Sonny Johnson’s NEO Elite Camp tipped off in Cleveland, OH on Saturday and played host to more than 300 campers from across the country. Although the camp featured a high school division, we concentrated our efforts 0n the younger kids (class of 2029-2033).

It was clear early on the opening day that the 2029 division was the most star studded, with big names like King Bacot (6’1″/CG/2029/Richmond, VA), Deloni Pughsley (5’5″/PG/2029/Gahanna, Oh) and Jordan McDaniel (5’7″/PG/2029/Detroit, MI) in the gym. Needless to say, all 3 of these guys put on a show on Saturday. Bacot did nothing to harm his considerable national reputation as he routinely bullied his way to the basket for a score or drop off. Pughsley was his spectacular self with long range bombs and crafty moves to the cup. McDaniel was almost unstoppable to the rim as he drove by guys like they were stuck in mud. Moreover, McDanial’s defense is the best in the class.

The 5th grade division was a Zander Pughsley (4’7″/PG/2031/Gahanna, OH) show and the diminutive guard had his way with would be defenders. Pughsley is simply too skilled and too quick for most defenders. If you crowd him he will drive around you and if you back off he will drain a 3-ball in your face. He’s almost unguardable at this point. We also have to mention Dupree Smith (5’3″/CG/2031/St. Paul, MN) who was highly skilled and fun to watch.

The 3rd and 4th graders shared a division, which featured several standouts. Memphis’ Derek Coleman Jr. (4’9″/PG/2032/Memphis, TN) logged in an impressive performance and continued to prove he can both score the rock with strong drives to the basket and find open teammates as well. Jordan Taylor (4’9″/PG/2032/Gahanna, OH) was the best shooter in the division as he shot the cover off the ball from beyond the arc, and flashed several nifty moves and drives to the basket. Zion Lancaster (5’5″/PF/2032/Columbus, OH) had a good day as well, and demonstrated, at his size, the ability to handle the ball in the open court and to make timely and accurate passes to teammates.

We were also really impressed with several young guys including: Bear Harris (4’5″/PG/2033/Canton, OH), Kai West 4’5″/PG/2033/Madison, WI) , Gerame Box Jr. (4’5″/PG/2033/Milwaukie, WI), Felix Willis Jr. (4’5″/PG/2033/Milwaukee, WI), Courvian Sykes (4’5″/CG/2033/Madison, WI), King Braxston (4’9″/PG/2033/Dallas, TX) and Scooby Harris (4’4″/PG/2034/Canton, OH). Those kids can really go and should have bright futures with continued growth and development. All in all, the NEO event was well run and full of talent. Day II should be very exciting!

Standout Performers

Name Hgt/Pos Class City/State
Deloni Pughsley 5’5″/PG 2029 Gahanna, OH
Jordan McDaniel 5’7”/PG 2029 Detroit, MI
King Bacot 6’1”/CG 2029 Richmond, VA
Dallas Stewart 5’9”/PG 2029 Pickerington, OH
Jayvontae Swift 5’8”/PG 2029 Cleveland, OH
Daviano Brown 6’1”/PG 2029 Loraine, OH
Tate Bear 5’7”/PG 2029 Sylvania, OH
Maddox Purins 6’3”/WF 2029 Poland, OH
Steve Blackmon 5’7”/PG 2029 Gahanna, OH
Mason Morris 6’4”/SG 2029 Canton, OH
Cornelius Williams 5’9”/PG 2028 Cleveland, OH
Talon Dodd 5’7”/PG 2030 Akron, OH
Gavin Vankley 5’9”/PF 2030 DeMotte, IN
Dupree Smith 5’3”/CG 2031 St. Paul, MN
Isaiah Grayson 5’3”/PG 2031 Minneapolis, MN
Zander Pughsley 4’7”/PG 2031 Gahanna, OH
Derek Coleman Jr. 4’9”/PG 2032 Memphis, TN
Jordan Taylor 4’9”/PG 2032 Gahanna, OH
Zion Lancaster 5’5”/PF 2032 Columbus, OH
Maddox Perry 4’4”/PG 2032 St. Louis, MO
Jedi Haynes-Lee 5’2”/PF 2032 Columbus, OH
Courtavin Sykes 4’5”/CG 2033 Madison, WI
Gerame Box Jr. 45”/PG 2033 Milwaukee, WI
Felix Willis Jr. 4’5”/PG 2033 Milwaukee, WI
King Braxston 4’9”/PG 2033 Dallas, TX
Bear Harris 4’5”/PG 2033 Canton, OH
Kai West 4’5”/PG 2033 Madison, WI
Malahki Bostick 4’9”/PG 2031 Westhaven, CN
Scooby Harris 4’4”/PG 2034 Canton, OH

Standout Performer Pictures

King Bacot

Jordan McDaniels

Deloni Pughsley

Dallas Stewart

Jayvontae Swift

Daviana Brown

Mason Morris

Steve Blackmon

Talon Dodd

Gavin Vankley

Maddox Purins

Tate Bear

Zander Pughsley

Isaiah Grayson

Dupree Smith

Malahki Bostick

Derick Coleman Jr.

Jordan Taylor

Zion Lancaster

Maddox Perry

Jedi Haynes-Lee

King Braxston

Kai West

Bear Harris

Gerame Box

Felix Willis

Courtavin Sykes

Scooby Harris