George McClellan Invitational (News and Notes)

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(Pictured is Leonardo “Leo” Lara)

Houston, Texas-

For the first “Live” period in July, our staff was on hand at the George McClellan Invitational (GMI) being held at various facilities, tracking a handful of tri-region (Central/South/West Texas) teams that made the trek down I-10. The HD Toros, STX Hoopsters, Vipers Academy, Cen-Tex Attack, Corpus Christi Bruins, STAT Elite, and SA Hardwork all represented the tri-regions.

Talent on the courts ranged from low major prospects, to nationally ranked high major targets. With Coaches from the SEC, Big XII, ACC, Mountain West, American Athletic, Conference USA, Southland, and many more, all court side evaluating prospects.

The GMI featured highlight reel dunks, competitive play, and some out of nowhere surprises. It was one of the players on a tri-region team that was the talk of the tourney. Here are some notes on those clubs that were representing Central, South, and West Texas.

(Biggest Riser)

Leonardo “Leo” Lara, STX Hoopsters 2017 (Santa Rosa HS)
The 6’3″ sharp shooting two guard stole the show with his deadly accuracy from beyond the arc, athleticism, high basketball IQ, and non-stop motor. Coming into the event, the only thing lacking for Lara was the exposure. His consistent play took care of that  quickly. In one game he nailed 7 three-pointers, following it up with another 5 treys in the next contest.

In a Sunday bracket game, one of the few times his jumper wasn’t falling in the first half, he came out on the very first play of the second half, blew by his defender and got to the hole for a layup, the rest was history. He helped lead the STX Hoopsters to a Silver Bracket Championship.

His play caught the attention of several D1 programs, UIW, UTRGV, Sam Houston State, Hartford, and A&M-Corpus Christi. Before you knew it, even onlookers from high major programs as Kansas State Head Coach Bruce Weber asked, “Who is that kid.” A Georgia Tech assistant also was impressed in seeing Lara rain in shot after shot.

(Player Notes)

Jordan Wilson, STX Hoopsters 2017 (Sharyland Pioneer HS)
Combo guard and teammate of Lara, helped form an unguardable 1-2 punch in the back-court for the Hoopsters. Wilson showed great quickness, above average ball handling skills, the ability to hit from outside, and attack the rim at will. Despite a thin frame, he played with a toughness that allowed him to consistently finish in traffic.

In a quarterfinal win over the Master Hoops Elite, Wilson lit the nets on fire with 27pts, leading the charge for STX. Inside or out, the Hoops Elite did not have an answer for him.

Joshua Pitts, HD Toros 2017 (Memorial HS)
On more than a few occasions, a couple of college coaches commented on Pitts’ size. He’s a solid 6’9″, 240lbs, and getting into better shape as he gets back to form from injury.

When down low, the big man would not be moved from the paint. He uses his size well in close and to finish at the hoop. He showed the ability to get up and down the court in transition. His size and length also made an impact on opposing teams shot selection, and the glass. Plenty of potential in the big man, and following the tournament as of Monday evening, our staff confirmed Pitts was up to 3 offers: UIW, Sam Houston State, & Southeastern Louisiana University.

Marco Pena, SA Hardwork 2018 (Laredo Alexander)
The sharp shooting two guard from Hardwork showed that he can fire away with the best of them. In their first “Showcase” game Sunday, it was the 6’1″ guard who led the team with 21 points, the majority of them coming from behind the arc, to edge out the Lake Charles Cavs, 39-35. In the absence of Gerald Liddell, he provided enough of a scoring punch for Hardwork to chalk up the win. More than just a shooter, he plays tough, doesn’t say much, and gets after the next play. On each of his makes from deep, Pena would hurry back for his defensive assignment.

Tristan Green, SA Hardwork 2018 (Boerne Champion)
One of two bigs down low for Hardwork, and he showed off some nice footwork when operating on the block. His skill set in the paint is impressive. He can make a move with either left or right hand, and is an underrated athlete who can finish above the rim more often than not. He used his length well to also clean the glass.

Kobe Thompson, Cen-Tex Attack 2017 (Leander)
A do it all type player who stands 6’5″ for the Attack, showed the ability to put the ball on the floor and get to the hole. He used his length  to constantly battle for rebounds and loose balls on both ends. Also stepped out to the mid-range, 12-16ft, and showed he could hit the jumper.

Dalin Williams, Corpus Christi Bruins 2018 (West Texas)
Has a solid, strong frame, and the 6’8″ four man was the definition of tough and rugged. In one game, after some contact and a tumble that sent him to the floor left he got up with blood streaming down his face. He sustained a gash above his right eye and to his chin. He was tended to by the trainer, bandaged up and continued to bang in the 2nd half for the Bruins. Uses his strength to back down defenders on the block. Has a nice touch around the hoop, and shows good lift in rising to throw it down. Also, anchored the glass and altered some shots with his size and length.

Ryan Garza, Vipers Academy 2017 (Ediburg Vela)
Has the ability to be a next level player. Showed good handles, even when being pressed. When open and with a little room, the 6’0″ PG was effective more times than not with his jump shot from mid-range and deep. Will have to work on creating his own shot when being guarded by quicker, bigger defenders. Was the catalyst of the Vipers in getting to the semifinals of the Silver bracket.

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Top 100 Upperclassmen “Elite” Combine

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(Design & Graphics by E. Cuellar)

 

Alamo City Hoops is proud to present the inaugural Top 100 “Elite” Upperclassmen Combine, on Wednesday, August 10, 2016, to be held at Mission Concepcion Sports Park, from 8am until 4:00pm.

Renowned trainer Tim Littlefield, and former College Coaches Shenton Wai and Josh McLeod are lead facilitators who will push top talent in skill combine testing and competitive 5 on 5 action. Performances will be evaluated for serious consideration in the AlamoCityHoops first ever release of the “Super 60” rankings to be released this fall.

The combine is by invite “ONLY” and will be focused on the Top 50 seniors to be and Top 50 juniors to be in the areas of Greater San Antonio, Metro Austin, Central Texas, West Texas, South Texas, the Coastal Bend and outskirts of the Greater Houston area.

Official e-vites will be sent out to selected upperclassmen starting the weekend of Saturday, July 2nd. Registration access for the event will be posted the week after.

**Lunch will be provided for combine participants only**

We’re looking forward to another great event, providing maximum exposure to some of the top talent throughout multiple regions in the state.

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New Arrivals

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(Pictured above: Nicholas Rene attempts to block a shot)

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One of the great things about a Showcase Tournament is the talent on display. There was plenty of it on hand at AlamoCityHoopsfest, and we touch on a few players who may not necessarily be sleepers to those who are familiar to the AAU circuit, but their arrival to the rest may have gone unknown.

Noah Rodriguez 6’1″ PG 2018 (SA Elite/SAC’s)
Very impressive junior to be out of San Antonio Christian School, made tough shots in clutch moments. Looking forward to seeing him play in the future. Vital to the teams success, he became the  go to guy for his teammates when looking for quick immediate buckets. He did not shy away from pressure and consistently drained shots with range. Showed above average passing ability as well, has a knack for finding the open teammate.

Mitchell Turner 6’2″ SG 2018 (Next level Raiders/Antonian Prep)
Just transferred back to the 210 after spending last season in the Houston area. Impressive two guard who knocked down some big shots for the Raiders in helping them to a 3-0 pool play start, averaging 16 pts in the first three games. Shows sneaky athleticism and elevates well on his jump shot. Will use it to attack the hoop in transition.

James Johnson PF 6’7″ 2017 (Texas Triple Threat/Roosevelt)
Served as Triple Threat’s only true big, who banged blow for blow, and showed true grit against much bigger, deeper teams in ATX Lockdown & Texas Future. Johnson has a solid frame, great length and impacts both ends of the floor. He shows a nice touch around the rim down low, and even went outside to nail a trey. He showed great knowledge in positioning himself to be a monster on the glass. Being able to get up, also led to plenty of blocks or shot alterations.

Nicholas Rene SF  6’7″ 2017 (Nike D1Premier210/Pending Transfer)
Extremely athletic wing. Very long, can attack off the dribble, showed good accuracy with his jump shot that had plenty of range beyond the arc, and uses his length well to guard and contest shots. Last played for Quality Education Academy in North Carolina, but will be transferring and landing in San Antonio is a good possibility. Athlos Prep is a possible destination for Rene.

Souleymane Doumbia C 6’11” 2018 (Texas Future210/Athlos Leadership Academy)
Another big who is now a part of the hoops scene in Greater San Antonio. Is still raw offensively, but showed a nice sweeping right sky hook when in close, and keeps the ball high out of reach from smaller defenders. His wing span is incredible and takes up the whole lane. He has started to develop a face up game and will shoot from 8-10 feet out. When around the hoop down low, will rise to finish above the rim. His presence on defense is a tremendous impact, and is quick off of his feet to block shots.

 

SABO Goes 2-0

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(Pictured above: River Reed of SABO, getting 2 of his 28 points)

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One of the top teams coming into AlamoCityHoopsfest, were the SABO Warhawks Gold. A very talented roster loaded with college talent that has won multiple GASO’s already on this years circuit. They weren’t able to stay for championship play because of a prior obligation, but the Warhawks showed why they are arguably one of the top team in the GreaterSA area.

In their first of two games on Saturday, the Warhawks drew Nike ProSkills Black. Early on Kobe Magee and Jeff Fepserman would connect from deep to get the offense going early. ProSkills Black was up for the challenge as Stephen Bullock and Shahada Wells would lead their charge with 7 and 5 points at the break respectively, trailing SABO, 34-28.

The 2nd half saw the bigger SABO team assert itself down low and use the nice outside touch of Fesperman to pull away. Versaitle SF/PF 6’6″ Lamont Simmons led the charge with 16 points for the game, finding buckets down low. 6’8 River Reed and 6’10 Luke Schutlz would both add 12 more points a piece. The bulk of their scoring came in the 2nd half as they used their size and length to turn the tide on both sides of the court, as SABO pulled away for the 76-57 win.

For the game, SABO used 8 players, and 5 of them were in double digits scoring. UTEP commit and point guard Kobe Magee added 11 more and Jeff Fesperman had 14.

In the loss, Nike ProSkills Black were led by Wells who had a game high 20 points, and Bullock added 15.

Their second game matched them against the highly regarded and eventual NBA Champion, Nike D1Premier210. It didn’t take long to see a tremendous battle taking place down low between River Reed and Everett Ray (6’7″). Both bigs would lead their team, Reed had 10pts at the break while Ray had 11pts. Ray showed nice touch as well, stepping behind the arc to drain a trey.

It was SABO point guard Kobe Magee who was a magician with the ball. His quickness with the dribble and ability to get open caused problems in the 1st half for Premier. Magee had 5 three pointers in the 1st stanza, torching the nets, with the defense having no answer for his range. He led SABO into the break with 17pts and a 43-34 halftime lead.

The 2nd half saw Everett Ray carry the Premier. The power forward went to work down low and used his frame to muscle in 19pts in the 2nd half and draw his team to within a few points. The 2nd half remained close, but Magee and Reed were not going to let this one slip away for SABO. In what appeared a bucket for bucket match-up, Ray and Reed would go back and forth. Reed tallied 18 points in the 2nd half, finishing with a team high 28, while Kobe Magee would add another 6 to finish with 23 for the game. That was enough to lead SABO to the victory, 78-75.

Ray put up a monster effort, filling up the stat sheet with a game high 30 points in the loss.