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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Bernard, Cockburn among Saturday Pangos standouts

NORWALK, Ca. – A couple of players from the respective East and West coasts had a pair of strong efforts each during Saturday’s second day of the 15th Pangos All-American Camp at Cerritos College.

Representing the East quite nicely, thank you very much, was Class of 2019 big man – very big man Kofi Cockburn of Middle Village (NY) Christ the King.

Cockburn goes at least 6-foot-10 and looks all of, say, 270 or so well-sculpted pounds.

And he put good use to all of that ample size, strength, surprisingly nimble footwork and assertiveness while helping “USC’ split its games with UCLA (losing 70-62) and Cal (prevailing, 64-52).

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Bassey, Anthony and jump shooters shine at Pangos

NORWALK, Ca. – Night 1 of the 15th Pangos All-American Camp proved a nice showcase, regionally and nationally, for multiple players Friday night at Cerritos College.

Two of those athletes were already well-known on the high school and grassroots hoops circuit and were on the floor at the same time late Friday night, on Court 2 (center) of the three-court setup for the event in which approximately 110 to 120 players are separated into 12 teams.

And in that one, the “Arizona” squad, led by 6-foot-10 Charles Bassey (San Antonio), rolled over “UCLA”, 97-68.

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Magic Elite depth overtakes Bradley, Team Eleate

ORANGE, Ca. – The Compton Magic captured titles in each of the top three divisions Monday  afternoon during the final day of the Magic program’s Memorial Weekend tournament at Orange Lutheran High.

The last of those came in the 17 “Battle Zone” Division, via a 66-62 victory over Riverside-based Team Eleate.

And it was achieved despite a spectacular performance by San Bernardino High junior Matt Bradley.

The 6-foot-3ish Bradley (who plans to transfer to Wasatch Academy in Mt. Pleasant, UT) was dominant in each of the Marvin Lea-coached team’s three games on Sunday (also including a quarterfinal win vs.

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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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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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