Flyin’ to the Hoop hosted four days of in state and national talent. While snow kept a few teams home, there was plenty of talent on display.
Bol Bol 7’2 225 C – Findlay Prep 2018 (Oregon)
Bol put points on the board early in the game with nine in the first quarter. Findlay consistently broke the press, which allowed Bol to finish on fast break runouts. He worked the baseline and outside of free throws, his only points outside the paint was on a turnaround jumper. He had two blocks in the game, which came in the same play and he altered many that came his way. Bol finished with 18 points while shooting 6-10 and eight rebounds to help Findlay Prep win their only game against Huntington Prep.
Jonathan Kuminga 6’7 210 SF/PF – Huntington Prep 2021
Kuminga didn’t have a big game statistically or even very efficient with 2-9 shooting but he’s an impressive underclassman. He was fearless taking it at Findlay’s seven footers, Bol Bol and Connor Vanover. He almost landed a dunk in traffic but ended up coming off the back rim. His ball handling and perimeter game is solid. For a few plays he had Vanover on him and he didn’t fail to isolate him on the perimeter to attack the paint. The explosive freshman only had six points and five rebounds but shows great long-term potential.
Darius Bazley 6’8 195 PF – Princeton 2018 (Syracuse)
Despite posting 12 points and 14 rebounds, Bazley had an underwhelming game. Watching him warmup, his shot looks better but it’s not as successful at game speed yet, shooting 4-11. He’s still trying to find ways to consistently score. His ballhandling has also improved but he’s stationary with it. He ran the point for awhile which isn’t his game going forward, telegraphing a lot of passes, with five turnovers. He’s a good athlete and has the tools to be very good on both ends, it’s all about how he puts it together and applies it into his game.
Jerome Hunter 6’6 195 SF – Pickerington North 2018 (Indiana)
Hunter has a good body and versatility as a forward. He likes to spend a lot of time on the perimeter but needs some work as his dribbling and passing get sloppy. He also missed a lot of layups and shots in the paint as well as from outside, ending with 23 points on 23 shots (9-23). He has a lot of upside and his scoring came when they needed it. Like Bazley, he has to put it all together. Hunter and Pickerington North came out on top against Bazley and Princeton.
Isaac Okoro 6’5 205 SF – McEachern 2019
Okoro had an efficient pair of games: 25 points, shooting 11-13 in the win over Trotwood and 23 points, shooting 10-16 over Pickerington Central. Most of his points came from fast break dunks but he finished a few plays that the defense couldn’t contest with effortless elevation and good body control. His perimeter game needs to improve both in terms of skillset and reading the game as a perimeter player, as most of his points came from simply running the floor to catch and finish. His outside shot has a way to go as he tends to push the ball when shooting from three. With his high productivity without the outside game, his itch to develop it probably isn’t that strong yet.
Sharife Cooper 5’11 150 PG – McEachern 2020
Cooper played well in the two wins showing leadership, maturity, and playing at a good pace. He scored ten points in the first quarter and finished with 23 against Trotwood. He’s a very good ball handler with shift and hesitations, allowing him to get where he wants and drew numerous fouls, making nine of his 12 free throws. Although he finished with three assists to seven turnovers, he reads gaps and is always looking to pass ahead. When he gets his feet set his jump shot is sound, with no wasted motion. He followed up with 23 points and six assists against Pickerington Central, shooting 4-7 from three while controlling the game from tip off until final buzzer.
Keyshawn Embery 6’2 180 PG/SG – IMG Academy 2018 (Arkansas)
Embery caught fire in their game against Prolific Prep. He finished with 30 points on 16 shots, including going 5-8 from three. In addition to his offense, he brought the defensive intensity and was the voice of IMG. Not lacking any confidence, he hit big shot after big shot. Embery is a leader with good athleticism and was effective off the dribble.
Josh Green 6’5 195 SG – IMG Academy 2019
Green can slash or shoot from outside. He loves to attack the middle and kick to the open man on the perimeter. He used to leave his feet before making a decision, but his playmaking has improved in the past year. He’s light on his feet and changes direction quick with the ball, getting where he wants. His shot has good arch and he shot 3-5 from downtown, finishing with 11 points in the loss.
JeeNathan Williams 6’5 190 SG/SF – Prolific Prep 2018 (Buffalo)
Williams had a good pair of games. With good length and athleticism, he had a few above the rim finishes within two long strides to the basket. His perimeter game needs to improve moving forward as most of his damage is done in the paint finding opportunities to dunk. With Jordan Brown out, Williams has stepped up and delivered. He finished with 16 points and five rebounds in the win against IMG Academy and 18 points to beat Garfield Heights.
Nimari Burnett 6’3 170 PG – Prolific Prep 2020
Burnett had an exceptional weekend. His dribble penetration allowed him to get to the rim and handled the ball in pressure situations. He was creative with his drives, reacting quickly to the help defender with spins and hit the open man when appropriate. He has the size and game to play on and off the ball. He shot well from outside off both the catch and dribble, also displaying range a few feet past the line. His 16 points was big against IMG Academy. Burnett would score 22 points and excel at getting to the free throw line making nine of his 11 attempts as Prolific Prep would cruise past Garfield Heights.
Alonzo Gaffney 6’9 200 PF – Garfield Heights 2019
Although not developed, Gaffney has a pro body, but his game isn’t on par with it yet. He finished with an underwhelming seven points and six rebounds before fouling out against Prolific Prep. He can handle the ball in spurts but not consistently enough to play the wing at the next level yet. His shot has good rotation and his makes look beautiful, but they were few and far between going 3-11 from the floor. His pull up is too predictable and he settles too quickly. Gaffney has the tools and talent to be big-time but it’s going to take some time and proper development.
Meechie Johnson 6’0 150 PG – Garfield Heights 2021
Only a freshman, Johnson finished with six points and three assists in the loss. He’s got a mature game; poised and makes quick decisions on the fly. He can dribble a lot without overdribbling, always has his head up and ready to hit the cutter or open man. He can stop on a dime and pull up, but his jump shot wasn’t working for him, shooting 2-10 from the floor and 1-5 from three in the rough loss to Prolific Prep. Despite not putting up big numbers, Johnson’s well worth tracking.
Tyger Campbell 6’0 165 PG – La Lumiere 2018
Campbell scored 14 points and recorded five assists in the win over Aspire Academy. He got into the lane at a high rate and used his floater numerous times. He doesn’t carry the same hype as he did a few years ago when he came into high school, but he serves as the floor general for one of the best teams in the country. He forced his shots in isolation situations a few times but made good decisions overall. Campbell lacks the explosive athleticism but provides polished ball skills.
Isaiah Stewart 6’9 235 PF/C – La Lumiere 2019
Stewart led La Lumiere with 22 points and 11 rebounds. His grown man strength combined with light feet and athleticism makes him difficult to contain. He has great touch within close, making jump hooks at different angles that found the bottom of the net. I would’ve liked to see him challenge more shots at the rim defensively and keep opposing guards out of the paint, but the potential is there. Stewart was one of the top prospects in the event and his stock has been on the rise since this summer, should be a five star in my opinion.
Charles Bassey 6’10 230 PF/C – Aspire Academy 2019
Bassey and Aspire lost their only game to La Lumiere. Bassey’s been challenged this season playing against elite big men with Bol Bol, James Wiseman, now Isaiah Stewart. While Stewart didn’t guard him, he defended Stewart. Bassey was kept out of the paint a bit more than usual, taking three first half threes, missing all attempts. He still willed his way in the paint and took advantaged of any relaxed defensive link. He still brought the energy and shot well inside the arc going 8-10 on two-point attempts, finishing with 17 points and nine rebounds.