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

Standout Performers

Name Hgt/Pos Class City/State
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

Erian Love

Jordan Taylor

Aaron Osborne

Israel Smith

Aiden Manns

Deion Carter-Apple

Chris Downing Jr.

Aiden Lindsey

Drew Sanders

Xavier Gordon

Lee Debro

Deuce Thomas

Ayden Petty

Kamani Moore-Walker

Jeremiah Johnson

Harlem Graham

Aydin Garth

Rush Anstine

Dre’Suan Prosper

Tony Jones Jr.

Vinnie Wimmiamson

David Johnson III

Zion Lancaster

Alec Moore

Mike Nmvoya

Leshawn Lyle

Terry Holt III

Kason Angert

Jacob Forbes