2018 John Lucas International Middle School Combine Top Performers
Bay Area Hoops
By: Reginald Burke
Las Vegas, NV – The Jam On It Sportsplex in Henderson, NV was on fire, displaying about 200 up and coming standouts. Every year this prestigious event showcases some of the best national 7th/8th grade talents.
Look out for 6’5″ 2023 Elijah Fisher, who is labeled as one of the top in his class was on display at the John Lucas International Middle School Combine this past weekend in Vegas. The young square shouldered athletic Oshawa, Ontario native Fisher, gave an amazing visual of court awareness, athleticism and versatility. There’s not many of his caliber to play 3 to 4 positions and be enormously effective but after watching Fisher spread the floor and dictate from the PG spot, I was very impressed. He is evolving and quickly adding skill to his raw talent. I’m imagining him in a few years with his high ceilings of potential and competing in that 2023 class; oh it will be something to watch. Fisher’s mobility, ball control and spacing in the open floor is above average for his age. He still has to get stronger in his upper body, make more use of screens and work on adding multiple shot packages as he continues to develop.
We also witnessed 2022 6’5” F Damonze Woods of Bonham MS (TX). This is our second viewing of Woods and he is starting to fill out in his upper body. He used his upper body strength in the post, allowing him to maintain full control over smaller opponents. Woods was most effective slashing and creating second shot opportunities around the basket. He displayed a good mixture of size and athleticism. We also were extremely impressed with 2023 6’1” G David Delancy of Franklin Academy (FL) just because he made things happen by controlling the offense playing the 1,2 and 3 spots. Delancy has developed into a serious threat off the dribble which may have came inherited from his father who played at USF. He has improved since we first saw him two summers ago; Delancy has built up strength and enhanced his guard skills plus he has the instincts to give perimeter defenders problems. His use of hesitations, in and outs & head fakes froze defenders all weekend. He’ll need to increase his speed as he grows into becoming a premier Lead or Shooting Guard. The ball handling of 6’0″ 8th Grade PG Sterling Henderson of McCleskey MS (GA) caught our eye, he was able to break down defenses full court and show that he can put the ball on a string. With multiple speeds and quick lateral movement he displayed his natural talents. Henderson is a play maker that can maneuver anywhere on the court. As he moves forward, strength and shooting should be a concentration.
Never underestimate the unknown especially when new faces pop up, like 2023 6’3” G/F Emanuel Sharp of Bell Creek Academy (FL). Sharp used good footwork and long range shooting to stay noticed. He used his frame to his advantage against defenders. He was able to get into the paint while stretching the floor from beyond the arc when open. Posting in the paint and running in transition was very effective for Sharp plus his willingness to take big shots was spectacular. Next up was 2022 6’10” F Mohamed Ngom of Texas Christian (TX) who was a defensive floor general and he did a tremendous job of communicating with others and giving help on the weak side of the defense. Ngom talent is still raw, he’ll run rim to rim, brings energy on both sides of the floor and he’ll do the dirty work; he showed he can be a great teammate and was able to score around the basket. As he develops his shot and combine that with hard work, and learn to maximize his size, length, and athleticism we anticipate he will develop into a special player . There was talented guard play especially from 6’1” G David Martinez of Teague MS (TX). Martinez was able to show energy, high motor and quickness off dribble penetration. He also has good ball handling and passing skills and plays with a good feel for the game. Upper body strength will play a factor for Martinez especially when matched up with sizable guards. Another 8th grader who I thought had potential was 2022 6’5” Aidan Shaw of Prairie Star MS (KS). He’s lengthy and handles the ball well in full the court. He was able to get into the paint and displayed a touch around the rim. Shaw is still maturing and should continue to work on the outside shot as he learns the ins and outs on how to use his length to be dominant. 2022 5’10” Ali Brown of Universal Institute Charter (PA) is an athletic guard that made plays and excelled in open court. Brown likes to slash and drive past defenders, finishes with either hand and was very cleaver on defense playing the passing lanes. Lets not forget the big fella, 2022 6’8″ Rory Stewart of St. Michael’s College (Ont) he didn’t display much athleticism but he was able use that big frame to plug up the paint. Stewart has fairly good hands, has a decent shooting form, anticipates the ball well and gets plenty of offensive rebounds.
- 2022 5’11” Trey Miller, Our Savior Lutheran (TX)
- 2022 6’0″ Isaiah Griffin, Patrick School (NJ)
- 2023 5’0″ Trenton Walters, Wester MS (TX)
- 2023 5’10” Chris Johnson, First Colony MS (TX)
- 2022 6’2” Walker Horn, Hill Country MS (TX)
- 2022 6’3″ Jameel Brown, Haverford School (PA)
- 2023 5’10” Devin Carney, Butler MS (PA)
- 2022 5’8″ Vincent Davis, Armstrong MS (TX)
- 2022 6’3″ Chance Perkins, Home School (TX)
- 2022 6’1″ Charlie Bell, Westminster (FL)
- 2022 5’10” Devon Wiggins, Brighton Academy (GA)
- 2022 5’10” Skyler Clevenger, Liberty Online Academy (KS)
- 2022 5’10” Von Wells, Seabrook Intermediate (TX)
- 2022 6’2″ Brian Knight, Tays JH (TX)
- 2022 6’3″ Xavier Owens, Klein MS (TX)
- 2022 6’0″ Dubem Muoneke, Hamilton MS (TX)
- 2023 6’2″ Evan Boyd, The Blake School (MN)
- 2023 5’5″ Nahmier Robinson, PLMS (WA)
- 2022 6’3″ Bowen Hardman, Princton Comm. MS (OH)
- 2022 6’1″ Jabral Ray, Slam Academy (FL)
- 2022 5’7″ Camron Amboree, Briscoe JH (TX)
- 2023 5’6″ Jordan Ross, Lone Peak (TX)
- 2023 6’1″ Zyon Little, Westbrock Intermediate (TX)
- 2022 6’3″ Caleb Burton, Lloyd MS (TX)