Hell’s Kitchen tipped off this past weekend at the Oakland Fieldhouse in Detroit, Michigan, and although pool play consisted of a number of blowouts in several divisions, the individual talent was significant and on full display. This weekend, we spent most of our coverage watching the 3rd and 5th grade divisions.
Erian Love (4’8″/PG/2032/Houston, TX) had a big weekend both offensively and defensively and for his efforts, he was selected as the 3rd grade division MVP. We were also impressed with the play of Aydin Garth (4’10”/SG/2032/Indianapolis, IN), who put up big numbers for his 2032 BNU squad in the opening 2 games. His teammate, Jacob Forbes (5’1″/WF/2032/Houston, TX), really shot the heck out of the ball in the game we watched. On Sunday, Chris Downing Jr. (4’8”/PG/2032/North Canton, OH) had a big game against the Michigan Playmakers to the tune of 13 points. Downing not only got to the basket and finished, he knocked down a couple of catch and shoot treys as well. lNeedless to say, that 2032 BNU squad is a problem, as they are well coached, loaded with talent and they bring serious defensive pressure. For the record, BNU cruised through the tournament on their trek to the 3rd grade title.
In the 3rd grade division, Charging Elite made a nice run to the championship game on the strength of solid play from Robert Simpson (4’8″/CG/2032/Columbus, OH), Julian Winner (4’8″/SG/2032/Dublin, OH), Kason Angert (4’4″/PG/2032/Springfield, OH) and Zion Lancaster (5’1″/C/2032/Reynoldsburg, OH). This team is competitive, well built and has several quality pieces.
The best individual performance we saw all weekend was Jordan Taylor’s (4’8”/PG/2032/Gahanna, OH) career-best 22 point outburst in the 2nd pool game on Saturday, where he knocked down 6 treys to lead his team to a blowout win over the Racine (Wisconsin) Truth. Recently, Taylor has has established himself as one of the best shooters in his class in not only Ohio, but the nation. Taylor is an efficient shooter, who does not require volume shots to put up big numbers. Tony Jones Jr. (4’8″/PG/2031/Columbus, OH) had a big day on Saturday as well and was determined to get to the cup. Not only does Jones play excellent defense, his offensive game is really starting to come together. We really like Xavier Gordon (5’0″/PG/2030/New Castle, PA), who demonstrated an impressive skill set and ability to score the rock. Gordon also played under control, with good pace and was poised under pressure.
We also saw some really good things out of Aaron Osborne (5’0”/SG/2030/Dayton, Oh), on Saturday and Sunday, as he led his team in scoring in both games we watched. Israel Smith (5’1”/WF/2030/West Bloomfield, MI) is a player to watch going forward, as is Aiden Manns (4’10”/CG/2032/Detroit, MI). Mann’s looked good when we saw him on Saturday and he balled out again on Sunday in his team’s upset win over the 7th ranked Buckeye Prep Hoopsters. We also really like Drew Sanders (4’11″/SG/North Royalton, OH), who shot the ball with range at an elite level. Finally, keep an eye on Aiden Lindsey (5’5″/SG/2030/Saginaw, MI), who demonstrated big time athleticism and the ability to finish near the rim. This kid could be really good. Below is our complete list of standouts.
BNU-3rd Grade Champions
Charging Elite 3rd Grade Runner-ups
|Erian Love||4’8″/PG||2032||Houston, TX|
|Jordan Taylor||4’8″/PG||2032||Gahanna, OH|
|Israel Smith||5’1″/WF||2030||West Bloomfield, MI|
|Aiden Manns||4’10″/CG||2032||Detroit, MI|
|Aaron Osborne||5’0″/SG||2030||Dayton, OH|
|Harlem Graham||5’4″/PG||2030||Toronto, CN|
|Tu Jennings||4’10″/WF||2032||Houston, TX|
|Tony Jones Jr.||4’8″/PG||2031||Columbus, OH|
|Jeremiah Johnson||5’5″/PG||2030||South Bend, IN|
|Kamani Moore-Walker||5’1″/WF||2030||Muskegon, MI|
|Elijah Sizemore||4’10″/PG||2030||Muskegon, MI|
|Lee Debro||4’10″/PG||2030||Reynoldsburg, OH|
|Duece Thomas||5’7″/C||2030||Dayton, OH|
|Deion Carter-Apple||5’2″/CG||2030||Detroit, MI|
|Drew Sanders||4’11″/SG||2030||North Royalton, OH|
|Aydin Garth||4’11″/CG||2032||Indianapolis, IN|
|Dre’Suan Prosper||4’3″/PG||2032||Knoxville, TN|
|Jacob Forbes||5’1″/WF||2032||Houston, TX|
|David Johnson III||4’9″/WF||2032||Worthington, OH|
|Zion Lancaster||5’2″/C||2032||Reynoldsburg, OH|
|Alec Moore||4’8″/CG||2032||Pickerington, OH|
|Chris Downing Jr.||4’8”/PG||2032||North Canton, OH|
|Rush Anstine||4’11”/SG||2031||Columbus, OH|
|Xavier Gordon||5’0”/PG||2030||New Castle, PA|
|Aiden Lindsey||5’5”/SG||2030||Saginaw, MI|
|Kason Angert||4’4”/PG||2032||Springfield, OH|
|Terry Holt III||4’10”/PG||2031||Dayton, OH|
|Mike Nmvoya||4’9”/PG||2031||Detroit, MI|
|Carter Waldron||4’3”/PG||2033||Detroit, MI|
|LeShawn Lyle||4’11”/CG||2031||Chattanooga, TN|
|Ayden Petty||4’11”/SG||2031||Indianapolis, IN|
|Preston Hamby||4’4”/PG||2032||Knoxville, TN|
|David Perry||4’11”/WF||2032||Dayton, OH|
|Robert Simpson||4’8”/CG||2032||Columbus, OH|
|Tristian Waldron||4’9″/CG||2032||Detroit, MI|
Standout Performer Pictures
Chris Downing Jr.
Tony Jones Jr.
David Johnson III
Terry Holt III