By MARCUS HELTON
BOWIE, MD - For the fourth straight year, the DMVelite Super Team Showcase brought together the DMVs top teams for a weekend of competition, allowing them to gauge themselves and battle for bragging rights.
“It’s a good experience playing against the top talent in the DMV,” Team Takeover Orange 17U guard Darius Hines said. “It was good.”
Here’s a look at some of the weekend’s standouts:
JUSTIN LEWIS, TEAM MELO 15U
Lewis is one of the top prospects in the area 2020 class, and it’s easy to see why. The 6-foot-7, 215-pounder already has a god frame, and combines that size with good athleticism and a nose for the ball.
Georgia Tech, St. John’s and UNLV have all offered the Calvert Hall (Md.) forward, who has his sights set on one of college basketball’s premier programs.
“My dream school is Kentucky,” he said. “That’s the biggest school and everybody goes to the league from there. I’ve got to keep working and go hard. Focus on myself and keep going hard and try to be the best player in the country.”
Lewis finished strong around the basket - it’s an area he said he’s worked to improve - and was active on the defensive end, where his long arms present problems to opponents attacking the rim.
TYLER BRELSFORD, TEAM MELO 15U
Brelsford was the engine that propelled Team Melo to a pair of victories, displaying excellent vision and consistently setting up teammates.
“We definitely got better as a team coming off a bad weekend last weekend in Indiana,” he said. “We got better.”
The 6-foot, 140-pound had 15 points in a 67-62 win over Team Melo, and took on more of a distributer role in a 42-33 win over New World.
LJ OWENS, DC BLUE DEVILS AAU 17U
The Severn School (Md.) 2018 guard has seen his recruitment take off with the Blue Devils, picking up offers from American, Hofstra, Howard, Kansas State, Loyola, Navy, Quinnipiac, UMBC, Towson and William & Mary.
“I’ve just been trying to play hard every game, and showcase that I’m more than just a scorer - I’m an all-around player, really,” he said. “And I’m playing more of the one, so I’m just trying to show all the different parts of my game.”
The focus from colleges can come with increased attention from opponents as well.
“Really, you’ve just got to keep playing hard,” he said, “because once you start to make a name for yourself more people are going to want to come at you. So you’ve just got to keep working hard.”
Owens said he visited William & Mary last week and plans to go see some more schools in June.
MARVIN PRICE, DC BLUE DEVILS 16U
The 6-foot-5 Price looked quick and explosive in an 18-point performance against Team Statement, attacking the rim and once throwing down a two-handed dunk off of two feet from under the basket. The Patterson (Md.) 2019 star said he’s lost 10 pounds since the high school season ended to get to 197 pounds, and is trying to get down to 190.
Price - who picked up new offers from Georgia Tech and Texas A&M this week - also played with the DCBD 17’s on Sunday.
“It’s fun,” he said. “I feel more comfortable, like, I can just play my game and others know how I play and I know how they play.”
IAN KRISHNAN, DISTRICT BASKETBALL CLUB 17U
Following a strong career at Clarksburg (Md.), Krishnan has elected to take a prep year at Proctor Academy (NH).
“It’s another chance to focus on basketball one more year, basically, and also to get my academics right and all that stuff,” he said. “I’m coming from a public school and it’s a private school, so it’s going to help me get my academic habits right and my sports habits right. It’s going to give me more time in the gym and a lot more exposure, so I think it’s going to be good.”
Prior to his decision to prep, Krishnan said he’d been hearing mainly from Division II and III programs, and had also received interest from a few D-I’s. He averaged 19.9 points per game this past season at CHS. The athletic 6-foot-2, 170 pounder is also a Division I football prospect - he played receiver, safety and kicked for the Coyotes - but he said basketball is his first love. He’s hopeful that his lone year with The District will help improve his stock on the hardwood.
“This is the first time that I’ve been on an AAU team where it’s more about the team and not individuals, so I really like it,” he said. “I like how we share the ball and go five in, five out. I think it’s helping all of us get our looks up, because usually AAU’s all about 1-on-1 and all that stuff, but we play team ball so I like it.”
JAMES BISHOP, TEAM THRILL 16U
Bishop has enjoyed a strong spring, and currently leads the Under Armour Association 16U Division in scoring at 21.6 points per game. That offensive prowess was on display early on Sunday, as he dropped 17 points to help Team Thrill hold off a test from Maryland Movement.
A 6-foot-3, 175-pound guard from Mount St. Joseph (Md.), Bishop started out hot from the field, and made defenders pay for giving him open space. Kansas State and Temple has offered Bishop this spring.
“[It’s] Just hard work,” he said. “I put in the time in the gym, and then when it’s time to perform, just perform.”
In addition to honing his offensive game, Bishop said he is looking to improve his defense and rebounding. He said playing on a loaded MSJ squad alongside such players as Maryland-bound Darryl Morsell and Baltimore Catholic League Player of The Year Jalen Smith has aided in his development.
“It’s helped me a lot,” he said. “It’s helped me to play in a system and it helped me to learn to play with good players and just how to play.”
BRYCEN HILL, MARYLAND MOVEMENT 16U
The 6-foot-4, 180 pound 2019 wing from St. John’s Catholic Prep (Md.) lit the nets up early on Sunday, knocking down six 3-pointers en route to 20 points as his team hung tough with Team Thrill.
“I think we did a really good job,” he said. “We were facing a lot of adversity last tournament against these good teams, and we came out and we fought, and I’m happy with our team and how we did.”
Hill was nearly automatic when defenders let him set his feet. He hit five of his 3’s in the first half, and opened the second half with one before Thrill finally began to make him their defensive focus.
“Ever since I was little - I was, like, 5 years old trying to shoot 3-pointers,” Hill said. “That was always something I wanted to do, so every day I’ve just been working on it.”
Hill is working to improve on attacking the basket and finishing in traffic. He said he’s enjoying his first year with Maryland Movement, adding the team has potential.
“It’s a really good group of guys,” he said. “They’re all really talented, and this is our first year together so we’re not all the way jelled as some of these other teams that have been practicing together for years. But I think we’re doing a good job.”
JAY HEATH, TEAM ST8MENT 16U
Heath provided one of the highlights of the weekend, knifing into the lane and hitting a floater to beat the buzzer and give Team St8ment a thrilling 43-41 win over DC Blue Devils.
“I just had to make a play for my team,” said Heath, who finished with 7 points. “I was sitting all game [in foul trouble], so I had to come back and make a play.”
Heath - who is transferring from Bishop O’Connell (Va.) to Wilson (DC) - has a nice frame at 6-foot-3, 190 pounds. He has a quick first step and is tough to stop once he gets going to the basket.
“We started out slow,” he said. “We were down 18-6, and we had to come fight back. Our coach [Jordan Brooks] always tells us to keep fighting so we had to fight back and we stayed in the zone, boxed out and got rebounds. John [McGriff] made big shots, Ant [Thomas] made big shots, and we came back.”
Team St8ment players rushed the floor to congratulate Heath after his game-winner.
“It was big,” he said. “Everybody’s talking and they're supposed to be the No. 1 16’s team in the country. We’re underrated, so we had to make a statement - Team St8ment.”
ANTHONY THOMAS, TEAM ST8MENT 16U
Thomas is a relatively unknown name, but that’s all started to change this spring, as he’s picked up offers from Kansas State and Rhode Island. He’s in the class of 2019 but plans to come out with the class of 2020 - he played as a freshman at Springbrook and then transferred to St. Frances for a planned reclass last summer before returning to Springbrook and playing in the Blue Devils’ final few games.
The 6-foot-6 175-pounder looked impressive while posting a team-high 14 points against DC Blue Devils
“It was good competition,” he said. “We started off slow, so at the end we got going, got to the basket well and finished shots.”
Team St8tment got an early scare when a teammate collapsed early in their opening game against New World and was taken to the hospital. He was later reported to be responsive and stable.
“For real, he would have wanted to play too,” Thomas said. “So we did it and we got it done for him.”
MEKHI LONG, TEAM ST8MENT 16U
Long (St. Mary’s-Ryken 2019) has been one of the spring’s fastest risers, picking up scholarship offers from Kansas State, James Madison and Rhode Island to go with one from Hampton. He also listed interest from South Carolina, Tulane, Virginia and Virginia Tech.
The 6-foot-6, 195-pounder is long-limbed and athletic, and displayed good versatility on both ends of the floor. He can guard multiple positions and causes havoc in passing lanes.
He enjoyed a breakout season at Ryken, and used it as a springboard into AAU.
“It came along good, because [the WCAC is] the best competition in the country,” he said. “So running with them, when I come out on the circuit it’s easier.”
COREY DYCHES, TEAM DURANT 15U
XAVIER LIPSCOMB, TEAM DURANT 15U
Perhaps no team enjoyed a better weekend than Team Durant, and Dyches [pictured] and Lipscomb were key reasons why.
The duo made plays on both ends of the court Saturday as Team Durant picked up big wins over area heavyweights Team Takeover Black (48-47) and DC Premier (57-50).
“It shows that we can play at this level and play with this competition,” Lipscomb said. “I think that there’s no limits on us; we can go anywhere and beat any team, basically. I just have major confidence in my teammates.”
Lipscomb (St. Stephens & St. Agnes) had 11 points against DC Premier, while Dyches (Potomac-MD) posted 16 against Takeover and 14 against DC Premier. Team Durant doesn’t have any big-name prospects, but combines speed and athleticism with impressive intensity,
“We’ve just got a good team,” Dyches said. “We all play hard and, like, you can’t teach effort. You can’t teach hard work, and we all have that same drive. Some teams have individuals, but we play as a team. That’s how we’re able to beat teams like Takeover.”
Lipscomb said that intensity has been in place since the beginning.
“It actually started in tryouts,” he said. “[Coach Osman Bangura] said you’re not playing if you don’t play defense. That’s what Coach preached, so that’s what we follow.”
EMMANUEL AGHAYERE, TEAM TAKEOVER GREY 17U
The 6-foot-5, 230-pound Aghayere was a force on both ends of the court for TTO Grey. He has good quickness and explosiveness for his size, and displayed soft hands and nice touch around the basket.
Aghayere credited his South Lakes (Va.) coach Andrew Duggan and TTO Grey coach Dennis Marshall with helping him to improve his game. He said he’s been hearing from several Division II and Division III schools, and said he wants to continue working on his jump shooting and defense.
“This team has been really good, it’s like the best team I’ve ever played with,” he said of TTO Grey, which went 3-0 Sunday. “Coach Marshall’s a great coach and he makes sure that we always work hard. He doesn’t let us have any excuses - we always have to play hard, and come out and give our best.”
DARIUS HINES, TEAM TAKEOVER ORANGE 17U
Hines averaged 18.5 points per game in two contests for TTO Orange, showcasing the offensive ability that helped him lead Bishop Ireton in scoring this past season.
The 5-foot-11, 165-pound Hines showed nice touch on his jumper and a did a good job of driving and either finishing or finding open teammates. He credited his expansive role at Ireton with helping him hone his all-around game.
“It helped a lot, because it played a big part in my offense and just overall being a good basketball player,” he said. “I had to run the team, put people in the right spots, play defense on the best player on the other team, score, rebound - pretty much everything. So it made me tougher, basically.”
Hines, who holds a Division II offer from Concordia (NY), posted 10 points against DC Blue Devils and 18 against The District.
““I’m normally a facilitator on the court - I can score, but I choose to get my teammates involved,” he said. “So basically, I’m just trying to work on being more aggressive and getting to the basket and scoring.”
ISHMAEL LEGGETT, TEAM TAKEOVER BLACK 15U
The St. John’s 2020 guard (pictured) almost singlehandedly lifted Takeover to victory against Team Durant, posting a game-high 19 points in a 48-47 loss. He added 11 in a rout of DC Premier.
“We played good, we just start off games slow,” he said. “We’ve got to start starting out better to start winning the games that we play here and everywhere else.”
The 6-foot Leggett impressed with his ability to get to the basket, but he said he considers another area his biggest strength.
“Definitely defense, he said. “I try to play hard on defense and that results in us gettings steals, getting layups and easy buckets.”
MYLES STUTE, TEAM TAKEOVER BLACK 15U
Stute started the day slow - posting just two points in the loss to Team Durant - but closed strong, scoring 18 points in a win over DC Premier.
Stute (Gonzaga 2020) had his whole offensive arsenal working against premier, scoring on the low block, in mid-range and also hitting a pair of 3-pointers.
At 6-foot-6 and 210 pounds, Stute already has a college frame to go with an impressive feel for the game.
“Right now I’d say my athleticism and my shooting ability [are my strengths],” he said. “I feel like once I get in the paint, I can really just take off, and if you sag off me, I can shoot that. So I feel like those are my two strengths right now and I’m looking to improve in all aspects of my game.”
George Washington recently extended Stute his first scholarship offer - “It felt really good, but I went back to the gym the next morning and got the work in again” - and he said he’s heard from Maryland, Georgetown and George Mason.
Stute said he wants to continue to improve his ball handling and rebounding, and felt the weekend was a nice test test for he and his TTO teammates.
“It was great competition,” he said. “The first game, we lost that and I feel like that one was on me for sure - I didn’t show up enough. The second game we came out and we showed people what we could really do.”
MICHAEL SUMNER JR, DC PREMIER 15U
Premier suffered two tough losses, but Sumner didn’t back down. The 6-foot-3, 174-pound guard scored a game-high 24 points in a 57-50 loss to Team Durant, posting 18 in the second half. He got to the rim consistently and defended well on the other end.
Sumner struggled along with the rest of his team in a loss to Team Takeover, but said he feels his Premier squad still has the potential to be successful this summer.
“It’s up and down,” he said. “We play hard one game and then come the next game we’re all lackadaisical. We just need to pick it up from the start and keep playing.”
After a strong freshman season at Oxon Hill, Sumner is heading to St. Mary’s-Ryken for his sophomore campaign.
Eyabi Anoma - the No. 2 ranked 2018 football prospect in the country by ESPN - impressed for Team Rebel 17U. The 6-foot-6, 230-pounder’s athleticism was on full display as he posted 15 points in a 69-65 win over Team Renegade. Anoma and New Town (Md.) 6’5 2018 forward TyKei Ferrell (15.5 points per game) helped lead Team Rebel to a 2-0 record on Sunday. … Mid Atlantic Select 17U guard Matt Balanc (Springbrook ‘18) continued his strong spring Sunday, flashing an impressive offensive arsenal in win over New World Virginia and Team Takeover Orange. Balanc averaged 17.5 points per game in the two contest. … 2019 guard Jordan Harris (Bowie 2019) looked good while leading Maryland Supreme 16U to nice wins over Team Takeover Orange (58-54) and Virginia Elite (41-38). He posted 17 points against Takeover. … Virginia Elite 17U guard Latrell Winkey (Tandem Friends ‘18) hit six 3-pointers while scoring 22 points in a loss to Team Takeover Grey. … Unsigned senior Fahmi Mamo (National Christian) showed his scoring prowess while producing 23 of DCBD-Blue’s 47 points in a loss to Bump City.
More Notables Performers
Jared Bynum, DC Blue Devils AAU 17U
Daniel Oladapo, DC Blue Devils AAU 17U
Rasheed Gatling, Diamond City All-Stars 17U
Nick Rivas, Diamond City All-Stars 17U
Curtis Holland, District Basketball Club 17U
Dee Tull, District Basketball Club 17U
Antonio Cockerell, Maryland D-Fenders 17U
Barly Kanu, Metro All-Stars 17U
Tyshaun Walker, Metro All-Stars 17U
Carrington Brox, Next Level Ballers 17U
Trevin Armstrong, Next Level Ballers 17U
Jairus Carroll, Team Renegade 17U
Damon Gomer, Team Renegade 17U
Trey Gross, Team Renegade 17U
Darien Simmons, Team Takeover Grey 17U
Joshua Perea, Virginia Elite 16U
LT Naveiour Woods, Virginia Elite 16U
Isaiah Moore, A Hoops 16U
Jason Newman, A Hoops 16U
Savion Gallion, District Basketball Club 16U
Cameron Savage, District Basketball Club 16U
David Aderinwale, Maryland Supreme 16U
Jason Lewis, Mid Atlantic Select, 16U
Will Thomas, Team Silk 16U
Jalen Willis, Team Silk 16U
Johnathan McGriff, Team St8ment 16U
Che Evans, Team Melo 15U
Grant Okolo, New World 15U
Martaz Robinson, Team BBC 15U
Mike Aiken, All City Elite 14U
Sase Uwenedimo, All City Elite 14U
Bez Mbeng, DC Premier 14U
Misiah Brown, DC Premier 14U
Bryce Lindsey, Team Melo 14U
Chace Davis, Team Takeover 14U
Guy Fauntleroy, Team Takeover 14U
Trevor Keels, Team Takeover 14U