Big Fab 48 week for Earl Watson Elite program

LAS VEGAS – The Los Angeles-based Earl Watson Elite squad capped a strong five days and overcome a significant injury to capture the Fab 48 17-Under Invitational division champion Sunday afternoon at Bishop Gorman High.

EWE, coached by George Zedan (Cantwell-Sacred Heart in Montebello), toppled another Under Armour-front program, Splash City (made up of players from the northern and central regions of California) in the title game, 65-50, as Jemarl Baker and Reed Farley led the way with 20 and 15 points, respectively.

There wasn’t a better jump shooter – or a player who hit “bigger shots” – in Las Vegas than Baker while leading EWE overall record of 9-zip on the week, including the three wins on Sunday (quarter- and semi-final victories over the Omaha Sports Academy and Florida Vipers, respectively).

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Fab 48 Sunday quarterfinal field set

LAS VEGAS — Four days down, and a “championship Sunday” on tap for the third and final week in the NCAA “summer recruiting evaluation period” for its the coaching staffs of its membership’s basketball programs.

At the Fab 48 at Bishop Gorman High, WE R 1 (88-83 over Big Red Elite), Splash City (53-45 over Uncommon Bulls), DC Premier (70-57 over Sports U), Each 1 Teach 1 (over E1T1 United), 82-78), the Florida Vipers (86-66 over RM5), the New York City Rens (68-55 over Expressions Elite), Earl Watson Elite (75-46 over Showtime Ballers) and OSA (78-69 over the Indy Hoosiers) captured Round of 16 contests in the Invitational Division Saturday.

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Baker, Lee lead EWE past Splash City at Fab 48

LAS VEGAS –  If the playoff portion proves as compelling as were many of the pool-play games played on Friday, look for the final two days of the 2016 Fab 48 to provide a nice way to stay out of the record-breaking heat in the city.

In a Pool C contest, it was quite the clash of Under Armour-fronted California programs with Earl Watson Elite toppling Splash City, 68-63.

Six-foot-two Damari Milstead (Moreau High in Hayward) continued to look like a strong candidate as the top senior in Northern California next season while scoring 25 points by way of nifty combination of deep jumpers, floaters and crafty layups in traffic.

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Mass Rivals earns adidas 17-U Open top seed

LAS VEGAS – The Massachusetts Rivals squad made quick and efficient work of two opponents Thursday to capture the adidas Summer Championships’ “Creator Cup” and earn the top seed in the 17-Under Champion playoffs’ bracket at the Cashman Center.

Coach Vincent Pastore’s team opened the Creator Cup competition Wednesday night by pounding Compton Magic, 83-55, and followed it with 71-36 win over Game Elite (Georgia and South Carolina players) in the semifinal Thursday afternoon.

Mass Rivals ground out a 67-61 decision over D-I Minnesota in the final later that night.

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NJ 2019 duo among Fab 48 Tip-Off standouts

LAS VEGAS – The Las Vegas Fab 48 Tip-Off Challenge commenced at 5 o’clock sharp Wednesday evening in Bishop Gorman High gymnasium and didn’t wrap up until nearly six hours later.

A lot of quality travel/club teams and high school players from across the U.S. of A trotted out onto the three courts in the facility with at least 200 or so coaches from colleges and universities spread over the same territory watching on the first day of the NCAA’s third and final “evaluation” week of the summer.

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Penn-Johnson, Koehler, Nelson among the standouts during the WCE High Academic Super Bowl

HENDERSON, Nev. – The second annual High Academic Super Bowl, presented by Ryan Silver’s West Coast Elite Basketball program and held at Coronado High, proved a nice showcase for the hoops talents of 100 or so high school students who also excel in the classroom.

Players got to play in at least four camp games apiece over the Monday and Tuesday event, held as a “tip-off”, of sorts, prior to the NCAA’s “evaluation period” that runs Wednesday to Sunday for the coaching staffs of the schools designated as Division I members of the organization.

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A wrap-up on Sunday hoops in Anaheim, Westminster

LAGUNA NIGUEL, Ca. – There were cool happenings, Southern California-wise, in Orange County on Sunday – the final day of the second July NCAA “live evaluation week” – for college coaching staffs and assorted other high school hoops aficionados.

Over at American Sports Centers – located in Anaheim, home to Disneyland, which, in a way, could be considered by many as “the most American of cities – the finals of the Double Pump Best of Summer Tournament were played.

In the top (17-Under Open) division, Riverside County-based Team ELEATE knocked off the Oakland area’s Team Lillard (formerly known as the Oakland Rebels), 75-65.

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Okongwu, Singleton share All-West Camp honors

LYNWOOD, Ca. – Two of the elite underclassmen in the west – and beyond – took top honors following the conclusion of the two-day Pangos/Fullcourt Press All-West Camp at Lynwood High Thursday evening.

Six-foot-eight Onyeka Okongwu, who shared national Freshman of the Year honors with Chino Hills High teammate Melo Ball this past season, joined 6-4 David Singleton (Torrance, CA, Bishop Montgomery) as the co-Most Outstanding Players after the camp had wrapped with Top 50 and Top 25 all-star games, with rosters culled from the 160 or so players who participated.

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Splash City wins Double Pump Summer Tip-Off

LAGUNA NIGUEL, Ca. – The first week of the NCAA July “evaluation” period wrapped up Sunday at 5 o’clock, with three major events wrapping up in as many locations in Southern California.

“Travel team” tournaments concluded at Cerritos College in Norwalk and at the Anaheim Sports Center for the Double Pump Summer Tip-Off.

The Belmont Shore team knocked Wisconsin United, 62-61, via two David Singleton free throws with three seconds to go for the Invitational Division championship at Cerritos College.

Singleton (Torrance, CA, Bishop Montgomery), one of the best 2018 shooting guard prospects in the country, and 6-foot-7 Isaiah White (La Verne, CA, Damien), one of the better remaining unsigned players in the class of 2016, shared Most Outstanding Players in the division.

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Fairfax semifinal field set for Friday night

LOS ANGELES – The Friday night championship semifinals are set for the 30th Nike Fairfax Summer Basketball Classic.

In the first semi, at 6 o’clock, Corona Centennial takes on Long Beach Poly, with Trinity League foes Mater Dei and Santa Margarita following at 7:30.

Friday’s other games: (13th place semifinals) 9 a.m., Santa Monica vs. Alemany; 10:30, Maranatha vs. Orange Lutheran; (consolation semifinals) Noon, Loyola vs. Calabasas; 1:30 p.m., Fairfax vs. La Canada; (fifth-place semifinals) 3, Redondo vs. Chino Hills; 4:30, Brentwood vs. Crespi.

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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.

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“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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