GNBA’s first session was up and running Friday evening, but Saturday brought forth some really good battles between teams throughout the day. Several players from each of the 5th-8th grade (11U-14U) levels got after it, and showed their potential in making plays on both ends of the floor and proving they can knock down shots, rebound the ball, take defenders off the dribble, etc. Take a read below of who some of the top performers of the day were, some kids who have really lifted their play this year, and some future faces to keep an eye on in the coming years.
JAKE HAMILTON – 2023 – G – SPRINGFIELD PREDATORS
Hamilton was solid throughout their early game of controlling the tempo and getting himself into favorable spots to score. He rebounded, he passed the ball well, particularly in getting his brother great looks from the perimeter to score. He also finished plays really well himself, scoring 18 points by making some nice jumpers and lay-ins.
WILL HAMILTON – 2023 – G – SPRINGFIELD PREDATORS
Another half of the Hamilton twins, Will also scored 18 points, but just in a different fashion, knocking down some nice spot-up shots, including a pair of three’s. He ran the floor well and converted some good transition opportunities into points, but also did a nice job rebounding.
ZACH HOWELL – 2022 – G/F – YANDERS LAW
Howell had 17 points in Yanders’ last game Saturday night, where he was constantly a threat to score and was active on both ends of the floor. The young wing player uses his size well, made some plays inside around the hoop, and then knocked down 3 three’s which gave his team a good chance to win the game at the end.
STEPHEN KESTI – 2022 – C – NET GAIN SPORTS
Kesti is about 6’5” and long, and he certainly used it to his advantage, making multiple plays on both ends of the floor to help his team secure a win late Saturday. Kesti was highly efficient around the hoop, but did a nice job running the floor with his teammates to clean up on the offensive glass a couple times for put-backs as well. Defensively he protected the hoop well and then was all over the boards. He finished with 20 points that game.
BEN NAU – 2021 – G – RAY ALLEN SELECT
In a highly anticipated 14U contest, Ben Nau absolutely took over. Down early, the future Lancer picked up the slack on defense, nabbing a couple steals and turning them into transition buckets, which got his team into a new mentality for the game and they went on to run away with the game. Nau then looked confident in draining 5 three’s in ruthless fashion and drove baseline with a nice move to the hoop to show the gains in his overall game. 21 points and 5 steals for the rising guard.
KYLE KELLEY – 2021 – G – MARTIN BROTHERS
Kelley was a bright spot for the Martin Brothers in their game against RAS where offense was difficult to come by at times. Kelley did a nice job finishing plays attacking the hoop a couple times, and then buried a couple shots from the perimeter as well, netting 15 points for his team.
ETHAN KIZER – 2023 – F/C – IL IRISH ELITE
Kizer looks to be a solid young post prospect with developing overall skills. He was outstanding protecting the rim on the defensive end of the floor, and rebounded the ball well when he wasn’t blocking shots. Offensively he was able to run the floor with the dribble effectively enough, but then was excellent finishing at the basket to the tune of 24 points. His aggressiveness offensively, got him to line for 6 free attempts which he made 4 of as well.
NOLAN SIMON – 2023 – G – TEAM RAMEY
Simon is a really smooth slasher that did a great job attacking the lane lines off the dribble and finishing at the rim. The young guard was able to knock in a couple mid-range shots as well and was strong overall defending the ball and coming up with a few steals in their full court pressure.
REID TRUSCHINSKI – 2022 – F – RAY ALLEN SELECT
Playing big down low, Truschinski converted several opportunities in the post into points in the paint. He posted up well, did a nice job feeling the defense and knowing where to turn and find a clean look to the hoop for the bucket. Truschinski also was able to extend for a couple baskets as well, leading his team scoring in their early win and was really strong on the glass as well.
NASIR WHITLOCK – 2023 – PG – NET GAIN SPORTS
Whitlock really controlled Net Gain’s early victory with his speed and control of the tempo. Whitlock was constantly putting the defenders on their heels and attacking the lane when he could, which also opened up his teammates. He shared the ball well, knocked down some jumpers and then finished other plays at the hoop, scoring through some traffic with some nice moves, finishing with 13 points.
ANDREW ALIA – 2022 – G – RAY ALLEN SELECT
Alia did a bit of everything for RAS in their early game, teaming up with Truschinski to really take over the contest at times. The young shooting guard/wing was able to bury a couple three’s and also made some other nice buckets attacking the middle.
MARKEL MARKS – 2022 – G – WI SCHOLARS
Marks led his team to a solid evening victory by being tough attacking the rim and keeping control when he got to the hoop. He also showed he can shoot it outside a bit by sinking a triple and finishing with 12 points for his team.
CAL KROHN – 2022 – G – WI SHOOTERS
Krohn was maybe the strongest competitor for a Shooters team with some solid players in the lineup. The ’22 prospect was aggressive going to the basket and finished 2/2 from the free throw line, converted lay-up opportunities, and knocked down a three, showing a good overall offensive game with 13 points and just playing solid all-around.
BRYLAN PHILLIPS – 2022 – G – IL IRISH ELITE
Phillips was very aggressive and assertive for the Irish, constantly on the attack and looking to get to the bucket. In doing so, he got himself to the charity stripe a few times, going 5 of 6 from there. He sank a three-point shot, and made a couple other nice lay-ins finishing with 14 points.
MARCUS TOMASHEK – 2023 – G – WI BLIZZARD
Though it came in a tough loss, Tomashek put together a solid overall game, especially on the offensive end where he showed some variety to his skill set, being able to score from the perimeter with 3 treys and then also knocked down a couple mid-range jumpers, finishing the game with 15 points.
STEVEN CLARK – 2024 – G – WI BLIZZARD
Clark had some really nice buckets for the Blizzard in a solid win Saturday, hitting a pair of three’s and finishing with 14 points.
TAMERON FERGUSON – 2024 – G – TEAM GET SHOOK
Ferguson was excellent for Team Shook, really getting after it with defensively pressure on the ball and in the passing lanes, and then making plays offensively. He had 12 points and sank 2 three’s.
QUINCY OWENS – 2024 – G/F – PLAYGROUND ELITE
Owens was outstanding for PGE in their early win, making plays off the bounce and scoring at will at the rim. He finished with 22 points and was great rebounding the ball as well.
JOSH STEWART – 2024 – G – ALL-IN
Stewart was solid for All-In in a tough game for them. The young guard buried a three-pointer and was able to make a few other nice plays from mid-range to finish with 11 points.
DREW TOMASHEK – 2024 – PG – WI BLIZZARD
The younger Tomashek also had a nice day for the Blizzard, leading his team to a clean win behind his 15 points, where he also knocked down a couple nice three-pointers.