Hamilton and Johnson among Premier 80 standouts

WESTMINSTER, Ca. – A helping heaping of some of the very best high school guards from the Class of 2018 was on hand Wednesday – with a whole lot of coaches looking on – during the Baller.TV/Pangos Premier Showcase 80 at Westminster High.

The first day of the NCAA’s first week (out of three) of its July evaluation period was the reason coaches from all of the major conferences in the west – and all of those players who wanted to be seen by them, up close – showed up.

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PGs Gianni Hunt, Kihei Clark, Jordan Brinson and Josh Camper among Take Flight standouts

CULVER CITY, Ca. – Los Angeles Westchester rallied from a 10-point deficit at intermission Sunday afternoon at Culver City High to knock off Bellflower St. John Bosco, 66-61, in the championship game of the first-ever Summer Take Flight Challenge.

The Braves took their 35-25 advantage at the via sizzling play of sophomore-to-be point guard Josh Camper (who scored 10 of his 15 points before intermission) and 6-foot-4, senior-to-be Alpha Okoli who scored eight points.

The strong post play of seniors-to-be Kaelin Allen and Maurice Tutt kept the Comets reasonably close to the Braves in the first half and helped them chip into their deficit after intermission while combining for 34 points for the game.

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Strong field heads Culver City Take Flight Challenge

CULVER CITY, Ca. – The first-ever Summer Take Flight Challenge boys’ basketball tournament tips off at Culver City High at 2 o’clock Friday afternoon and wraps up with a championship game set to get underway Sunday evening at 5:10.

Among the 16 schools represented in the event is Torrance Bishop Montgomery, whose Knights’ squad won the California State Open Division championship in March.

Among the others are Chatsworth Sierra Canyon, Woodland Hills Taft, Studio City Harvard-Westlake, Van Nuys, Santa Monica Crossroads and L.A. Westchester, all of which played in the State Southern Regionals last spring.

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Mater Dei, host Lions head Fairfax summer tourney

LOS ANGELES – The 31st Nike Fairfax Summer Classic tips off Monday afternoon at 3 o’clock with, as usual, many of Southern California’s top programs involved.

First-round action will be played with four games each on Monday and Tuesday, quarterfinals on Wednesday and Thursday, semifinals on Friday and final-day action on Saturday, wrapping up with the 6 o’clock championship game.

Mater Dei, paced by two-time all-CIF Southern Section selection and Harvard University-bound point guard Spencer Freedman and 7-foot-3 Bol Bol, is the top seed with host Fairfax, led by all-L.A.

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Simi Shittu, Keldon Johnson lead NBPA Camp honors

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The “Rockets” wrapped up four days of perfection Saturday evening during the final day of the 24th NBPA Top 100 Camp in John Paul Jones Arena at the University of Virginia.

Senior-to-be point guards Luther Muhammad and Jordan McCabe combined for 17 points and eight assists in the first half as the Rockets rolled to a 28-point advantage before cruising to a 92-72 victory over the Celtics in the championship game.

The Rockets, at 9-0, became the first team in the event’s history to go unbeaten, according to Camp Director Purvis Short.

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Rondo’s Rockets 6-0 in NBPA Top 100 action

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The Rockets, with a coaching staff fronted by current NBA guard Rajon Rondo, will take a 6-0 record into the Saturday morning start to the NBPA Top 100 Camp tournament on the final day of the 24th version of the event in John Paul Jones Arena on the University of Virginia campus.

Friday the Rockets knocked off the Bulls (87-64) and then the Heat (83-76) to remain the only unbeaten squad among the 10 camp teams.

Rondo got a terrific offensive performances from junior-to-be forward Jeremiah Robinson-Earl (Shawnee Mission, KS, Bishop Miege) as he also got from Class of 2018 shooting guards Joseph Wieskamp (Muscatine, IA, High) and Anferne Simons (Orlando, FL, Edgewater).

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Shittu, Quinerly with strong NBPA Top 100 efforts

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The 24th National Basketball Players’ Association Top 100 Camp reached its midpoint following the conclusion of the Thursday evening session of games in the University of Virginia’s John Paul Jones Arena.

And, two days and 20 games into the event, there shouldn’t be much debate as to who the individual standout has been.

Six-foot-nine Simisola Shittu (Burlington in Ontario, Canada by way of Vermont Academy in Saxtons River, VT) was the NBPA Top 100 Most Outstanding player on Wednesday and it was much of the same based upon his two games with the “Warriors” squad Thursday.

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Culver City tournament set to tip off on June 30

CULVER CITY, Ca. – The first-ever Culver City/Take Flight Summer Spectacular basketball tournament is set for June 30-July 2 at Culver City High.

Sixteen high school programs, including 2017 State Open Division champion Torrance Bishop Montgomery, are scheduled to participate during the three-day event for which the teams will compete in pool play with a guarantee of three games apiece.

The four pool winners will play in semifinals with the winners hooking up in the championship game.

Other programs sending teams to the event are Compton Dominguez; Studio City Harvard-Westlake; Chatsworth Sierra Canyon; L.A.

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A look at first-day NBPA Top 100 Camp standouts

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The 24th National Basketball Players’ Association Top 100 high school camp tipped off Wednesday afternoon in John Paul Jones Arena on the University of Virginia campus.

I watched, from start to finish (instead of staggered viewings between contests), four games over the afternoon and evening sessions, meaning I was able to take long looks at seven of the 10 teams assembled from the 110 or so players in the camp.

Guys who clearly stood out, at least to me, were 6-foot-9 Simisola Shittu (Camp team Warriors/Canada by way of Vermont Prep Academy); 6-5 Coby White (76ers/Wilson, NC, Greenfield); 6-5 Cassius Stanley (Warriors/Chatsworth, CA, Sierra Canyon); 6-10 David McCormack (Bucks/Mouth of Wilson, VA, Oak Hill Academy; and 6-5 Jules Bernard (Celtics/Los Angeles Windward).

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Bassey leads my Pangos AA Camp “big four” picks

NORWALK, Ca. – The three-day, 15th Pangos All-American Camp wrapped up Sunday afternoon with a couple of all-star games that provided final moments in the Cerritos College spotlight for some of the very best prep high school basketball players in the country.

To paraphrase a question I got asked often over the weekend, “How does this camp compare to some of the others that Dinos (Trigonis, the camp founder and director) has put together?”

A definitive response can’t really be offered up for at least three or four years, when the makeup of several McDonald’s All-American rosters and NBA drafts are etched into our collective consciousness.

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Meet Frank
Frank Burlison

Frank Burlison is a well-regarded basketball writer who was inducted into the U.S. Basketball Writers Association Hall of Fame in 2005. His opinions on the potential of high school and college players are widely respected and sought by college coaches and NBA scouts, personnel directors and general managers from coast to coast. Oh, yes – he can offer plenty of thoughts on movies, television and pop music. Yes, he can rank those, too. Hint: He’s a big The Godfather, Larry Sanders, The Wire and The Beatles loyalist.

To learn more about Frank's scouting services, click here.

Endorsements

“I’ve known Frank since he was a student at Long Beach State and no writer ever worked harder at studying and understanding basketball. When I was coaching I always put more stock into what he said about (high school) players than anyone I knew. As far as I’m concerned, he’s the best there is at evaluating the potential of basketball players.”
Lute Olson, Hall of Fame and NCAA Championship Winning Coach

"I have known Frank for 15 years and there is no one outside of those in the Trail Blazers' organization that I trust more than Frank when it comes to player evaluations."
Neil Olshey, Portland Trail Blazers' General Manager

“Frank Burlison has always been a proponent of my talent and, even more so, of my potential – far before it was evident to most. Even as a smaller and determined player who was being overlooked by most high-major colleges and national scouting services, Frank always served as a friendly voice who got me into the door to most events to help me prove my talents.”
Russell Westbrook, the No. 4 overall selection in the 2008 NBA Draft out of UCLA and an all-star guard for the Oklahoma City Thunder

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