Sierra Canyon duo bags MOPs at Prep2Prep Classic

LIVERMORE, Ca. – It was a Sunday sweep for the Southern California squads during the first-ever Prep2Prep All-Star Basketball Classic at Los Positas College.

But while the Class of 2017 squad from the southland rolled to an eased-up 135-114 in the opener of the double-dip (played in front of an estimated 1,400), its 2016 counterpart had a much more arduous task before finally holding off the lads from Northern California.

Concord Del La Salle guard Jordan Ratinho – mostly terrific throughout the 48-minute contest affair while finishing with 20 points – missed a 3-point attempt from out top with about two seconds to go and the southerners held on for the 137-134 decision.

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California BB standouts in Prep2Prep games Sunday

LIVERMORE, Ca. – The first-ever Prep2Prep California All-Star Basketball Classic, with a double-header of games pitting some of the top seniors and juniors between the northern and southern portions of California, tips off Sunday afternoon at Los Positas College.

At 1:30 the North will take on the South in the 2017 contest, with the west’s top player – guard Lonzo Ball of Chino Hills – leading the South in the 2016 game at approximately 3:30.

Among the others on the North roster will be two other players planning to join Ball in signing with UCLA in November in 6-foot-9 Ike Anigbogu (Corona Centennial) and 6-5 Kobe Paras (L.A.

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My choice as the 2016 Player of the Summer is . . .

LAGUNA NIGUEL, Ca. – There was no shortage of options that presented themselves as I tried to come up with my choice for the “Most Outstanding Player from the Class of 2016” based upon what was accomplished during the multitude of summer events.

In fact, I could have tabbed any of six or so players and none of the choices, from my perspective, would have been “wrong”.

But from start (the Pangos All-American Camp) to the end (the adidas Global Nations) one player, from my point of view, stands out – if only by the slightest of margins.

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My choice as the 2017 Player of the Summer is . . .

LAGUNA NIGUEL, Ca. – The national high school Class of 2017 has a hefty share of high-quality “post” players – or, if more “wing” than “post” — players who stand 6-foot-8 or taller.

Five of those landed spots on my 10-player first team all-Summer of 2015 for the Class of 2017.

And, after the last of the “national” summer events I watched – the adidas Global Nations in Southern California that ran July 31-August 3 – my choice as the “Most Outstanding Junior-To-Be” for the class was clear cut.

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Prep2Prep sets Aug. 30 Cali BB 2016-17 showcase

LAGUNA NIGUEL, Ca. – The bulk of California’s very best high school players from the Classes of 2016 and 2017 will be in the same building on the same Sunday afternoon this month.

The first-ever Prep2Prep California All-Star Basketball Game will be played on Aug. 30 at Las Positas College in the northern California city of Livermore.

Among the players committed to playing in the event, for the South squad, are UCLA-bound brothers Lonzo and Li’Angelo Ball from Chino Hills.

The 6-foot-5 Lonzo Ball helped lead the Team Rose squad to the championship of the adidas Global Nations Tournament at Cerritos College in Norwalk Monday night.

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Rawle Alkins leads all-adidas Nations selections

NORWALK, Ca. – Rawle Alkins capped a terrific summer with the latest in a series of terrific performances Monday night during the championship game of the adidas Global Nations.

The 6-foot-4 Alkins, a two-time all-New York City selection at Christ the King High who is searching for a prep school to attend as a senior, scored 26 points – in just 20 minutes of on-court time – while dropping six of eight attempts from behind the arc to help Team Rose pull away in the fourth quarter for a 113-93 victory over Team Wall at Cerritos Community College.

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Teams Rose, Wall play for adidas Global Nations title

GARDEN GROVE, Ca. — The teams representing the United States’ Class of 2016 took different paths Sunday night to the Monday night championship game of the adidas Global Nations playoffs.

Team Wall busted out to a 24-point advantage over Class of 2017 Team Lillard and cruised to a 117-73 victory in one semifinal on Court 1 in the Next Level Sports Center.

And, on Court 4, Team Rose led by only four points early in the fourth quarter before pulling away in the closing minutes and knocking off Team African, 105-89.

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Alkins, Gabriel & Trent adidas Nations standouts

GARDEN GROVE, Ca. – At the halfway point of the adidas Global Nations there have been – appropriately enough – standouts from multiple countries.

*Gary Trent, a 6-foot-5 junior-to-be at Apple Valley High in Minnesota, scored 28 points Saturday night to help USA 2017 “Team Lillard” come from 15 points behind at intermission to topple Team Asia Pacific (in reality, Australia), 94-88, to improve to 3-0 in the Next Level Sports facility.

Trent, who helped the USA win a FIBA 16-Under tournament in June, is averaging 23.7 points per game while hitting 11 of 25 shots from behind the arc.

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Lots of players, teams leave Las Vegas as big winners

LAS VEGAS – And, on Day V, the champions were crowned . . .

Well, the “crownings” were figurative things for the top division winners at the Fab 48, adidas Uprising Summer Championships and Big Foot/Las Vegas Invitational events on Sunday.

But that didn’t dull the celebrations for the players, coaches and fans of the 1Nation (Fab 48), Team Loaded/Virginia (adidas) and Georgia Stars (Big Foot) teams that bagged championships on Sunday’s final day of the third – and final – NCAA evaluation period for high school basketball players.

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Sunday L.V. hoops finales should be grand, indeed

LAS VEGAS – The proverbial tables – in this case, courts – have been set for Sunday’s climatic day for three major national travel ball tournaments in town the past five days.

*At Bishop Gorman High, the Fab 48 quarterfinals will tip at 8 a.m. and there are four compelling matchups in each slot.

On Court 1, 7-footer Thon Maker and his Canada Elite squad take on the “surprise” member of this group, Pasadena (CA)-based BTI, which has three very good guards in Josh Hauser, Isaiah Brooks and Jordan Cohen.

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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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