NORWALK, Ca. – Collectively, the Southern California high school classes of 2014-16 are quite deep in backcourt talent.
And a lot of that talent was display Sunday at Cerritos College during the Pangos Spring Showcase.
Among the members of the Class of 2015 who played exceptionally well Sunday was the Superior Athletes trio of Kendall Small (Huntington Beach Ocean View), Jeremy Hemsley (La Verne Damien) and Stephen Thompson Jr. (Torrance Bishop Montgomery).
Their chemistry was quite evident while playing on the same squad Sunday. Each is both a capable playmaker and scorer.
Among the other 2015 guards who played both comfortably and efficiently on Mother’s Day were Ke’Jhan Feagin (Long Beach Poly), Kahlil Simplis (N. Hollywood Campbell Hall), Cameron High (Redondo Beach Redondo), Akil Reese (L.A. Westchester) and Tommy McCarthy (Carlsbad La Costa Canyon).
Feagin continues to progress as much as any point guard in the class. His jump shot is better and he’s a lot stronger, as well.
Simplis is part of the Basketball’s Finest Training (BFI) Academy run by his father, Olin Simplis. There isn’t a more polished point guard in the class.
Look for Reese to have a breakout season as one of the best guards in the L.A. City Section in 2013-14 – and the same could be said of McCarthy in the San Diego Section.
Guards who stood out among the seniors-to-be included Kyron Cartwright (Compton) and Luke Selway (Villa Park) – each a left hander.
Cartwright, who appears to have grown by about two inches and 10-15 pounds since last December, got a bit carried away demonstrating his ball handling expertise in one of the final games Sunday – zipping the ball between his legs, rapid-fire, without going anywhere with it is a definition of a pointless exercise.
But his jump shot continues to make progress and, with his added strength, has come a bit more vertical explosiveness.
Selway is anything but flashy. However he was one of the best passers on display in the entire event. He’s one of Orange County’s most underrated players.
It’s difficult to recollect a Southland freshman class that has been as deep in quality point guard prospects as 2016 is.
The two most productive of those players in this past season, Lonzo Ball (Chino Hills) and Max Heidegger (Encino Crespi), were in the Falcon Gymnasium Sunday.
Who would have been cool to see them match up but they played on the same team – bummer.
Two other terrific freshmen guards on display were Leland Green (Redondo) and Kenneth Davis (Compton Centennial).
Green, as a reserve, helped the Sea Hawks win Southern Section and state titles this spring in Reggie Morris Jr.’s first season as the program’s head coach.
With Green in the starting lineup, 2013-14 could hold the same kind of accomplishments for Redondo.
The skinny Davis is listed as 6-3 and has the frame to make me think he could be a 6-5 – or taller – point guard by the time he’s a senior for Coach Vadim Malikin.