The 2016 NY2LA Sports Spring Extravaganza tips off on Friday, featuring the inaugural weekend of the NY2LA Association. In the 17U North Division, a group of strong teams from the Midwest make their way to Minneapolis, featuring some of the best hidden talent in the area. One such player includes Connor Niego of Chicago Lockdown, who only continues to expand his game and boost his stock going into the spring evaluation period. 


(Note – This is not an exclusive list)

Drequan Bell – 2017 – SG – Reach Legends
On the radar of Division 1 programs, Bell has good size at 6-foot-3, 170-pounds and is an intriguing prospect. The junior shooting guard has a quick first step off the dribble and can blow by people offensively. A tough finisher in traffic, Bell is tough to stop as he can hang in the air and absorb contact. A high motor player that puts a lot of pressure on a defense, Bell is a name to know this weekend. 

Marlon Cunningham – 2018 – PF – New Mexico Force
A big body, Cunningham is an enforcer on both ends of the floor. The 6-foot-7 sophomore loves to draw contact and power his way to the rim. Defensively, Cunningham is an active shot blocker and very tough to back down in the post. One of the more imposing post presences in the tournament, look for Cunningham to be a breakout performer this weekend. 

Alou Dillon – 2017 – F – Playground Elite
A sleeper in the state of Wisconsin, Dillon holds offers from Green Bay, Milwaukee, Sam Houston State, Air Force, and Southeast Missouri State. A versatile combo forward, Dillon can step out and shoot the basketball or take people off the dribble from the high post. Also an excellent back-to-the-basket player, Dillon does a little bit of everything offensively. Dillon also has the length and athleticism to control the defensive end of the floor with his shot blocking ability. 

Kyle Hart – 2017 – SG – SYF Players
A crafty scorer and ball handler, Hart has the potential to heat up. A strong shooter that can pull up from various areas of the floor, Hart is an above shooter from mid and three-point range. Also a creator for his team, Hart has good vision and feel for when the defense is bearing down on him. 

Terrence Lewis – 2017 – SF – Playground Elite
Talk about a player that’s revamped his game since last summer, Lewis looks like a much different player. He brought out some new tricks during his junior season, but continued his stellar play at the NY2LA Swish N’ Dish. He’s always been a viscous player in the paint who never gets outworked, but Lewis has clearly worked hard on his three-point shooting and hits from downtown consistently. A glass cleaner and powerful finisher against contact, Lewis’ new finesse compliments his junkyard dog mentality quite nicely. 

Connor Niego – 2017 – F – Chicago Lockdown
When you’re a 6-foot-8 wing who can handle and shoot the basketball, you’re a pretty attractive prospect. Niego is just that. A late bloomer in the class of 2017, keep an eye on Niego over the next several months. A player that’s still filling out his frame, Niego’s best days are ahead of him. Able to face up from the high post and slash or take his game to the perimeter, Niego can produce in different ways. Also a strong rebounder and passer on the interior, Niego aids a team across the board.

Malik Parker – 2017 – PG – Martin Bros.
A quick lead guard who can score the basketball, Parker impressed throughout the weekend. His pull-up game from mid-range definitely stood out. Parker has the ball handling skills to shake some good defenders and he gets his shot off in a hurry. Parker had two 20-plus scoring games at the Swish N’ Dish two weekends ago, both of which resulted in wins. When he played well, his team seems to follow suit. 

Jordan Poole – 2017 – G – Playground Elite
Poole has started his spring in exciting fashion. The Michigan commit put on a shooting clinic two weekends ago at the NY2LA Swish N’ Dish. One of the prettiest shots in the game, Poole can create his own looks off the bounce and if he’s left open, start jogging to the other end of the floor, because that shot is going down. An improved attacker, Poole has surprised since his junior season with his ability to attack the cup and showcase a variety of finishes in traffic. 

Derek Thompson – 2017 – F/C Minnesota Comets
Thompson started to put some things together last spring and flashed the upside we thought he had. A good finisher with a soft touch around the basket, Thompson is comfortable going to either hand. The 6-foot-8 forward will also step out and shoot the basketball from mid-range. We’re eager to see how much further his game has come in the past 12 months. 

Devin Whitelow – 2017 – PG – Illinois Irish
This kid is just tough. Plain and simple. It doesn’t matter who he has to guard, Whitelow, despite his 5-foot-9 frame, will take on the task and do it with the best of his ability. If you’re going to score on Whitelow, you’re going to earn it. A speedy guard with exceptional upper body strength, Whitelow can also deliver offensively. He’s solid in the open floor, pushing the pace and either going coast-to-coast or finding open teammates for good looks.  

Stay tuned to NY2LABASKETBALLASSOCIATION.COM for complete coverage of the NY2LA Basketball Association all spring and summer.