall Classic and cemented his status as one of 2012’s top players. On Sunday it was time for another 2012 big man to steal the show and make his case for the #1 overall ranking in the senior class. With the gym buzzing and filled to a capacity that it saw at no other time all weekend the Tilton School and REDA (Ontario) took the floor at 1:30 PM. Nerlens Noel jumped center for the Tilton School sporting his trademark bright pink Nikes and his high top fade and put on the best show of the weekend.

Top Performance of the Day:

Nerlens Noel (Tilton 2012) – This was Noel’s first national appearance since announcing his intentions to graduate this year as a member of the 2012 class early Thursday morning. Providence fans packed the gym to see him as they made the cut of his seven final schools along with Kentucky, Syracuse, Connecticut, Florida, Georgetown and North Carolina. Dominance doesn’t even begin to describe the defensive effort put forth by Noel as he tallied 10 blocks to go along with countless more altered shots. It reached a point where REDA coaches could be heard screaming at their players who even attempted to challenge the big man as a shot in the lane against Noel was basically a turnover. Perhaps the most telling statistic of his dominance was on the scoreboard. Noel played the majority of the game’s first 29 minutes at which point REDA had only scored 19 points. At that time Nerlens went to the bench in a blowout victory and in the remaining 11 minutes REDA was able to put up 29 points. His defensive prowess is certainly nothing new but Sunday’s was a particularly stunning performance even by his high standards. Offensively Noel looked better than ever and as crazy as it sounds was literally playing point guard for his Tilton team during the 2nd half. He brought the ball up the floor every time and got his team into their offense sometimes breaking his man down off the dribble and other times running a play for someone else. I’m not suggesting that Noel is making a drastic position change but it was an indicator of how far along his ball handling and passing skills have come in the last year. Once only a defensive standout, Noel’s offense is catching up seemingly by the day.
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2011 DESERT DUEL MEMORIAL FINAL DAY RECAP: NJ PLAYAZ STORM BACK FOR TITLE

July 29, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

By Raphielle Johnson

The only thing better than the two best teams in an event playing in the title game is those teams putting forth a game for the ages. And that’s exactly what happened when the Mac Irvin Fire and New Jersey Playaz 17U teams met in Tuesday’s title game at the Desert Duel Memorial. Despite trailing by as many as 26 points early in the second half the Playaz found a way back, ultimately winning the game in overtime by the final score of 70-62.

Things most certainly didn’t look good for the Playaz at the start as Mac Irvin jumped them out of the gate thanks to the combination of solid offensive execution and the Playaz’s inability to make shots. The squad from Chicago had everything rolling, especially 2013 stud Jabari Parker who hit just about any shot imaginable in the first twenty minutes.

Steve Taylor (2012) was able to slash to the basket, DePaul commit Billy Garrett Jr. (2013) and Derrick Randolph (2012) made plays in the backcourt and Aaric Armstead (2012) was also a factor. A dunk just before the halftime buzzer made the score 43-20, and a Parker three in the first minute of the second half pushed the lead out to 26. To say the least things did not look good for the Playaz was an understatement.

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HOOP GROUP WV JAM FEST RECRUITING NOTES – DAY 1

July 15, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

By Lauren Kirschman

The first of two 10-day evaluation periods for the month of July come to a close today. One of the top annual events each year to close the period is the Hoop Group’s West Virginia Jam Fest, predominately help in the Morgantown (WV) area. With recent NCAA legislation preventing the games to be held on the WVU campus local high schools hosted contests as well as other sporting centers, including a local ice rink.

On day one of the event there was a large crowd of assistant coaches tracking down Amile Jefferson at University High School for an evening game and, as usual, the Team Final 16U club had their share of coaches on hand when they played. Below are some recruiting notes from the day’s action on Semaj Christon, Melvin Johnson, Rondae Jefferson, Dashawn Suber and more…
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RECRUITING EXPANDS FOR BRIAN BERNARDI

July 5, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

The July live evaluation period will be an important one for Brian Bernardi. The 6-foot-3, 180-pound guard out of Xaverian High School in New York City already has several solid mid-major programs putting scholarship offers on the table and it is expected schools from high-major conferences will also be tracking his progress this month during the two 10-day live periods.

The current school list for Bernardi is long and includes a variety of schools throughout the college basketball spectrum. Boston College, Xavier, Hofstra, Virginia, Fordham, Georgetown, Providence, St. John’s, Temple, Siena, Fairfield, SMU, Boston University , East Carolina, Marist, James Madison, Manhattan and Wagner were listed as the programs actively recruiting him.
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SIYANI CHAMBERS LOOKING FORWARD TO A BIG JULY AHEAD

July 4, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Quietly Hopkins (MN) annually churns out quality Division 1-A prospects. This season is no exception as you can expect a variety of college coaches to hit the July evaluation period trail trying to get a look at Hopkins’ latest high-major prospect Siyani Chambers. The 6-foot, 160-pound lefty point guard will hit the AAU trail with the Howard Pulley Panthers and a strong June has assured him of being seen by college coaches this week as well, which he listed as his highlight of the June AAU period.

“Being invited to attend Deron Williams PG skills camp along with LeBron Skills Academy and qualifying for Peach Jam,” replied Chambers earlier this weekend when asked of the highlight so far this spring and summer on the AAU circuit.

Now his biggest goals are to play his best next week in Akron and the following weekend in South Carolina as the college coaches will be watching. Chambers has been working hard on his game in anticipation of the open July evaluation period.
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