The 6th Grade competition was tough and electrifying throughout the weekend in Des Moines, Iowa at Session 2 of the GNBA. Several young standouts took the court and played at a high level to help their teams have chances to be victorious. Maxwell Polk (Nebraska Hoops), Jaden Moore (KC PowerGroup) and more had highlighted weekends, making plays for their teams on both ends of the floor. Catch the recap below of some of the weekend’s top performers during Session 2.
6TH GRADE TOP PERFORMERS
AUSTIN ANDREWS - 2020 - C - NET GAIN SPORTS
Andrews was sensational for Net Gain in their GNBA opening. The 6-0 sixth grader was heads up and made things happen on both ends of the floor with his calm and determination combined. Andrews made some nice turns in the post to score through defenders, finishing 62% of his shot attempts showing good touch around the basket to 15 points per contest. He also did the little things for his team, playing stout defensively with 1.2 steals and 1.5 blocks per game, as well as dominating the rebounds for his team with 9.5 rebounds per as well, leading NGS to a perfect 4-0 record.
BOWEN BORN - 2020 - PG - KINGDOM HOOPS ELITE
Manning the reins of his team as the floor general for Kingdom Hoops, Born put together an outstanding opening weekend and made sure his team stayed competitive throughout. Born controlled his handles, saw the floor and made those around him better, dribble penetrating and dishing or pushing the break, averaging 3.5 assists. However, the 5-5 point guard also showed he can score the ball a tad. Born hit 5 threes (46%) and buried some nice short range jumpers going to the basket, also converting 18 free throws en route to averaging nearly 13 points per game.
JAKOBE COLES - 2020 - F - NEBRASKA HOOPS ELITE
Coles showed he was one of the best in his class at Session 2 this weekend through his hard work and tenacity on the hardwood. With good activity inside and quick cuts from the perimeter, Coles was able to attack from multiple points in the offense, keeping the defense off balance and putting up 15.5 points per game. He also positioned himself well and then used his hops to pull down 7 rebounds, to time out 1.5 blocks a game, and jump opponents to the tune of 3.5 steals as he revealed what a ferocious defender he is. Coles also averaged 2.2 assists per game over the weekend.
CALEB DRUVENGA - 2020 - G - NET GAIN SPORTS
Net Gain Sports went 4-0 in Session 2 and Druvenga is one of the primary reasons for its success with his electrifying play. Druvenga displayed his offensive firepower with a nice looking outside shot in which he buried 9 times, and also quickness to the hoop and in transition to score some easier buckets for his team, averaging 16.5 points each game. While smaller, the tough young guard still found ways to get in the mix for rebounds and snatched some loose balls with his hustle before getting the ball up the court and finding teammates in transition for easy points as well.
JADEN MOORE - 2020 - F - KC POWERGROUP
Moore was practically unstoppable throughout the four games in Iowa as he led KC PowerGroup to a strong first showing. The 6-0 forward had a great weekend in the post and made plays dropping either way from the block and scoring at the rim. He rebounded strong on both ends of the floor, particularly dominating the defensive glass with his size and athleticism, but also blocked 2 shots per game with good timing. Also on defense, Moore used his quick hands and feet to shoot through and steal the ball several times (3.5 spg) and provide himself chances to score in the open court. With points and rebounds, the emerging 6th grader put up a double-double average with 18.5 points and 10 rebounds respectively.
DAVID MOREANO - 2020 - F - NEBRASKA HOOPS ELITE
Moreano added another big piece to the Nebraska Hoops machine in Des Moines. The 5-9 forward used his athleticism, quickness and hustle to outwork his opponents and put up solid numbers in some key statistical categories, getting a double-double (13.8 ppg / 10.5 rpg), but it was his unselfishness that was perhaps most impressive, averaging 3.5 assists per game as he consistently found open teammates in advantageous positions to score. He also showcased an ability to knock down perimeter shots, hitting 3 treys on the weekend.
JAI MUKRAJ - 2020 - C - KINGDOM HOOPS ELITE
Kingdom Hoops went 3-1 during Session 2 of the GNBA and Mukraj was the force behind the engine. The 6-1 center commanded the post with authority often times and controlled the paint defensively as well. He showed he can score confidently from about 12 feet and in with nice touch, finishing 61% of his field goal attempts and averaging 11.2 points per game. Mukraj was awesome on the boards as he fought for position and utilized his good size to pull down 11.5 rebounds per contest, as well as using his length to deny some shots around the bucket.
MAXWELL POLK - 2020 - G - NEBRASKA HOOPS ELITE
Polk was the leading scorer for his team during the weekend and helped lead his Nebraska Hoops team to a 4-0 record. The 5-6 guard was quick, sure with the ball and constantly attacking the defenses. He got out on the break and finished some baskets in transition, but was exceptional knocking down jumpers and floaters going at the rim in the half-court as well. Some of those fast break opportunities came off Polk’s steals as he used some good instincts and quick hands to force turnovers to get himself and his team out in the open court. Polk averaged an awesome 20.8 points, 4 rebounds and 2.5 steals per game.
TJ RUSH - 2020 - SF - GATEWAY BASKETBALL
Rush had a solid weekend for the young Gateway group, being effective and productive in several categories for his team. Rush found ways to score by cutting to the hoop or getting to his spots off the dribble to pull up and knock down some shots as well, putting up 11.5 ppg in Iowa. He was also excellent sharing the ball, putting together some nice plays to drive and kick. Rush averaged 2.8 rebounds, 3 steals and 1.5 assists to go with his points
LATRELL WRIGHTSELL - 2020 - G - NEBRASKA HOOPS ELITE
With Nebraska Hoops having an incredible weekend at Session 2, Wrightsell was another key cog in the lineup, lighting up the scoreboards almost at will. Wrightsell averaged 17.2 points per game, but did so with a lethal outside shot and quick attack to the hoop as well. The fast and skilled young guard buried 12 threes during the 4 games and did so with proficiency (48%), and was a pest defensively, tallying 4 steals per game. While he scored the ball exceptionally, he also gave it up too, shelling out 2.2 assists per game to teammates to get them involved as well.