Over the past several years, the arrival of fall has ushered in what has become a virtual camp and showcase, where aspiring young players can choose from an entire circuit of elite basketball events. In fact, just in the midwest alone, there have been at least 8 such events, which all offered players both a high level of competition as well as extensive exposure opportunities. Next up was the Buckeye Prep Elite Showcase, and by most accounts, the event was a complete success!
On Saturday, approximately 150 young ballers arrived at Fieldhouse USA in northern Columbus, Ohio ready to compete against other elite players from around the region and to display their talent in front of national media outlets and talent evaluators. In the gym were national brands such as MSHTV, Prep Hoops Next, Basketball Spotlight, Get me Recruited and of course, the Buckeye Prep Report. As advertised, there were a number of nationally ranked players in the building attempting to either solidify their current reputations or to establish burst onto the statewide and national scene. In addition, the event featured a great speaker who delivered a powerful and personal account of his life circumstances. Basketball Spotlight’s Mike Melton’s presentation moved many in attendance and made a significant impression on players and parents alike!
Although the talent level was deep, as is the case with most events of this kind, there were a few players who’s level play separated them from the pack. Kameron Mercer (5’11″/CG/2028/Springdale, OH), was one such player that has used the fall camp/showcase circuit to boost his stock nationally and to solidify his place among the best 6th graders in the country. We’ve profiled Mercer on a number of occasions and he has continued to perform at a very high level! Although we have not seen him perform on the camp circuit, we have seen Deloni Pughsley (5’1″/PG/2029/Columbus, OH) at numerous tournaments the last few years and his play has been very impressive! Pughsley continued build his rep in Columbus on Saturday with an outstanding performance. He’s already nationally ranked by several media outlets, but we think he’s under valued. Pughsley is an elite PG with special talent! Oh yea, the exact same thing can be said about his younger brother, Zander Pughsley (4’5″/PG/2031/Columbus, OH), who put on a show of his own in Columbus. Watch out for this kid, he’s going to be good!
The talent in Ohio’s class of 2027 is absoloutly amazing! The best of the class balled out in Columbus on Saturday and took home a boatload of awards. Joshua Tyson, Bryce Curry, Le’Shawn Hill, and Amir Phillips are all nationally recognized, and their play this past weekend more than justified their hype. He may not be on many national player lists, but Antwon Hinton (5’9″/PG/2026/Cincinnati, OH) played well enough to warrant some attention. Henton is simply too big for most guards to defend. He’s also a monster on the boards and always has the potential to put up big rebounding numbers. In 1 game, Henton dropped 24 points, grabbed 14 rebounds with 3 steals. Now that’s production! New to the statewide basketball scene is Maxwell Joiner (5’10″/PF/2028/Cincinnati, OH), who continues to move up on our top player lists. At this rate, it’s only a matter of time before the national media discovers his talent.
Other players that deserve a little more recognition include: Aiden Monroe, Kai Russell, Reece Crosby, Zymir Knox, MC Walker, Seven Allen, Damien Clay, Treyton Schroeder, Trey Brundidge, Dallas Stewart, Chief Cameron, Jayce Fisher, Chase Rabin, Joshua Anthony, Romell Salone, Carlos Lopez and Harmony Cooper. The event also gave the youngest guns a chance to compete and to start building their own resume. A few of those standouts included Jedi Haynes -Lee, David Johnson III, Jordan Taylor and Jase Owens. Expect to hear a lot more from these guys in the near future! All in all, it was a great day of basketball. Below is an extensive list of standout performers, including our evaluations.
Showcase All Stars and MVPs
Basketball Spotlight’s Coverage