Bloodshot eyeballs, raspy voices and a whole lot of evaluations to write. I’m drained, but we’d do it all over again. The talent pool was one of the best we’ve seen in Canada, especially at the younger age groups (2017, 2018). The next stop for the North Pole Hoops Showcase is in Hamilton, Ontario and is hosted by McMaster University, followed by a west coast trip to Edmonton, Alberta.
After a three day grind session on the University of Toronto’s hardwood floors, over 100 Ontario prospects had emptied their tanks in hopes of being chosen to the Top Prospect games at the NPH Showcase in Toronto. Christian David made sure to show talent evaluators and coaches that the decision for MVP was unanimous. This Milton, Ontario product stands at 6’5 and played every position, while showing a repertoire of skills that go beyond his age. In the 2017 class he sits as the number two ranked player in the country right after Quebec’s, Jerome Desrosiers.
In the upperclassmen game it wasn’t as easy to come to a decision for MVP. For the first time in North Pole Hoops Showcase history Co-MVPs were selected. Calvin Epistola and Godwin Boehen, two OFSAA champions remained consistent in their production and showed growth in their games. Both hold a great deal of respect from one another.
A post-game conversation with Boehen illustrated the comradery.
“We’re opponents, but I think we borrow from each others game. My strength is playing in transition and using my speed, and he (Epistola) has really good control in half court sets. I feel like it’s really important to study opponents and never underestimate anyone.”
Fenanov Dafinisse was a tough guard for almost anyone that stood in front of him because of his lateral speed and shifty handle. He showed this in the Top Prospect Game as well as the previous two days. It’s hard to believe that guys of his caliber are under-recruited by the coaches of university programs in Canada. There’s a lengthy list of others who are just as impactful in different positions.
Malique Hyde (2015) and Ignas Slyka (2016) came correct all throughout the weekend. Hyde with his thunderous dunks and Slyka with his play making ability at 6’5 running the point.
Nedim Hodzic is flat out the hardest worker on the floor on every possession; he has a three year reputation for being this type of player, in every environment. His transition from the Power Forward position to Small Forward is in process.
D’Andre Bernard went to work in the post and showed off some new moves in his offensive arsenal by stepping out 15 feet and beyond to operate. Bernard’s production got him selected to the Top Prospect Game, however a slight ankle sprain kept him out.
As the number sixth ranked player in the 2015 Canadian class, there is high expectation for Bernard that comes with his high ceiling. His work ethic and intuitiveness keep us certain about his projection. He will play two summer tournaments during the NCAA live period and spend the rest of the time in the trenches.
Tightest Handle – Kevon Watt
Watt had the ball on a string and a came with a bag of tricks. No move was more memorable than the Shammgod that he pulled to lose his defender followed by a step back jumper, turning away before the ball makes its way through the mesh.
Break down ability – Sean Miller-Moore
Whether finishing around the basket or creating from the wing, Miller-Moore combined his athleticism, breakdown moves and ability to get to the rim in a subtle and smooth way.
Ahead of the curve – Emmanuel Miller
Has a great understanding for spacing and played multiple positions. Stone cold look on his face showed he meant business. Miller’s skill set for a grade 8 kid was surprising to most.
Aside from the names mentioned above there are more than a few who were unknowns before camp that had a strong showing and will enter the North Pole Hoops national rankings.
Scouting reports on the top prospects will be sent out to all CIS and NCAA programs within the week.
Contact info@northpolehoops if you are a post-secondary Coach looking to tap in to a plethora of top Canadian talent.